Simply Beautiful

Amritsar Travel Blog

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Golden Temple by night
Those are the only words I can use to describe the Golden Temple in the holy city of Amritsar.  The Golden Temple is to the Sikh faith, as Mecca is to Islam, and the Vatican is to Roman Catholics.  I’ve wanted to visit this place for years now and it did not disappoint.  I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to Amritsar this trip.  The last time I was in India about 3 years ago, I really wanted to come see it, but ran out of time.  Then back this past September I actually bought a ticket from Sri Lanka to come to Amritsar, during my father’s recovery, but then another setback in his health prevented me from leaving Sri Lanka.  So it was great to finally set foot inside this magnificent building.

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.
Closing the gates between India and Pakistan @ Waggah. Pakistan in the distance.
Lol.  He ended up sharing a room with me and Emile. We all hit if off really well. Its funny how you end up meeting people, that you have so much in common with and bond with. Me and Emile met randomly back in China at a hostel, now Sid, while searching for a room near the Golden Temple!

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.
Golden Temple by Day
Its definitely is a site to see.

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.
Me with Emile and Sid have some Chai and cake at street stall.
  After travelling around non-stop, changing cities every 2-3 days, we were in need of a rest, so I couldn’t think of a better place to do that, than in the foothills of the Himalayas.  Sid, who’d only been in India for a week now, was also on his way up north, so he decided to join us in Mcleod!

The adventure continues…………..
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Golden Temple by night
Golden Temple by night
Closing the gates between India an…
Closing the gates between India a…
Golden Temple by Day
Golden Temple by Day
Me with Emile and Sid have some Ch…
Me with Emile and Sid have some C…
photo by: frankcanfly