Enjoying the great Sikh hospitality

Trip Start May 03, 2011
Trip End Jan 31, 2013

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Where I stayed
Golden Temple

Flag of India  , Punjab,
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The one day stop in New Delhi was good for a few reasons. I was back in the 'safety' of Arnold’s and Swarna’s house, I arranged a new sim card, I picked up my new passport, and because of the diarrhea it was good to have a normal toilet. And ofcourse good to see my friends again for some chatting.

Then my first train in India, not bad at all. The (Old Delhi) train station is a bit dirty and crowded but the train was fine.

Amritsar, what a place! Founded in 1577 by the fourth Sikh guru, Ram Das, Amritsar is home to Sikhism’s holiest shrine, the spectacular Golden Temple. The gold-plated ‘Gurdwara’ glitters in the middle of its sacred pool of placid water and draws millions of pilgrims from all over the world. I heard it was possible to sleep and eat for free so went there and was guided to a sort of dorm full with other backpackers. The rule is that you can stay for a maximum of 3 nights here and there is food in the temple complex all day long. The only thing they expect from you is that you do a donation and ofcourse everybody does that. The atmosphere at the Golden Temple is hard to describe and this is one of the few moments where I thought I really miss one of my friends or family to share this with…if they could only see!

I tried to capture it with pictures and some video but as you know it is not enough to transfer the experience and feeling. Think of a place where about 50.000 people come every day to pray and enjoy this sacred environment. You are only allowed to go in barefooted and your hair covered because the Sikhs believe that you have to face God with your hair covered. And then the flinkering lights at night and even fireworks because luckily I was just there on a special day that the birthday of the first Guru (Nanak) was celebrated.

Practical stuff

-          Whatever you do, don’t miss the experience to stay at the Golden Temple, do it! Opposite the main entrance of the temple is the place where you can get accommodation. Just ask.

-          Go to the border ceremony and enjoy the show!
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