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Kunal Saggar         in Blog It Forward – Kunal Saggar

Chandra Agarwal    in Blog It Forward- Chandra Shekhar Agarwal

Sumeet Gehlot       in Blog It Forward- Sumeet Gehlot

Nitin Jinagal                  in Blog It Forward- Nitin Jinagal  { The first one } .

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About Me:

Born and brought up at a small town in Ajmer , a very well known city in culturally rich state Rajasthan .

Praveen is a Hindi  word that stands for Intelligent , witty. I am known as Bittu or Munna among friends . I have an engineering degree in Electronics, got my first job in one of the  IT giant based out of India where I was trained in JAVA / HTML , but accidently fell in this world of SAP just after 3 months. I am an ABAP Consultant and look after for CRM and UI related developments .

I am a Jugaadu kind of person who has expertise in doing tricky work in a tricky way and is assumed to be working for lesser hours. This way you can call me a Smart Worker.I consider myself a generalist, which means I don’t know always the exact answer, but I know how to find the answer. During Initial phase of my career I was located at Gandhinagar in Gujrat and later shifted to the City of dreams ” Mumbai ” .I remember, I used to go to office on holidays and even on weekends to debug and understand the CRM components, web ui developments and BSP Applications, though being object oriented I found them quite easy to digest.

I usually don’t have much free time and on most days ran out of it, made big plans only to find not even 30% is accomplished. I am a little lazy , Friends knew that any phone call before 11am will go unanswered. I am much talkative and easily gel-up with people.

About Ajmer:

Surrounded by the Aravalli Mountains, Ajmer,formerly written Ajmere, also known as Ajaymeru,was founded by Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan in the 7th Century A.D. and continued to be a major centre of the Chauhan power till 1193 A.D., when Prithviraj Chauhan lost it to Mohammed Ghauri. Since then, Ajmer became home to many dynasties including the famous Mewar,Marwar, Mughals and Marathas .He ( Ajay Pal Chauhan ) constructed a hill fort “Ajaimeur” or the ” Invincible Hill”. In 1818 the Marathas sold Ajmer to the East India Company for 50,000 rupees. Since then Ajmer has enjoyed stable governance, although during the 1857 War of Independence some Indian sepoys at the garrison in the nearby town of Nasirabad joined the revolt. Under the British Raj, Ajmer was governed by an Agent to the Governor General overseeing Rajputana.The city gives its name to to a former province of British India called Ajmer-Merwara, which, after India’s independence, became the state of Ajmer. After independence in 1947, Ajmer retained its position as a centrally administrated state under a Chief Commissioner for some time. On November 1, 1956, it was merged into Rajasthan state.  The major attractions in and around are :

  1. Dargah Sharif : Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti was one of the brightest stars in the galaxy of the Sufi saints who enlightened and served the Indian humanity. He was born on April 13, 1143 A. D. (537 A. H.), to Hazrat Ghayasuddin Hasan and Bibi Ummul Wara, in the village Sijz or Sanjar, in the province of Sistan in Iran. Perfected in spiritual knowledge by his master, Khwaja Moinuddin embarked on a journey, both inward and outward, which found its culmination at Ajmer where he reached in 1195 A. D. Here he set up a “Khanqah” to spread his message of universal love and brotherhood. He started a new form of devotional music, the “qawwali”, and used it to attain the state of rapture.

  Influenced by Sheikh Qandozi Khwaja Saheb,the great Sufi saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti set out on a journey to Bukhara and Samarqand, the   famous seats of Islamic learning, in search of knowledge. From there he went to Mecca and Madina. In Madina he happened to meet the great Sufi saint Khwaja Uthman Harvani whom he took as his master and guide. Khwaja Harvani belonged to the Chishti order, so Khwaja Moinuddin also became a Chishti.  

One night Khwaja Moinuddin entered his cabin, locked it from inside as usual and immersed himself in prayers. He did not come out for five days, his disciples were extremely worried on the sixth day. When the door was forced open, the great Sufi was no more. It was March 11, 1223 A. D. 6th of Rajab, 633 A. H., according to the Islamic calendar. He was laid to rest in the same cabin.

After Khwaja Saheb was physically no more, his devotees started holding an annual Urs (congregation) at Ajmer from the first to sixth of the Islamic month of Rajab.

