Sunday, August 08, 2010
Camel Ride at Pushkar
Our two day trip to Ajmer packed a lot of things in short time. First day, we went to Ajmer Sharif Dargah, then to Sarwar Sharif, which is 75 kms from Ajmer city. It was one n half hour non stop ride on a straight, clear road. Sarwar Sharif houses the dargah of 'Khwaja Fakhruddin Chisty', a companion and 'peer' brother of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisty (Khwaja Garib Nawaaz). We halted for an hour and returned back to Ajmer in same time.
Next day we went to Pushkar and covered a few places in Ajmer itself like 'Soniji ki Nasiya' (it has a wonderful huge gold model of the Jain concept of Universe, you need to see it to believe it), Akbar Fort cum Museum and Ana Sagar Lake. I felt that the Museum charges of Rs 5 per person (Indian) and Rs 10 (for foreign tourist) was very less for of the place.
Pushkar houses the Pushkar lake, which is considered sacred to Hindus. It is usually crowded during the Pushkar Fair. We found a lot of partiality towards European tourists there. 40 feet from lake footwear is not allowed. But, we saw 3 pretty European girls venture close to the lake with their footwear on, without objection. When we near the same point where the girls were (away from the marble side from where people actually take a dip), we heard someone shouting from far, 'chappal upar, chappal upar'. But the girls continued to flaut the discipline laid down there.
The small town around the lake, was kinda sweet and peaceful. There were beautiful traditional artifacts. The market mostly caters to the European tourists, hence has many clothes and designs to suit their tastes. Though I was warned that Pushkar can be very expensive, I found it quite reasonable, wherever I checked. The highlight of our Pushkar trip was the 'Camel ride'. Though the camel owners were insisting for Rs 200 for a 2 hour ride, we wanted to have a short ride just for fun and experience, so we bargained at a lesser rate for half hour journey. I was skeptical how the camel ride would be. Then I thought to myself - 'This is the ride of our dear Prophet Muhammed SAS' and suddenly I was keen on sitting. The owner guided us saying that we should keep our body balance backwards as the camel gets up. With those instructions I managed the ride and the bumps while climbing uneven land. I had this feeling that I was way back in time in the land of Arabia and riding through the land there. Thoroughly enjoyed the ride and the small halts the camels used to take to relish the 'greens' on the ground.
The two days at Ajmer-Pushkar were memorable, Alhamdulillah.