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Urs Ajmer Sharif: Festival Honors Sufi Saint Moinuddin Chisti (PHOTOS)

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Urs Ajmer Sharif is a six-day long annual commemoration of the death of the Persian Sufi Saint Moinuddin Chisti, at his tomb (dargah) in Ajmer, India. Celebrated as a wedding feast, or the union of the soul with the beloved, it is the largest urs (commemoration of death anniversary of a Sufi saint) observation in India. In 2012, Urs Ajmer Sharif is observed from 22nd May until 28th May.

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims flock to the town of Ajmer making offerings of flowers, and reciting special prayers and qawwali (poetry) to seek the blessings of the saint. Self-flagellation is also a common aspect of the occasion.

Moinuddin Chisti established the Chistiya order of Sufis in India. Known as Gareeb Nawaz, or benefactor of the poor, he is an especially beloved saint of India.