If you are habitual of living in a place with wide roads and smooth traffic and are easily put off by narrow alleys, too much of traffic and all the construction work going on at every nook and corner, you will at once discard Amritsar as your destination. But, hold!! Are you really sure you would like to leave Amritsar out of your itinerary? My guess is that you would not. Who would want to miss on an opportunity to experience rich heritage and culture of this historical city while riding a rickshaw passing through narrow lanes of the old city and overtaking four-wheelers on a busy street! And the calm, pious and serene Golden Temple! And, then the world famous food of Amritsar! Ohh!! So this city has got so many things to offer. Well, one just can’t resist the temptation, really, once one knows what he or she is going to get in Amritsar.
Amritsar has been a favourite destination of mine. I am there whenever I get a chance to go. Since I am living in the northern part of India, and nature of my job makes me travel a lot, many times I have had the privilege of visiting the city of Amritsar that is often regarded as Sikh capital of the world. Aptly so, because it is Amritsar where there is the highest seat of Sikh religion.
|Whereas newer parts of the city are all concrete, the older ones still retain their rustic charm|
Famous Durgiana Temple
|Like Golden Temple, the Durgiana Temple is also covered with gold. This is a Hindu temple|
|The adorned idols of different gods are situated in the inner sanctoriums of the temple|
This is a famous tourist spot in Amritsar. Durgiana temple is situated at the backside of railway station. Temple itself is situated in the middle of a water body. This brings pictures of Golden Temple in mind, as both are situated inside a holy pond. Like Golden Temple, the dome of Durgiana Temple is also covered with gold. In fact, it was constructed on the pattern of the Golden Temple by Guru Harsai Mal Kapoor. It is sometimes called Silver temple as it has carved silver doors. Though, the temple derives from Goddess Durga, it is in fact a Vishnu temple which also houses idols of Krishna and Shiva. It is in fact a temple complex where there are some historic temples such as Sita Mata and Bara Hanuman.
Historical Golden Temple
From Durgiana Temple, you can move to Golden Temple. It is also a temple complex which is named as Darbar Sahib, but it is famous as Golden Temple as the main temple inside is plated with gold. The actual name of the main temple is Harmandir Sahib. Besides temples, there are museums and inns inside the complex. The place is full of pilgrims 24 hours a day, but is very well managed.
|As devotees take dips in holy water, the guards attired in traditional dresses are all around|
As I mentioned before, Golden Temple is also situated in the middle of a water body. There is bridge to reach the temple. People take bath in this holy water of the pond and then go for ardass (offering prayers). Even sitting on the bank of pond is very soothing. The coloured fish inside the pond keeps you engaged and focussed.
|Water being offered to devotees inside temple. The bowls are cleaned properly before re-use|
The Jallianwala Bagh
|Under this dome, there is the well people jumped into when bullets were fired on them|
|The brick wall behind the well which, after more than 90 years, still has bullet marks on it|
|A monument was elected later in memory of those innocent people who attained martyrdom|
And now, Amritsari food
|These mouth-watering dishes can make anyone feel hungry. It is heaven for food-lovers|
Text and Photos by Naveen Choudhary