Held at Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan, Urs honours the death anniversary of the founder of Chishtiya Sufi order, Sufi Saint Moinuddin Chisti.
This religious festival is celebrated in the seventh month of the Islamic lunar calendar for a period of six days, featuring night long qawwalis and blissful devotion of the devotees. On this festival, literally thousands of Indian devotees and foreign nationals flock to offer prayers and seek blessings at the shrine of the mystic saint.
During Urs, the Ajmer Sharif Dargah is filled with the fragrance of incense which creates a religious tone to the whole environment. The devotees pay respect to the saint’s grave by offering ceremonial sheets (chadars) over it. Urs Festival in 2021 will commence from March 31.
Urs is celebrated in Ajmer for a period of six days wherein a series of events take place to commemorate this auspicious festival. All the nearby dargahs are also lit and decorated beautifully.
1. Ziyarat. Thousands of devotees do Ziayarat (visiting the Khwaja Gharib Nawaz Shrine) to take blessings from the saint. The best thing which one can witness here is that people of all faiths gather and participate in Ziyarat.
2. Flag Hoisting Ceremony. After Ziyarat, a flag-hoisting ceremony is held before the start of the festival. A great number of devotees are present during this ceremony.
3. The Opening of the Jannati Darwaza. This door is referred to as the large gate with silver coating, which is present in the dargah complex. As per the legends, it is believed that if a person crosses the threshold of this gate in a certain manner and with certain grace, and repeats this action for seven consecutive times, then he is sure to secure a place in heaven.
This darwaza is opened during the first day of Urs. During this day, the devotees also tie threads on it with strong belief and conviction, hoping their wishes would soon be fulfilled.
4. Qawwali Performance. With the onset of Urs, qawwali concerts are also organized throughout the night until the celebrations come to an end. Many revered Qawwali performers grace the stage with their iconic and spell-binding performances.
5. Candle Lighting Ceremony. It is the duty of the Khadims (servants) of the shrine to read Shijra which is dua or divine affirmations. After this, candles are lit in the honour of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz. However, before being lighted, these candles are touched at the heads of each and every devotee present in the dargah.
6. Performances by Qalandars. These ritualistic dance performances by Qalandars are considered as one of the highlighting points of Urs festival. Qalandars are essentially people belonging to the community which has renounced the world and have become ascetics in search of God.
7. Chhati Sharif. This is the sixth and the last day of the Urs festival. It is considered as the most auspicious day of Urs. According to popular beliefs, it was on this day that Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti locked himself in a room and went in a deep state of meditation for six days and on the last day, he left for the heavenly abode consciously.
8. Badhaawa. This is a song-cum-recitation which is performed at the main entrance of the shrine. Before the final conclusion of the events a cannon is fired to symbolically announce that the event is now completely over.
Ajmer is a city that made it to the pages of Indian history for its enriching culture, depicting the impeccable heritage of India. Ajmer is situated at an approximate distance of 490, 1,029, 1,670, and 1,817 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru respectively. Let’s see how we can reach Ajmer by the following means of transportation.
By Air. The Jaipur Sanganer Airport (JAI) is your best option to reach here. It is located at an approx distance of 135 km from Ajmer. Once you deboard at the airport, you can easily take a cab or some other means of transportation.
This airport is known as the primary airport serving the city of Jaipur and nearby areas. It is considered as the 11th busiest airport in India. And in 2005, this airport was given the status of an international airport. After you deboard at the airport, you will need to cover the remaining distance either by a bus, taxi or you can also consider travelling by train. You can board Ajmer Shtabdi from Jaipur Junction and deboard at Ajmer Junction.
Many airlines operate to and fro this airport with good connectivity. Here is how you can reach by air routes.
By Train. Ajmer has its own railway station by the same name i.e. Ajmer Junction. This station is an important platform which is located within the city serving Ajmer and other nearby areas. After deboarding at the junction, you will need to take some means of transportation like a cab to reach the shrine.
Here is how you can reach Ajmer from the following routes.
By Road. Ajmer has good connectivity with other nearby Indian cities. Depending upon your location, you can choose to travel here either by your own vehicle or a private or an interstate bus. Here is the route you can follow to reach Ajmer.
You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here