Shopkeeper selling flowers during Urs Fair
"When the Aarif becomes silent
it means that he is talking to God,
and when he closes his eyes
it means that he is knocking at God's door"
-- Hazart Khawaja Moinuddin Hasan Chisty
Take a tour of one of the famous religious festivals in Rajasthan - Urs fair. The beauteous lakeside city of Ajmer is located in central Rajasthan, and is held in great reverence by devotees of all creed, who call it 'Ajmer Sharif' (Holy Ajmer). It is here that the mortal remains of the august Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisty, who came to Ajmer from Persia in 1192, lie buried. He is known as Gharib Nawaz (protector of the poor) en masse, because he dedicated his entire life to the service of mankind. His spartan life, attended by rigid austerity and self-denial, spanned almost a hundred years while he embraced divine knowledge and fathomed hidden mysteries of the nature and those of the soul. The Khwaja left for heavenly abode in 1256 AD after a six day prayer in seclusion. These six days are celebrated every year as the annual Urs festival.
While in the famous Urs fair of Ajmer in India, you have to cover your head inside the shine, so remember
to carry a scarf, although there are plenty for sale at the colorful
bazaar leading to the shrine. As you enter the courtyard, removing your
shoes at the gateway, a mosque known as Akbari masjid, as constructed by
Akbar, is on the right. There is another mosque fabricated by the Mughal
Emperor Shah Jahan. Like all of Shah Jahan's buildings, the mosque too, is
an architectural prodigy - a magnificent building in white marble with a
long and narrow courtyard for the pilgrims to pray, richly embellished
with ornate calligraphic Persian inscriptions, exquisite carvings and
elegant filigree. Take an Ajmer tourism to see the mosque attractions.
"The Urs Jubiliation
Rejoice, my love, rejoice,
Its spring here, rejoice.
Oh, you're still enjoying your sleep, wake-up.
Even your destiny has woken up"
-- Amir Khusrau
If you travel to see the famous urs fair of Rajasthan then you should knoe the eminent Persian poet who beautifully quoted these few lines as a souvenir to the endeared festival of Urs. Inviting everyone to rejoice in the spring time, the poet tacitly emphasizes on self-enlightenment of the soul. Since your destiny has already woken up, you should cheer up and focus vivacity in every turn of your life.
Dargah Sharief, Ajmer
The famous Urs fair in Ajmer springs up on the 25th of
Jamadi-ul-Akhir (sixth lunar month), energized with the hoisting of a
white flag with great pomp and show, on the Dargah by the Sajjada Nashin
(successor representative) of Chistis. The tomb, richly adorned with gold
and silver ornamentation, is then washed with rose water and sandalwood
paste in the early morning. A covering with an alluringly embroidered silk
cloth is then offered by the successor.
The pilgrims who cluster at the Dargah from every corner of the country, who come to seek benison of the Khwaja, who come to fetch eternal peace of mind, make grand offerings (nazrana) at the sacred pad where the saint has been entombed. Feel the elysian ambiance of the Dargah, rich with the fragrance of rose and jasmine flowers, sandalwood paste, perfumes and incense sticks. The devotees also offer chadar (Holy Sheet), ghilaph and neema, which they carry on their heads and hand over to the khadims inside the sanctum sanctorum.
Take an Ajmer tour to see the famous religious festivals where an interesting ritual is the looting of kheer (milk pudding) which is cooked in two large cauldrons, garnished with dry fruits and condiments and distributed to the devotees as Tabarruk (blessed food). On the steps leading to the main gate, fakirs can be seen begging for alms in the name of the Khwaja. Their cries generally do not go in vain, as the devotees feel happy to help the needy, in the tradition of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz.
On the 6th day of Rajab, the Sajjada Nashin performs the ablution of the tomb with the sound of crackers and music at the backdrop. Fatiha and Salamti are read. This last day is also marked by the opening of the Jannati Darwaza, a gateway to heaven that should be crossed 7 times to gain eternal salvation. A must see quantum of the fair is the mushaira or poetic recitation. Poets from all pockets of India gather wholeheartedly to recite compositions dedicated to Khwaja.
Travel to the Urs fair at night, when religious convocations called mehfils are held in the mehfil khana, a voluminous hall meant for this purpose. The hall echoes with the resonance of the Holy name of the Khwaja, while the people, overwhelmed with devotion, passionately carol and clap to the rhythm of the Qawwalis and harmonize their subconscious with the supreme self. The mehfil adjourns late in the night with a fatiha, a mass prayer for the eternal peace of the Khwaja in particular and mankind in general. These high pitched qawwalis have also carved a distinct corner in Indian film industry because of their enigmatic lyrics, abyss meanings and mellifluous tunes. An Urs fair holiday in India is the best way to understand the religious festivals in Rajasthan.
Take an exclusive Urs fair trip to Ajmer. State and interstate roadways buses and private video coaches connect Ajmer to most important cities in the region, including Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Mt. Abu, Jaisalmer, Mumbai and Delhi. During the Urs, special RTDC conducted tours buses ply from cities all over India carrying people to Ajmer and back. Within the city, you will get rented cars, local buses, auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws as available means of transport.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Urs Festival
Visit The Dargah of Enchantment
See The Faith And Believe It
Taste of Ajmer
Taste The Holy Food
Rajasthan & The Taj
Wildlife Safari Tour
Mahal - White Wonder
Delhi - Eternal Capital
Sikri - City of Victory
- Out of The World
Madhya Pradesh -
Centre of Attraction