The Golden Temple: Amritsar

Today is the day, I’m going to see the golden temple. This is on my list for so long and I must admit that I’m really excited. It’s a beautiful day with clear bleu sky’s and a lot of sun.

“I was mesmerized by its beauty” 

Walking towards the entrance of the temple I had to go through a really touristic street. Once arrived at the marble flooring of the premises of the temple it all vanished, wich is actually a strange feeling. If you would turn around you would see the busy street. As it is not allowed to enter the temple with shoes you have to store them at a special counter. After you have stowed your shoes its time to wash your hands and feet. There is a special place to do the washing of your hands and feet.

Just before entering you have to cover your head, men and women have to do so. As most of the Sikh people already wear a turban they don’t have to as their head is already covered. As I’m not a Sikh I had to cover my head. At the entrance gate there are free scarfs to cover your head.

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There it is, the Golden Temple!! As soon as you enter the main gate you will see the beautiful Golden Temple. The temple is surrounded by water and there is only one way to enter. The feeling I got is really indescribably peaceful and all seem to be so in harmony. Honestly its difficult not to look at this beautiful temple. After a few minutes and a dozen of pictures I decided to walk around the water. People submerge in the water on all sides and others pray.

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Reaching the waiting line I could really see how long the line really was. Waiting in this line can take up to 3 hours, Yes 3!! Thankfully I could skip the line and I did not have to wait and could go in straight away. Walking over the bridge towards the Temple I was mesmerized by its beauty. The gold was shining like a mirror and the gold work was done with so much detail. Taking pictures is not allowed but somehow I managed to take a few. Reached inside people are doing a quick prayer of sit down on the carpet to listen to the Guru.

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After some time left the Temple and continued my round around the water. Everyone visiting the Golden Temple can have a meal free of charge. The meal you get at the Golden Temple is called langar. The Golden Temple is home to the world’s largest free kitchen, it can serve free food for up to 100,000 – 300,000 people every day. At the Langar, food is served to all visitors regardless of faith, religion, or background. Vegetarian food is often served to ensure that all people, even those with dietary restrictions, can eat together as equals. The institution of the Sikh langar, or free kitchen, was started by the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak. It was designed to uphold the principle of equality between all people regardless of religion, caste, colour, creed, age, gender, or social status, a revolutionary concept in the caste-ordered society of 16th century India where Sikhism began. In addition to the ideals of equality, the tradition of langar expresses the ethics of sharing, community, inclusiveness, and oneness of all humankind. Every Sikh Gurdwara (place of worship) has a langar, providing free vegetarian food for all comers. Unfortunately I did not have the time to have the langar as there was a waiting time aswell.

 

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