On our way from Jaipur to Pushkar, we passed through two notable cities, Kishangarh and Ajmer.
Kishangarh: The “Marble City”
Kishangarh is notable because it is the “Marble City” of India. The marble industry of Kishangarh employs over 100,000 people (equivalent to 1 lac people). Rajasthan produces and processes green and white marble, which are recognized worldwide for their strength/hardness and natural beauty. In Rajasthan, marble is extensively used for housing structures.
Ajmer: “City of Good Understanding”
In Ajmer, we stopped to visit Magazine, the city museum, which was once the residence of Prince Salim, the son of Moghul Emperor Akbar. We were greeted by an overly enthusiastic museum caretaker, who suggested that the museum should be referred to as the fort of Ajmer. He went on to share the importance of Ajmer in Indian history. Some of the highlights include: first place where British education was implemented, seeds of India’s modernization, provide good shelter to India’s freedom movement, and also a city of religious tolerance (holy city for Muslims and Hindu).
After our visit to the museum, we decided to hike up to see the Dargah Sharif, an Islamic shrine for the saint Moinuddin Chisti. Chisti is revered for building the permanent foundation of Islam in India. It was extremely crowded 10-minute walk to get into the shrine, and we were also required to wear traditional Islamic head coverings while paying our respects at the shrine.