Golden shining of the temple
Amritsar Travel Blog› entry 10 of 28 › view all entries
November 23rd, 2008 – by: sgoudryagranada
So, after nice and quite mountain holidays we headed our way to Amritsar. We took a local bus from Dharamsala at 5 o’clock in the morning and arrived in Amritsar around 11. We are now back in the warm as the weather in the mountains kept becoming colder every day.
First impression of Amritsar is the chaos. During the last weeks we got used to little cities that were not that crowded but here we are now back in the Indian mess. In Amritsar there are basically only two things to see; the most sacred of temple of the Sikhs –the Golden temple- and the border ceremony that they keep every day in this point of the India/Pakistan border.
First we checked the ceremony, which is something like a weird tradition with the feeling of being in a football match in England. In fact there were like 5000 Indians and a little bit less of Pakistanis watching this tradition. Soldiers are dressed up with old uniforms and keep yelling long cries in the microphone. Then there is one guy just yelling in the microphone and keeping the crowd awake responding like “long live Hindustan” and something else that we didn’t understand. Then they play Indian music and huge crowds run in the middle area and start dancing like in the Bollywood films. The crowd was full of kids but also adults started dancing. The actual ceremony lasted like 20 minutes and it was about taking down both Indian and Pakistan flag. Anyway, it was good to see this tradition. In the end the difference in the Indian and Pakistan people seen like this is not that big, only the fact that in the Pakistan side all the women had their heads covered with scarves made us see the difference between these neighbour countries.
At the sunrise we went to see the Golden temple. To enter there everybody has to wash their feet and cover their heads. Sikhs believe that all the people are equal so inside the temple there is a big commune kitchen where everyone can have a meal for free (of course they ask for donations). The actual temple is located in the middle of a sacred lake and it’s connected to the mainland by a long bridge. Seeing it when the sun was rising was amazing, the gold shines beautifully reflecting the first sunbeams. Inside the temple area there is also a museum that tells the history of Sikhs, which is really cruel and violent… In fact there were lots of pictures about dead people.
We spent only a night in Amritsar as we need to catch the night train to Rajasthan in order to see all the places we planned to see as the time is running…
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