On the first day of the new year, I embarked on a week long trip to Rajasthan. On the itinerary were Pushkar, Ajmer, Jodhpur and Bikaner. Little did I know that on this trip, I would be discovering a hidden gem of Rajasthan, Merta. I bet, you may never have even heard of this place, I didn't.
The first stop of the trip was Ajmer so we opted to stay at The Westin, Pushkar coz of it's proximity to Ajmer. This way we would be able to explore both Pushkar and Ajmer. We stayed there for 2 night and on the morning of 3rd we left for Jodhpur, after stuffing ourselves with the scrumptious buffet The Westin had to offer. Jodhpur is around 190 kms from Pushkar ie a 4 hours drive. On the way, we stopped a couple of times to enquire about the route (yes! we were following google maps but still wanted to confirm from the locals), when an elderly local mentioned Merta, the place were Meera Bai was born. I were happy and my eyes sparkled in joy that I would be visiting this illustrious place.
Around 60 kms from Pushkar towards Jodhpur (taking a small detour) lies this nondescript town where the Rajput Saint Princess Meera Bai was born. Meera Mahal as it is called is a museum depicting the life and times of the mystic poet, whose love and devotion for Lord Krishna in well known, in the form of paintings and sculptures. Incidently, Merta was a prosperous kingdom ruled by the Mertia Rathore rulers, descendents of Rao Jodha. Also, Meera Bai was married to Prince Bhoj Raj, of Chittor.
Every major event in the life of Meera Bai is created in the form of a story.
|Meera Bai drinking poison|
|Once her relatives sent a cobra in a basket to Meera with the message that it contained a garland. When she opened the basket, it had a garland of flowers.|
Every corner of the palace tells you the story of the bygone era. It is also quite well maintained keeping in mind the fact that it attracts only a few visitors. There is a Meera Bai temple in the vicinity called the Chaturbhuja Meera Bai temple.
Meera Mahal lies in the busy bylanes of the city so you could go for a small walk around, grab a cup of tea and soak in the history.
It's a pity that neither this place doesn't get a mention anywhere on the website of Rajasthan tourism nor is on the bucket list of any offbeat traveller to Rajasthan.