Ajmer was founded in 1100
AD by Aijpal Chauhan, Ajmer derives its name from `Ajaya Meru'
the invincible hill, at the foot of which the present city
About 135 kms South-west of Jaipur lies Ajmer, the most sacred
of all Muslim places of pilgrimage in India.The strategic
position of this city has been the key to its long, and rather
turbulent history. Ajmer is connected to Delhi, Agra, Ahmedabad,
Abu, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Jaipur, by main highways. It was
a key centre of Chauhan power, along with the twin capital
of Delhi. However, with Prithviraj Chauhan's defeat at the
hands of Sultan Mohammed Ghori (1193), Ajmer was rendered
vulnerable to many an invasion and gory battles.
Ajmer has been, for time
immemorial, a great centre of pilgrimage, for both Hindus
and Muslims, a feature that gives the city its character.
The city is a genuine amalgam of rich Hindu and Islamic heritage.
The sacred lake of Pushkar believed by Hindus, to be as old
as the temple of Brahma, has been a place of pilgrimage, for
ages. The great Sufi saint Khwaja Moin-ud-din-Chisti of Persia,
was buried here, and his Dargah is equally sacred for the
followers of Islam, as well as Hinduism.
Ajmer was founded by Ajayadeva, an 11th-century local Rajput
ruler. It was shortly annexed by Delhi Sultanate in 1193,
but returned to the local rulers, upon payment of tribute.
Ajmer was also sacked by Mohammed Ghori in one of the many
raids carried out by him on India. Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin
Chisti, the patron Saint of Ajmer, came here from Persia at
the end of the 12th century. Ajmer became the part of the
mighty Mughal Empire during the medieval period and was an
important military center. Military campaigns against local
Rajput rulers were initiated from Ajmer. Akbar built a fort
here. The first contact between the Mughals and the British
also happened in Ajmer, when Jahangir met Sir Thomas Roe in
1616. Shahjahan built marble pavilions around the Ana Sagar
Lake in the 17th century. The Scindia rulers of Gwalior took
over Ajmer, which was later taken over by the British in 1818.
The British founded the famous Mayo College, a prestigious
school here, in 1875.