At 10.20 I have to take the night train to Ajmer. Ajmer is housed in arid plains, surrounded by the Aravalli range. During a trip to Rajasthan, this small town is a good place to rest. Indeed, there is not much to visit. At a prudential hour I went out in search of the autorickshaw. I take one on the move and I tell him to wait a moment while I go to look for the backpacks.
I said goodbye to our charming little hotel. I have a thali and I sit in the waiting room. I make the beds and I am going to sleep because I am supposed to arrive at our destination at 3.45 in the morning. However, the hours go by and I cannot sleep. Every time I get more nervous and it becomes increasingly difficult to fall asleep. I listen to all the songs and I'm still awake.
Finally I think I fall asleep, but the moment wakes me up because I are about to arrive. It's 3.30 and I will not have slept more than 30 minutes. I arrived at the Ajmer train station around 4 in the morning. The station is full of people and at that time there are no buses. I am besieged by several rickshaw drivers who fight each other and I say no.
In principle I were going to wait for the bus but seeing that they lowered the price to me alone I decided to leave, so I could look for a hotel soon and sleep a little longer. The road is full of curves and at night, a little dangerous. I tell him the hotel, and he insists that it is not good. It is hard to find it and by the time it is closed! The city looks less friendly than Jaipur.
In Ajmer there are few hotels and not very good ones. Everyone goes to Pushkar. I look at a couple of other hotels but they are dumpy and they are in the center, so as I want to rest from chaos, I return to the starting point. Around there I see a car from which a boy comes down and offers me his hotel. I go with him and without thinking much I stay there and do not go to sleep for a while.
I decide to have breakfast. The hotel receptionist informs me about all the points of interest of the city, of which there are three. I then start a complete tour of the city of Ajmer. In the end I decided to rent a bike. I have until 12:30 to return it. First I head to Taragarh, the ruins located at the top of a mountain. The road is a bit scary because it is full of curves. It's worth the detour, as the view is magnificent!
I leave towards the Akbar Fort. I cross the old town and its many stalls. Unfortunately, the fort is closed for renovations. I will therefore be satisfied with the exterior facade whose architecture reminds me of the forts of Jaipur and Amer, seen a few days earlier.
On the way to the Ajmer Sharif Dargah mosque complex from the tomb of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, the most important Muslim pilgrimage center in India, I spent time leisurely strolling through the Daulat Bagh park with marble pavilions of Ana Sagar Lake.
It is green and dense as a cream of spinach, where people lay down to sleep or sit to see the waters and mountains on the other side, However, about 100 meters before arriving, on the stairs of a ghat on the shore of the lake, I find dozens of people bathing.
I arrive and go to see the Ajmer Sharif Dargah. The street is a suffocating bustle and the entrance was crowded with devotees. Anyway, the neighborhood around is lively and effervescent, and it deserves a few laps. It is a very cool place, with stalls, small shops, and people dressed and doing the same thing that was done a hundred years ago. There are some pots, the largest in the world that are capable of making 100 kg of rice for the city.
To access it, I cross the Nalla Bazar, an endless lane where jostle merchants of all kinds, onlookers, families of exit, unfortunately also some people in search of a small room to eat and the eternal motorcycles, scooters, rickshaws and even carriages all this accompanied by a happy concert of horn. There is a large esplanade dedicated to music and shows. I see the tomb of a Sufi saint.
Pilgrims come to this site to pray for Sufi help to heal illness, personal problems or to succeed in business. Each vow is materialized by an orange ribbon hanging from the bars of the mausoleum. Gifts and offerings are also made and thrown into 2 huge cauldrons. In these cauldrons, I see a little bit of everything from money, bags of rice. There is even a guy who throws his phone! The guide gives me a red and yellow string necklace as a sign of blessing for our trip.
I come out and then I go to the Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra mosque that is full of goats. I take another ride with the bike and decided to return to return the bike. For lunch I ordered a fried rice, dal tadka, salad accompanied by papaya juice. I went to the street towards the center and stopped at the train station 10 minutes from the guest house. There is a lot of rats running around. I get a ticket to Jodhpur for the day after tomorrow.
I then visited the Ajmer Jain temple, also known as Soniji Ki Nasiyan. This is the first time I visit a temple of Jain religion and it is simply amazing! I see a closed room that contains a gold or gold kitch representation of our universe, supposed to be a representation of Ayodhya.
I go around admiring through windows, and also from the floor. There is a palace, a sacred mountain and the gods move in flying boats with animal heads floating in the air. For fans of Disneyland, it's like being in old world. Our guide is one of the descendants of the artists who painted the model in fine gold and made the colorful paintings of precious stones from the ceilings. He himself takes care of the maintenance and restoration of the frescoes.
Wanting a beer, I search around the station. In front of it is the hotel but it is next to a mosque, and Ajmer is the Muslim nerve center of India. From a distance, on a side street, I see a bar signboard. Upon arrival, a beer bar sign welcomes me to a chipped door that has a narrow, steep staircase.
At the end is an amazing gambling den, with a crowded atmosphere. Bollywood songs from the 50's play on a TV in the background with people having light or strong beers or whisky. I talk and enjoy in the priceless club. I eat at a restaurant that serves me very good chicken biryani, located right in the heart of Dargah Bazaar!
On the way back to the hotel, I hallucinate at the addiction to the horn of several drivers who pass alone without crossing with anyone, but they can not stop beeping.
Already in the garden of the guest house, it is a paradise of any entomologist, as the geckos are in abundance. Back at night in the back of the bus, I observe the game of sensual gestures between a pair of young couple, one in the left row and another in the right separated by the corridor. I was about to encourage them and tell them to kiss each other now, after half an hour of winks and glances and gestures.
In hindsight, I now understand why the auto rickshaws assail me all day long shouting Pushkar every time they see me walking in the streets of Ajmer. There is really not much to do in Ajmer in terms of tourist attraction, if not the visit of the Jain temple which is really splendid. However, this city is a good base for those who want to rest during a long trip, and to immerse themselves in local life, off the beaten path.