We had heard so much about the tranquil environs and beauty of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, India, that it figured high on our bucket list. Needless to say when we got an opportunity to visit this hallowed place, we grabbed it with four hands!
We travelled to Amritsar from Katra in Jammu, where we had gone on a visit to one of the famous and sacred temples of the Hindus, Vaishnodevi.
We reached Amritsar late at night settled into our hotel, our hearts aflutter with the excitement of what the morning would bring.
We were not disappointed at all. As we entered the precincts of The Golden Temple through its huge gates an almost surreal spectacle met our eyes. The Golden Temple, true to its name shimmered like a golden orb bathed in the crimson haze of the rising sun, and in front of this celestial structure, serenely flowed the silvery waters of the Sarovar, the sacred pool that surrounds the Golden temple.
The sight was awe inspiring and humbling at the same time, we were overcome with emotion at this wonderful sight and how we wished that this moment could be frozen in time.
The Golden Temple is the holiest of temples of the Sikhs, it is to Sikhs; what Mecca is to Muslims and Jerusalem is to Christians. The Sanctum Sanctorum which is known as Harmandir Sahib or The Golden Temple houses The Guru Granth Sahib, the religious scripture of the Sikhs. The temple is an exquisite poem written in Gold and marble and welcomes all humanity irrespective of religion or faith to sanctify them in its serene environs.
We circumnavigated the temple along the border of the Sarovar before entering it, we marveled at the pristine beauty of the clear waters and the clean and calm atmosphere within the precincts of the temple, inspite of the fact that over a million people visited the place on a daily basis.
We spent a couple of hours soaking in the peace and tranquility of the place and then our baser instinct took over and we were in the grip of gnawing hunger pangs.
We made our way to Guru Ka Langar, a community kitchen where close to a million people were fed every day. The massive task of running this mammoth kitchen is done by volunteers who see it as a community service. The food is simple but simply out of the world. You are lovingly served with Dal (a liquid gravy made of Lentils), Rotis (Bread) and Kheer (Dessert made from milk). We ate heartily relishing each and every morsel of the food and we felt as if we had tasted heaven. The love of the people and the sanctity and tranquility of the place seemed to have infused the simple food with a nectar like quality.
It was soon time to leave and we slowly moved towards the exit, our minds still not satiated and wanting more of this wondrous experience. We turned for one last glimpse of The Golden Temple and the beautiful structure whispered, Come again.
For more photos from this beautiful place, please visit our Facebook Page album by clicking here
For more information, you may visit this site: http://www.goldentempleamritsar.org/
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