TripsyGirl

Life is better when it has short trips and little adventures in it!

Food, History, Travel, Worship

Amritsar- A day of spirituality, food and travel

After bidding bye to my friends in Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh, I traveled to Amritsar. I first hopped a local bus from Dalhousie to Pathankot and another one from Pathankot to Amritsar. It was safe and easy to travel alone to Amritsar as there are many public transport options from there. While traveling, I always try to take the window seat to enjoy the journey more and did the same here. On the way, it was raining and it was cold and windy in Dalhousie. The way was all uphill-downhill with some spectacular and serene views throughout.

After a few km of crossing the Himachal and Punjab border, the weather turned super hot dramatically. I was here in the most religious city of Punjab- ‘Amritsar‘ at 8 PM around after 6 hours of journey. The city was full of traffic, tangas, lights, umpteen food stalls, bustling bazaars, and local shops. I then reached my hostel and headed to the Golden temple to take blessings from Waheguruji.

GOLDEN TEMPLE (House of God) – ‘The Holiest Place Of Worship For Sikhs In The World’

The sight of the Golden Temple at night is just so pleasing and mesmerizing. It was really hard for me to take off my eyes from this beauty!

Night View Of Golden Temple, Amritsar

Night View Of Golden Temple

The temple is so welcoming that there is absolutely no caste, creed, race biasing to enter the temple. Before entering the temple, one can see thousands of people providing services for nothing – yes for nothing and they do it wholeheartedly for everyone. Everything here is done as Seva (selfless service) – Be it keeping shoes in the racks, cleaning up the temple, preparing and serving food for free or washing utensils. They believe service to man is service to God.

Golden Temple in Amritsar

Golden Temple

It was really hard for me to believe that this massive temple is covered with real gold (24 karat gold). I met a few foreign tourists there who could not stop admiring its beauty. They poured their heart saying that they haven’t seen anything like it ever before. Even I would say the same. I’m really short of words to explain how much beautiful this place is and how much blissful I was!

Saints Singing At The Temple

Saints Singing At The Temple

Continuous chants, 24*7 langar, cleaning of the temple, pilgrims taking holy bath in the sacred man-made lake can be seen at any hour of the day. Even at 10 PM, I had to stand in the queue for an hour to enter the temple. After visiting the temple, I went to taste the langar there. No matter what time you go to taste the langar, the place is always full. It is also a religious belief to serve food for free and is a part of Seva.

The next day I went in the morning and the temple yet gave very different and beautiful views.

Morning View Of The Temple

After spending some time here, I headed to the Jallianwala Bagh which is at a walking distance from the temple.

Entry Fees: No

Open Throughout The Day

JALLIANWALA BAGH- The Place Which Left Me Teary Eyes

"<yoastmark

It has an important place in Indian history. I had studied about it in the school but after visiting this place, my heart sank knowing the history better. I was deeply saddened to read the posters, imagining the situation of those 1600+ helpless, poor souls who were brutally killed in the firing. Thousands of Sikhs including men, women, and children were put to death when they had gathered here to celebrate Punjabi’s New Year Festival (Baishaki).

"Description

After coming back, I watched this video (click on the link) on Jallianwala Bagh which was shown in the Gandhi movie to know about the incident better.

This is the wall from where people trying to escape the place were shot. The bullet marks inside the white box on the wall have been preserved till date.

Bullet Marks On The Wall

Bullet Marks On The Wall

In the hustle and bustle, some people jumped into the well to escape the horrific firing. The well has been made inside the building now and is known as the ‘Martyr’s Well’. There is also an eternal flame burning at the entrance in honor of the martyrs. It was the most violent and bloody massacre in Indian history by the British.

Martyr's Well Poster

Martyr’s Well Poster

No Entry Fees

Timings: 6:30 AM – 7:30 PM

PARTITION MUSEUM- An Emotional Journey of Indo-Pak Partition

The museum is built in Amritsar because of its close proximity with the Indo-Pak border and because it suffered the most during partition. The museum shows the ugly side of the partition and how it displaced and impacted the lives of 14 million people.

