Getting off at the Ajmer Railway station, one is confronted by busy Sufis caretakers from the big Sufi centre in Ajmer moving in crisp white clad Kurta pyjamas, making their way to collect their pilgrim clients.
On another level dressed in colourful traditional clothes are the Rajasthani men and women who dot the railway landscape. The passengers walk out into a vibrantly painted porch in front of which are elaborate terracotta sculptural friezes describing the mytho-historical story of Prithiviraj Chauhan 11th c king of Ajmer and Delhi who was defeated by an Afghan warrior Mahmud Ghori.
It is believed that king Prithiviraj Chauhan along with several others was taken as a prisoner of war to Afghanistan, and among them was the court poet Chand Bardai.
The tale of Ghori and Chauhan goes on. Believed that Prithviraj was blinded he was challenged to prove his ace shooting skills. Ghori challenged blind Chauhan to shoot a difficult target.
Poet Bardai who was standing next to his king was filled with anger and he guided with reciting a poem Chauhan, not at the target but to shoot Ghori himself…
The lines recited gave clear directions and measurements of exactly where sultan Ghori sat
चार बास, चौबीस गज, अंगुल अष्ट प्रमाण, थे ऊपर बैठे सुल्तान, चुके न चौहान”!.
Chaar baas, Chaubis Gaj, Angul Ashta Praman, Tha Upar baithe sultan, Chuke na Chauhan”.
(Height of four bamboo, 216 sqft and in-depth one thumb plus eight fingers…There above sits the sultan..Go Chauhan hit your target).
Soon after, Chauhan positioned his arrows towards Ghori and killed him…so goes the tale
The lines along with this episode are sculpted in the porch of the charming railway station of Ajmer. And so begins a great heritage trail of a dynamic heritage landscape… Compliments to Indian Railways what an entry!