Soni Ji ki Nasiyan, Ajmer, Rajasthan

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On the second floor, we reached to a beautifully designed corridor. However, the corridor was made dirty due to misuse and by people, who try to immortalize themselves by writing something on the heritage monuments. But from the windows in the corridor, one could see the very beautiful craftsmanship of the Ayodhya nagri and the incidents of the life of Rishabhdev. The entire hall is full of beautiful models of different aspects of the life and teaching of Rishabhdev. The story is about establishing the Ayodhya nagri in Jambudweepa by Lord Indra, when all other worlds were destroyed. In this Ayodhya nagri, Rishabhdev was born.
The Jains literature tells us about the 16 auspicious dreams seen by the mother of Rishabhdev, before the birth of her most exalted son. His birth was very auspicious to his parents and people at large. His abhishek ceremony was held at the Sumeru Mountain. The Gods showered flowers and Kuber showered many riches during the Abhishek ceremony of Rishabhdev.

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Exploring Akbari Fort and Government Museum, Ajmer, Rajasthan

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The first thing that caught my attention was a red-coloured window situated above the front gate of the fort. The moment I saw this window, a historic event of 1615 AD came to my mind. I was trying to visualize the scene when Mr. Thomas Roe, the ambassador of East India Company, was standing on the very place on the ground where I was standing. Mughal sultanate was at the peak of their rule and the East India Company had sent their emissary to seek permission to do business in the Mughal territory in the then princely India. The difference in their status was so huge that the emperor Jahangir gave Mr. Roe an audience from that window above and read out the firman which permitted the East India Company to do business in India. Ironically, in next 230 years, the same company went on to dislodge the Mughals and to establish the British Raj in India. That thought made me cold. I just stood there thinking about the present day permissions being granted to foreign based establishments to do business in our country. I shuddered to think about the possibilities of another foreign domination, if Indian democracy disintegrates in future.

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अयोध्या नगरी – प्रथम भाग

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शायद उस नन्हे से टीले को वे कोई बड़ा पर्वत ही समझ रहीं थीं और बड़ी खुश हुईं. टीले के ऊपर भी एक मंदिर है, जिसमें सीता-राम का नयनाभिराम विग्रह है. मणि पर्वत के बारे में जनश्रुति है कि हिमालय से संजीवनी बूटी ले कर लंका जाते हुए हनुमान जी ने पर्वत-खंड को रख कर यहाँ विश्राम किया था. अन्य लोकोक्ति यह कहती है कि राम विवाह में राजा जनक जी ने इतने आभूषण इत्यादि दिए थे कि अयोध्या लाने पर उनका एक पर्वत बन गया, जिसे मणि पर्वत कहते हैं. मणि पर्वत से नीचे उतर कर मैंने महसूस किया कि माताजी के मन में पर्वत चढ़ने से थोड़ी थकान छाई हुई है. शायद जिसे मैं नन्हा-सा टीला समझ रहा था, वह उनके लिए किसी पर्वत से कम नहीं था.

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औरंगाबाद में दूसरा दिन

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औरंगाबाद में बिताये पहले दिन का यात्रा-संस्मरण आप इस कड़ी के पहले भाग में पढ़ चुके हैं. एल्लोरा की विश्वप्रसिद्ध गुफाएँ तथा कई अन्य पर्यटन स्थल हम देख चुके थे. अब दूसरे दिन की यात्रा “अजंता की गुफ़ाओं” को समर्पित थी. औरंगाबाद शहर से अजंता की गुफाएँ लगभग १०० किलोमीटर दूर हैं. यदि गाड़ी संतुलित और उसका ड्राईवर कुशल हो, यह दूरी लगभग २ घंटे में पूरी की जा सकती है. चूँकि गुफाएँ प्रातः ९ बजे खुलतीं हैं, इसीलिए औरंगाबाद से हमलोग

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औरंगाबाद में प्रथम दिन

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औरंगाबाद (महाराष्ट्र) में, अगर आपका सिर्फ दो दिनों का प्रवास हो, तो आप वो दो दिन कैसे बिताएंगे? यदि घुमक्कड़ी पसंद हो, तो आपके लिए मैं अपने अनुभव प्रस्तुत करता हूँ. उस समय मार्च-अप्रैल का महीना चल रहा था. गर्मी के महीने अभी पूरी तरह शुरू भी नहीं हुए होंगे कि औरंगाबाद में गर्मी बढ चली थी.  टोपी और सन-स्क्रीन फायदेमंद थे. लगता है कि यहाँ बरसात के मौसम में आना चाहिए. शायद बरसात में गीले और हरे हो चुके वनस्पतियों के बीच यह शहर और यहाँ की वादियाँ और भी सुन्दर लगतीं. यात्रा-मार्ग की दिशा व दूरी और गंतव्य पर पहुचने की सुविधा के ख्याल से प्रथम दिवस को हमलोगों ने “ग्रिश्नेश्वरमंदिर – एल्लोरा गुफा”, “भद्र मारुती मंदिर – औरंगजेब का मक़बरा” तथा “पनचक्की – बीबी का मकबरा” देखने का निश्चय किया. आप चाहें तो इसी यात्रा मार्ग पर “दौलताबाद का किला” भी जा सकते हैं.

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A visit to Taragarh Fort, Ajmer

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Hakim requested me to park the car in his locality where a local lad would be taking care of the car. But, it was not easy to believe a total stranger and so I did not heed to his request and parked the car in the official parking lot which was very congested. It required great skill to park and more to retrieve the vehicle. Somehow I did it. After parking the car, we went to see the dargah along with Syed Abdul Hakim. He introduced us to the nearest structure as Karbala built in memory of the Mohammed Ali, who was the son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed and who was martyred by the Khalifa. Every year they mourn his killing in the Karbala. It was a settlement of Shia Muslims. According to Hakim, the population of that place was about 5000 for which a separate polling booth is arranged during election time.

From Karbala, Hakim took us to his shop-cum-office, where his relatives were selling the Chadar (Shawl), Flowers and incense sticks etc. and persuaded me into purchasing the items from their family shop. Though his shop was not cheap by any means, we had no option but to purchase from there itself. So, we purchased the items from Hakim and his relatives carefully choosing the items that were being sold at the lowest rates and proceeded towards the dargah. My son, Ruchir looked good when he walked upto the Akbar gate carrying the chadar on his head. After entering the premises, we saw a massive silver sword at the top of a building. Hakim told us that it was Jafarani sword given to the Dargah by Mughal Emperor, Akbar.

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Road Travel Reminiscences – Delhi to Ajmer via Jaipur

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So, we moved ahead and found the third jewel of this marvelous city, i.e., Hawa Mahal. Standing tall and illuminated, this Mahal had seen off the day of crowded markets and polluted vehicles. The Hawa Mahal told me… “O Traveller! I was built for providing cool air and shelter. My structure was befitting the queens. Pollution is that I am smoking everyday and night, days after days, years after years and generations after generations.” I consoled him in my mind and said “O worthy Palace! Soils made you and soils you would become….The respect you get is the respect you deserve. Stand tall till your strength permits”.

After meeting with the three jewels of this great city, we drove ahead towards the new township. The Janpath of Jaipur leads to the mighty building of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly, the seat of power in democracy. It was almost 11 pm and we had to take rest for the journey next day. Still, I stopped in the middle of the Janpath. The building was trying to say something. It told me… “O Travellor! I am the power today. Don’t you agree? Or, dare not disagree.” I smiled in my mind and replied “O worthy building! Come to me after 150 years. I will see you with pride and anoint you with my tears, if your power still remained intact”.

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