Ajmer, formerly written Ajmere, is a city (and the administrative headquarters) in Ajmer District in India’s western state of Rajasthan. Surrounded by the Aravalli Mountains, Ajmer, also known as Ajaymeru/Ajaimeur (meaning the Invincible Hill), was founded by Ajaipal Chauhan (who established the Chauhan dynasty) in the seventh century. The city was also ruled by the legendary Prithviraj Chauhan, the last Hindu king of Delhi.
Ajmer, the city where the Dargah of the Great Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti stands, is a sacred centre of pilgrimage. Hallowed by the memories of the great seer, Ajmer has earned the epithet of “ Madinatul Hind or the Madina of India”. Each year, the devotees of all sects and faiths congregate here from all parts of the world on the occasion of the annual festival of Urs to pay their obeisance to seek the Saint’s blessings for fulfillment of wishes. Thus, the festival presents a unique picture of harmony and universal brotherhood.
Ajmer is a centre of culture and education. It is famous for its rich Indo-Islamic, Royal Rajasthani, Indo-Saracenic and Jain styles of architecture. The city is home to the prestigious Mayo College, a school exclusively for Indian nobility, and King George Military School, both setup by the Britishers. In addition, the city’s built heritage includes Nasiyan (Red) Temple, Salemabad (Nimbark Peeth), Taragarh Fort, Adhai – Din Ka- Jhonpra (a religious structure), Ana Sagar (an artificial lake), the museum (Magazine, once the royal residence of Emperor Akbar of Mughal dynasty) et al. Ajmer is also the base for visiting Pushkar (11 km.), the abode of Lord Brahma, lying to its west with a temple and a picturesque lake.
In days gone by, the artists of this area did carving on wood and ivory, made vases and goblets, incised and embossed work on brass and blue pottery (few specimens of their craftsmanship: antimony boxes having ivory and appliqué work, ivory comb, necklace and knife, wooden dharau and pen holder, marble plates, stone grinder and some specimens of blue pottery have been put on display in the gallery).