Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Weekend In Amritsar

The weekend before last Hilary and I headed to Amritsar to visit the Golden Temple. We traveled by train (about 6 or 7 hours!) with Mr. Jolly, Mr. Malik, and Mr. Jolly's daughter. As we traveled north the temperature slowly started to drop. We reached Amritsar in the afternoon and headed to the club we were staying at to drop off our things. That evening we headed to the Indian-Pakistani border to watch the changing of the guards. It was incredible. I expected it to be a tense, serious event, but it was the complete opposite. People were dancing and laughing. Patriotic music was blaring over the speakers. Soon the actual changing began and it was incredible. The guards wear these extravagant hats and perform their rituals with flair haha.

The Changing of the Guards
 (Excuse the lamppost, couldn't be helped.)
The next day we went to the Golden Temple. It was one of the most beautiful sites I've seen since being in India and definitely the cleanest. After we walked through water (mandatory, to clean our feet) and covered our heads (again, mandatory to show respect) we saw it! It was absolutely gorgeous, shining in the middle of the Pool of Nectar. We waited in line for nearly an hour, but it was worth it. The inside of the Temple is extraordinary. The design is so ornate and it was evident what a spiritual experience it was for everybody there.

The Golden Temple
Mr. Jolly's daughter explained to us that at the Golden Temple, the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor all volunteer alongside each other to care for the Temple. A meal is also cooked fresh every single day for anyone who wants it. It's supposed to be some of the best food in Amritsar and it's all free of charge.

It was such an amazing experience seeing the Temple and all the people who traveled to see it. 

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