After a long train ride from Udaipur to Delhi, and then another long bus from Delhi to Amritsar we arrived at the spiritual centre of the Sikh faith.
We checked into a hotel near the city’s main attraction – the Golden Temple. By then, the sun was setting so we decided to take a walk to the temple. It was a lot busier than I experienced during my last visit in 2006 – and we lined up alongside many Sikh families to put our shoes into storage, wash our feet before entering, and for Travis to collect a scarf for his head.
The grandeur and magnificence of the Golden Temple is breathtaking as one first enters the area. It is set on one side of a huge man-made lake of water. Whilst witnessing the temple’s dazzling gold exterior is amazing, seeing the many, many Sikhs make their pilgrimage to this sacred place quite a moving experience. Many were walking around the temple, as we were, others sat quietly and respectfully on the edge of the holy lake. The place was so alight with colourful turbans, and sarees.
After circling the Golden Temple, we went into the Langar canteen. The generous Sikh community offer free food for anybody who enters the Langar – and anybody can have a meal as often as they wish. The meal is simple – everybody entering receives a traditional thali steel plate and a steel bowl for water. Upon entering the canteen, people sit in rows cross legged on the floor. The volunteers who serve the food pass through each row, placing dahl, water, bread on each person’s plate.