The historical dargah of Sufi mystic Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer is all set to get a facelift as a memorandum of understanding has been signed by the Dargah Committee, the Ajmer Municipal Corporation and Hindustan Zinc for spending ₹5.68 crore to clean and manage the shrine.
About Ajmer Dargah:
- The shrine has the grave (Maqbara) of the revered saint, Moinuddin Chisti.
- Situated at the foot of the Taragarh hill, and consists of several white marble buildings arranged around two courtyards, including a massive gate donated by the Nizam of Hyderabad Mir Osman Ali Khan and the Akbari Mosque, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. It contains the domed tomb of the saint.
- Akbar and his queen used to come here by foot on pilgrimage from Agra every year in observance of a vow when he prayed for a son. The large pillars called “Kose (‘Mile’) Minar”, erected at intervals of two miles (3 km) along the entire way between Agra and Ajmer mark the places where the royal pilgrims halted every day.
- The main gate to the shrine is the Nizam Gate, followed by the Shahjahani Gate, erected by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
- In turn it is followed by the Buland Darwaza, built by Sultan Mahmood Khilji, upon
which is hoisted the urs flag, marking the beginning of the death anniversary rituals.
- The urs for Moinuddin Chishti is celebrated every year on the 6th and 7th of Rajab.
About Moinuddin Chishti:
- He was a Persian Muslim preacher, ascetic, religious scholar, philosopher, and mystic from Sistan, who eventually ended up settling in the Indian subcontinent in the early 13th-century, where he promulgated the
famous Chishtiyya order of Sunni mysticism.
- Additionally, Muʿīn al-Dīn Chishtī is also notable for having been one of the first major Islamic mystics to formally allow his followers to incorporate the “use of music” in their devotions, liturgies, and hymns to God, which he did in order to make the foreign Arab faith more relatable to the indigenous peoples who had recently
entered the religion or whom he sought to convert.
- Muʿīn al-Dīn Chishtī was not the originator or founder of the Chishtiyya order of mysticism as he is often erroneously thought to be. On the contrary, the Chishtiyya was already an established Sufi order prior to his birth.