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Urs Ajmer Sharif

The final resting place for "Garib-Nawaz", Moinuddin Chishti is located in Ajmer. People of all religions visit the Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. 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, which is attended by innumerable pilgrims irrespective of their faith. The urs, a commemorative celebration is held in the solemn memory of Khwaja Muin-nddin Chisti, a prighly respected Sufi saint fondly revered as the benefactor of the poor, popularly known as Gareeb Nawaz. The Dargah Sharif in Ajmer is the place where the Saints mortal remains lie buried and is the site of the largest Muslim Fair in India. The celebrations of Ajmer Urs are kick-started by hoisting a white flag by a member of the Chistis on the dargah. Opening the gates of heaven popularly called the Jannati- Darwaza swiftly follows the ritual. According to the popular belief, one can ensure a place in "jannat" or heaven if one crosses the gate seven times. The rose water and sandalwood paste sanctifies the tomb. Sweet smelling perfume is then sprinkled on the tomb. Shrouding the tomb with an exquisitely embroidered silken cloth follows this. Recitation of Fatiha and Salamti is a ritual. The poetry sessions act as a major draw for the connoisseurs of literature and also for those who are culturally inclined. In these sessions, the poets read out their compositions consecrated to Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti.

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The Pushkar Fair (Pushkar Camel Fair) or Pushkar Mela, as it is locally known as, is an annual weeklong camel and livestock fair held in the town of Pushkar between the months of October and November. It is one of the world's largest camel fairs. Apart from the buying and selling of livestock, it has become an important tourist attraction. Competitions such as the ‘matka phod’, ‘longest moustache’ and ‘bridal competition’ are the main draws for this fair which attracts thousands of tourists. In recent years, the fair has also included an exhibition cricket match between the local Pushkar Club and a team of foreign tourists.

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