The Best Meal In India.
Amritsar Travel Blog› entry 60 of 67 › view all entries
As far as temples go, it wasnâ€™t the most impressive. Beautiful and grand, but on its own it wouldnâ€™t have been the most memorable place I visited in
What made visiting the
I slept in one of the large dormitory blocks set aside for Sikh pilgrims and ate in the large communal dining halls for those same pilgrims. ALL FOR FREE. Of course I made donations to the dorm and to the kitchen, but the whole concept of free food and lodgings for all, not just Sikhs, was such a back-flip from the rest of my experiences in
The whole idea for the free bed and unlimited meals is that Sikhs believe that all people are equal regardless of caste, creed, religion, or nationality. This is celebrated through the communal meals and lodgings. All were welcome.
The dining hall on its own was an unforgettable experience. Leaving my shoes outside of the temple complex and covering my head with a shawl (as all visitors to the temple were asked to do) I joined the throngs of people receiving their stainless steel thali plates, bowls, and spoons before heading to one of the two huge communal halls.
The hall had no furniture, just long rows of burlap placed on the floor for the pilgrims to sit on. There must have been over a hundred people there when I took my place on the floor and I soon realized that I was the only foreigner present. But many just gave me welcoming smiles and I really felt like these Sikhs really practiced what their beliefs preached. I wasnâ€™t in
Men moved up and down the rows with large buckets of dhal slopping giant spoonfuls on each plate. Seconds and thirds were given to any who asked. Then the boys with the baskets full of fresh chapattis made their rounds as well as men with pails of filtered drinking water to fill our bowls.
For free food made in massive quantities, it was surprisingly good.
I found out that chai tastes the best when youâ€™re sitting on the floor drinking it from a bowl with about a hundred smiling pilgrims.