Ajmer, Rajsthan, India: The annual Urs festival was held at Ajmer, in the state of Rajasthan to commemorate the death of Sufi saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.
Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti was born in 1141 and died in 1236 CE. Also known as Gharīb Nawāz 'Benefactor of the Poor', he is the saint of the Chishti Order of Sufism in the Indian subcontinent.
The shrine of the Sufi saint in Ajmer has the grave (Maqbara). The main gate to the shrine is the Nizam Gate, followed by the Shahjahani Gate, erected by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
Every year lakhs of devotees and pilgrims arrive from all over India and abroad visit the city to celebrate the festival at the sacred shrine of Ajmer Sharif.
Some even come walking barefoot to the city, on roads covered with rose petals thrown by locals during several processions.
Over the six days of celebration, the tomb of the saint is ritually anointed with rose water and sandal wood paste, qawwalis are sung and poetry versus are recited in praise of the Almighty.
Sufi Kalandars, or the friends of Gharib Nawaz, performs an act of self-torture during devotion at the annual death anniversary. This however is believed to be performed by only a few followers.
Followers of the Sufi sect use sharp objects like swords, knives and iron skewers as a tool to show their tribute during the Urs.
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