Amritsar: the land of holy waters

Hi! I am back again, and this time with Amritsar, ‘amrit’ means holy water and ‘sar’ means a lake so Amritsar means a lake that has holy water. Now Amritsar has more attractions than the Golden Temple. But, first let me tell you about it.

Actually called the Harmandir Sahib (meaning the temple of god), Golden temple was built by the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev , in the 16th Century. In 1604, Guru Arjan Dev completed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, and installed it in the Gurdwara (the temples of Sikhs are known as Gurudwara that is the door to the Guru or teacher). The lake around the temple was created over a pretty long time and then people started residing around it and thus sprung up the city of Amritsar. You need to cover your head inside the temple, there are free ones available in the temple, don’t buy outside! Men can bathe in the lake but women can just dip feet and splash water. Fishing in the lake is not permitted. Please be an early bird here.

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Now there is a shop near the gate that sells a special type of bread (Amritsari kulcha), its so tasty, it will blow your mind off.

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Then there is the Jallianwallh Bagh. During British locals collected, during a festival for a fete here, and the park had only one exit, General Dyer had declared Marshal law and in a form of silent protest people collected and General called all his troops and opened fire on the people killing thousands of them. Please do pay your respects there.

There is also a Durgayani temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga, but based on the design of the Golden Temple. Its smaller but do visit it.

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I know you cannot make out the difference but its the Durgayani Temple.

There is also a temple that has a replica of the temple that is at Vaishno Devi (Jammu and Kashmir), its still under construction but some parts are open to the public its actually dedicated to a saint. It also has statues of other religions like the one below is a statue of Sleeping Budhha.

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Well there is an easy way you can just ask some local auto-rickshaw driver to take you around the place. Don’t give more than Rs 500 for a day, try and bargaining even more.

How can I forget, the parade at the Attari-Wagah Border. Attari is in India and Wagah is in Pakistan, its more commonly known as Wagah border. It is some sort of a ceremony that says that ‘trade’s of for the day guys’  i.e. that no trade takes place after this ceremony between India and Pakistan. It happens everyday, even on Sundays. I can’t tell you what happens there because it is something that is to experienced. The excitement is nerve racking, you can almost feel the bile rising in you throat. But yes they don’t allow you to speak rebukes for the other side. Ladies and girls are allowed to take the fag to the border till the gates open. for the exchange of strange gestures that you will come to know when you see the parade. The dressed and decorated soldiers of Border Security Forces stamp their feet just before the borders probably spewing anger through them.

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Also, on your road to the temple, there is a fork where you can take the road other than the one that takes you to Amritsar and go and see a Ram Temple.

Then you just cannot forget food. On the road to the Golden Temple, in the evening there is a chaos. There is food everywhere, and goddammit its cheap beyond you imagination and so tasty that might eat your fingers off :).

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(the blobs that the guy is making is made up of potato)

In the end what can I say, my photograph tells it all.

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Stay tuned for more :).

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