Ajmer (ăjmērˈ, əj–) [key], former state, NW India. Now part of Rajasthan state, it formerly consisted of two detached areas surrounded by Rajasthan and was identical with the former British province of Ajmer-Merwara. The city of Ajmer (1991 pop. 402,700), the former capital and now a district administrative center, was founded in the 12th cent. The city is a trade center and has cotton mills and railroad shops. Manufactures include wool textiles, hosiery, shoes, soap, and pharmaceuticals. Marble is quarried nearby. Ajmer was a Mughal military base; it was there that Jehangir received Sir Thomas Roe, ambassador of James I of England. A Jain temple (constructed 1153; now a mosque), the tomb of the Muslim saint Muin-al-din Hasan Chishti, and a palace of Akbar are the most notable historic buildings. Mayo College, sometimes called India's Eton, is in Ajmer.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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