Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Golden Temple

After our Golden Triangle tour wrapped up, we took the train from Delhi to Amritsar, in the north of India near the Pakistani border.

Some say a visit to India is incomplete without a train ride. We were fortunate enough to experience the Indian railway system at its most authentic, as all the cars with air-con were sold out and we managed to squeeze on the general train car. It was an 8-hour journey, making many stops, and supplying us with fascinating people-watching opportunities.

During the train ride, a constant parade of beggars, children, amputees, musicians, chai-wallahs, people selling chips and soda, transvestites, gypsies, and 4-year old acrobats walked down the aisles of our train car. There were men shining shoes and men playing drums. At one point a man walked by, balancing a large pot on his head that contained hot oil and was frying up fresh pakoras and samosas. I was quite impressed by his balance. The last part of our train ride was especially exciting, because there was some sort of altercation between the men in the seats behind us that nearly came to blows.

After 8 hours of constant stimulation, we arrived in Amritsar, the holiest city of the Sikh religion.

Amritsar is home to the Golden Temple, a beautiful temple located at the heart of the old town. I really enjoyed visting the Golden Temple because it seemed very unique and welcoming. The design of the temple is symbolic: it has four entrances, meaning that people from any religion are welcome in the temple. There is also a kitchen providing free meals for all visitors to the temple. After walking around the temple, Dana and I visited the free kitchen and ate some lentils and flatbread on metal tins on the floor, surrounded by Sikh pilgrims.

Afterward, we had a tour of the Temple and we learned a bit about the history of Sikhism and Amritsar.

Now this is a golden temple.

THE Golden Temple.

From K - India I


Sikh pilgrims circumambulating the temple.

From K - India I


As the sun set, the temple grew more and more golden.

From K - India I


From K - India I


From K - India I


From K - India I


From K - India I


From K - India I

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