Urs - Ajmer, Rajasthan
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The Urs are held at Ajmer, Rajasthan every year at the tomb of the Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, commemorating his symbolic union with God. Pilgrims from all over the world gather to pay homage. Qawalis (poems) are presented in the saint's honour and religious assemblies (mehfils) and 'fatihas' (mass prayers) are held. The lakeside town of Ajmer also called Ajmer Sharif (holy) comes alive during the Urs which attracts thousands of devotees irrespective of caste, religion etc. At the huge fair the largest Muslim fair in India that springs up at this time, religious objects, books, rosaries, embroidered carpets and silver ornaments are on sale.

Urs Festival is an occasion for thousands of devout to congregate at the shrine and offer their prayers. All of Ajmer seems to be in a festive mood and several programmes are organised to mark the festivals.

The pilgrims who come to seek the blessings of the Khwaja make rich offerings called nazrana at the holy spot where the saint has been entombed. The offerings of rose and jasmine flowers, sandalwood paste, perfumes and incense contribute to the fragrance that floats in the air inside the shrine. Also offered by devotees are the chadar, ghilaph and neema, which are votive offerings for the tomb.

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