Ajmer is the 5th largest city in Rajasthan and is the centre of the eponymous Ajmer District. Ajmer has a population of around 800,000 (2011 census), and is located 135 kilometres west of Jaipur, the state capital, 274 km from Udaipur, 439 km from Jaisalmer, and 391 km from Delhi. Ajmer is surrounded by the Aravalli Mountains. It is a pilgrimage centre for the shrine of the Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti and is also the base for visiting Pushkar (11 km), an ancient Hindu pilgrimage city, famous for the temple of Brahma.
Ajmer (Ajayameru) was founded in the late 7th century A.D. by Dushyant Chauhan. The Chauhan dynasty ruled Ajmer in spite of repeated invasions by Turkic marauders from Central Asia across the north of India. Ajmer was conquered by Muhammad of Ghor, founder of the Delhi Sultanate, in 1193. However, the Chauhan rulers were allowed autonomy upon the payment of a heavy tribute to the conquerors. Ajmer remained subject to Delhi until 1365 when it was captured by the ruler of Mewar. In 1509, control of Ajmer was disputed between the Maharajas of Mewar and Marwar unitil it was conquered by the Marwar in 1532. The city was conquered by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1559. In the 18th century, control passed to the Marathas. In 1818 the British forced the Marathas to cede the city for 50,000 rupees whereupon it became part of the province of Ajmer-Merwara, which consisted of the districts of Ajmer and Merwara and were physically separated by the territory of the Rajputana Agency. Ajmer-Merwara was directly administered by the British Raj, by a commissioner who was subordinate to the Governor-General's agent for Rajputana. Ajmer-Merwara remained a province of India until 1950, when it became the Ajmer State. Ajmer state became part of Rajasthan state on 1 November 1956. Ajmer is surrounded by the Aravalli Mountains. The city is sied on the lower slopes of the Taragarh Hill in the Aravalli Range. It is situated almost in the centre of Rajasthan. To the north of the city is a large artificial lake, called Anasagar with a marble structure known as Baradari. Ajmer is protected from the Thar desert by the massive rocks of Nagpathar range.