Urs, Ajmer

  • Ajmer is located in central Rajasthan. Devotees from all communities and walks of life come together to celebrate Urs. People all over India hold the city in great reverence, referring to it as Ajmer Sharif or Holy Ajmer. The remains of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti were buried here. This Sufi saint had travelled from Persia to Ajmer in India and had established the Chishti order here. He dedicated his life to the service of mankind and is considered as the protector of the poor or ‘Garib Nawaz’. After a life that spanned almost a hundred years, he died in solitude and his remains were buried in the Dargah Sharif in Ajmer and it is here that the largest Muslim fair in India takes place every year. More than five lakh devotees from all over Asia pay homage to this man on his Urs or death anniversary during the first six days of the Rajab month of the Islamic calendar. The Jannati Darwaza is flung open early in the morning and people cross this ‘gateway to heaven’ seven times in the belief that it guarantees them a place in heaven. On the first day of Rajab the tomb is washed with rose water and sandalwood and anointed with perfumed water. It is then covered with an embroidered silk cloth. Devotees make rich offerings called ‘nazrana’ at the holy spot where the saint was buried in the inner sanctum as singers sing Kawali songs in praises of the saint. The festival ends on the sixth day with an interesting ritual where the Sajjada Nashin performs ‘ghusal’ of the tomb.

  • Urs, Ajmer
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