The city was receiving us with the arms as open as we had them for the city. After the dramatic sleeper bus from a year before Christ (okay, not that much but at the very least I bet it had 50 years), an army of rickshaws was harassing us. But we didn’t care, we only needed coffee after only a couple of hours of sleep in between the musical horns of the cars at all times in the highway.
With a nice Indian breakfast in our bellies, we could now start the search for a nice cheap place to stay. And city became the marvellous city we were expecting when we got to the Golden Temple. There are no words that can describe how amazing it is the place. There are no pictures that could ever make it any justice. Because the combination of the chants and priests playing music and praying and the amazingly wonderful people around the complex made it a thousand times better.
I soon started feel like a celebrity, lots of people were coming to take snaps and selfies with us. Sirena was the most popular, with her blue eyes and her blonde hair. Everybody was kind, intrigued by us and mostly polite. I had the chance to make friends and start to know more about this religion and all these people that were there as pilgrims, to see the Temple as we were. The Sikh religion it’s been an interesting one and no doubt I will do more research about it. They basically believe that everybody is equal and God doesn’t want anything from us. It’s very easy to spot a Sikh man, unlike the women. The men don’t cut their hair and leave their beards to grow (appears that God doesn’t give beard to the women because they are beautiful). They also wear a turban to cover their heads, Aladdin style! And they also carry a daga and a steel brazalet.
We were holding babies, taking selfies with everybody and engaging conversations with those who spoke a bit of English. I had the chance to meet Mahima and her family, from Johdpur and they invited me to their house. I hope I can meet this little girl soon!!
Lots of families requesting pictures with us!
As an unforgettable experience, I have to make a special mention to the meals served at the temple 24 hours every day. People volunteer peeling garlic and carrots, cooking, serving food, doing the dishes, cleaning up… And everybody is welcome to eat in these huge roomd they have. No distinction between Sikh or no Sikh, there are meals for everybody and it’s very impressive the organization of the place and the system they have so everybody get served quick and things run smoothly.
Overall, the most magnificent I have had the chance to see has been the Golden Temple at night. It stands beautifully on the water, with all its brightness bringing all your senses to the top. And the hospitality and kindness of the Amritsar people has touched me.
Getting spiritual here
To end up, we visited Attari, which is in the border with Pakistan. There, a ceremony takes place where they open the doors of both borders during a while. It’s spectacular just to see the amount of people that attend to the ceremony. An act of peaceful that seems to have much more importance in India, since the Pakistan side was not as full as the Indian. Quite interesting to see the armies standing in front of each other with the borders open and crossing the flags of both countries.
Indian and Pakistan borders are opened
Next stop: McLeod Gang. We are taking a bus up to the mountains! A couple of hours in the bus and after a 10 minutes stop, the driver is giving away plastic bags for vomiting. Great, we only have 4 more hours!