The city of Ajmer was founded in the 7th century by Raja Ajaipal Chauhan who named it Ajaimeru or The Invincible Hill. Close by the king built Taragarh, the very first hill fort in India.
It remained an important Chauhan stronghold till 1193, when the Afghan Mohammed Ghori defeated the last Hindu ruler, Prithviraj Chauhan. For over three centuries thereafter, Ajmer faced turbulent times changing hands over and over again as one warlord succeeded another.
Finally, a part of the great Mughal Empire, Emperor Akbar accorded it the status of a province in 1556, and used it as the headquarters for his campaigns in Rajasthan.
After the decline of the Mughals, control of Ajmer passed into the hands of the new power brokers, the Marathas, particularly the Scindias of Gwalior.
By 1818, Ajmer had come under the influence of the British who left their legacy in the form of some excellent academic institutions like the King George Military School and the prestigious Mayo College, a public school for the young Rajput Princes. Ajmer remains the centre of many quality public schools in India to this day.
Ajmer is venerated as a holy place for both Hindus and Muslims. It has the mausoleum of the Sufi saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti whose blessings are eagerly sought by pilgrims to his dargah. Known as the Dargah Sharif the last resting place of the saint who died in 1235 lies at the foot of a barren hill.
A short walk north of the Dargah brings you to the oldest surviving monument of Ajmers Muslim rule, the remarkable Adhai-din-ka-Jhonpara. In 1193 A.D, the Afghan Mohammad Ghori conquered Ajmer and converted a Sanskrit school into a mosque by adding a seven arched wall in front of the pillared hall in just two-and-a-half days.
Taragarh Fort was built on a hilltop by Ajaipal Chauhan, the founder of the city in the 7th century and is about 3 km from the city of Ajmer. A steep climb up rewards the weary visitor with an amazing birds eye view of Ajmer.