One of the places I ended up unexpectedly enjoying quite a bit in India was Amritsar. There’s so much more to do here than we first realized, and it’s truly an enjoyable place to spend a couple days.
We flew up early in the morning with nowhere planned to stay. I had hoped to stay in the Golden Temple for free, but with how many people we had with us and not knowing what to expect, we decided to call around when we got there and book a hotel. We took a tuk tuk into the city center. Once again, the traffic completely amazes me with how they manage to get everything around. And they love having their picture taken!
Except for this guy. I’m not sure he liked me taking his picture.
Once we were into the the downtown area, we had to take a rickshaw to our hotel as cars have a hard time driving around the narrow streets near the Golden Temple. I felt so bad for these guys with us girls and all our luggage, but they made it work!
As soon as we checked in, we dropped our bags off and wandered around the outside of the temple, taking pictures and doing some shopping. We wanted to visit the temple at sunset, so had some time to kill before heading in.
Maggie wanted her picture with Maggi Noodles. Every time she introduced herself to the Indians, she would say, “Maggie, like the noodles.” and they would all understand.
Finally it was time for us to head into the temple. In order to enter the temple, you must cover your head, remove your shoes and wash your feet.
This place is so peaceful. You could sit here for hours and just reflect, which we did.
As the sun set, we found our way to the dining hall. The Sikh’s welcome all travelers of all religions to join them in both reflection and a meal.
I’m not entirely sure what they served us, but it was all actually quite good. Some sort of green lentils, rice pudding, naan and water, I believe.
After eating, you walk out and see all the volunteers washing dishes, peeling garlic and doing other things to help out around the kitchen to ensure these meals stay free for everyone.
I had heard you could donate money to help buy food and we looked everywhere for a place to do this, but never did find it.
This place gives you such an incredible sense of peace and well being. I recommend anyone who visits India to make a detour to the Golden Temple in Amritsar. But since we’re here, we decided to also check out the Pakistani border closing ceremony and first, some epic shopping that we all enjoyed! More on that next time!