Friday, December 24, 2010

Our trip to Amritsar, Punjab, India

In this post, I continue with my earlier post on Tonk. Here is where we went to after Tonk.We reached New Delhi in the morning, rested through the day and got ready for another trip. We set off the same day. An overnight train from New Delhi and we reach Amritsar (Punjab) in the morning.

In the train we found out that there a bandh was declared in Amritsar the next day. We were very disappointed but we kept hoping that it will turn out to be a normal day. It did not begin very normally though :( The train stopped at "Beas", which is one stop before Amritsar. We were told that the train would not go any further before 12 PM; agitators had blocked the railway lines. We quickly contacted our car driver who was supposed to pick us up from Amritsar station, and arranged for him to pick us up from Beas instead. We quite enjoyed the drive from Beas to Amritsar. It was nice and cool and the roads were good. We reached Amritsar within 45 mins. Thankfully, Amritsar did not look completely closed, we were told that the shops will remain closed , there could be a chance of the shops opening in the evening...but the chances were very slim. We found out that the Golden temple, Jallianwalla bagh, other monuments, museum etc would remain open.

We decided to begin the day by treating ourselves to a hearty breakfast. I am very fond of punjabi food and was looking forward to a breakfast of chole bathure and lassi. We went to a place called "kanaiya" which was thankfully open. The food was excellent! I have never ever had such delicious chole bature before and the lassi was out of the world! My recommendation, if you are traveling to Amritsar, you must try the lassi there.

After a satisfying breakfast, we set off for Rambagh, Rambagh houses the summer place of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the summer place is now transformed into a well maintained museum. We were very impressed with the museum. It has some lovely paintings and sculptures.

Rambagh Amritsar
Rambagh Amritsar India

Golden temple - Golden temple is truly beautiful. The divine temple looks beautiful at any time of the day. At night it glows and the reflection on the water body around it is out of the world. It is a wonderful experience. The Harmandir Sahib (or Hari Mandir) in Amritsar, Punjab, is the holiest shrine in Sikhism. The project was overseen by the fourth and fifth Sikh Gurus and was completed in 1601. The most sacred part of the Golden Temple complex is the Hari Mandir (Divine Temple) or Darbar Sahib. It is a beautiful golden structure at the center of a body of water. The building is gold plated with white marble walls encrusted with precious stones arranged in decorative floral patterns. The temple is very-very well maintained. To enter the temple one needs to cover their heads, if you don't have a head cover, they provide head covers at the entrance. The water that surrounds the temple is a sacred and known as the Amrit Sarovar (Pool of Nectar). The pathway that connects to the Hari Mandir is known as the Guru's Bridge. It symbolizes the journey of the soul after death. The gateway to the bridge has beautiful silver doors.
Golden temple Amritsar India

Golden temple entrance Amritsar
Golden temple complex and the entrance to Golden temple

Golden temple complex

Golden temple at night
Golden temple complex & The Golden temple at night

Jallianwala bagh

We visited Jallianwala bagh, it was an emotional experience. Sharing some pictures.

Jallianwala bagh

Well at Jallianwala bagh

Jallianwala bagh - The well


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