Dargah Sharif

Dargah Sharif or Ajmer Sharif is one of the most sanctified shrines in the country. Located in the heart of Ajmer, this dargah is venerated by both Muslims and Hindus. Here are 10 interesting facts about Ajmer Sharif that will surprise you…

Muhammad Bin Tughluq was the first to visit the Dargah Sharif of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty Ajmeri in 1332.

Jahalra–one of the monuments inside the dargah was once the main source of water during the reign of Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty. Even today, water from Jahalra is used for all the rituals performed within the dargah.

Every day, after namaaz is offered, “qawwalis” praising Allah are sung by devotional singers inside Ajmer Sharif’s hall, mehfil-e-sama.

Nizam Sikka, an ordinary water carrier, once saved Mughal Emperor Humayun’s life. As a reward, he was granted the right to rule the Mughal Empire for a day. The tomb of Nizam Sikka is located inside the Dargah Sharif.

Inside the dargah, you’ll find two deghs (pots) that are used for cooking Niaz – a mixture of rice, saffron, nuts, ghee, sugar and dry fruits. The food is cooked at night and distributed to the public as tabarruk (blessing) after the morning prayers. While the small pot cooks 28 mounds (12.7 kg) of rice, the bigger one cooks 70 mounds (31.8 kg) of rice. The circumference of the degh is about 10 feet.

Standing as a fine piece of Mughal architecture, Shah Jahani Mosque or Jama Masjid is where you can find 33 beautifully inscribed Quranic verses along with all the 99 sacred names of Allah.

15 minutes before the evening prayers, as a part of the daily ritual, the dargah workers place candles inside lamps and recite Persian verses accompanied by rhythmic drumbeats in the background. After the recital of the verses, lamps are placed in four corners of the tomb and lit. This ritual is known as roshnee (lighting ceremony).

Placed to the west of the shrine, the Jannati Darwaza is a beautiful gate covered with silver metal. It is opened only four times during the year-during the annual festival of Urs, twice on Id, and during the Urs of Khawaja Saheb’s Pir.

Ajmer Sharif hosts the 6-day annual festival of Urs commemorating the death anniversary of the sufi saint, Moinuddin Chishti. It is believed that the saint locked himself in a room and prayed for six days before leaving his mortal body when he was around 114 years old. Many devotees flock here during this time of the year. The surprising aspect is that food is served to people by devotees standing inside the scalding hot cauldrons.

The Akbar Mosque inside Ajmer Sharif was built by the emperor as a token of his gratitude following the birth of his son, Jahangir. Today, it is home to a Quranic educational institution that offers religious education to children.