Adhai Din ka Jhonpra is a mosque built on the ruins of an old Sanskrit college. Muhammad Ghori ordered that a mosque should be built within 60 hours so that he can offer prayers. So the workers tried but could not complete the task. But they were able to build screen wall where Mohammad Ghori could offer prayers.
Ajmer is one of the popular cities of Rajasthan due to the presence of the dargah of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. It is not confirmed but history says that the city was founded either by Ajayraja I or Ajayraja II who belonged to Shakambhari Chahaman dynasty. Besides the dargah, another pilgrimage site is Pushkar which is 10km away from Ajmer.
Adhai Din ka Jhonpra can be visited from 7:00am in the morning to 7:00pm in the evening. The monument is opened on all days including the public holidays. There is nothing much to see in the monument but still it may take around one hour to visit the whole monument.
There is no entry fee to visit the mosque and people can visit it any time during the visiting hours.
Best time to visit Ajmer and the mosque is from November to March as the climate is very pleasant. Though January is very chilly, but still people will enjoy visiting the city during this period.
As the city of Ajmer is very popular for its dargah and adhai din ka jhonpra, there are many hotels in which tourists can stay. There are cheap hotels and star hotels where people can enjoy their stay according to their budget. Some of the hotels with their location are as follows −
Dera Masuda located at Motisar Road Pushkar
Aaram Bagh located at Ganahera Pushkar
Ananta Spa & Resorts located at Leelasevri, Pushkar
The Gateway Resort located at Pushkar Bypass Jaipur Road, Ajmer
WH Royal Tents located at Mobile Camp, Pushkar
Country Inn & Suites by Carlson located at Sushant City
Hotel Chitvan located at Jaipur Road
Paradizzo Resort located at Jaipur Road
Grand Xenia located opposite Chidiya Bawdi, Kishangarh
Pushkar Resorts located at Motisar Road Pushkar
Hotel Plaza Inn located near Dargah Shareef
Regal Hotel located at Dargah Road, Ganj
Hotel Data Inn located at Shrinagar Road
Hotel Vega Inn located at Jaipur Road
Hotel Mansingh Palace located at Vaishali Nagar
Budget or Two-Star Hotels
Hotel Regency located outside Delhi Gate
Hotel Treebo Siddharth located at Jaipur Road
Hotel Royal Palace located inside Delhi gate
Hotel Imperial Palace located Dargah Road
Hotel Star located outside Delhi Gate
Cheap or One-Star Hotels
Haveli Heritage Inn located at Kutchary Road
Hotel Baba Palace located at Dargah Road
Hotel Shri Shivam Palace located at Dargah Shareef
Hotel Omni Palace located at Jaipur Road
Hotel Mannat Palace and Restaurant located at Dargah Shareef
Adhai Din ka Jhonpra is a mosque that is said to be built within two and a half days by the order of Mohammad Ghori. The sultan ordered the mosque to be built within 60 hours and the workers worked day and night but were only able to construct a screen wall so that the sultan could offer his prayers.
During the period of Chauhan dynasty, there was a Sanskrit college built by Vigraharaja IV, also known as Visaladeva, who belonged to Shakambhari Chahaman or Chauhan dynasty. The college was built in square shape and a dome-shaped pavilion was constructed on each corner of the building. A temple was also there that was dedicated to Goddess Sarasvati.
The construction of the building includes the features of Hindu and Jain architecture. Some historians say that the mosque was built by the materials used after the destruction of some old and abandoned Hindu Temples. Others say that the Sanskrit college was a college of the Jains. The local people say that Seth Viramdeva constructed the college to celebrate Panch Kalyanaka. The mosque was constructed after the defeat of Prithvi Raj Chauhan III by Mohammad Ghori in the second battle of Tarain.
After defeating Prithvi Raj Chauhan III, once Mohammad Ghori was passing by Ajmer and saw many temples so he ordered his slave named Qutbuddin Aibak to construct a mosque so that he can offer prayers. The sultan also ordered that the mosque has to be built within two and a half days.
The workers worked hard and were able to construct a screen wall where the sultan could offer his prayers. The mosque was completed in 1199 according to an inscription. Iltumish, the successor of Qutbuddin Aibak, built a screened wall with arches and inscriptions on it. The inscriptions have the name of Iltumish and the supervisor named Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Arid.
The name of the mosque is Adhai Din ka Jhonpra which means shed of two and a half day. There are many things related to the name of the mosque. According to a legend, the life of a human being is two and a half day on earth. Historians say that there was a fair used to be held for two and a half days in ancient times.
Other assumptions say that during the Maratha era, fakirs came to celebrate urs and so the mosque was started being called jhonpra. Since the urs was held for two and a half days, so the mosque was named as adhai din ka jhonpra.