Partition Museum

Partition Museum

It shows how many people had to leave their homes and had to stay in refugee camps, how families were split during the migration. How during this time ample people died because of starvation, sheer exhaustion and how thousands of children and women were abducted, raped and murdered.

1947 India-Pakistan Partition year

India-Pakistan Partition year

The sufferings that people have experienced during the partition cannot be described in words. Each picture, poster, newspaper clippings, audio there has a story to tell, a heart-wrenching story. It’s really sad to know how much sufferings it had brought to the people.

But at the end of the museum, there’s a ‘Gallery of Hope’. It displays the courage and grit of people who overcame the hurdles, rebuilt their lives and achieved success.

It tells the story of an Indian Olympian Milkha Singh whose family was killed before his eyes during the partition. Despite the loss, he made it to the Olympics in 1960 and earned the title “Flying Sikh” through his continuous determination and dedication.

It also tells the awe-inspiring story of MDH spices owner, who had to move to India from Pakistan. It shows how he had faced many hardships and struggles. Life of a refugee wasn’t an easy one. But today MDH is a multi-billion company and its spices hold a special place in every Indian kitchen.

P.S.: Photography isn’t allowed inside the museum.

Entry Fees: 10 INR

SHREE DURGIANA TIRTH TEMPLE

The temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga, also known as the Shitla Temple. The temple is sometimes also called as the ‘Silver Temple’ because of its beautifully designed silver gates. It’s an eminent temple for Hindus in Amritsar.

Shree Durgiana Tirth Temple

Shree Durgiana Tirth Temple

Although, it is a Hindu temple but is a little replica of Golden temple. The temple is only about 2 km from the Golden temple. I would have walked this much distance but it was super hot in the afternoon and I chose to take a tanga.

I then headed to taste some authentic Amritsari and Punjabi food at the oldest and one of the most famous dhaba in Amritsar.

KESAR DA DHABA– The Oldest Dhaba In Amritsar (102 Years Old Dhaba)

Kesar Da Dhaba

Kesar Da Dhaba

It is one of the most famous dhaba in Amritsar and has served the same taste and quality food from more than a century. Yes, this is among the oldest dhabas which started even before India’s independence. When in Amritsar one must not miss having food at a dhaba, there is absolutely nothing like eating at a dhaba.

My Lunch

My Lunch

I seriously don’t remember when I had this much tasty food and this much heavy too. The food and lassi tasted divine here, but I was so much satiated that I could not even drink the whole big glass of Lassi.

This place is too reasonable despite the heavenly taste that this dhaba offers. But then I realized I am in Amritsar where most of the things are free or are at a very low-cost. 😀

Paratha Price: 60 INR

Lassi Price: 50 INR

Timings: 11:30 AM – 11:00 PM

After having lunch, it was time to go to watch the Wagah Border Ceremony.

WAGAH BORDER – India-Pakistan (INDO-PAK) Border

It is the only border where India and Pakistan open up their gates and it also serves as the international checkpoint between the two countries. But even after 70 years of Independence and partition, both countries still fight over disputed borders and have been in eternal conflicts.

But at this border, there’s a daily ritual of lowering the flags on both sides before the sunset. People from different nations, states, cities gather here to see the ‘Beating Retreat Ceremony’.

Way To the Wagah Border

Way To the Wagah Border

I took a shared auto to reach the border which is 30 km from Amritsar city. I reached there well on time and got a good place to see the ceremony. It is necessary to reach there early as the place gets too much crowded. Everyone has to walk 1 km and go through a stringent security check before entering the stadium. Also, cellphone signals have been blocked in that vicinity due to security reasons.

