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Friday, March 27, 2015

Rajasthan 2015 - Feb 8th - Day 5: Onwards to Jodhpur via Ajmer

We left Jaipur behind us on the morning of 8th February. Although our official itinerary did mention that we would pass through Pushkar, our driver informed us that the latter place was only known for its industrious locals and India's only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma. We decided to give this place a slip, and bypassing the city, we directly proceeded to Ajmer.

What can I say about this place? It is an unique place for prayers. We reached it around eleven o'clock. Normally, cars are not permitted to traverse inside if the city, so our driver left us at a drop-off point. From there, we walked toward the burial and prayer site of the Khwaja past a hustling bustling market, made colourful by the shop-keepers selling colourful stationery, colourful clothes and scarves and caps and much more.




The entrance to the "dargah" of the Khwaja is a double gate affair. Once you are through both the gates (having left your shoes with some guys who will take care of them for a fee), you push through the crowds. There is no atmosphere of piety or quiet inside. There are hordes of pilgrims, workers, touts (who are willing to take you ahead of the queue for a quick dekho of the grave of the celebrated fakir) and many who will guide you to the different places within so that they can get a "fee" as well as take you to one of the many "charity organisations" that collect the money you blindly give in the name of the saint with the avowed intention of using it for preparing the food that is served free to the thousands who throng here and for other charitable purposes. Beware of these touts who look and talk like the genuine thing, but have no badges or IDs.





After the Ajmer visit, we proceeded onward to Jodhpur, which is a good distance away. Nothing much occurred to write about. The hotel we were lodged in at Jodhpur was outside the main city at a place called Marugarh. It was, in fact, a resort. Very unique and outstanding in design and architecture, they have spoiled it all be lending out the resort and the grounds for wedding functions. On the evening of our arrival, nearly 100 local guests dressed in finery were roaming the grounds, and many of them, we observed, were wearing heavy jewellery and being very ostentatious. We were assigned adjoining rooms on the first floor of one of the 2-storey residential comp. Rooms were nice. There was nothing for us to do as we had already fixed up our Jodhpur sight-seeing for when we returned to Jodhpur again after visiting Jaisalmer. We had dinner in the resort's uniquely designed restaurant in the company of many white guests from either Europe, Americas or Australia. They were clearly enjoying themselves, gorging on authentic Rajasthani food.

Here are a few memories of the Marugarh Resort:















Interesting, isn't it? That's all for now. Keep returning for more entries ... we still have to go to Jaisalmer, see the sights in Jodhpur, go to Ranakpur, Udaipur, Mt. Abu, etc.

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