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Ajmer is a bustling city, 80 miles (130km) southwest of Jaipur and just 8 miles (13km) from the Hindu pilgrimage town of Pushkar. It surrounds the expansive lake of Ana Sagar, and is itself ringed by the rugged Aravalli Hills. Ajmer is Rajasthan’s most important site in terms of Islamic history and heritage. It contains one of India’s most important Muslim pilgrimage centers, the shrine of Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chishti, who founded the Chishtiya order, the prime Sufi order in India. As well as some superb examples of early Muslim architecture, Ajmer is also a significant centre for the Jain religion, possessing an amazing golden Jain temple. However, with Ajmer’s combination of high-voltage crowds and traffic, especially during Ramadan and the anniversary of the saint's death, most travelers choose to use Ajmer as a stepping stone to laid-back Pushkar.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Ajmer.