Shared Auto Price (Amritsar – Wagha Border – Amritsar): 100 INR 

Way To The Stadium

Even before the ceremony started there were loud shouts of slogans, patriotic songs were playing around, people were waving their national flag high on both sides. The energy was already extremely high.

Women Waving Indian Flag at the Border

Women Waving Indian Flag at the Border

After an hour, parade by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistani Rangers started. The competitive cheering between the two nations got louder with each shout on both sides.

Firstly, commandos marched towards the gate followed by Indian women soldiers perfectly marching and swinging their arms. Border Security Forces and Pakistani Rangers then came marching towards the gate. The atmosphere turned absolutely electrifying. People on both sides started cheering as loud as possible to encourage their soldiers.

The soldiers on both sides showed aggression, offered sharp salutes followed by high kicks that they nearly brought to their forehead between the gates.

Indo-Pak Soldiers Face To Face At The Border

Indo-Pak Soldiers Face To Face At The Border

After an hour of parade and cheering, the ceremony came to an end with soldiers from each side standing off and shaking hands. Finally, both BSF and Pakistani Rangers lowered their respective flags simultaneously. The gates were then closed, marking an end of the ceremony.

Lowering of the flags

The ceremony left a permanent mark on me. I haven’t experienced anything so very unique in real. It gave me such a patriotic feeling and another perspective of India – one that exhibits incredible strength!

No Entry Fees

Parade Timings: 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

 

Despite being a little out of the way when compared to the other destinations in India, this city has left a different impression on me. In a days’ time, I really got attached to this welcoming, friendly city, and I will certainly come back soon here.

 

 

All the photos (except mine) are clicked by me. Please don’t use them without permission!

Keep wandering! Keep wondering!

Please share your valuable feedback/suggestions by dropping comments below! Thank you!

14 Comments

  1. Hijab Khanam

    Well expressed Ashi 🙂
    Will travel soon

  2. Pareen Kunia

    Wow…superb…I could feel that I am right there when reading this…wonderful post.

  3. Manoj Bulani

    Superb Ashita! Very well written. Even my daughter got inspired after reading your post! Keep traveling and keep inspiring ?

  4. Namita Mahashabde

    Aashi…u have grown up..I can’t imagine you can go to that level..each and every aspect is beautifully captured and on top of that it looks so professional..God bless you… I would love to join you in one of your trips..

  5. Debanjan Choudhury

    Really inspirational write-up.. you have one more FAN now.. keep traveling ??and keep Sharing your experiences ✌?

  6. Yash

    It gave me a virtual tour of the city and they way you have described the Wagha Border ceremony is superb, it felt as if everything is happening in front of me right now.
    Keep wandering and keep writing.

  7. Himanshu Biswas

    Superbly narrated Ashita. Every aspects of your travel were nicely pened down. Felt like I explored Amritsar through your eyes. Heart sank when I read about Jaliawala bhag massacre and at the same time my spirits got lifted through your journey at wagha border and those amritsari delicacy.
    Keep travelling, keep exploring and keep writing. All the best

  8. Anamika

    Ashita, Well written and beautifully described the agony and beauty of Amritsar.
    Super write up!

  9. Deepak sharma

    I am amazed with the way you have narrated it about each place, nothing less than a professional blogger. ??
    Keep travelling girl, keep writing and inspiring many others ! ?
    Cheers ?

  10. Satheesh

    A well written article on places in and around Amritsar instigating curiousness to visit the place atleast once. Thanks for sharing your memories with us.

  11. Henna Bansal

    A very well written, superbly articulated post..Keep it up Ashita. Looking forward to viewing many more places from your eyes!! 🙂

  12. Gaurav

    Wonderful blog for a wonderful place.. you made me feel the beauty and glory of the place.. Keep writing ?…

  13. Amit Rajawat

    Its Really amazing blog, after reading this I feel like I was there on the site…keep sharing such awesome blogs…all the best.

  14. Yogesh Almale

    Super write up…!! I am fan of your blogs. Keep it up!!

Leave a Reply