A Trip to Amritsar Golden Temple | A Travel Blog: Amritsar is the most famous town in Punjab and also has Golden Temple (also known as Harmandir Sahib) the holiest place for Sikhs and the followers of Sikhism across the world. Amritsar is a very historical place since it has Jallianwala Bagh and is located 28 Kms from Pakistan Border also known as Wagah Border. I visited this place in December 2016 with my parents and journey was planned beforehand.
Visiting Jallianwala Bagh & Golden Temple: Day1/27 Dec 2016
We started from New Delhi Railway station. We boarded our train(Swarna Shatabdi Express) at 7:20 am in the morning. I always prefer the train over other carriers. You can take any route as per your choice. The train departed on time and journey was quite convenient because Shatabdi provides best in class service as far as railways are concerned. We reached Amritsar at 2:35 pm as the train was delayed by 25 minutes. We reached the hotel by 3:00 pm as it was nearby the railway station. There are many great hotels in Amritsar as per your budget. After resting for 2 hours we had the first taste of Punjabi Dhaba which was very much delicious!! And then we headed straight to Golden Temple. We booked an auto rickshaw as the distance between Amritsar railway station and Golden Temple is about 3 km. We were dropped at Golden Temple Road and was told to walk for 300-400 meters
Jallianwala Bagh Wall
The walk started and my excitement too. The place has shops on both sides after walking for 5-6 minutes we saw the Jallianwala gate so we decided to visit that first. Jallianwala Bagh as we know is a symbol of sacrifice for freedom struggle and atrocious act by General Diar. As we were going in it was a very emotional moment for me as the story about the place is so gripping. There were many tourists already present and the place has been revamped for tourists but the bullet marks are still present. There is that famous well where people tried to escape bullet but was massacred mercilessly. We spent probably 45 minutes there and after clicking few pictures we decided to move on.
Inside the Golden Temple
About 6 pm in the evening we reached Golden Temple and It was just a seen to watch. The place in spite of having so many people were giving me a sense of calm. After putting our shoes in the shoe keep we washed our hands and we were given scarf by the volunteers. You can buy your own but remember a scarf or a turban is a must inside the temple! We reached the temple gate and to our surprise, there was nothing called bag check but volunteers who were in traditional Punjabi attire were keeping a watch. As soon as we entered I was awestruck by the beauty of the place there is this Temple which is in the middle of the pond. It was such a mesmerizing feeling much more than I expected. People were taking a holy dip in the pond and water was soothing. After walking around the pond we reached the main entrance.There was a huge crowd since it was the time of Prakash Parv. The queue was very long but the music of Ardas combined with the enthusiasm of people made the journey worthwhile.
Around 7 pm we reached the main temple and bowed down. The Harmandir Sahib complex is also home to Akal Takht(the throne of the timeless one, constituted by the Sixth Guru Ji ). While the Harmandir Sahib is regarded as the abode of God’s spiritual attribute, the Akal Takht is the seat of God’s temporal authority. After we came out we got Karah Prasad we had it while sitting beside the pond. After visiting the other parts of the temple we had langer(an open kitchen free to all.We had roti, dal, and sabzi. The chants of Jo Bole So Nihal Sat Sri Akal was going across the hall. Golden Temple is a place where anyone can go without religious, social or economic status.This indeed signifies equality.
Visiting Wagah Border, Durgiana Temple & Market Hopping: Day2/28 Dec 2016
Durgiana Mandir is a replica of Golden Temple a Hindu temple of several gods and goddesses.It is 15 minutes ride from Amritsar station and a place where all the tourists coming to the city tend to go.We started at 9 am in the morning and reached about 9:15.The main temple is surrounded by a pond just like the golden temple.But you will see a difference between Golden Temple and Durgiana Temple. After staying in for about 1 hour we decided to go for market hopping. We started our day with a full glass of Punjabi Lassi.Your trip to Amritsar is incomplete without having those big glasses of Punjabi Lassi.I, in fact, had two full glass and indeed it was yummy.
Shopping in the Streets of Amritsar:
We went to Kapda Market or Clothing Market which is the oldest market in Amritsar. Amritsar is one of the places where you can get woolen clothes for a slightly cheaper amount.After moving from one shop to another we got an idea of the cost. My mother bought 5-6 shawl 2-3 jacket and 3-4 sweater.I also gave an order for an Amritsari Pathani Kurta which a traditional Punjabi attire. After spending 2-3 hour in the market we had lunch in a nearby restaurant. Again we headed back to our hotel to keep our heavy bags.We rested for about half an hour and it was the time we leave for Wagah border. It was 1:30 pm.
Wagah Border A lifetime memory:
India and Pakistan have a history of bloodshed and hatred. Sometimes tension gets worst and we have fought 3 war between the two nations. But again we have so many things in common.The language, the clothing, the passion because we have the same roots. Wagah Border is about 30 km from Amritsar and 25 km from Lahore and about 3 km from Attari Village.You can book four-wheelers from Amritsar station or many hotels provide you the service to see the border. It took us about 45 minutes on the highway to reach the Wagah Border.
Wagah Border, Amritsar
There is a huge rush so we had booked our seat beforehand by our hotel staff and there are some VIP passes which is issued by BSF(Border Security Force). But that too is in a limited amount. So if you don’t want to watch it from outside you have to go one day in advance. So you have to go through a 1 km security check and you have to walk through various security checks obviously by BSF. It was around 2:30 pm and the amount of crowd that was gathering was unbelievable. At last, we got inside the open stadium and we got to our seat. In spite of so many tension the flag retreating ceremony takes place daily.This is organized by BSF and Pakistani Rangers. There is a sea of a crowd on both sides cheering their own soldiers. Each soldier has pride passion commitment and love for the motherland. The patriotic feeling which arises after seeing these men cannot be written in words.The enthusiasm of the crowd the chants if Vande Mataram is echoed all around the park. Same is done on Pakistan side. At last, the flag of India and Pakistan is lowered and gates are closed on each side.
After taking some selfies with BSF Jawans I with my family returned to our car. Enroute we shook hands with BSF men and thank them for their service. Indeed the journey to Wagah Border was a memory which is embedded in me for my whole life. We reached the hotel around 8:00 pm. The next day we had our return tickets to Delhi. The Trip to Amritsar is special to me and I would recommend everyone to visit it once. The city is budget friendly and according to your budget you can go enjoy and have a good time out there.
Wish you a nice trip to Amritsar.