Downtown Ajmer and Pushkar

The present urban fabric of many cities and towns in India have their roots in the late 19th c and early 20th c, especially the “old town”/”old city” parts of town. Individual structures in these places may be older, but as functional urban entities, this is usually how old the urban landscape is. I’ve become really interested in these parts of town, and while visiting Ajmer recently sought it’s “downtown” out. Pushkar as a whole seems to be from that era.

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Ajmer (Downtown)

The basic route I took through downtown Ajmer was a loop from the Railway Station to the Dargah (of Moinuddin Chisti), then to Delhi Gate, Agra Gate and back to Akbar’s Palace.

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Streetscapes and houses

Circular structure at an intersection

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Pushkar

Pushkar is famously a pilgrimage town centered around a sacred lake. It is known for it’s annual mela and it’s rare temple dedicated to Brahma, and is apparently a prominent destination in the backpacking foreign tourist circuit. However the urban landscape is pretty interesting as well.

Pushkar is full of large havelis dating from the 19th and early 20th c. It is possible that prominent families decided to make havelis here for when they came visiting, or that Pushkar residents were at one point relatively wealthy. Whatever the reason, the result is a town full of large havelis, many of which now have large temples occupying their once green central courtyards.

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Pushkar’s main drag – Sadar Bazaar road

Haveli along Sadar Bazaar road

Smaller houses on Sadar Bazaar road – real estate becomes more expensive downtown!

A haveli that’s been converted into a temple (the temple is in it’s courtyard)

Haveli details

Random photograph of people to break the monotony!

Havelis in a row

Haveli entrance

Looking into the courtyard of a haveli (this one has not been converted into a temple)

Pushkar ghats (steps along a river/around a lake)

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