Ajmer is located in Rajasthan, in western India. It is more popular as a gateway to Pushkar and is connected by Rail with Jaipur and Delhi It is also an important pilgrimage site for muslims. The tomb of the Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti is here.
By rail from Delhi – the Delhi-Ahmedabad Mail is a decent overnight train (slow, but it gives you more time to sleep) while the Ajmer Shatabdi Express is the fastest way to get there. There are passenger trains (second unreserved only — definitely an “experience”) in the morning and evening to Jaipur and train links down to Ahmedabad. The city is also connected to Udaipur, of which Intercity Express would be a better option.
Jaipur is 1.5-3 hours by road (depending on the type of bus you take)(the jaipur- ajmer expressway is a 6lane one and is fantastic to drive on). Jodhpur is 4-5 hours in the opposite direction. Buses to Pushkar leave at a different bus stand (near the Jain temple) from the other buses (south).
Ajmer is a walkable city, once you get your bearings. It is also a good option for weekend breaks. The Dargah bazaar is about 10 minutes walk and Ana Sagar (the “lake” – which has marble pavillions in a garden and is a wonderful place to sit, especially on hot days) is about 30 minutes walk. There are some wonderful back-alleys — just wander down small side streets from the Dargah bazaar and you’ll see some wonderful old architecture and murals before you stumble back across a main street.
Other than on foot, cycle rickshaws, autorickshaws (who are intent on taking you to Pushkar) and horse-drawn tongas are available for hire (the latter on selected routes only). There are also tempos that run from the bus stand to the railway station and all over town – fare was Rs. 3/person in 2004.
Nareli is a Jain place located on the outskirts (Kishangarh bypass). This is a good place to visit, has a very big temple and offer authentic jain food (You have to check the meal hours in advance, they are strict in serving meals in those hours only)
Ana Sagar is the tank (manmade lake) in Ajmer. Daulat Bag is a garden on the near side of Ana Sagar and is a nice place to relax. there are marble monuments by the shore and plenty of ice cream and papad-wallahs selling snacks. There is apparently boat rental, though other than a bumper boats tank.
The Dargah is a major pilgrimage centre for Muslims (and some Hindus). Entry is free, but you should give the people watching your shoes a couple of rupees. Be careful inside — pickpocketing has been known to occur, particularly in the entrance to the shrine where people are packed very close together. Priests are available to act as guides and to perform ceremonies at the shrine. Men and women must cover their heads, and women must cover their shoulders. The beggars in the Dargah Bazaar can be quite persistent.
There is a Jain temple on the way to Ana Sagar which is quite beautiful from the outside. You can also enter, but usual temple protocols apply.
Must go to Pushkar -visit the amazing Brahma Temple, go shopping in the narrow but ethnic and colourful lanes of the marketplace, eat traditional foods as well as international delicasies in the numerous eateries.
Shah Jahan’s Mosque- This mosque is the most beautiful of all the structures, in the Dargah precinct. It is made of white marble, delicately carved with trellis-work.
The Museum- Emperor Akbar’s royal residence, now serves as a museum, which houses an excellent collection of Mughal and Rajput armour, and some fine sculpture.
Ajmer has a women’s market (ask for the Mahila Mandi – closed Tuesdays) that sells odnis (traditional veils… they also make nice light table covers) and saris galore. Ornate Lenghas (skirts worn with blouses) are also widely available. Hand tie-dyed turbans (safas) are 9-metre long bands of fabric with various uses and are usually sold wherever fabric for men’s clothing is sold