Travel Journal Overview: Somethings are obvious before you even get there. For me that’s what I felt about the Golden Temple in Amritsar versus the Taj Mahal in Agra. I knew little about the Golden Temple, and it simply soared high in my expectations.
I entered the main archway that led to the temple, the sound of Sikh singing echoed around me. It was heading into evening and I have to say at the first glimpse of the Golden Temple and I was very impressed. Surrounded by still water the temple stands alone in the centre in all its golden glory. It was indeed gold, a very bright gold. And very intricately decorated. It was also surrounded by hundreds of people. All visiting the most holy shrine to the Sikh religion. To be it deserved to be on the world wonder list more than the Taj Mahal.
For the amount of People did not effect the atmosphere of sheer peace and calm. Was this the soul refreshing zest of India? People of all ages were slowly walking around the waterside in a circular motion. Most just seemed to be enjoying the evenings walk around their sacred shrine. Others were queueing to enter the actual Temple itself. The queue was long. It stretched over the little bridge that joined the temple to the land surrounding it, and from their the queue continued into one of the surrounding court yards.
I walked around, as the night sky darkened. I passed by the place where free food was handed out in little brown leaves. Rice and … something mushy and brown. I was glad to have brought my subway. People sat around on the courtyards open spaces, others mingled as if everyone was expecting a deity to appear any minute.
By nightfall the Golden Temple was more spectacular than ever. It’s bright Golden luminescence was magnified by well placed lights. The temple was like a golden energy source glowing in silent empathy for its followers to locate. I sat around for a while watching people as they walked and talked around the temples settings.
I wandered out in search of Amritsar’s old streets. Indeed the streets did look old, run down and occupied by night stall owners hawking their goods. Yet at a simple turn down a particular street heralded emptiness. A few people scurried by, but some streets were empty husks. I bumped into Jonas walking in a more crowded area. He was alone and a little aloof. I asked if he had eaten. He was on his way to eat somewhere now, I said something similar. And that was it. Off he went again. Asshole went through my mind as I found a restaurant on the street. The guy really was lacking in social skills.
Back at the dorm I met the Canadian by his bags, he was reading but at least offered more conversation than Jonas. He was traveling India much like he had as a teenager. Aside from the main cities, nothing much had changed. I heard Jonas voice out in the main dorm area. He was talking to some young American and Australian Girls. I cringed when I heard talk about how he had traveled Pakistan alone, and ventured in during emergency rule. Immaturity reeked from his pores and voice.
I settled down to sleep in my silk bag liner, hoping the heavy stains on the white sheets were not transferable. Jonas finally came in. He was planning to head up to Dharamsala tomorrow but was unsure of train times or bus schedules. He just thought one would be leaving early. He went to sleep.
By 7am and after many, many people had been in and out to their lockers during the night I head Jonas get up and leave. No goodbyes, no nothing. Good Luck, and try to get a personality with your visit to the Dalai Lama.
I fell to sleep planning my onward trip to New Delhi …
Some related links on this website that you might like: (including a lot more photographs from India)
Video: On the Ganges Ceremony
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