Ajmer

Overview

Introduction

Located 220 mi/355 km southwest of Delhi, Ajmer, India, is an important pilgrimage site for Muslims. It also has fine examples of Hindu and Mughal architecture. The city contains a large fort and many beautiful pavilions lining Anasagar Lake, but the main attraction remains the colorful darga (tomb) of Moinuddin Chishsti, one of India's best loved Sufi saints.

Nearby is the town of Pushkar, with a large fairground where camel traders assemble for a colorful three-day camel festival in November. The festival has expanded beyond camels and now is host to horse trading and a wide variety of activities and competitions, along with a colorful market.

There's also a sacred lake (at its best after a robust monsoon season) where devout Hindus go every autumn for ritual bathing. Do not try to photograph women taking their morning dip, and do not let a priest (or someone posing as one) conduct rituals for you—it ends up being a drain on the wallet. Also worth seeing are the Pushkar market and anyone performing the "snake dance," a local ritual.

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