Urs Ajmer Sharif, Ajmer India Tour
The Urs are a commomerative celebration that are held during the first six days of Rajab (seventh month of the Islamic calendar) in the solemn memory of Khwaja Muin-nddin Chisti, a highly respected sufi saint fondly revered as Gareeb Nawaz or the benefactor of the poor.
The Dargah Sharif in Ajmer- the site of the largest Muslim Fair in India is the place where the Saints mortal remains lie buried. Pilgrims from all over the world irrespective of their caste, creed and religion come here to pay their homage. Votive offerings like Chadar; Ghilaph & Neema are offered by devotees and Mehfils (religious assemblies),Qawwalis as well as mass prayer calls (fatihas) for the eternal peace of the mankind are held.
An interesting ritual of the Urs are the looting of Kheer (Milk Pudding) which is cooked in two large cauldrons called Degs and distributed to the devotees as tabarruk (blessed food).
The Urs usually begin with the hoisting of a white flag on the dargah by the Sajjada Nashin (successor representative) of Chishtis. It is done on the 25th of Jamadi-ul-Akhir (sixth lunar month), with the accompaniment of music. On the last day of the sixth month, the Jannati-Darwaza (gateway of heaven) is flung open early in the morning.
People cross this gate seven times with the belief that they will be assured a place in heaven. On the 1st of Rajab, the tomb is washed with rose water and sandalwood paste and anointed with perfumes. This ritual is called ghusal. The Sajjada Nashin then covers the tomb with an embroidered silk cloth. On the 6th day of Rajab, after the usual mehfil and the sound of cracker-bursts accompanied by music, the Sajjada Nashin performs the ghusal of the tomb. Fatiha and Salamti are read and a poetic recitation called mushaira is arranged in which poets of all communities arrive to recite compositions dedicated to the Khwaja. The Qul (end-all) on the 6th of Rajab marks the end of the Urs.