Being a nature lover, I had so much fun playing with friends in the gardens, chasing butterflies and shooing away dragon flies. As a young female I loved to wear gold jewellery and deck myself up for occasions and festivals. Now at 40 years, I am awestruck at the gold prices when I shop for my daughter. A question flashed my mind, “how much of gold must have gone into the building of the Golden Temple at Amritsar?” A family vacation to this city and exploring its culture seemed the right thing to do during my short Dusshera holiday.
Amritsar is known for the Golden Temple and visitors from all walks of life and faith are welcomed. The Hari Mandir is a beautiful white marble structure, gold platted encrusted with precious stones and set in the centre of a large body of water. Verses from the Granth Sahib adorn the walls both inside and outside. The building has great architecture and history dating back to over 400 years. The devotion of the Sikh’s, sacredness and religious fervour of the visitors come alive here. We bought souvenir bandanas to cover our head, washed our feet in the pool and entered in. Travelling with family, we join in this experience; the tangible spiritual setting is memorable for us.
The temple has a dining hall where 35,000 people are fed the local food every day. The simple food is for all regardless of caste, creed or status. The Central Sikh Museum at the entrance has a gallery display of Sikh warriors and saints.
Vintage books are available in Amritsar and if you have a penchant for learning literature, one could get their hands on some books. Going around the city, we didn’t do shopping much as I am a budget traveller but we had a taste of the local cuisine. Amritsari Kulcha, Chole Matthi and lassi were the best food by the roadside joints.We went upto the Wagah border which is about 29 kilometres distance from Amritsar. Since I was travelling with my kids, I wanted to get to the border and feel proud to be an Indian. The sacredness of the temple lingered along as we journeyed back home.