Ajmer during the Urs of Gharib Nawaz, is magically transformed into a kingdom of human brotherhood, religious tolerance and Hindu-Muslim co-existence. Unity in diversity becomes a living, throbbing reality. Various cultures, creeds, races and languages melt and fuse into an universal human presence. All these are blessings of the great Khwaja Saheb who had faith in oneness of God and oneness of Man and who preached that all ways lead to the same Ultimate Reality.  The main corners aronud the Dargarh are :

  • Mazar Sharif : Here  Khwaja Saheb was laid to rest.
  • Nizam Gate :  The main entrance of the Dargah .This is 70 ft. in height. On it are placed huge drums (Naqqaras) which were offered by Emperor Akbar. This is also the place from where shehnai is played five times a day.
  • Akbari Masjid : According to the Ain-e-Akbari (Akbar’s biography ), emperor Akbar had to visit Ajmer for military purposes during 1561 to 1568 A.D. but in the year 1570, Akbar knowing the spiritual powers of Khwaja saheb, came to the Dargah and requested Khwaja saheb to fulfil his desire for a son. And as his desire was fulfilled, he got a son named Salim. Akbar came to Ajmer Dargah on foot from Agra to pay homage and to thank Khwaja saheb. The trek from Agra to Ajmer took him 15 days. Akbar had a beautiful mosque constructed in the same year. This mosque is today known as Akbari Mosque. Akbar built this mosque of red stones in 1570 A. D. Its central arch is 56 ft. high.

    Shahjahani_Jama_Masjid.PNG akbari_masjid.PNGMasjid_Sandalkhana.PNG 

      Shahjahani Jama Masjid           Akbari Masjid                     Masjid Sandalkhana  

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                                                               Dargah

  • Shahjahani Jama Masjid : This mosque is the most beautiful of all the structures, in the Dargah precinct. The mosque was built by Emperor Shahjahan in 1640 A. D. at the cost of about Rs. 240,000 (remember the days ) in 14 years of continuous construction work. It represents all remarkable features of Shahjahan’s sense of architectural refinements.
  • Aulia Masjid : this is built at the sacred place where Khwaja Saheb offered prayers for the first time.
  • Jannati Darwaza : Within the premises of the shrine it is a gate on the western side which is opened on six days during the Urs and on first and sixth and tenth of the Islamic months of Shawwal and Zil Hijj respectively.
  • Mahfil Khana : One of the more important places at the Dargah,  Here Sama’s ceremony is held during the Urs.
  • Mazar Bibi Hafiz Jamal : The holy tomb of Bibi Hafiz Jamal, the daughter of Khwaja Saheb, was built by emperor Jahangir.
  • Chilla Baba Farid : Situated behind Masjid Sandalkhana, on the western side, it is the place where the great Sufi saint Baba Farid Gunjshakar engaged himself in meditations. Its doors are opened on 5th of Moharrarn, only once in a year.
  • Badi Deg : On the western side of the Darwaza lies the larger vessel, which was donated by Akbar in Hijri 976 (1569 A. D.) During Urs, about  40 quintals of  rice is cooked in this vessel, alongwith dry fruits and condiments. The preparation is called Tabarruk and it is distributed amongst the destitute.
  • Chhoti Deg : Offered by the emperor Jahangir in 1615 A. D. the Deg, kept on the eastern side of the Buland Darwaza is enough to cook about 29 quintals of Tabarruk.
  • Langar Khana : Here the langar (dalya of wheat and barley) is distributed daily in the morning and evening on behalf of the Dargah committee.

 

 

2. Pushkar : Pushkar also known as “Tirthraj”  is for Hindus what dargah is for Muslims . Ajmer is also the base for visiting Pushkar (14 km.), the abode of    Lord Brahma, lying to its west with a temple and a picturesque lake. The Pushkar Lake is a sacred spot for Hindus. During the month of Kartik (Oct./Nov.), devotes throng in large numbers here to take a dip in the sacred lake. The Great Hindu epics of Mahabharat and Ramayana make references to this religious place regarded to be Adi Tiratha (Pilgrim Site). Evidence points to its having existed during the fourth century B.C. lake in the inhospitable surroundings of a desert is no less than a miracle.There are many stories about the origin of Pushkar Lake. There are about 400 temples and 52 Ghaats in Pushkar which are located on the banks of the Pushkar Lake.  Most of them are not very old since many were destroyed by Aurangzeb, a Mogul ruler and subsequently rebuilt. The Ghats run down to the Holy Lake where pilgrims are constantly bathing in the holy waters. Joining people at the ghats has to be with some respect for their culture and privacy. And for this reason, removing shoes before approaching the ghats, no smoking and restraining from photographing bathing people is well avoided. The famed waters of the Pushkar lake wash away the sins of a lifetime.

