Saturday, 9 July 2011

Ajmer Dargah Sharif

Ajmer Dargah Sharif

At the foot of a barren hill, is situated India’s most important pilgrimage centre for people from all faiths, the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti at Ajmer Sharif. It is situated 135 km from Jaipur and is renowned for fulfilling the wishes of the followers. Apart from the devout Muslims, people of other religions throng the holy dargah and pray for the fulfillment of their desires.

Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti was a Sufi saint who came to India from Persia in 1192 AD with Mohammad Ghori’s invading army and died here in 1236. Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti was the founder of Islam in India. He was one of the greatest preachers in the world. The revered prophet undertook to propagate Islam in India by the most peaceful means and with great forbearance. When Khwaja arrived, the Muslim community in India was not as large as it is now. The Khwaja, by his noble teachings, touched the hearts of everyone who came his way. The construction of the shrine was started by the Sultan of Delhi Altamash, and completed by Emperor Humayun.

The Shrine attracts thousands of pilgrims during the Urs – commemorating the death anniversary of the Saint, held from the 1st to 6th day of the Islamic month of Rajab. A famous historic ritual at the Dargah is when two massive cauldrons (capacities: 4480 kgs and 2240 kgs ) are filled with rice, dry fruits and condiments and then ‘looted’ by professionals who slide down into it. It is then sold off as sanctified food. Emperor Akbar is said to have made two pilgrimages here on foot all the way from Agra-once when an heir was finally born to him, to fulfill a vow that he had made and again when he won against Chittaur. The Shrine is believed by people of different faiths to have the power to make their prayers come true.

The entry to the Dargah is through the Buland Darwaza built by the Nizam of Hydrabad. On the right side of the courtyard is the Akbari Masjid built with white marble. It leads to the inner courtyard. The high gateway has beautifully carved silver doors. The grave of the Sufi saint is surrounded by a silver railing and is partially covered with a marble screen. The doughter of Shah Jahan had built a prayer room in the Dargah for the women devotees. The premised of the Dargah also has the tomb of Bhishti, tomb of Bili Hafiz Jama, tomb of Shah Jahan’s doughter Chimni Begum.

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