Adhai Din ka Jhonpra is one of the oldest mosque in India that was built on the basis of Indo-Islamic architecture. Mohammad Ghori ordered the construction of the mosque which was designed by Abu Bakr of Herat who came with the Sultan. Each side of the building has the height of 259 feet. People can enter the mosque from southern and eastern gates.
Total number of pillars in the mosque were 344 and the actual building had 124 pillars out of which 92 were on the eastern side and 64 were on the other sides. Iltumish also built a huge screen whose arches were built by using yellow limestone.
There are seven arches out of which the largest one has the height of 60 feet while others are smaller ones. There are small panels in the arch to pass sunlight. The arches also have the verses of the Holy Quran. Along with this, there are inscriptions written in Kufic and Tughra script.
The measurement of the interior portion is 200 feet x 175 feet. The design of the pillars are similar to the temples of Hindus and Jains. Historians say that many pillars belonged to Hindu and Jain temples but some were constructed by the Muslim rulers. The ceilings of the mosque are also a combination of Hindu and Islamic architecture.
Muazzin towers are located in two minarets each having a diameter of 10.5 inches. The location of these minarets is on the top of the screen wall whose thickness is 11.5 feet. The minarets have angular and circular flutes which were one of the features of construction of Delhi Sultanate.
Ajmer is directly linked to many major and small cities of India via rail and road network. Ajmer does not have its airport but Jaipur and Delhi are the nearest airports from where many domestic and foreign flights depart.
Distance of some of the major cities from Ajmer is as follows −
Ajmer to Jaipur
By rail – 98km
By road – 130km
Ajmer to Delhi
By rail – 444km
By road – 403km
Ajmer to Ratlam
By rail – 375km
By road – 403km
Ajmer to Chittaurgarh
By rail – 178km
By road – 191km
Ajmer to Udaipur
By rail – 290km
By road – 271km
Ajmer to Agra
By rail – 363km
By road – 371km
Ajmer to Ahmedabad
By rail – 485km
By road – 555km
Ajmer to Marwar
By rail – 140km
By road – 174km
Ajmer does not have airport but the nearest international airport is Sanganer airport of Jaipur which is around 130km away from Ajmer. Tourists who want to visit Adhai Din ka Jhonpra can come to Jaipur by air and then catch a train or bus or hire a taxi to come to Ajmer.
Ajmer is well-connected to many cities in India through railway network. Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Janshatabdi, Garib Rath superfast and fast trains along with passenger trains have stoppage here. Many trains also originate and terminate here. The trains connect Ajmer to all the metropolitan cities except Chennai.
Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation runs deluxe and semi-deluxe AC and non-AC buses from Ajmer to Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Allahabad, Lucknow and other places. Besides this, there are private bus and taxi operators that provide conveyance to other cities.
Tourists can move around Ajmer either through auto rickshaws or taxis which can be hired for a fixed period of time. Another mode of local transport is the local bus which carries people to their destination.
Adhai Din ka Jhonpra is one of the popular places which the tourists come to visit. There are many other places which the tourists can visit and the most important one is the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. Some of the places to visit in Ajmer are as follows −
Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti dargah is also known as Ajmer Sharif dargah where people of different communities come to pray and ask for their needs. The dargah was built by Shah Jahan.
Nizam Gate is the main gate from where people can make an entry to the building. The Nizam gate is followed by Shah Jahani gate which is further followed by Buland Darwaza built by Mahmud Khilji.
Nasiyan Jain Temple, also known as Ajmer Jain Temple and Soni ji ki Nasiyan, was built in 19th century. There are several images in the main chamber called Swarn Nagri. These images are made with wood and plated with gold.
The temple mainly belongs to Digambara Jains and is dedicated to Lord Rishabhdev, the first Tirthankara of Jains. The construction of the temple was started in 1864 and Lord Rishabhdev’s image was installed in 1865.
Ana Sagar Lake was built by the grandfather of Prithvi Raj Chauhan whose name was Amoraja, also called Ana. The lake covers an area of 13km. The pavilions, known as Baradari, were constructed by Shah Jahan in 1637. There is a garden called Daulat Bagh which was constructed by Jahangir.
Shah Jahan’s Mosque in Ajmer lies within the precincts of the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. Shah Jahan built this mosque due to a vow which he has taken during the Mewar campaign. The dimensions of the mosque is 148 feet x 25 feet.
The mosque was built by using white marble and there are five entrances from where people can enter the mosque. The main area where prayer is offered is built on a platform where people can go through a staircase.
Akbar’s Palace is a beautiful monument in Ajmer which was built in 1570AD. Akbar frequently visited Ajmer for pilgrimage so he built the palace as a residence for himself. The palace was built in such a way that the attackers could not enter the palace and attack the persons inside.
The palace is surrounded by two magnificent walls. It is the same palace where meeting between Jahangir and Sir Thomas Roe was held. During the British Period, the palace was named as Rajputana Arsenal. In 1908, a portion of the palace was converted into a museum.