Some of the  very famous temples are :

  • RAMAVAIKUNTH TEMPLE : One of Pushkar’s largest and most intricate temples, the Ramavaikunth Temple was built in the 1920’s and has beautifully sculpted images of no less than 361 different deities.
  • MAHADEVA TEMPLE : A Beautiful temple built in the 19th century, it was described by a British traveler of the time as “by far the most remarkable, for the elegance of its structure and the nature of its ornaments, of all the temples Pushkar boasts of.” It is also noteworthy for its white marble Mahadeva image, with its five faces (and its traditional tufts of hair).
  • VARAH TEMPLE : Originally built in the 12th century, Varah Temple was, like many others, destroyed by the bigoted Emperor Aurangzeb (who, it is said , was particularly upset by the huge idol here of Varah, the god with the body of a man and the head of the boar.) Reconstructed BY Raja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur in 1727. In the evening there is prayer at Varah Ghat with huge lamps and chimes of bell. Attend it, it is mesmerizing.
  • Brahma Temple : The most famous is the Brahma Temple, said to be the only temple in the world dedicated to this deity. It stands on a high plinth with the Marble steps leading up to it. A silver turtle is set on the floor facing the Sanctum-Sanctorum or Girbha-griha. Around the turtle the Marble floor is inset with hundreds of silver coins. Coins engraved with donors names are also embedded in the walls. Peacocks adorn the temple walls as they are supposed to be the vehicle of lord Brahma’s consort Saraswati.
  • Old Rangaji temple : Old Rangji Temple is one of the most popular temples among tourists. Having a blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture, the visit to the temple will be a memorable experience.The Old Rangji temple dates back to 1823, when it was built by Seth Puran Mal Ganeriwal of Hyderabad. Dedicated to Lord Rangji, the temple boasts a high spiritual significance. Lord Rangji is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. In this temple  Foreigners( Non – Indians ) are strictly not allowed in this temple.
  • Apteshwar temple : The Atpateshwar Temple is dedicated to the Lord Shiva and is within a stone’s throw of the Jagat Shri Brahma Temple. Legend has it that the temple was built by the Lord Brahma after he had attended a yagna performed by him dressed as a tantric mendicant holding a skull. Angered by the same the Lord Shiva filled the entire area with skulls. Agitated by his act the Lord Brahma meditated to know the reason for this folly. Understanding his wrong doing he asked Shiva to attend the yagna, after which he dedicated this temple to the Lord Shiva. The large Shivalinga of this temple is encircled with a copper snake. The festival of Shivaratri is one of the main attractions of the temple.
  • Savitri Temple : This temple that is located at the top of the Ratnagiri Hill is dedicated to Savitri, the wife of Lord Brahma. The temple houses a statue of Goddess Savitri.

  /wp-content/uploads/2014/04/apteshwar_temple_732_431912.jpgmahadev%20mandir.jpg/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/varaha_temple__431914.jpg 

    Apteshwar Temple                   Mahadeva Temple                              Varah Temple

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Brahma Temple                              Evening “MAHA AARTI”           SADHU pilgrims bathing in the Lake 

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1. Pushkar’s Mawa – Malpua (A dessert)   2. A decorated Camel during Pushkar Fair  3. Twilight After the “Camel Race” in pushkar fair

                    Other than the temples, Pushkar is famous among the tourist for “The Pushkar Fair” . It is celebrated for five days from the Kartik ekadashi to Kartik Poornima, the full moon day (the 15th) of Kartik (October–November) in Hindu calendar. The full moon day is the main day and the day, according to legend, when the Hindu god Brahma sprung up the Pushkar Lake, thus numerous people swim in its sacred waters. It is one of the world’s largest camel fairs, and apart from buying and selling of livestock it has become an important tourist attraction and its highlights have become competitions such as the “matka phod“, “longest moustache”, ” Camel Race” and  “bridal competition”  besides camel safari to nearby villages .

Very few, if at all any, fairs in the world can match the liveliness of Pushkar. Most people associate the Pushkar Fair with the world’s largest camel fair. But it is much more than that.

