Golden Temple, a place of devotion and peace

Religion or faith have no bar here. You could even be non-religious. Yet, the sanctity of Harmandir Sahib, popularly known as Golden Temple will touch your heart. It is located in the city of Amritsar in one of the northern states of India, Punjab.

Main entrance of the Golden Temple in Amritsar

The long path in the lake is the approach to the main temple. Inspite of round the clock devotees, discipline prevails.

The Golden Temple is the most revered gurudwara for the Sikhs. Harmandir Sahib is its official name. But due to its the gold plated building, devotees lovingly refer to it as the Golden Temple.

The main building of the Golden Temple is surrounded by a lake. People of all religions come here in huge numbers to offer prayers and take a dip in this supposedly holy lake.

We spent an entire day at the Golden temple. Spent hours sitting by the lake on the sparkling clean floor, admiring the beautiful Golden Temple in front. We could just feel the devotion in the air.

Golden Temple in the golden hours

Both the sunrise and the sunset are glorious in the premises of the Golden Temple.

As the sun sets, the Golden Temple is bathed in beautiful yellow and blue lights. You can actually spend the entire night at the Golden Temple. Just get a sleeping mat and lie down on the marble around the holy lake and enjoy a blissful night.

The long wait in the queue to get inside the Golden Temple is totally worth it. Have patience as the queue slowly but steadily inches forward. Because The insides have to be seen to be believed. Photography isn’t permitted inside. You have to store in your memory the beauty that accosts you. It is two floors of sheer brilliance. Probably even more beautiful than the Taj Mahal!

Take all your time to soak in the art around you, the music reverberating inside.

Culinary tourism around the Golden Temple

Food from Punjab is the most well known cuisine across the world. And Amritsar is brimming with “dhabas“. These are small, traditional eateries run by the same family fro generations. We went to one of the oldest such dhabas, named Kesar da Dhaba.

It is over a hundred year old establishment in the maze-like markets of old Amritsar is famous for cooking all their food in “desi ghee” (Indian equivalent of butter). Like all things Indian (food), it is rich, tasty and devoid of preservatives.

We had a lavish lunch of Dal Makhani, Chole and Paratha in the Punjabi Thali in Amritsar at Keasr da Dhaba. For the non-Indians, that is: Buttered lentil curry, Bengal gram pulses cooked in a spicy curry and layered Indian bread.

This single “thali” (meal plate) was more than enough for the two of us. All one should ideally do after eating this is find a beautiful tree, lie down in its shade and dream of the culinary extravaganza you have just experienced.

Visit to the Wagah Border in Amritsar

While visiting the Golden Temple, we also did a half day trip to the “lowering of the flags” or the Beating Retreat ceremony. It is performed jointly everyday by the armed forces of both the countries. It is one of the major tourist attractions in Amritsar.

Outside the Golden Temple, you will find hordes or taxi drivers asking if you would like to visit the Wagah border. There isn’t much difference in the prices and services that they offer. Just pick one that agrees to leave at the earliest.

But really, the main reason you should visit the city of Amritsar is the Golden Temple. Right from the langar and the volunteers to the ghee laden prasad, everything will touch your heart. Unlike many other religious places in India, Golden Temple is untouched by commercialism. The Golden Temple is what a religious place should ideally be. It gave us a holy experience to the fullest.

Like this story? Have any questions about traveling to Golden Temple or Amritsar? Let us know in the Comments section below.

 

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Sandeepa and Chetan. Married. Indians. Exploring Travel as Lifestyle. Featured by National Geographic, Yahoo. We hope that through our travel stories we inspire others to make their dream into a reality.

Comments

16 thoughts on “Golden Temple, a place of devotion and peace

  1. Wanda

    Hello, Great article, lots of very useful advice! Do you happen to know if it is possible to take a tripod to all around Golden Temple? A photo during golden hour is a must there but without a tripod it may be a challenge… Thanks in advance!

    1. Sandeepa Chetan Post author

      Hi Wanda, thanks for writing to us. We don’t travel with a tripod (TOO MUCH weight! :)), do didn’t really bother with this one. But we did see a guy taking pictures with his tripod-mounted camera. Not sure if/what permissions he had to get before being allowed to take the tripod inside. But yes, it’s not a “banned equipment”. We mostly used the flooring and the railings as a steady surface for keeping the camera. Have a good trip. Time spent at the Golden Temple is…one of its kind! Happy travels!

  2. Dimple Bhatia (@TweetAholicMe)

    Hey. Just came across your blog. Beautifully penned emotions of your trip to Amritsar.
    I am departing today to Amritsar and shall reach there by 12:30pm.
    Could you tell me which hotel you stayed in?
    And what is the best time to leave for Wagah Border.
    I have a 2 night stay. Tonight and Tomorrow so would love to know how to go about it.
    I am a solo traveller hence many questions. Would appreciate your response.
    Thanks.

    1. Sandeepa Chetan Post author

      Hello Dimple, we stayed at one of the temple accommodations around the Golden Temple. You can also stay right inside the Golden Temple itself. You will be approached by many cab drivers who take tourists to the Wagah border. Most leave by 3 PM. Try to convince them to leave as early as they agree to. Try to get into a cab which already has confirmed passengers, so you do not waste time waiting for passengers to fill up the cab. Have a good trip!

  3. Tourist places in Punjab

    Amritsar is the Heart of Punjab and Shri Harmandir Sahib also call The Golden Temple is the main tourist attraction of the Punjab. Amritsari Kulcha is popular food of Amritsar. The jallianwala bagh, Durgiana Mandir and Pul kanjari also some places to visit in Amritsar.