Amritsar Travel Blog› entry 46 of 68 › view all entries
November 16th, 2009 – by: ronin2k
My first visit to the temple came at night after returning back from the Pakistani/India border (more on that in a bit). My first thoughts were wow its so beautiful and its actually golden! At night, the way the temple, is lite, the gold just seems to shimmer. The temple itself sits in the middle of a large pool, where some devotees bathe, surrounded by brilliant white buildings of the surrounding complex. I ended up sitting there, with Sid (more on him in a bit), for about 2 hours, just taking pictures and soaking it all in.
So who’s Sid?! Aw Sid is a fellow Lankan we randomly met early the morning we got to Amritsar while looking for a place to stay. It must be a “Sri Lankan” thing, but he quickly picked out that I was Sri Lankan.
Amritsar is about 45 minutes away from the Pakistani border at Waggah. Now, given the situation in Pakistan, one would think this might be a cause for concern. Maybe! But this isn’t any ordinary border crossing, here, they have a highly theatrical ceremony where the guards, with high bravado, stomp their wait to open gates between the two countries and basically show-off in front of large crowds, with the climax being the flags being taken down and the gates to each respective countries being literally SLAMMED in each others faces! Add in about 1000 Indians in grandstands on one side and a few hundred Pakistanis on the other side you make for quite a good show! On the Indian side everyone in unison shouts “Hindustan” amongst other things in Hindi, lead of course by a man in a loud speaker, while the same happens on the Pakistan side.
One goal I had coming to Amritsar was to see the Golden Temple at night and at sunrise. So I woke up around 530 early the next morning and headed off with Sid and Emile to the temple. As it was the night before, it was beautiful in the daylight, but I must say I think it looks much better at night. We ended up spending about 2 hours there that morning. Unlike at night, there were many more people here during the day, so it was cool to see all the devotees circle the temple and enter the temple to pay their respect.
We decided to only spend a night in Amritsar. As beautiful as the Golden Temple is, the city of Amritsar is very busy and very polluted! Next up is McLeod Ganj, home of the Dalai Lama. Both me and Emile were really looking forward to visiting there.
The adventure continues…………..
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