Ajmer is located in Rajasthan, in western India. It is more popular as a gateway to Pushkar and is connected by rail with Jaipur and Delhi.
It is also an important pilgrimage site for muslims. The tomb of the Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti is here.
By rail from Delhi - the Delhi-Ahmedabad Mail is a decent overnight train (slow, but it gives you more time to sleep) while the Ajmer Shatabdi Express is the fastest way to get there. There are passenger trains (second unreserved only -- definitely an "experience") in the morning and evening to Jaipur and train links down to Ahmedabad. The city is also connected to Udaipur, of which Intercity Express would be a better option.
Jaipur is 1.5-3 hours by road, depending on the type of bus you take. The Jaipur- Ajmer expressway is six lanes and is fantastic to drive on. Jodhpur is 4-5 hours in the opposite direction(INR 175). Buses to Pushkar leave at the main bus stand. There you can also find buses going to Nagaur, Kishangarh, and Beawar.
Various tour operators and travel agencies offer chauffeured car-taxi services. These are charged on a per km, per day basis. You can plan to take one to arrive into the city or take one for sightseeing in and around the city.
Ajmer has a very limited market place. Dargah bazaar is about a 15 minute walk from the railway station. Ana Sagar ("lake") has marble pavilions in a garden and is a wonderful place to sit, especially on hot days. It is about a 30 minute walk. There are some wonderful back alleys. Just wander down small side streets from Dargah bazaar, and you'll see some wonderful old architecture and murals before you stumble back across a main street.
Other than on foot, cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws (who are intent on taking you to Pushkar) and horse-drawn tongas are available for hire (the latter on selected routes only). There are also tempos and mini buses which run between the bus stand and railway station and cover most of the town. The fare is Rs. 6/person in 2012. RSTC bus service for Pushkar, which takes 30-40 minutes, is Rs. 12 per person.
If you are going to Pushkar directly from the station, walk outside the station and walk up the stairs to cross the highway near the clock tower. There are shared rickshaws which will take you to the bus stand for 10 rupees. At the bus station, the bus to pushkar is located at the south eastern most spot. The ticket will vary in cost from 14-18 rupees (2018).
- The Dargah of the saint Moinuddin Hassan Chishti is a major pilgrimage centre for Muslims (and some Hindus). Entry is free, but you should give the people watching your shoes a couple of rupees. Be careful inside. Pickpocketing has been known to occur, particularly in the entrance to the shrine where people are packed very close together. Priests are available to act as guides and to perform ceremonies at the shrine. Men and women must cover their heads, and women must cover their shoulders. The beggars in the Dargah Bazaar can be quite persistent.
- Shah Jahan's Mosque is the most beautiful of all the structures in the Dargah precinct. It is made of white marble, delicately carved with trellis work.
- Ana Sagar is the tank (manmade lake) in Ajmer. Daulat Bagh is a garden on the near side of Ana Sagar and is a nice place to relax. There are marble monuments by the shore and plenty of ice cream and papad wallahs selling snacks. There is apparently a boat rental.
- There is a Jain temple on the way to Ana Sagar which is quite beautiful from the outside. You can also enter, but usual temple protocols apply.
- Emperor Akbar's royal residence now serves as a museum which houses an excellent collection of Mughal and Rajput armour and some fine sculpture.
- Nareli is a Jain place located on the outskirts (Kishangarh bypass). This is a good place to visit, has a very big temple and offer authentic jain food (You have to check the meal hours in advance, they are strict in serving meals in those hours only)
- Traditional basket weaving, Near Kaisar Ganj close by Markaz Allahrakha Masjid (Just south of the railway station). On a narrow street west of the highway and south of station road you will find 20-30 people sitting in the shade of the buildings making baskets. Great location for photos. The people are friendly. edit
- Camel Safari (Tours), Dawarka Nagar , (Ajmer), ☎ 9828178063 ([email protected]). 2 hrs. ‘Sunrise /Sunset’ Camel Safari - Available both in morning and evening. Well organized (picking up from your hotel). With this company, each camel has its own rider who sits behind you. The excursion takes ~3 hours. Also offers day trip/half day trip from Pushkar, and spending time overnight in what they call the desert. Beautiful indeed, but it is actually more steppe. Also offer rural camel tours. 400. edit
- CBSE, (On Todarmal Marg (Road)). For those visiting Ajmer for CBSE documentation work (many Indian students), it will be good to go to Todarmal Marg near Collectorate (which is near the Ajmer Bus Stand). Google Maps does not show the location accurately. The staff is very cooperative and well-versed in the processes. You can get your documents on the same day if applying before 1pm. Vehicle Parking is not officially available, but cars are parked conveniently without impeding traffic. edit
- Watch Bangles being made, East of Saint Cathedral Church on Jaipur Road, opposite HP Petrol Station (From Ajmer/Nagaur Road, head east. There are two small shops on the south side of the road.). Bangles are made here. There are two shops making women's bangles using old methods and tools. The shops are right off the road and the doors are open wide when they are working. edit
Ajmer has a women's market. Ask for the Mahila Mandi. It's closed on Tuesdays. In this market you can find odnis (traditional veils) which also make nice table covers and saris galore. Ornate lehengas (skirts worn with blouses) are also widely available. Hand tie-dyed turbans (safas) are 9-metre long bands of fabric with various uses and are usually sold wherever fabric for men's clothing is sold.
