Ajmer’s most famous location is Ajmer Sharif, or the Dargah (Sufi shrine) of the revered saint, Moinuddin Chishti who died in 1236 AD. The shrine houses Chishti’s grave. It was during his time in Ajmer that Moinuddin acquired the reputation of being a charismatic and compassionate spiritual preacher and teacher.
Mughal Emperor Akbar visited the shrine no less than fourteen times during his reign, and reconstructed the tomb’s sanctum sanctorum in 1579. Later renovations were carried out by Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Jahanara. An elegant covering over the dargah was constructed in 1800 by the Maharaja of Baroda.
Thousands of Sufi pilgrims (both Hindus and Muslims) bring baskets of fragrant rose petals and decorated ‘chadars’ (fabric sheets) as offerings. The heady atmosphere is enhanced by the clouds of burning incense sticks and live Qawwali (devotional music) at India’s
most venerated Sufi tomb.