Amritsar to me stands for peace, patriotism and palatable – yes, I am talking about Golden Temple, aka HarMandir Sahib, the Wagah Border and its heavenly food.
Golden Temple & in its heavenly place on earth
I have had the humble privilege to visit The Golden Temple twice, where once I have undertaken Seva for around a week and it changed my life!
But the very 1st time I stood in front of the actual temple, I found myself awestruck and frozen! I couldn’t stop staring at its magnificent beauty even though I was quite afar. The reflection in the water mesmerized me and I had to sit down for a moment to soak it all in. While I sat like many, others passed us by heading to for a closer visit. My body and mind calmed almost immediately and I almost choked with happy tears without quite understanding why. I slowly acclimatized to the tranquil while soulful hymns played at a pleasing decibel in the background. I could hear in the near distance a group of women quietly singing along while most others sat surrendering to the serene.
The Golden Temple is home to Guru Grant Sahib’s holy scripture attracting global visitors who seek its blessings to become enlightened. This supernal Temple’s name comes from its 24-carat pure gold covering and having 4 entrances, represents its righteous message that it is open to all without any questions. The Temple lake is the pool of ambrosial nectar or a Sacred pond with medicinal properties.
Run entirely by volunteers, the Golden Temple has the world’s largest community kitchen, which can serve 100, 000 people a day. Since it caters to all masses, the food has less salt and sugar to make it toothsome for all. The Kada Prasad is a must have which is a flour-based sweet savory with an unforgettable taste.
Finally, for those looking to get married at the Golden Temple, you can’t, but can discover places in its periphery to get married in!
For a detailed account of The Golden Temple, visit @WanderlustWithYogini on YouTube.
Highlight: The reflection of the temple is the mirror both during the day and night is a sight to see! I believe it is a reflection of how clearly yet gently we should remain firm regardless of external circumstances.
Represent … at The Wagah Border Ceremony
The Wagah Border is the meeting border place of Lahore, Pakistan and Attari Village, India (32 kms from Amritsar).
The Wagah Border ceremony can’t really be explained – it’s a feeling and it has to be experienced amongst 1000s of others! It’s essentially the lowering of flags, each evening, between India & Pakistan at sunset. Soldieries from both sides synchronously march to beats, open border gates and lower flags simultaneously. The flags are folded and soldiers shake hands in a rather unfriendly and cavalier manner letting each other know they won’t back down from a fight, if needed! Although all for show, both Indian and Pakistani visitors who are seated behind in a basketball court seating-manner are heavily vested in this ceremony!
Our India’s Mascot is constantly encouraging us to Hail our Country as loudly as we can while Indian patriotic music is being blared in the background! Together we cheer Vande Maataram or Hindustan Zindabaad at least 100 times on top of our lungs to get into the zealous nationalist spirit! Women and children are also allowed to go the border tarmac to hold the flag and dance to to depict Indian’s strength and the safety they bring to commoners!
After the ceremony, we are filled with so much oxytocin aka the patriotism hormone, that our chests are swollen with pride and our voices need indefinite rest!
Highlight: During the walk out, we all look at each other and smile, as we feel we are all connected through our dear Motherland, India
Amritsar’s sacrosanct food upon my taste buds …
Kesar Da Dhaba
Being a healthy vegetarian eater who leaves holidays for cheat meals, this place is on top of my eat-at-list. Having being around for 9 decades, this family run home-cooked style food is rich, scrumptious and filled with pure ghee and its carefully curated spices are a treat to my senses! Have a Thali there to experience the best of everything and see the gleaming smile of my friend’s face as we both dig into our feast!
After that food-gasm, head straight to Gian’s Lassi as no meal is complete without Lassi in Punjab at least! Creamy, rich and filling – the Malai ki Lassi gets my 5 star recommendation!
Bharawan Da Dhaba
This unmissable desi Dhaba in the city center, is an all-time favorite of many! Try their Sarson da Saag with Makki ki Roti and off course Amritsari Kulche only to end it with their Kheer, but if you want to leave with a taste of Amritsar, order their deluxe Thali!
Giani’s Tea Stall
This hole in the wall place serves local all-day snacks and incredible chai made in front of you! Though made with excessive sugar, as most Indian tea stalls, its Indian spices are flavorful and leave you wanting another cup!
This Haveli and Dhaba setting, this place is literally shaped in the form of a palace, with rich interiors and fancy plate settings! But when it comes to the food, it’s as desi as it gets! Try their stellar Lassi and Paneer Kulcha with Channa or palate their Haveli special Thali that ends with hot gulab jamun!
For quick glance at my experiences at Amritsar, visit - https://www.youtube.com/shorts/_vvF9eXxaig
And find a detailed review at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQ7TRC86Tmc&t=263s