Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Pious trip to Amritsar

Vikram Kapoor

It was the month of February when I got first opportunity to visit Amritsar in Punjab (The land of five rivers). We boarded the train from Delhi and it was almost night when we reached our destination. Unlike other destinations, our hotel was just 300 meters away from the Heavenly Golden Temple. The auto driver on our way to the accommodation provided us with a brief history about the temple also known as Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib. 

Around 9 pm we entered the Gurudwara. With our head covered, we handed over our footwear to the Sevadars. All of us were curious to have a very first look of the Holy Shrine and as soon as we saw the illuminating golden structure, it was more than a dream comes true like an antique golden structure placed on an island. Its mesmerizing beauty and the feeling was all out of the world. No matter which religion you belong to, If your are here, you can enjoy the mental peace inside this religious premises.

The second day, a Pedal Rikshawala promised to take us for a tour in the city in just Rs 20 so fortunately we didn’t had to spend money on expensive cabs or any tourism vehicles to have a glance of Amritsar. 

The Sardarjee Rikshawala parked his vehicle outside the most famous eatery, Brother’s Dhaba and said, “Sahabjee, Pehle Pet Pooja, fir Kaam Dooja (First eat food then do all the work). Here, we had delicious Amrisari Kulcha with Chole, Yogurt and Pickle.
Our pedal journey then started towards the market from where we took some Amritsar made ladies suits. The city market is best for Punjabi Jutis ranges from wedding collection and other designer Jutis to the regular ones.  

It was a total twist in the trip when the two of us got down at Jalianwalah Bagh, the mass killing public garden where General Dyre ordered to shoot non-violent protesters and more than 1500 people killed at the incident.

The bullet marks on the walls and the huge well, now dried up is still alive and like other tourist destinations, this place is also open for Indians as well as foreigners.

After some photography with our DSLR, we further moved towards Gian di Lassi. You may have ditched many things in your life but you can’t avoid food once you are in Punjab. We were served with an extra large steel glass of thick Lassi topped with a big spoon of malai (fresh butter). Drinking the pure lassi was like having Amrit (a Holi water of Sikh’s) of Amritsar. The extra dose of sweet khowa burfi at the same lassi shop was like Sone pe Suhaga for us. 

After visiting these places in the city, our journey would have incomplete without seeing the Wagah Border’s ceremony that includes flag lowering and raising ceremony, cultural programme and Bhangra (a form of dance in Punjab). 

Now I was totally excited to see the other side of Pakistan so we booked a three wheeler to reach the Border which is almost 30 km away from the town. Once we reached and seated to see the Wagah border, we saw the gates of both the countries. Frankly speaking, it was nowhere less than watching the most awaited cricket match of India and Pakistan that only we Indian's can feel. 

I tried it really hard but it’s not easy to describe Amritsar in one word, it’s a blend of religion, culture, purity, history, tradition and just few reasons are not enough to visit the place, there is actually a lot more you will find once you visit the pious Amritsar.

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