Blogs from Ajmer, Rajasthan, India, Asia

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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Ajmer November 4th 2019

I am being hooked up to this machine and the buttons are set to the proper frequency when I am told, with a casually flippant manner, “just sit here for 20 minutes. Don’t do anything. Don’t move. Just sit.” The reward for obeying this demand? Hopefully my neck, head and shoulders will stop feeling like they were part of a car accident in which the rest of my body was unaware. Just sit for 20 minutes? Sounds easy to anyone unaware of my growing To Do list. Sounds easy, except right now, it is not. I know I should take this time to engage in meditation, maybe even just focus on my breathing, but that is not happening. Not today at least. Instead, of course, I spend my time trying to figure out how I got ... read more
This is my idea of exercise
Maybe this is the ultimate way to wash away all scars of trauma.
Always protected by the shit life shovels you when I am with my Papa

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Ajmer February 3rd 2016

Television programmes in the UK would like us to believe that all Indian trains are like Mumbai’s peak-hour ‘Super Dense Crush Load’. Thousands of human sardines crammed into a nine-carriage train, fifteen people to a square metre hanging out of doors and riding on the roof - you get the picture! Fortunately, outside of that vast over-populated metropolis the reality is usually quite different. In fact, I’ve always found Indian Railways reasonably comfortable, efficient and tremendous value for money. Trains have eight classes - not all of them on every train, but I’d hesitate to recommend anything other than 2A or 1A Classes, unless you’re a backpacker prepared to take the very rough with the never smooth. Look at The Man in Seat 61’s website for a complete run-down. On this trip, my train experiences were ... read more
Class 1A
Stop the train!
Pizza time

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Ajmer December 21st 2013

Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies. Nelson Mandela I recently revisited the sufi shrines of the saints Nizamuddin (Delhi) and Christi (Ajmer) and was again mindful of the obscene attempts of the Taliban in Pakistan and elsewhere to destroy sufism by blowing up such shrines. This is a campaign by fundamentalists/ Islamic puritans to try and eradicate what they see as blasphemous practice within Islam. In the five years 2005 to 2010, 209 people were killed and 560 injured in 29 different terrorist attacks targeting shrines devoted to Sufi saints in Pakistan. Sufism expresses the inner mystical dimension of Islam, and possibly pre-dates all religion, finding a home within Islam. Sufis consider themselves as the original true proponents of a pure original form of Islam and sufism may be ... read more
Singing to the saint at Nizamuddin's Shrine
Christi Shrine at Ajmer
Sufi singing at the Christi shrine

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Ajmer November 19th 2012

Up early to catch the 6 am Ajmer Shatabdi Express and one step closer to getting to the Pushkar Camel Fair. Despite our meticulous planning and preparation, our morning started off rocky. We raced around the train station and ticket offices like an episode of The Amazing Race only to discover what we suspected all along...we were the latest targets of an Indian scam. In the Delhi train station, the thing to know is: never show your ticket to anyone, trust no one, talk to no one, there is no tourist tax, and there is no need for a boarding pass. From worrying we were not going to get on our train to actually sitting in the seats, we had quite a trying morning...all before the sun came up! The train ride was almost 7 hours ... read more
Our home for now
Pushkar Bagh Hotel

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Ajmer January 21st 2012

I had a taxi booked for 12pm to Ajmer where I was to catch my 7hr bus to Udaipur at 1pm. By 12.25 there is no sign and I start to panic. The cabby eventually arrives at 12.35 and we head off at breakneck speeds through Pushkar and out on the same mountain pass I took on the scooter. My driver is insane. I've become largely used to the Indian driving style but this is by far the most terrifying journey I've taken to date. So much so that I find myself actually changing the position of my legs whilst thinking about the best way they could be broken during the crash that I am fully anticipating. Regardless, the cabby gets me there in one piece and the bus too is running on Indian time so ... read more

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Ajmer January 22nd 2011

Pushkar was another amazing find and the neighbouring town Ajmer, which I agree with the guidebook in saying it is underrated and well worth a visit. Pushkar is religious/spiritual town with a small lake in the middle and 20-30 Ghats around the edge. The water is green, but as always, the Indians regularly take their ablutions there and submerge themselves in the holy water. The town of Pushkar is laid out along the lake and is pretty much a tourist town with again amazing shopping, lots of great little cafes and restaurants. The streets are as usual filled with Indian men relentlessly hassling you or just saying hi...again, cows, dogs and puppies and just generally Indian street craziness. On our first day we went on a walk around the lake, taking some great pics then we ... read more
Sunset
Crazy man swimming in holy lake in Ajmer

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Ajmer January 31st 2010

That what I would call an old city, small lanes snaked around, criss-crossed each others, no idea what the scene would be like around the corner, got yourself completely lost but wouldn't complained, that was the main ingredient for an old city, and they was the old city in Ajmer(@450m). The city was founded in the 7th century by Raja Ajai Pal Chauhan, Ajmer once was a Hindu empire ,but nowadays it was a moslem city with many old houses inside the dense city. Although there were some Hindu temple in town, but no one aware of their existing. The action definitely was around the 13th century temple The Dargah, the tomb of a Sufi saint, Khwaja Moin-ud-Din-Chishti. Muslim pilgrims kept the area busy almost 24hrs each day, especially on Friday where they brought with a ... read more
The Adhai-Din-Ka-Jhonpra
scene
Mayo College

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Ajmer November 12th 2009

This has to be one of the hidden treasures of India. We took a car journey for a day out of Udaipur to Dungapur. It has a 12 Century Palace which from the outside looks like it is about to fall down, but inside it is the jewel in the crown. It has the original 12 Century wall paintings all over it, as well as mirrored inlay rooms and none of it is roped off to the tourists. Not that there were any tourists there we were the only ones. Dungapore itself is renowned for it's stonemasons and it is set on the most beautiful lake. We wished that we had booked into the luxury hotel - the only hotel there - for one night rather than having to go all the way back to Udaipur. ... read more
Elephants at the door
Streets of Dungapur
Another street scene

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Ajmer November 1st 2009

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Ajmer August 13th 2009

We had all intention of doing the budget thing and catching a bus from Bundi to Pushkar until a Spanish couple asked us to share a taxi with them. Happily we agreed and with luggage loaded on top we set off. The road was very rough for the first couple of hours and it certainly would have been a bouncy trip in the local bus. The countryside was semi arid with patches of cultivation which seemed to be mainly corn. We could see the bright saris of the women dotted throughout the fields. We also passed many groups of sheep and goats each with a white robed and gaily turbaned shepherd following behind. Our driver had a puncture and replaced the tyre very quickly and at the next village he stopped to have it repaired. We ... read more
Crowds at front gate of mosque complex
Offering baskets
A pile of Muslim prayer hats for sale




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