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

Motorcycle Diaries: Road to Pushkar…

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For a true Royal Enfield enthusiast, a long ride is always a pleasure, and last weekend was one such gratifying ride. I was meaning to drive to Ajmer for a good while now. Last weekend, Nitin, my younger brother and a recently-christened biking-enthusiast, encouraged the idea and we geared up for a good 750km ride

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5. Naggar (HP) and road back home via Chandigarh-Rothak-Ajmer-Ahmedabad-Mumbai

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Had it not been for the book, Outlook Traveller Gateways (on HP), Naggar would not have happened. Books are still much much superior as compared to host of blogs and websites. Online forums, at best, are good for an “occasional tip” and that too happens cause people speak about the content which is quite recent. Books need to re-published. The Outlook Traveller Gateways (on HP) which I referred to was published in 2008 and two years down the line nothing much had changed….

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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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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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