Destination Ajmer

Himachal To Kerala : Day 3

We couldn’t sleep last night. The puppies were making too much noise. I was worried about their survival through this harsh climate, the heat and the motorcycle ride. Sudden change in temperature from the snowy mountains of Himachal to the hot deserts of Rajasthan. We had just covered one quarter of our journey, probably 7 more days to go to reach Kerala. Every noise they make, I was happy inside, that they are alive and active. I was really annoyed cleaning the poop and pee off thr hotel floor. It was like taking care of a baby.

“I witnessed a rain in desert while traveling to Moinuddin Chishti’s Dargah, just before reaching Ajmer. In that moment one will realise that, Jannath (heaven), is here.”

Amber Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan

Woke up around 9 in the morning, cleaned the room, got fresh, had our breakfast and fed the puppies. Left the hotel around 10:30, visited the Amber Palace, Jhal Mahal and Hawa Mahal before leaving Jaipur.We were in a hurry as we had a long journey to complete. First visited Amber Palace, took tickets and went inside. Athul was here few years back so he guided me through the palace. Then headed to the city and saw the ruined Jhal Mahal in the middle of a large lake. We stood by the bank and looked at it for sometime, took few photos and went towards Hawa Mahal. It was right on the road side. We couldn’t find a parking space for our bike, so stood outside the Hawa Mahal, enjoyed the beauty from outside. I had seen numerous photos of Hawa Mahal online and it was always a very huge building. I felt like it’s really small in reality. We left Jaipur at noon. Our next destination is Ajmer.

Whenever I think of Ajmer a scene from the Malayalam movie “Ustad Hotel” comes to my mind. Faizy and his grandfather, Kareem witness a heavy rain sitting inside an old Matador Van. Kareem asks Faizy, “have you ever witnessed a rain in desert?”, he continues, “I witnessed one while traveling to Moinuddin Chishti’s Dargah, just before reaching Ajmer. In that moment one will realise that, Jannath (heaven), is here.” In that hot sun, I wished for a rain in that Desert.Also the Mammootty starred Malayalam movie Gangster (2014) directed by Ashiq Abu comes to my mind. The protagonist Akbar retreats to Ajmer to prepare himself for the final fight with the villain. The mystic city of Ajmer is beautifully shown in the song “Allahu Akbar”.

Amber Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan

This city if famous for the Dargah of Sufi Saint Khwaja Ghareeb Nawaz aka Moinuddin Chishti, who is one of the earliest and greatest Islam Saint who spread Islam in India. While Islam came to Kerala in the southern tip of India through traders from Persia during the time of Prophet Muhammad himself, Islam was spread in Northern India much later, actually few centuries later through this Sufi Saint who is believed to possess supernatural powers. Even today you can find a large number of devotees visiting the Dargah and offering Ghilaf (cloth), Atthar (perfume) etc. for the fulfillment of their prayers. The saint was also given a reference in the A. R. Rahman song Khwaja from the movie Jodha Akbar.

Amber Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan

We reached Ajmer city around 4 in the evening, we were tired from the heat. Athul’s colleague Srishti from NIT she is in her hometown, Ajmer for vacation. She came to meet us. She was very excited to meet us and take us around the city. She came with her scooty and we followed her on our bike through the busy streets. She suggested the Pyaaz ki Kachori from a famous joint in Ajmer. It was so tasty, and we tried the lassi too. Then she took us to another famous falooda parlor and we tried a super tasty dried fruit falooda.

Once our stomachs were filled, we visited the Dargah, the smell of Athar was present in the air, it was so soothing, we stood there for sometime. We visited another monument Aadhai Din ka Jhonpara, a wonderful structure with intermixed Islam, Hindu and Jain architecture which was completed just in two and a half days, as the name suggests by the order of Qutab ud din Ibek.

Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, Rajasthan

It was really hard to ride the bike through the narrow and crowded streets of Ajmer through the busy corridors infront of the Dharga. Also to keep the puppies away from the crowd as dogs are Haram for Islam. We managed to keep the bag with puppies on the bike itself while we walked and explored the city.We said goodbye to Srishti and left the city around 7 in the evening. There were lot more to explore in Ajmer, Pushkar was also nearby and she was ready to take us there. As we had little time and needed to reach the next pitstop, we left the place without much choice. We completed 450 kilometres from Jaipur and reached the place Pali in Rajasthan around 10pm. We booked a room online, checked in at the hotel. It was quite late and the guy at the reception was not so friendly. I checked for other hotels nearby and I couldn’t find any. As this was our only resort, we decided to smuggle the puppies inside without the guy noticing.

Jhal Mahal, Jaipur, Rajasthan

The puppies were already asleep inside the bag, sitting on my lap. I was very careful not to wake them up and literally praying for the puppies to keep quiet while we took them inside. Everything worked as we planned, we had the puppies inside. We put the TV on full volume to mask the noise of the puppies and we went asleep.

Dai Din ka Jhopda, Ajmer, Rajasthan

Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, Rajasthan