Visit to the Spiritual cities of Ajmer and Pushkar was a weekend gateway roadtrip with friends, with the focus of visiting the coveted Ajmer Sharif Dargah. The drive from Delhi to Ajmer through NH8 was magnificent with traffic free, wide and smooth road and wonderful Arravalli ranges in view. With some stopovers for breakfast and lunch we were in Ajmer in about 6 hours.
Dargah Shariff of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti is one of the holiest places of worship in India, where people from across the country come to get blessing of the Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. Thousands of devotees from different faith visit the famous Dargah Sharif tomb erected in the honour of the great saint.
You will not be able to find a parking , on the main road leading to Dargah, as no private vehicles are allowed , luckily we found a parking inside a garage, and walked towards the main gate. This is a speciality of most of the holy shrines in India; you have to cover last few meters on foot. There is a market on both side of the road leading to the main gate which is crowded with vendors selling all kind of stuffs also destitute asking for alms, also a common sight at holy places in India.
We bought offering and skull caps and scarves from the market, as you need to cover your head inside the Dargah. It is advisable to come with minimum stuff or keep your stuff in your car as you are not allowed to take any baggage inside. But surprisingly you are allowed to take your mobiles inside (I visited the Dargahin 2013). Lockers are also available on nominal charges to keep your stuff.
The Buland darwaza , which guides the shrine is indeed a beautiful structure behind which is the Dargah of Ajmer Sharif Situated at the foot of Taragarh Hill. The aura inside the shrine was completely mesmerizing. The spellbinding sounds of qawalis take you to other world. We offered our prayers and sat there listening to qawalis for some time. Atmosphere was filled with the fragrances of roses and candles offered while prayers. We left the place with wonderful memories and moved towards our next destination.
Our next destination was Pushkar which is about 12 km from Ajmer and is separated by a rugged mountain called Nag Pahar (Snake mountain). I was told that Pushkar has the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma. Which I think is true because I have never seen lord Brahma being worshiped in any temple till now except this beautiful temple in Pushkar. This temple is visited by thousands of devotees every year.
After offering our prayers at the temple we went to Pushkar lake , a holy lake believed to have been appear when Lord Brahma dropped a lotus at this place. There are about 52 bathing ghats and a number of temples around the lake. Some ghats were not well maintained in fact the ponds were unclean as you can see in the picture above (this was in 2013). At the ghats there are instructions to adhere to the priests. Some of them perform rituals at the ghats.
The market of Pushkar is very fascinating and you get nice Rajasthani stuff here. The best thing about Rajasthani products are they are very colourful and vibrant, we did some nice shopping in the market and had delicious Dal-Bati cooked by the lady above.
Every year in the month of November famous camel festival is organised in Pushkar it is a five day camel and livestock fair. This is world’s largest camel fair which is attended by people from all around the globe.
By the time we returned back from Pushkar it was evening, we took NH8 towards Jaipur. When we reached Jaipur it was late and we were exhausted so we decided to take a halt in Jaipur. We found a nice resort at reasonable price –Shree Vilas resort. A well maintained resort at nice location and very humble staff.
Next day before leaving for Delhi. We decided to visit famous Amer fort. We have delicious Kachoris at a road side vendor in main Jaipur market and went ahead to see Amer ford. Read my article on Amer fort here.