The Golden Temple Amritsar.

I distinctly recall our car was not allowed to drive through the barricades, the driver furiously negotiating with the cops, we waiting patiently inside the car knowing it will all sort out and eventually we did drive through to reach The Golden Temple

It was a very hot and humid day. Amidst much noise and so many people and the bustle of the narrow street, my head had begun to call out for help! I drove past the site of Jallianvala Baug and my heart felt for all those that died here.

With these emotions churning within I stepped out of the car covered my head as tradition demanded and entered Shri Harmandir Sahib/The Golden Temple. We first stopped to leave behind our shoes in safe keeping. And then walked on the hot marble to climb down the steps towards the Sarovar.

Everything suddenly stopped.

The only sound I could hear was the religious songs being sung in the temple. I was immediately overwhelmed by what I saw and felt. The nearest thing I can describe was a feeling of calm quietude descending on me. A coming home kind of feeling. I felt like I was meant to be there. I walked around struggling to ensure my chunni stayed atop my head, trying to absorb as many views as I could of this magnificent place. There has to be something in it. My senses couldn’t comprehend it but my soul could.

A holy place packed to capacity with the weekend crowd. We did our parikrama of the sarovar (water pond in the center) twice over – to a feeling of satisfaction.

The white marble we walked on was burning hot reminding me of how in the old days people may have had to walk over coals to seek atonement. With an utter feeling of a high, when the prasad of kada got handed out I was simply felt blessed. The Golden Temple. This place was all that I had heard about and more.

Large, bustling with activity, crowded! Yet everything had a sense of peace and calm. The shabad kirtan had a soothing effect and after pausing to take in the beauty of the Harmandir Sahib, we joined the queue to enter the inner sanctorum. I am always pleasantly surprised by the cleanliness and discipline exhibited at Sikh gurudwaras. The marble flooring was spotlessly clean and irrespective of the size of the crowd nobody pushes or tries to get ahead – quite unlike some of the temples that I have visited. I was quite impressed with the intricate carvings and detail on the walls and with the fact that everybody tries to do some seva (selfless service) here.

I had initially planned to taste the famous langar but the humid weather and the morning breakfast made me pass it this once, but will give it a try another time.

Darbar Sahib also called The Golden Temple or Temple of God is culturally the most significant place of worship of the Sikhs & one of the oldest Sikh Gurudwaras located in Amritsar which was established by Guru Ram Das the 4th guru of the Sikhs

In here nobody goes away hungry. For pilgrims and the poor, there's the divine langar. For the souls seeking more there is indeed more. And for the tourists and the locals, there's the ubiquitous dhaba

I find myself ill equipped to close this post, deep inside me I know I will definitely return to The Golden Temple soon.


keshi said...

Would love to go and visit the gurudwara one day - this post gives a fair idea of what to expect. So here is one more place to see added to my list:)

RavneetSingh said...

Hey Mee just back in India and was catching up on all blogs I missed!! How and when did u go to Amritsar? Lovely trip I can tell- you saved any prashad for me?:)

Raj M said...

Hey, you put it so beautifully - reminded me of exactly how I felt manny years ago - the first n only time I went there! I, too, hope to make it again someday......

sanjiv said...

I am not a vry religious person but after reading this post am tempted to go to a gurudwara to know the magic you felt...will let you know if I ever make it

ashish said...

The Golden Temple is perhaps one of the most serene religious buildings in the world. As a building it blends fundamental concepts of the faith with architectural excellence.Much f the calmness exudes from the architecture too.

sheila said...

Absorbed in the serenity of the site, it is hard to believe the history of violence and bloodshed that is associated with this beautiful and holy temple.

Tradition has it that the site where the temple stands today was an ancient retreat where the heroes of the Hindu epic poem the Ramayana once visited. The pool of amrit is famed for its healing powers and miraculous restoration of health and vitality.

gita said...

It is said that the Mughal Emperor Akbar visited the site and was greatly impressed by the langar: the practice of feeding people of all castes and walks of life from a common kitchen in a community feeding area. (A direct protest at that time against the awful Hindu caste system that prohibits such communal eating.) For the tradition to be alive as is today its a delight and equally humbling to know the community kitchen has hundreds of volunteers who work selflessly each day preparing and feeding everyone who visit the temple complex.

Shweta said...

Mee - the next time you go there try the winter mnths. The best time to visit the Golden Temple is nov-feb, preferably at dawn when the temple is peaceful. One can sit and listen to the soothing recitation of the Gurbani, and watch the devotees offer their devotional service.Its pure heaven.

Jim said...

I often ask myself what my favorite sacred places are in the world, among the many hundreds I have visited. I could not choose one in particular, but included in the top ten would certainly be the Golden Temple. It is a place of both stupendous beauty and sublime peacefulness.

Mee said...

@keshi- we will go together:)

@RS- Twas good catching up!:)

@Raj M - it is a lovely trip:)

@Sanjiv- await to hear from u:)

@Ashish- well said:)

@Sheila :(

@Gita- langars at gurudwaras am told, is a big draw today:)

@Shweta -thanks! Intend to do that the next trip hopefully in the winters:)


sumit said...

Its divine in the small hrs of the morning, when the nature is rising up fresh. My trip few weeks back was around the same time, morning breeze and golden sun prying through orange clouds and the raagi was singing hymns on Malahar raga. Simply qwesome.

nkitt said...

Superb post !!! Being and atheist I was so moved by the sight of the glittering structure which personified power and strenght yet was a symbol of peace and serenity. And when i saw the crowd and yet no security screening, i was like yeah!!! This is faith..... No religious place i have visited was this spick and span. And we also share the bad luck of missing the langar. :(