The Sufi Saint, Moinuddin Chishti’s is a major pilgrimage in the city of Ajmer. The Urs is an annual celebration of the saint’s blessings and an occasion to venerate his memory. Saint Moinuddin Chisti was a benefactor of the poor and the needy; hence he was also called Gareeb Nawaz.
Pilgrims belonging to all religions visit Ajmer throughout the year, to seek blessings of the saint. They also come back for thanksgiving and to make offerings. The Urs is held according to the lunar calendar, during the first six days of Rajab (seventh month of the Islamic calendar); this usually falls in the month of May.
The votive offerings include Chadar, hilaph & Neema for the tomb as well as rose and jasmine flowers, sandalwood paste, perfumes and incense. The Dargah precincts include a mosque that was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. This is a splendid building made of white marble and has a long and narrow courtyard for the pilgrims to pray in. The mosque is decorated with ornate calligraphic inscriptions from religious books, fine carvings and meticulous trelliswork.
There are numerous rituals carried out throughout the duration of the Urs Special Prasad (sanctified food) (Kheer, a rice and milk pudding) is made in large cauldrons to be given to the devout. Besides Kheer, dry fruits and condiments are also served. Qawwalis are sung every evening and mehfils (poetry reading sessions) are also organized. Qawwalis are religious songs sung in the praise of the Lord in a typical high-pitched voice. These sessions are extremely popular with all visitors and go on till late hours.
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