My experience exploring astonishing Amritsar.

Just a spontaneous planning, two of us, booked bus tickets online from Delhi to Amritsar. It was simple one day tour to the amazing Amritsar. 

Visit to Golden temple

Overnight bus journeys are always fun. Reached Amritsar early morning & as the month was November, it was already foggy & cold. Quickly freshened up at the hotel nearby & moved to the world-renowned, Golden Temple, also known as Harmandir Sahib. What magnetic vibes this place has. We covered our heads first & then queued up in the line to get inside the temple. The premises of the temple is too large to move around, sit in peace & say your prayers to the Almighty. Sikh or non-Sikh, everyone out there was in awe of the beauty of the temple.

The sanctum of the gurudwara is overlaid in gold foil, thus famously known as Golden Temple. For Sikhs, it is said to be the shrine holding the maximum importance of all. There is a man-made reservoir around the temple, which is filled with different types & colours of fishes. The queue moved swiftly & soon we were inside the temple. It’s all the grace of God that we were witnessing him. Spirituality all around & we both felt ourselves immersing in it. This place gives so much of inner peace & calmness.

Approximately 1 Lakh devotees visit the shrine on daily basis. And to serve them a free vegetarian meal, therefore Langar is also served. Anyone hungry can eat the langar with no discrimination based on religion or gender. The Gurudwara is build in a complex mode. Many shops are there selling specialties of Punjab like Sweets, Blankets, Jutis, Dresses, Bangles, etc. 

Golden Temple by Astha Rani
Jallianwala Bagh Memorial

The next destination we moved to was Jallianwala Bagh Memorial. It’s in the same complex as the Gurudwara. Almost each one of us remembers this chapter from History. A black day for India, in April 1919. When General Dyer gave consent for firing on unarmed civilians who were having a peaceful protest for the arrest of two national leaders. Thus killing at least 379 people & injuring close to 1200.

Even today, the mark of the bullets is visible on the walls. There is a martyr well too, where people jumped & drowned to save their lives from bullets. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre is a landmark in our struggle for freedom. An incident that no Indian can overlook.

The whole memorial only makes you think that how innocent lives were lost & how expensive our freedom is. The patriotic feeling was at the peak.
The complex has some beautiful sculptures of Punjabi girls dancing. On the other hand, Men also doing gidha, the folk dance of Punjab, playing dhol. It felt as if Amritsar is showing what Punjab state on whole is all about. Happiness literally reflects in those lovely structures. 

Amritsar by Astha Rani
Picture by Astha Rani
Wagah-Attari border

And now the final & most exciting destination of the day was about to begin. To date, I had seen the beating retreat ceremony at the Wagah-Attari border only on TV, but now I was going to witness it live. So my excitement was at the peak already. As we got to know that only a specific number of people can occupy the place inside, We quickly took a sharing auto & began the wonderful 45 minutes ride to the border. The ride was again a treat to the eyes with lush green farmlands both the side. Clean air & that pure smell of the land was wonderful. As per the signboard, Lahore was only 22  km away.

 Next, we were in the line to enter the stadium & there were multiple levels of checking to go on for each one to keep the security upright. One cannot carry any objectionable stuff inside. Everyone was free to sit at any vacant place. Only first-come, first-served basis. And as everyone sat, the ceremony began. It’s the lowering of the flags practiced daily by both the nation’s security forces.

Since 1959, rarely has been the day when the ceremony did not take place. Patriotic songs were playing on both sides. People shouting slogans, kids & adults dancing in the middle. The ceremony took place for close to 45 minutes. The attraction of the event was the gates opening on both sides for a few seconds & one soldier from each side raising their leg, as high as possible. It is a symbol of two nations’ rivalry as well as cooperation between the two. Wagah border had its own majestic display of patriotism. Now, the sun had set & we had our bus ticket booked from Amritsar to Delhi. We moved towards bus depot & felt satisfied with the visit totally. 

To sum up, Amritsar was completely fun. Therefore a perfect blend of spirituality & patriotism. Certainly, a place which you would like to visit again & again. 

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