Saturday, May 30, 2015

Ajmer vale Garib Nawaz

Ajmer vale Garib Nawaz

When you enter into the campus of "Garib Nawaz", you feel the peacefulness of the divinity. And as soon as you reach near the dargah (shrine) of the Garib Nawaz, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (1142-1236), your heart gets full with infinite peace. Nobody has returned emptied hand from year. Whatever one wishes, he fulfills. 

The Mughal Emperor Jalaluddin Akbar undertook a journey on foot to Ajmer and was blessed with a son, Salim (Jhangir). He donated a "big deg", in which, 4998 kg rice can be cooked in one go. The deg, made by welding of thick iron sheets, is really very huge and is used even today to cook big quantity of rice. 

Devotees come here carrying basket of flowers and chaddar (bed sheet) over head to pray the Garib Nawaz. The Khadim (the Pujari) comes and do the rituals on your behalf. Prasad of sakariya and nadachhadi (coloured thread tie over the wrist) given to the devotees like a Hindu rituals. Those have mannat, tie the thread at the door. The VIPs are greeted by tying a small safa or a pink scarf. The chaddars may be recycled.

The bhakti kawali, peace and devotees make the environment of the campus divine. The song "khwaja mere khwaja" in film Jodha Akbar was a tribute to the Garib Nawaz.

Thousands of people come during Ursh Festival in the Razab month of Hijari Samvat. Friday is also very crowded. One has to keep the vehicle 1 km away and then to walk. People advice you to be vigil about purse/wallet as pickpocketers are extra alert in the area. 

With 11 lakh population (city plus agglomeration), Ajmer is a Historical place. Prithviraj Chauhan was King of Ajmer before became King of Delhi. He ruled through twin capitals. British constructed many buildings in the city. The present Circuit House was a residence building of the British Commissioner. It is nicely located on the bank of Aana Sagar lake. Drinking water was the major problem of the city. People used to get water from Buddha Pushkar during British days. Now, the city receives drinking water supply from Vishalpur dam. Still upstream areas have water problems. They receive water for an hour at the interval of 2-3 days. Using booster is  common in the city. There is some talk about getting more water to the city through Chambal linked canal. 

It has 30% Muslim population, living densely. Not only they but their windows meet in that density. 70% of the tourists to the City go to Dargah. Therefore, many workers of unorganized sector found in Hotels, guest houses and streets. Many work as servants in houses. 

If wishing "mannat", do visit Ajmer and tie a thread at the Dargah of the Garib Nawaz. Alternatively, enjoy the city, its lake and the Aravalli hills surround. Sohan Halwa, the sweet of Ajmer is very popular. 

And the take away from Khwaja's teachings:  "To develop river-like generosity, sun-like affection and earth-like hospitality." "To redress the misery of those in distress – to fulfill the needs of the helpless and to feed the hungry."

28 May 2015


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