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Glorious & Iconic City of Amritsar
No trip to Punjab is ever complete without visiting the holy city of Amritsar, so how could I conclude my trip without seeing the city? I decided on a short stay of 2 days in Amritsar before leaving for home. And this small extension turned out to be totally worth it.
To start with the most important thing; food. Amritsar is one of the places that I wouldn’t mind travelling to several times too, just to eat the food here. The dhabas and restaurants here serve such delicious and finger-licking food that I ended up eating double my appetite. And no meal in Amritsar is over without a glass of Lassi. For the ones who have lesser appetites like me, the Lassi glass will be equivalent to one meal, so eat and drink wisely.
My trip started with my visit to the most revered ‘Golden Temple’, a prominent Sikh pilgrimage that is visited by not just Sikhs but people from all over the world because of the peace and calm this place has to offer. As the story suggests, on the advice of the 3rd Sikh Guru - Sri Guru Amar Dass Ji, Sri Guru Ramm Dass Ji - the 4th Sikh Guru started the dig for the Holy Tank i.e. Amrit Sarovar, of Sri Harminder Sahib. That’s where the city got its name.
But the brick of establishment of the Gurudwara was laid down by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji - the 5th Guru of Sikhs. The Golden Temple serves tasty and nutritious langar which is open to everyone visiting the Golden temple, irrespective of caste or creed. Up to 50,000 plates of food are served here normally and the number goes up to 100,000 during vacations, holidays or religious days. Since I’ve heard a lot about its langar it was definitely a must-try for me.
The food served is normal roti, vegetable dish, dal and chawal accompanied by kheer. And even after the sheer volume of food served there is no compromise in taste or hygiene. I was amazed by the efficiency of the sewadars who were so quick and agile in whatever task they did, may it be cooking, serving or washing plates.
A reminder of Tragic History
The next stop in my trip was a tragic milestone in the History of Indian Freedom Struggle - The Jallianwala Baugh. Every Indian is aware of the Jallianwala Baugh massacre, an example of British tyranny & imperialism. Every time I hear about the incident, I get goosebumps. People like me, don’t have the stomach for such gore incidents. Yet something in me wanted to visit this memorial.
As I reached there, I felt like I was transported back to the time when this shameful act had occurred. The thought that the marks on this wall were from bullets that might’ve gone through the body of a child or an innocent human, making a hole on not just their bodies but also in their lives and the lives of their family members, friends, acquaintances, etc. just made me sick.
But there’s something else that these walls signify. They signify the price that our country paid to get its freedom. It is a reminder of the sacrifices of our predecessors.
Keeping up with the spirit of patriotism was my last stop in this 2-day journey - Wagah Border. This Indo-Pak border located at Grand Trunk Road is approximately 28 km away from Amritsar. The grand spectacle that attracts thousands of Indians and tourists every day is the Wagah Border ceremony or the Beating Retreat Ceremony which is conducted in the evenings just before the sunset.
The ceremony includes the army officers of both countries lowering their respective national flags and closing the international gates. The officers also showcase the amazing camaraderie of the army and its showmanship. The skills of these officers were so supreme that I had to stop myself from blinking lest I miss something.
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