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Kiara's Amazing Travels

Magical Amritsar

INDIA | Monday, 22 November 2010 | Views [609]

 

Hi all,

Sorry these blogs are coming so late but we’ve been very busy enjoying travelling around and experiencing the diversity of India. This particular blog is about our stop in Amritsar which was almost 2 weeks ago but is somewhere that will always stay in my mind. The Golden Temple is one of the most spiritual places that I’ve ever visited and Dewali made it even more intense and hectic than usual with thousands of pilgrims sleeping anywhere there was room. The generosity and care we experienced was probably what astounded me the most. As foreigners we were accommodated for free in dorm rooms, had access to clean toilets and also free meals!! The meal hall was an incredible experience and you all might find it similarly amazing that the volunteers at the temple manage to feed approximately 60 – 80 000 pilgrims a day for free!!  The clatter of thousands of tin plates and bowls being washed welcomed us as we lined up with hundreds of Indians, and then sat down in the hall in rows while being served food. While Matt continues to describe the food as ‘peasant’, the experience for me was one of genuine significance with such a great community feel,  although the atmosphere is hard to convey in words or even photos. This generosity was even extended to train reservation office where we were invited to sit with the two employees for chai who found our attempts at pronouncing the train names amusing.

Our first visit to the temple was during the day, but we returned the next morning as well for sunrise where I went photo crazy and we saw possibly the most outrageously big turban you could ever imagine. Men bathe constantly in the water which now seems extremely clean compared to our more recent experience of the Ganges. I’m sure the Indians we met we’re as intrigued with us as we were with the city and Matt was constantly harassed by groups of men wanting photos and ‘just one snap sir, one snap’. I won’t be surprised if they soon start to ask to hold his hand – which is something that still dumbfounds us and Matt thinks is highly homosexual.

Apart from the Golden Temple, another memorable experience while in Amritsar was the highly comical and theatrical closing ceremony at the India-Pakistan border. Matt needed convincing to go anywhere near  ‘those Paki’s’ but found it hilarious and now can’t stop looking at his treasured video of the dude passionately screaming ‘HINDUSTAN’  (see video in blog). We both found the Indian soldiers drill hilarious with their ridiculously fast marching and attempted high kick halts.

 

Overall Amritsar was an amazing place and I’ll be forever glad we decided on a whim to visit there on the way back to Delhi.

 

Much love

Ki xx

 

 

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