Updated: Mar 18, 2019
As I walked the narrow road that leads to the Ajmer Sharif Dargah ,the sights and smell allure the believers to another world .
The alleys are lined up with shops, loaded with flowers, incense sticks, chaadars , holy threads and special knick knacks. One thing noticeable is that about half the shops are owned and run by Hindus and the other half by Muslims.
Besides this , I was also met with multiple other sites of people in need of divine intervention - resting their faith on the Ajmer Sharif Dargah.
Crossing the Shahjani and the Buland Darwaza , I was fortunate to be escorted by one of the khadims of Ajmer Sharif Dargah - Haji Syed Salmaan Chishty. Seven families who have hereditary linkages to the Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, now take care of rituals inside the Ajmer Sharif Dargah .
The Jhalra is the source of water of the Dargah-e-sharif . Worshippers tie the holy thread around the wall of the Jhalra and offer prayers . There is another water tank inside the Ajmer Sharif Dargah , where visitors are required to wash their hands and feet before entering , a sign of purity & cleansing
Just inside, near the water tank men were carrying water in goat skin and filling up the tank. This is a traditional method of carrying water and quite intriguing. He sits on the marble floor waiting for the level of water to be optimal to start refilling. The goat skin carrier bloated with water.
Two cauldrons called ‘Badi deg’ and ‘Choti deg’ line up either side of the inner courtyard. During 'Urs' special food is cooked in these massive cauldrons – together they have the capacity of 6700Kg . On other days people also make offerings in these cauldrons. These Degs themselves are about 500 years old and gifted by the Mughal Kings to the Ajmer Sharif Dargah.
Worshippers carry flowers , chaadars and incense sticks and pray at the Dargaah Sharif. This is done with immense respect and the chaadar is carried in a traditional style over their heads.
At the Jannati Darwaza , believers could be seen tying threads when they make a mannat ( wish) and believe that if a vajib ( valid) mannat is made , the Khwaja will grant it. Many also write their wishes on a piece of paper and tie it along with the saffron & yellow thread.
The Begami Daalaan porch is a visual treat . Colored gold outlined by the white of the marble. Prayers are offered before entering it. This is possibly the most beautiful part of the Dargah . Isnt it a sight when you see someone writing their wishes and tying it with holy threads, their eyes closed as if they are in a trance. The belief in the Ajmer Sharif Dargah is supreme.
Dua-e-Roshni is the lighting ceremony , in which the Dargah workers light up the place with candles and lamps. This is before the evening prayers and during this time, the entire place comes alive with lights shining and magnifying the beauty of this Dargah. Watching this ceremony evokes and intensifies the faith for the Dargah-e-Sharif.
The Khwaja was also one of the first to allow his followers the use of music as part of devotion to God. Sufi music is thus popular, historic and very calming and the Dargah echos with the Sufi music.
Mehfil-e-sama is the place where one can hear local singers sing Qawwalis praising the Khwaja. This was one of the high points of my visit - the amalgamation of music , the scent of the flowers and sandalwood mixed with incense , made me feel closer to the divine.
As narrated by Navtej Singh