|Just over 130 km south-west of Jaipur is Ajmer, a burgeoning town on the shore of the Ana Sagar Lake, flanked by barren hills. Historically, Ajmer had considerable strategic importance and was
sacked by Mohammed Gauri on one of his periodic forays from Afghanistan. Later, it became a favourite residence of the mighty Mughals. One of the first contacts between the Mughals and the
British occurred in Ajmer, when Sir Thomas Roe met with Jehangir here in 1616.
The City was subsequently taken by the Scindias and, in 1818, it was handed over to the British, becoming one of the few places in Rajasthan controlled directly by the British rather than being
part of a princely state. The British chose Ajmer as the site for Mayo College, a prestigious school opened in 1875 exclusively for the Indian Princes, but today open to all those who can afford the
fees. Ajmer is a major centre for Muslim pilgrims during the fast of Ramadan, and has some impressive Muslim architecture. However for most travellers, Ajmer is essentially just a stepping stone to
nearby Pushkar. It can make a convenient base if you can't get accommodation in Pushkar during the Camel Fair.