When In Amritsar…
Amritsar or Ambarsar happens to be one of my favorite destinations in India. When I look back on my travel memoirs, a myriad of emotions flood over my mind.
HARMANDIR SAHIB, THE GOLDEN TEMPLE
The Golden Temple, the holiest shrine of the Sikhs, shimmers in the sunlight casting its golden reflection in the holy moat of water. Not only the temple is a visual treat but you experience the serenity of the place. The place resonates with the gurbani kirtans that reverberates in the air. The night ceremony is not to be missed when the holy book is carried to the sanctum where it rests until the opening ceremony the following morning.
Walking down these lanes entwined in India’s tragic history where General Dyer ordered his troops to open fire on unarmed people who were celebrating Punjab National Day. Winding through the narrow passages, bullet marks on the wall, the well into which people jumped to escape the gun fire leave a sobering reminder of the event. In 1951, a memorial was established to commemorate the public massacre.
Feeling the blood surge under your skin while watching both countries demonstrate their patriotism was an unforgettable moment. The retreat ceremony is a joyful moment which celebrates the love and respect the soldiers feel for each of their respective nations. Its a treat to watch the BSF soldiers march towards each other with pride in their stride amidst hundreds of people. Wagah Border is the only place where you see and feel this level of intense emotion for the nation.
MATA LAL DEVI TEMPLE
Mata Lal Devi is a Hindu temple built in 20th century in the honor of a saint named Lal Devi. Her fame spread through the land as several women were blessed with children after getting her blessings. The temple today has all the gods under one roof. The uniqueness of the temple is in its architecture as it has waterways, burrows, pathways and even caverns.
Durgiana Temple is a Hindu Version of the Golden Temple due to the similarity in the design of the temple. Surrounded by water, Durgiana temple shines brightly at night with the grand engraved silver doors at its entrance.
Amritsar is where food finds its way to the heart. There is nothing more delicious than a huge glass of Punjabi Lassi. The lassi at Gian Chand is rich, creamy, thick, foamy and unmatched. I still remember how I slowly sipped the tasty drink to its last drop.
GURDAS RAM JALEBI WALA
On my visit to the golden temple, I came across Gurdas Ram Jalebiwala shop. I brought a pack of jalebis for Rs 50. What I wasn’t aware was the fact that I had to fight against nature (honey bees!) to savour the crispy and juicy sweet.
GURUDWARA TARN TARAN SAHIB
Located 22 km from the golden temple is Tarn Taran, a Sikh pilgrimage site built by the fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Dev. The gurudwara has the largest Sarovar (pond) among all the Sikh shrines.
GURUDWARA BIR BABA BUDDA SAHIB
Bir Baba Budda Sahib may be lesser known than the other two gurudwaras, but it has great significance. This gurudwara is located 20 km away from Amritsar and was built to commemorate Bir Baba Budda, a primal figure of early Sikhism. He was a venerable saint at the time of Guru Nanak who lived long enough to anoint five succeeding Gurus.
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