Amritsar, means “Pool of Nectar” – and here’s the story. A spring gushed forth from a tree and a leper was miraculously healed of his ailments after bathing his wounds therein. The Golden Temple and the pool surrounding it were then constructed (the gold was only added around the 60s).
More than 100,000 pilgrims are fed daily at the temple.
Arriving at Amritsar Railway Station, I took a bicycle-rickshaw to the hostel. It was a manual bicycle, so the guy had to pedal for dear life. We got to a bridge and the incline was so steep I hopped off and helped push the rickshaw for a bit.
At the Golden Temple, you must wear a cloth over the head, as is the tradition of the Sikhs. I decided to go full on turban, Jagroop helped me to put it on as you can see in the photos following, he knows very well how to wear a turban!
Firstly, a small cloth is worn to hold the hair down – it can be any colour, matching the turban cloth.
Next, the turban cloth is wrapped around the head.
Several more times. The cloth is about 3-4 metres in length so it would go around my head maybe five or six times.
A pin to secure it all!
And here is the finished turban and me in front of the Golden Temple.
More than 100,000 pilgrims are fed daily at the temple. It is the largest FREE kitchen in the world and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Volunteers cook the curry, roll the chappati, brew the chai, serve the meals, clean the dishes. It’s all a very impressive operation!
This a photo at the Wagah Border, India Pakistan. The border security officers are massive, some 7 ft tall. They wear a red fan as part of the head dress on the Indian side – on the Pakistani side, the fan is blue.
I did not carry my passport or any other form of identification, so I was not able to sit in the cordoned-off area for foreigners. Instead, I was with the general Indian crowd, much more hectic and everyone pushing to be at the front!
The ceremony was quite impressive, lots of high kicks – in some sort of challenge to the otherside of the border, though the choreography was mirrored on both sides of the border.
Lots of cheering “Hindustan!!!” which means :”INDIA!!!”.