We arrived at the Amritsar station and proceeded towards our hotel. We went in an open rickshaw and all the scenery zoomed by. One couldn’t see buildings with more than 2-3 floors. Our hotel is in the Golden Temple complex itself (almost). The complex is full of people. Everyone in a religious harmony, heads covered with ‘dupattas’ and handkerchiefs. As we entered the hotel complex, we were greeted with beautiful notes of Guru related verses in Punjabi. After having a bath, had the speciality of Punjab, Parathe and Cholé for breakfast. So tasty! It’s 8:45 a.m now, had some yummy Gulab Jamun and will leave soon for the temple.
We went to the temple. Took us almost one and a half hour there. The complex was very big and architecturally beautiful. It took us a long time in the queue. The temple was right between the holy lake, which was calm. When I went closer to the temple, I could see art and engravings. Some of them had many unique stones. The inlay was beautiful and several engravings of the Gurmukhi script could be seen on the gold. The temple houses one floor and a terrace. Also, we could see Koi fishes in the holy lake.
The Golden Temple
Within the Complex of the Temple
Inside the Temple
Beautiful Art inside the Temple
Art on the ceiling
Art near the staircase
(Inside the Temple)
Koi fishes in the Holy Lake
After freshening up from the bustling crowd in the temple, we left for sightseeing. There are a lot of small lanes everywhere. They look so ancient, like they are right out of a pre-partition movie. The doors of several buildings were high and of steel, which looked ancient; like they’d never been discarded since the days of unrest. We walked by the market with lots of colourful clothes and fancy stuff.
It was a big fort with its importance related to Maharaja Ranjit Singh. There was a live folk dance performance going on there. We went to a museum which housed statues and swords, armours and stories of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The statues looked very realistic. There were hardly any people. I really enjoyed going up and down the fort.
We visited the Lal Devi Mandir as well. It was a big temple, which consisted of the replicas of the idols of several different and famous temples of India.
The seats filled up very fast and the stadium resonated with patriotic cheers. At first, until 5:30 P.M, the children and women were called at the podium to display the flag of India. They seemed to have had an enjoyable time. They also danced to several Bollywood related patriotic songs. At 6 p.m. the gate closing ceremony finally began. The soldiers were really awesome! Their marching lifts reached right over their head. They marched till the other side of the border and displayed their combinations. After that the flags of both the countries were lowered and the gates were closed. All the while there were enthusiastic cheers by the audience, guided by the volunteer on the podium. It was an immense gathering of patriotism.
The Entrance to the Arena
The Flag Display
Also, look at the humongous crowd!
The Marching Soldiers
After refreshments, we proceeded to Jallianwala Bagh. The place has a lot of historic importance. However, by the time we reached there, it was already past the closing time. I clicked some pictures from outside the gate and proceeded to explore the market in the temple complex. Amidst of this, there was a showcase of fireworks. It beautiful. I felt entranced. After dinner, we went and freshened up in the hotel. We went back to the Golden Temple complex again, this time, to witness the nighttime view.
The Jallianwala Bagh Memorial from Outside.
Fireworks in the Complex
The temple at night is an epitome of beauty. It was so calming and rejuvenating to sit near the holy lake, with strong winds blowing; along with a direct view of the temple. It was like a dream. The pace of the winds increased and lightning struck once or twice. We ran to our hotel whilst the strong gust of temporal rain. We had Lassi, also a specialty of Punjab.
We went back to our hotel room and straightaway to bed. It was a long day. The next morning, we had to depart at 4:30 a.m. for a 5:15 train to Chandigarh. After finishing up last minute packing and some chattering, we finally slept.
The Temple at Night
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