Amritsar Visit!

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Amritsar is home to the Harmandir Sahib (commonly known as the Golden Temple), the spiritual and cultural center for the Sikh religion. The temple is open to people of all faiths and is also revered Hindus and Muslims. The temple gets the 'Golden' in its name from the gold plated dome, which can be seen from a distance as you approach this iconic building.

Photo of Harmandir Sahib, Golden Temple Road, Amritsar, Punjab, India by Spoorthi Kedambadi

We left Mcleodganj and reached Amritsar in the morning by bus, our stay was a hotel filled with people from different parts of the world. That was an experience in itself.

Birds eye view!

Photo of Amritsar, Punjab, India by Spoorthi Kedambadi

At the time of my visit, the city was in a very bad shape. Garbage, dirt, roadworks, haphazard traffic added to the hardship. I am surprised that such an important holy place has to withstand this. The locals were quite undisturbed. To them the life was as usual. But this doesn’t take away what the place stands for.

Photo of Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab, India by Spoorthi Kedambadi

After some good breakfast, we headed to Jallianwala Bagh. The history buff that am, this place was on my list from forever. Jallianwala Bagh is a public garden in Amritsar famous for one of the most tragic yet landmark events in the history of India.

Photo of Amritsar Visit! by Spoorthi Kedambadi

This park commemorates the 1500 Indians killed and wounded when a British officer ordered his soldiers to shoot unarmed protesters in 1919.

Photo of Amritsar Visit! by Spoorthi Kedambadi

I got the shivers walking through the narrow lane that leads into Jallianwala Baug. The sheer thought of what must have happened left me speechless. In the Jallianwalla Baug premises, we had the opportunity to pay homage at the Amar Jyot (eternal flame), witness the bullet ridden walls, look up to Memorial Towerand walk around the Martyr's Well.

Photo of Kesar Da Dhaba, Amritsar, Punjab, India by Spoorthi Kedambadi

That noon our lunch was at the very famous Kesar Da Dhaba – a 100 year old establishment in one of the city by lanes, be it parathas, kulfis, jalebis, custards, kachoris etc this Dhaba severs the best. Special mention to the Lassi here, best I have ever had.

Best Lassi of my Life :)

Photo of Amritsar Visit! by Spoorthi Kedambadi

After which we hired an auto to Wagah border, Buses and taxis are also available.

Our ride to Wagah border.

Photo of Amritsar Visit! by Spoorthi Kedambadi

Wagah border lies between Amritsar in India and Lahore in Pakistan and the whole experience is mesmerizing. It fills you with so much patriotism that’ll make you realize why you’re proud to be part of such a beautiful country.

Photo of Wagah, Hardo Rattan, Punjab, India by Spoorthi Kedambadi

The daily highlight is the evening is the Retreat Ceremony. Which we were lucky enough to experience. Soldiers from both countries march in perfect drill, holding their heads up high with pride for their respective country.

so close to Pakistan!

Photo of Wagah, Hardo Rattan, Punjab, India by Spoorthi Kedambadi

From shouts of patriotism to the powerful show put up by the soldiers, make this a gripping experience.

Stars of the show!

Photo of Amritsar Visit! by Spoorthi Kedambadi

Stirring desh-bhakti songs from Hindi films blared a thumping beat from loud speakers at the venue, similar songs were presumably being played on the other side of the steel gates in Pakistan! – but ours seemed louder and better, somehow. Women of all ages were found dancing to the songs (men weren’t allowed) and shouts of “Jai Hind” were booming everywhere.

That proud feeling you get.

Photo of Amritsar Visit! by Spoorthi Kedambadi

After the guard’s parade at the Wagah Border Ceremony, the sun begins to set and so the iron gates are opened, the two flags are lowered and carefully folded before the gates close once more and the ceremony is complete.

Do i have to say how beautiful this is?

Photo of Golden Temple Amritsar Tour, Amritsar, Punjab, India by Spoorthi Kedambadi

Golden temple visit was very special to me as we visited on a Purima (Ashwin Purnima) the temple was decked up with lights for the occasion. Crowded for sure but not tiring as everything is was well organized. It was a very pleasant experience.

Its more beautiful from the inside.

Photo of Amritsar Visit! by Spoorthi Kedambadi

What surprised me was the fact that there were no security checks at any point. We could just walk-in. The construction of Harmandir Sahib was intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religions to come and worship God equally. The aura in the entire complex was certainly very positive. We visited the Langar and had the yummiest food of the trip. Blessed.

Photo of Langar Hall, Atta Mandi, Amritsar, Punjab, India by Spoorthi Kedambadi

For a while I sat and immersed myself into the love and humility that this place showers . I have always wanted to visit the Golden Temple, but most importantly because I’ve always felt a strong connection with the place.

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