NIranjan Godara

Niranjan Godara attended St. Anslem’s School, Ajmer followed by St. Xavier’s School, Jaipur and Government Higher Secondary School, Ajmer. He graduated in history and obtained a Masters degree in public administration from University of Rajasthan, Jaipur.

Niranjan has represented Rajasthan at various championships at school, at both junior and senior levels. He was part of the Indian basketball team at the 1980 Asian Basketball Confederation Under-18 Championship at Bangkok.

Niranjan is on the cusp of entering his golden sixties, having taken voluntary retirement from government service to enjoy his time with his family, friends and environment. He loves nature, especially birding and wildlife.

Niranjan presently lives at Jaipur with his wife Prerna and other members of his family.

                                      Journey Relived after 34 years

            It was in the year 1987, January the 18th when Prerna and I got married. I was a proud owner of a

Yezdi 250 cc motorcycle and its registration number RJX 3210 is permanently engraved in my memory. Life was simple and an evening ride, twice a week, on the motorcycle was an ultimate outing.

            The approaching long weekend combined with the festival of Holi, probably early days of March 1987, we decided to go to Ajmer a town where I had spent 10 years of my student life. Schooling from 1969 to 1973 in St. Anslems School, as a hosteler, and thereafter from 1978 & 79 completed 10th and 11th standard from Government Higher Secondary School, Topdara, Ajmer where I was on National Sports Scholarship of NIS, Patiala. After passing out of school I joined Government College, Ajmer graduated in History (Honours) in the year 1983.

            The excitement of motorbiking to Ajmer and introducing Prerna to my school & college friends was beyond skies. Prerna had mixed feelings as to how enjoyable the trip will be as a pillion rider. Whether she will be able to enjoy a long ride on a motorcycle? What kind of his friends Niranjan will introduce me to? Will they be friendly & fun-loving or shy & quiet?  Anyway, after a lot of pursuance, she accepted the challenge of a pillion rider. We had a wonderful trip and enjoyed the festival of colour with our friends and returned safely although in Eastman colour.

            Once again after a span of 34 years, we both decided to relive the same journey. This time it was my elder son’s motorcycle, 350 cc Thunder Bolt machine by Royal Enfield. Looking not less than two astronauts with helmet and other protective gear we left Jaipur at 5.30 am on 19th March. It was still dark, as we had to switch on the headlights, but the weather was pleasant. Keeping a manageable speed of 70-80 km/hr we made our first stop for tea/coffee at a Dhaba at Dudu at 7.00 am.

            Remembering my school and college days journey between Ajmer and Jaipur in state roadways buses Dudu used to be a mid-way stop. The famous Kumawat Tea Stall was everyone’s favourite for its tasty, crispy and hot daal ki kachori & tea. I could feel my mouth watering.

            To be honest we both did feel a bit of stiffness in the lower back but a short walk and little bit of stretching exercises we were comfortable. Kumawat Tea Stall has now become a café. After a coffee, for Prerna and masala chai for me, we mounted the bike once again targeting to reach the Circuit House at Ajmer by 9.00

            However, on approaching Kishangarh, the birding instinct in me pulled me to have a look at the lake waters which touch the parapet wall of Phool Mahal, located right below the Fort of Kishangarh.

 Niranjan and Prerna at Phool Bagh 

Phool Mahal was built in 1870 by the then Maharaja Prithvi Singh Ji and it served as a royal palace for the maharaja. Beautiful gardens were created along the sides of Phool Mahal. The palace wall acts as a dam for collecting water of the rain-fed river called Gondalav. The lake is also called by the same name. The lake water was also used for filling the moat around the fort. The freshwater of the lake attracts lot of migratory waterbirds such as flamingos, a variety of ducks, pelicans, waders & divers. The lake was also a major source of freshwater which used to fulfil the drinking water requirements of the two townships known as Madangunj & Kishangunj. The Palace has now been converted into a heritage hotel managed by the present royals.

            Checked into Circuit House, Ajmer at 10.30 am. Remembering the old times, when I had stayed with my parents in this Circuit house, we had booked a room which had a huge private balcony from where one could have a full view of the beautiful Anasagar Lake..At our request, lunch was served to us on the balcony which was the ultimate private luxury.

Circuit House Ajmer 

   Anasagar lake gets its name from Arnoraja (alias Ana). He was the grandfather of Prithviraj Chouhan. The lake was artificially created between 1135 - and 1150 AD. Later the Mughal king Shahjahan built the marble Baradsris in 1637 AD followed by the creation of the Daulat Bagh by his successor Jahangir. The Circuit house was built as the residence of, the Agent to the Governor-General, Sir Arthur Cunningham Lothian, before independence. Later on it became the residence of the Chief Commissioner of Ajmer who looked after the affairs of Rajputana. There is a plaque on the wall at the reception which is an abstract from his own book "Kingdoms of yesterdays" where he expressed the beauty of the rising sun over the hills across the Anasagar lake.

Sir Arthur Cunningham Lothian 

  Since Pushkar, the holy town, was only 14 Km from Ajmer we decided to bike to visit Pushkar to enjoy our evening, sitting on the banks of the Sarovar, and listen to the soothing sounds of chanting of aarties and the temple bells.

It was truly a very mesmerizing and relaxed evening. 

            The next day, 20th March, a cool breeze was flowing in at 7 am while we sat in the balcony of the circuit house, sipping hot tea & coffee followed by breakfast, watching the great white pellicans, a bunch of cormorants and a few black-headed gulls busy feeding on fishes while the fishermen were pulling out their prized catch trapped overnight in the fishing nets.

            After spending the whole day to ourselves we visited a friend who had called us over for dinner. While we were gossiping in his garden the Indian spotted owlets were trying their level best to interrupt our conversation.

            All good things must come to an end and so did our trip. A safe and comfortable one side journey to Ajmer had made us confident and accustomed to handling the machine. We left Ajmer at 6.30 am stopping only 35 km short of Jaipur at Bagru for breakfast at a roadside restaurant.

                                          Home Sweet Home at 10.30 in the morning. 

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