The best Taj property.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
It is called the Taj Hotel but it does not belong to the famous Taj Group of Hotels. Actually, it is not a hotel, just an eatery. And it is largely patronised by fakirs and pilgrims who are too poor to dine elsewhere.
The Delhi Walla visited the Taj Hotel in Ajmer, the Sufi town six hours away from Delhi. It is tucked next to a gateway to the great Sufi shrine of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.
The eatery looks like an art gallery. Its wall is decked with paintings of various Sufi shrines, including of Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. There is also a painting of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, and also of Agra’s Taj Mahal.
The Taj Hotel is owned and run by Abdul Aziz. It was founded by his father, the late Meer Khan, in 1955. The paintings were made 30 years ago by Meer Khan’s friend Mohammad Akhtar, an artist from Bombay. Today, the artist lies buried in his hometown but these paintings by him continue to live on in one of the most sacred places of India.
Every afternoon, the alm-seekers gather in the eatery and patiently await the daily offering of roti and curry served free by the hotel. During those moments, the Taj Hotel of Ajmer becomes the loveliest hotel in the world.
This way to the Taj