Ajmer

Ajmer’s history tells the tales of great romances, heroism and valour. The social fabric in Ajmer is a truly secular one with both Hindus and Muslims cutting across religious divides to revere this holy land. The Dargah of Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti makes Ajmer an important pilgrim centre for Muslims from all parts of the world and Pushkar (neighbouring village) is the abode of Lord Brahma, a place of pilgrimage for Hindus. Within the dargah lies a mosque, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, an architectural marvel in white marble. Adhai-din-ka-Jhonpara and Taragarh Fort are other medieval monuments to visit in the city. Ajmer is well connected by road and railways while the nearest airport is at Jaipur.
Best time to visit: November to March
Languages spoken: Dhundhari, Hindi
Climate: Scorching hot summers and cold winters
Holy Places: Dargah of Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, Brahma Temple in Pushkar
Heritage sites: Adhai-din-ka-Jhonpara, Taragarh Fort

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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Anasagar Lake, Ajmer, Rajasthan

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It was getting dark and it was time to visit the dargah of “Garib Nawaj”, for which the city of Ajmer was famous. We left the car at the municipal parking itself and took a horse-carriage. The coachman helped Tulika and Ruchir to sit at the back of the carriage and I sat with him in the front. The distance from the Anasagar Lake to the Delhi Gate was about 2 kilometers and so I started chatting with the coachman. He introduced himself as a trainer of horses, who in his free time drove the horse carriage in the lanes of Ajmer. He had trained horses for racing, city tours and for working in the oil-mills. He informed me about the difference of syllabus for training of horses for performing different works. His stories opened a new subject of discussion. All of us must have seen different animals performing different tasks in the society. The question was how those animals learn the task and did not commit errors. The coachman, in his matter-of-fact voice, told, “Sir, the way different teachers teach you different subjects in school, there are different teachers who teach different behaviours to animals. In the world of trainers of animals, one who can teach different subjects to animals is very sought after. In the case of Horses, the trainer who teaches them the nuances of racing gets paid handsomely.”

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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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Soul resurgence trip to Ajmer and Pushkar

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Anything even remotely related to Pushkar Lake has a halo of sacredness and divinity. Legend has it that a dip in its waters cleanses all the sins and is the surest way to achieve salvation from the cycles of life. Circled by some five hundred odd temples, the lake has 52 ghats, which connect the temples to the water.

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Road trip to Rajasthan: Delhi – Chittorgarh (Part 1)

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Somewhere around Ajmer our GPS asked us to take a left turn on an elevated road and we dismissed it to continue ahead. We stopped about 25 km ahead from that point for petrol and enquired about directions to Chittorgarh. To our dismay, we had missed the turn and this mistake could cost us over an hour.

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अज़मेर : अकथ कहानी प्रेम की…

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ऐसे ही एक सूफी दरवेश हुए हज़रत मोईनुद्दीन चिश्ती, जिनका जन्म 12वीं सदी का माना जाता है. वो पूर्वी ईरान से अजमेर में आकर बसे | अज़मेर, जयपुर से करीब 135 किमी दूर, एक पुराने इतिहास का शहर… ऐसा माना जाता है कि राजा अजयमेरु ने 7वीं शताब्दी में इस शहर का निर्माण करवाया था, अरावली की पर्वत माला में स्थित ये शहर सदियों से अपनी संस्कृति के लिए जाना जाता रहा, और 12वीं शताब्दी तक आते-आते इसका नाम अजमेरू से होता हुया अजमेर हो गया |

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