This wonderful journey began on a cold Thursday night, just 3 days before the new year 2016. My family and I were very excited for this trip together after a long time. We stood ready at Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station with our bags packed full for a 2 days trip to Amritsar. The weather was superbly pleasant, wasn’t too chilly but cold. Our train arrived 30 minutes late and therefore left the station half an hour after its departure time. However, the train could catch up with the lag on its journey through night and we arrived Amritsar, the city of Golden Temple almost on time early in the morning.
Finding the way to our booked hotel wasn’t a problem at all as there were many enthusiastic autorickshaw drivers standing outside the station to give us a ride.
Upon reaching our hotel we all got fresh in an hour and headed for our first destination ‘The Golden Temple’ in an autorickshaw. The autorickshaw driver dropped us at a couple of hundred meters away from the temple. While we were walking towards it, we found ourselves standing outside ‘Jallianwala Bagh‘. So we unanimously decided to visit Jallianwala Bagh first.
The entry to the bagh takes place from the same gallery from where Brigadier General Reginald Dyer took entry with his troop of 50 soldiers into the bagh on April 13, 1919. Although the bagh looks fresh and green today, however there are walls with bullet holes on them preserved for display and the well into which hundreds of people jumped in vain to save their lives. Also, Jallianwala bagh cites ‘amar jyoti‘ in memory of all the lives who died in 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre.This place is definitely a must visit place to refresh our obligations toward our nation and to remind ourselves that how fortunate we are to breathe in air of freedom.
The moment we touched the entrance to Golden Temple, also known as Harmandir Sahib, we were deeply mesmerized by the aura surrounding the magnificent pious monument. It is a beautiful gurudwara with the holy Adi Granth Sahib housed in a golden shrine situated in the middle of a pond called ‘Amritsar or Pool of the Nectar of Immortality‘. The reflection of surrounding water falling on the walls of the temple makes it all the more sparkling and alive.
After standing in a long crowded queue for over an hour wecould seek blessings of the holy granth.Every moment spent inside the temple was worth the every minute we stood in the Sun for long. The experience was totally blissful and serene. My family also savoured on the famous ‘gurudwara langar’. Dal, roti, rice, sabzi and kheer were served generously by the numerous volunteers working happily there. We also witnessed hundreds of volunteers washing dishes, cleaning floor and cooking food in order to pay gratitude to their Guru.
After these two awestrucking places we booked an autorickshaw service to Wagah Border which is another inspiring destination 32 km from Amritsar. Wagan is a village which lies on the Grand Trunk Road between the cities of Amritsar, Punjab, India, and Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. Several thousands of people from both the countries gather together every day to witness the flag unhoisting ceremony performed by the Indian BSF and Pakistan Rangers 45 minutes before sunset.
Display of patriotism can be seen on full-swing. Retreat parade ceremony is presented by the soldiers in a highly dramatic manner and they ardently encourage the audience to shout-out-loud patriotic slogans of Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata ki Jai.
Exhausted through the day’s long travel, we reached the 100 years old legendary ‘Kesar da Dhaba’. There we ordered 12 hours cooked makhani dal, palak paneer, choor-choor naan, phirni, and a big-glass full lassi for each. Each bite bore with it a WOW factor. The food cooked in generous amount of asli-desi ghee was fingerliously delicious. After consuming so much delicacies I could barely manage to walk on my feet.
Yet, we could not resist ourselves from treating our eyes with the beauty of glistening Golden Temple at night. Every inch of the temple looked like a palace bathed in different beautiful colours of pink, blue, yellow and green forming pleasing patterns on the walls.
We called it a day after this amazing sight.
Following morning started with our visit to another famous destination in Amritsar called Durgiana Temple. It is a hindu temple dedicated to goddess Durga. The temple is very much a resemblance to the sikh Golden Temple. It is also situated in the middle of a pond and is golden in appearance. However, crowd was scanty at this temple.
Before we could board our train back to our home, we had a lot of time to kill and what else could be the best way than shopping? We took 2 rounds of the entire Amritsari market. Amritsar is known for its ‘phulkari dupattas‘. After searching few shops, we could zero in for one phulkari dupatta in amazing warm and subtle colours of peach, pink and yellow with mirror work on the border. Besides this, we bought few other famous eatables of Amritsar.
All in all we were all praises for this place of beauty, food and good humans. Whenever another opportunity comes to visit this place again in life, I won’t hesitate even for a second to jump in 🙂