Visiting Amritsar and seeing Golden Temple was on my wish list for long. So when I got an opportunity to attend a wedding in Delhi last November, I thought it’s the best time to visit the Amritsar as well. We extended our wedding holidays by 2 days to accommodate a quick trip to Amritsar.
We took an early morning flight on Jet airways and landed at Amritsar in 50 min. Alternatively there is a Shatabdi also from Delhi in morning which reaches Amritsar by noon. Outside hotel we got the shuttle bus service for Golden Temple. You can also book pre paid taxi from Amritsar Airport to anywhere in the town. Distance between Amritsar airport to the centre of the town is some 10Km.The shuttle bus dropped us just outside Ramada Hotel where we had booked to stay for one night. Ramada enjoys the central location as it is situated in middle of the main bazaar. Temple is less than a km from this hotel and you can easily walk up to the temple.
It was 10 am in the morning and our check in hotel won’t begin before 1 pm. So we dropped the luggage in hotel’s lobby and headed towards the Temple. We were thrilled at the first look of the temple. The white marble tiles in the temple were so cold that they cooled us instantly. The glimpse of the glittering Golden Temple was a sight to behold. For me it was a dream come true. The ambience of the entire temple complex was very peaceful and had some divine calm attached to itself. We went to the main shrine and offered our prayers. We sat by the hold Kund (pond of water) for some time and saw the endless stream of devotees paying their visit and respect to the one of the most sought after temples in the world. We also ate the Prasad in the Langar at the temple. It was delicious!!
We checked in the hotel and rested for a while. Around 3pm we took a cab and headed to Wagah Border which is around 30 km from the hotel Visiting Wagah Border was a noteworthy experience, something different which we haven’t experienced yet. The Wagah Border is located at a distance of 22 km from Lahore and 28 km from Amritsar. Every evening, just before the sunset, the soldiers from the Indian and Pakistan military meet at this border post to engage in a 30-minute display of military showmanship. Officially, the purpose of the ceremony is to formally close the border for the night and lower the national flag. However, it is an entertainment ceremony and a patriotic display for the thousands of people who come here every day. During the build-up to the ceremony, the crowd witnesses national anthem chanting, rounds of applause and Bollywood-style dancing. My patriotic spirit was at its all time high. What a show it was! I will definitely say it’s a once in a life time kind of experience.
After returning from the Border we visited Kesar ka Dabha for dinner. This is said to be the oldest, most famous and authentic dabha for the finger licking mouth watering food for which Amritsar is famous for.
No visit to Amritsar is complete without seeing the Golden Temple at night. Words will fall short if I have to describe the beauty of the temple at night. We were awestruck. We could not just stop clicking the pictures from every possible angle. Since it was almost end of November, it was slight cold and we thoroughly enjoyed the hot milk served as Prasad at night. We witness the holy ceremony of “ palaki” at temple.