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Ajmer, formerly written Ajmere, is a city in Ajmer District in India's Rajasthan state. Surrounded by the Aravalli Mountains, Ajmer, also known as Ajaymeru, was the city once ruled by Prithviraj Chauhan. Its population was approximately 500,000 in 2001. The city gives its name to Ajmer district, and also to a former province of British India called Ajmer-Merwara, which, after India's independence, became the state of Ajmer. On November 1, 1956, it was merged into Rajasthan state.
Ajaipal Chauhan founded Ajmer in the seventh century. He constructed a hill fort "Ajaimeur" or the " Invincible Hill ". He established the Chauhan dynasty which continued to rule the country while repeated waves of Turkish invasions swept across India. Ajmer was conquered by Muhammad of Ghor, founder of the Delhi Sultanate, in 1193. Its internal government, however, was handed over to the Chauhan rulers upon the payment of a heavy tribute to the conquerors. Ajmer then remained feudatory to Delhi until 1365, when it was captured by the ruler of Mewar. In 1509 Ajmer became a source of contention between the Maharajas of Mewar and Marwar, and was ultimately conquered by the Marwar ruler in 1532. Ajmer was conquered by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1559. It continued to be in the hands of the Mughals, with occasional revolts, until 1770, when it was ceded to the Marathas. From that time up to 1818 Ajmer was the scene of an ongoing struggle, being seized at different times by the Mewar and the Marwar maharajas, from whom it was often retaken by the Marathas. In 1818 the Marathas sold Ajmer to the East India Company for 50,000 rupees. Since then Ajmer has enjoyed stable governance, although during the 1857 War of Independence some Indian sepoys at the garrison in the nearby town of Nasirabad joined the revolt. Under the British Raj, Ajmer was governed by an Agent to the Governor General overseeing Rajputana. After independence in 1947, Ajmer retained its position as a centrally administrated state under a Chief Commissioner for some time. Ajmer was eventually merged with the State of Rajasthan.