3. Archaeological Museum : Archaeological Museum was established in 1949. Located in the Dil-e-Aaram Gardens of Ajmer, the museum is divided into three sections. Comprising a collection of sculptures and some excavated material of earlier civilisations, the museum features two ‘Yupa Pillars’ (sacrificial posts). These are adorned with inscriptions from Barnala as well as Prathihara sculptures of the 8th century and terracotta belonging to early historical periods.

4. Ana Sagar , Foy Sagar Lakes : Ana Sagar Lake has been named after Anaji Chauhan. It is an artificial lake built by Anaji Chauhan, the grandfather of Prithviraj Chauhan. Dating from 1135 -1150 AD, the lake comprises catchments that were built with the help of local populace. Spread over 13 km, the lake also comprises Baradari or pavilions that were built by Shah Jahan in 1637.

The Daulat Bagh Gardens,located in the area of the lake  were built by Jehangir. A dam across the river Luni, the lake is surrounded by beautiful parks and marble pavilions. An island lies in the middle of the lake. To beautify the lake, additional constructions were made by the Mughal emperors.
On a hill near the lake is located a Circuit House that used to be the British Residency. From the east side of the Dault Bagh Gardens, tourists can hire boat or water scooter to reach the island.
This artificial lake was a part of drought relief project. Due to its unique flat shape it looks like a pancake. Today it is a beautiful picnic spot popular with locals and tourists alike.

Foy Sagar Lake was built and supervised by Mr. Foy, a British architect. Since its construction in 1891 .

What to Buy :: Ajmer has a women’s market (ask for the Mahila Mandi – closed Tuesdays) that sells odnis (traditional veils… they also make nice light table covers) and saris galore. Ornate Lenghas (skirts worn with blouses) are also widely available. Hand tie-dyed turbans (safas) are 9-metre long bands of fabric with various uses and are usually sold wherever fabric for men’s clothing is sold.

If you have a hot palate, then you should try Indian snacks (Kachori, Samosa & a special combination of kadi-bhujje[Pakode], unique to Ajmer), these are available throughout the day, but a great way to start your day as breakfast.

Time to answer the questions asked from me :

First of all here are some by Chandra Shekhar Agarwal.

  • The dream job when I was kid .

                I wanted to be a Doctor

  • If given a chance to show your creativity, in which specific field would you make an attempt?

                  Would like to try my hands in Home decor or in cooking. 

  • What is your worst coding program ? The program you would like never to modify … ?

             I can still remember that. It was a Smartform in materials management.

  • What is the craziest thing you would have done in your life?

             I am not that crazy , Still some weekends I go to railway station and board in any random train just to visit some  new place . 

       Then the ones from Sumeet Gehlot

  • Movie you liked the most or inspired of?

          I don’t get inspired by movies. Queen, YZHD , ZNMD , Ram-leela , are some of the recent movies that I can watch again and again without getting bored .

  • Where do you want to see you in next 5 years?

                I will be more than satisfiedand happy if I can get a masters degree.  

     Now is the time to answer Nitin Jinagal :

  • If given an opportunity to travel with possibilities to go by your wish, how far would you travel across the universe?

             Would love to spend few days at Pandora island of Avatar movie .

  • A celebrity name, whom you have always dream to date and where??

             How about going with Priyanka Chopra in a cruise somewhere around Cap town . Are you making any arrangements?? 

Here goes the ones from Kunal Saggar:

  • Name the person who affected you most in your career/ way of thinking and why?

             There are many, dude. I think naming just one or two won’t be fare.

Time to pass the batton and I would love to hear from Purvang Gandhi

My questions for him are :

1 . If given a chance in which movie you would like to play the lead Actor / actoress ??

2.  If it had to be one of Winter, Autumn, Spring or Summer for the rest of time, which would you choose and why ?

3.  If you could give yourself a nickname, what would you choose?

4.  If you ran Google, what would you do differently?

Thanks a lot for reading and spending your valuable time. ๐Ÿ™‚

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8 Comments

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  1. Susan Keohan

    Great #BIF Praveen – you put so much work into it, I can tell!  And I love the idea of going to Pandora for a few days – that would be amazing.
    Thanks for joining this community effort.
    Cheers,
    Sue

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  2. Nitin Jinagal

    Hi,

    Welcome to BIF family !! Its really good to know about you. I also started my career in Gujarat (Surat).

    Well I can make arrangements in Capetown but you need to first convince our pretty Miss World ๐Ÿ˜›

    (0) 

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