An India tour has always been a pleasurable experience for those who like to see diverse lands full of cultural and historical representations , along with all the modern advancements. But on an adventure trip to India also, you get a fulfilling experience. You can explore many places which will give you a sense of thrill and excitement, while you can also try your hands in many recreational activities.
The Golden Temple, a Sikh gurudwara, located in Amritsar, Punjab state, is one such example of historical and cultural beauty, that you can take a trip to. One of the top 10 tourist attractions, the gurudwara is originally known as Harmandir Sahib, and the upper half of the structure has been made in gold, and hence the name.
This is the mesmerizing pond area, that surrounds the entire temple and also reflects its image at appropriate timings. This is a sacred pond, as the pilgrims who come to visit the gurudwara also bathe here for religious values. The bathing area has been highlighted and separated by ropes, and tourists can have a nice time looking at the serenity of the pond and temple's reflection in it.
This is the main temple area, made in two stories, upper one being built in gold. The temple can be reached through the bridge, over Amrit Sarovar. The main attraction of the temple is the Adi Granth recitation every day, where one gets the utter experience of peace and tranquility. Guarded by Sikh saints, dressed traditionally, one gets to experience a cultural atmosphere here, where you can take a look at the culture and ethics of Sikhs.
This building is located exactly opposite to the Golden Temple, and provide a place for the Sikhs' highest council to have their meetings and discussions on religion and practices. Akal Takht, meaning, ' The Timeless' is an important place for the people of Amritsar.
Central Sikh Museum
There is a little museum on the second floor of the building, where you will get a lot of books, documents in the archives of Sikh history. You will also get a lot of paintings of the Sikh leaders depicting how they were martyred.
Right at the main entrance, there is a huge clock tower, which draws a lot of attention. The structure of the tower is Victorian, and is equally sacred as popular, since it lies on the very entrance of the temple.
Activities in the area:
The Golden Temple is not only a tourist attraction to explore, it is also a library where you get to learn about Sikhism. Through its libraries, museums, architecture, music and even people, you can have a glimpse at how the people live and think. This will be quite a different experience, then the rest of the places, where you don't get to see Sikh culture in its best form.
You can talk to the volunteers, serving at the temple, learn about their values and thoughts, take a dip in the holy water of the Amrit Sarovar and even volunteer to serve at the temple for a day or so. Whatever you see and do here, that will be a very unique experience. You must also take a visit to Ram Tirath, a nearby place, where Lord Rama's sons, Luv and Kush were born.
On a trip to the Golden Temple, in Amritsar, you will get to taste amazing Punjabi cuisine, along with tasty North Indian food. One of the best place to eat on your trip, is at the langar, a group dining at the community room, of the temple itself. The food at the langar is tastier than any hotel or restaurant and the best part is that, being a part of the religious practice, it is free of cost also.
There are other eating joints in the nearby areas where you can try snacks, Italian and Chinese food as well. Some of these are, Country Inn and Suits for Italian, Chinese and Continental, New Punjabi Rasoi for delicious Indian food, Kesar da Dhaba, a typical Indian restaurant, Pizza Hut and many others. You must try a glass of lassi on your trip to Amritsar.
In the Golden Temple, you can buy a lot of souvenirs and Sikh religious symbols. In the temple complex itself, you can buy the Sikh khandas, karas, swords, daggers as Sikh paraphernalia. Books and musical CDs on Sikhism, and its religious songs and chants. Various pulses and Punjabi juttis can also be bought from the adjoining market area. One of the best things to buy in Amritsar would be a Phulkari garment or fabric, as it is an exquisite embroidery form of Punjab, having colorful patterns of flowers. These items and tokens would be memorable things to buy in Amritsar.
All these activities and places would make your Golden Temple trip as much blissful and peaceful as adventurous.