Friday, May 26, 2017

RAJASTHAN MEWAD TOUR - AJMER & PUSHKAR

From Udaipur, we were driving to Ajmer. The three hour drive from Chithorgadh to Ajmer was uneventful - our post-lunch nap during the drive was rudely interrupted several times by the siren-like long horn of our bus as our driver tried overtaking trucks / buses.   
It was past seven when we started for the 15 minute ride to Khwaja Moinuddin Khishti Darga in a horse cart (Ghoda gaadi / taanga) - in groups of 4 - the menfolk sitting in the inner seats and ladies seated behind, facing backwards. All of us ladies were dressed appropriately to visit the 'dargah' - with our heads covered. As the horse picked up speed while trotting along the road, we were apprehensive of our 'brake-less' horses maneuvering the traffic with mechanical vehicles moving on all sides. It was a bit scary but we did enjoy the experience. 
When we alighted from the carriage, we were herded together and we walked clutching our partner's hand in the crowded narrow road leading to the dargah, lined on both sides with little shops. During the 10 minute walk, having been warned about the pickpockets lurking around, we huddled together as a group amidst the surging crowds - 

it was the day of Moharram - so you can imagine the thronging devotees. Our guide met us and took us around with interesting inputs. Some from our group wanted to offer 'chaddar' (you can choose from a range from Rs 200 - 1000) on their or on their friends' behalf. It was a Herculean task wriggling our way to the sanctum sanctorum, specially with the offering of a big basket of flowers and 'chaddar'! Our hearts went thud-thud as we were swept and pushed about powerfully and we were only too glad to exit after a couple of seconds of worship. Ooh, that was suffocating!   

We got to see wailing women, praying devotees squatting .... We also saw the dry well where offerings of money are made.

We then walked back, got into our horse cart and rode back to our bus. The entire 'darga' trip took us one hour. 

After a drive of half an hour, we checked into our hotel rooms. It was another day of a variety of rides - by bus, autorikshaw, horse cart .... 

Next morning it was a one hour drive from Ajmer to Pushkar Theerth. 

After alighting from our bus, we had to walk a distance of one km to reach the 'theerth' where we spent an hour. The lake presented a pretty picture with temples lining the other end too. 


Many chose to perform rites for their 'pitru' (late ancestors) under the guidance of priests after a dip in the holy Pushkar Lake. Most of us just washed our hands and legs before starting the 'puja'.


We then visited the nearby Brahma Temple - the only temple built for Brahma in the world!

Then it was shopping time - the place is famous for rose products like Rose Water and 'Gulkand' (made from rose petals) in addition to Rajasthani items. 

Then we drove to our last destination - Jaipur and checked into our hotel. 

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