- City Center Mall, VIshal Nagar, Ajmer. Opposite the train station you can take the #2 taxi to City Center Mall for 10 rupees. It has an INOX theatre and many shops including United Colors of Bennenton, Levis, and a Big Bazaar. On the same taxi route is a Reliance grocery store, but it has less items then the Big Bazaar. edit
- There are some fast food outlets at India motor circle. This is 1 km from the bus stand and railway station.
- Honeydew Restaurant (turn left exiting the station and walk about 2 minutes) has good western and delicious Indian curries in a nice garden and AC restaurant now fully renovated. You can also go there in the evening and eat while waiting for your train. The restaurant closes at 11:00 pm. Very friendly and helpful staff.
- T Mos Best garden Restaurant located in vaishali nagar offers Indian food, regional delicacies like Daal Baati (made of wheat and pulses) also organizes parties and events for tourists time to time. Tmos Best
- Ambrosia is a roof top restaurant located in Ajmer is a fully air-conditioned, contemporary restaurant with arabic style cabanas, that offers you delicious local cuisine which includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals.
- Those who are looking for dhaba style delicious food must go to Mahadev ka Dhaba located opposite to Daulat Bagh. This place is also known as Purana bus stand.
- Hotel Bhola has great veg thalis and pandit bhojnalaya. It's a famous place for good and inexpensive food.
- There's a dhaba across from the railway station that serves great cheap food. It's tiny, painted green and attached to a mosque. There's no English sign. You can fill up on chai, omelettes and rotis for about Rs. 10.
- There's a great non-veg restaurant in the Dargah Bazaar, about 2/3 of the way in on the left hand side. There's an AC seating area in the basement. Dishes are Rs. 25-50.
- Pandit Restaurant is a famous place for good food. It is in front of Daulat Bagh. This place is also known as Subhash Park.
- Pandit Kachori wala is also famous for its snacks like samosa and kachori. It has been featured in many travel guides. Lassi (sweetened curd drink) is offered in same area located near the museum in Naya Bazar Ajmer
- If you have a hot palate, then you should try Indian snacks (kachori, samosa and a special combination of kadi-bhujje, unique to Ajmer). These are available throughout the day, but a great way to start your day as breakfast. Some very famous options are Shankar Chaat at Gol Pyau, Kesarganj Gol Chakkar, Shree Namkeen & Mahadev Chaat at Naya Bazaar.
- Karim's. This is a unit of Karim's from Jama Masjid area in Delhi, very famous, and rightly so, for its non-vegetarian foods (chicken and mutton dishes in Mughlai Style). Next to the Ajmer Bus Stand. Costs approx INR 800 for two people for a very full meal. edit
There are a number of bars in the city, including opposite the railway station at Paramount Hotel and on Suchna Kendra Road near Vega Mall.
- RTDC's Khadim tourist bungalow has a bar inside it.
There are many hotels in Ajmer, however many hotels, especially those close to Dargah Sharif, will not complete a c-form and thus deny foreign tourists from staying. Even some hotels which can be booked online will still turn away guests with bookings. If you are booking online, look for a hotel with reviews by foreign guests, which might suggest that they will accommodate you.
- Hotel Mansingh Palace is a good, three-star hotel with decent facilities.
- Khadim Tourist bungalow run by RTDC has rooms in the economy range very near to the bus stand, 2 kms from the railway station.
- Chitvan Hotel, Next to Akashvani at the entry to Ajmer. This is a very nice place for those with young kids. The rooms are big (Above 300 sqft) and neatly done with gardens on three sides. A swimming pool and swings in the play area are useful additions. Non alcoholic, and strictly vegetarian. Price in November 2017 (off-peak season) was around INR2000-2500 including breakfast. Courteous staff and nice vegetarian food (though you could get better if you really chase within Ajmer). Sits on the highway and ideal if you are driving down in own vehicle or in a taxi. It is about 13 km away from city centre, so not convenient for backpackers. INR 2500. edit
- Hotel Ajmer Regency, Near Railway Station. 1000INR" lat="" long="">Great hotel, located close to the railway station. The hotel was completed in 2017 and has comfortable, clean rooms. The staff are very professional and courteous. Bathrooms are modern; water pressure is strong and hot water is available. Matresses are very comfortable. edit
- Fortune Plaza Hotel, Kaiser Ganj. 950 INR" lat="" long="">Modern hotel, tastefully decorated. Rooms are large and comfortable with convenient furnishings and large windows. Bathrooms are modern with hot water and strong water pressure. Bathrooms have a slight smell of mildew. Staff are not trained properly in guest relations. Not too far from railway station or Dargah Sharif. edit
- Pushkar is a nearby holy Hindu city. No meat or alcohol allowed. Visit the old Brahma Temple, go shopping in the narrow colorful lanes of the marketplace, eat traditional foods as well as international delicacies in the numerous eateries. 11km from Ajmer.
Catch a bus from the Ajmer bus stand or on the street opposite the railway station (ignore taxi drivers who will say you have to go to the bus stand). It is 20 rs and takes roughly 30 minutes. From the railway station, exit to the front and walk the pedestrian overpass to the oppsosite side of the street, the bus will pass by here.
Private taxis to Pushkar cost 500-600 rs.