We have experienced an intense couple of days in the holy city of Amritsar, in North Eastern India. We decided to fly from Delhi as it was very reasonable (£40 each) and only took an hour. The famous golden temple is simply breathtaking. A highly spiritual experience enriched with the religious hymns and shimmering lights on the lake.
Thousands of people were in a not-to-be-seen-outside-of-that-temple type of orderly harmony, walking around the lake surrounding the golden temple.
We shared the food they offer 24/7 to everyone no matter what faith. There are no employees in the whole temple, entirely volunteers whether they do the washing, serving or singing. It was magical to just be there and to be allowed to share this very spiritual experience.
Determined to experience all the Indian experiences shown on British TV, we have arranged to go and see the india-pakistan border ceremony.
For the first time in India, we were treated nicer for being foreigners and were shown to VIP stand to watch the ceremony from.
For its theatrical value, we were really impressed with all the enthusiasm of the crowds. A highly talented presenter/cheerleader was urging the crowds to be louder than the Pakistani side.
Quite unexpectedly, an open disco-like arrangement seen large number of ladies and children demonstrate their great dance moves.
Once the Indian and Pakistani soldiers finished their powerful ritual of trying really hard to kick their hats off with their foot, we made a quick escape to find our driver before 30,000 people were all trying to come out at once.
We had two lovely days in Amritsar, with two priceless experiences.
As we stayed in hostel dorm rooms, we met some lovely people already forming the first circle of our backpacker friends. We listened to their interesting stories and exchanged experiences and valuable information. Already learning a lot…about where to go, what to do and where to look. One gives flattened leaves of soap while one helps to make a phone call. Everyone’s in the same boat so everyone really happy to share what very little they have. We get ideas, we get perspective and we get an insight into many lives from many different countries. And we are only just starting.