Amritsar – My Favorite Indian Destination

The Sikh Golden Temple and the India-Pakistan Wagah Border Ceremony. Wow wow wow.

Amritsar Golden Temple 01

India has many exciting destinations, however many are one-offs in the sense of one star attraction with some places of secondary interest and often a chaotic, traffic-choked city thrown in. Khajuraho has its temple carvings, Varanasi the Ganges ghats, Rajasthan its fort towns, etc. To keep sanity and use time well, it is important to be selective and find logistics that work.

Amritsar in northern India’s Punjab State has two of my favorite sights in India, with regular flight access to cities throughout India. The abundance of flights is key as many Indian cities have relatively few flights, with most midday, that disrupt prime sightseeing time. I visited Amritsar as a day trip with a friend from Delhi.

First stop was the famous Sikh Golden Temple. This is my favorite religious destination in India. People of all faiths are welcome. The setting is spectacular. The religiosity intense. The massive effort to feed thousands of devotees a day is impressive down to details of the sand mixture used to wash all those bowls and utensils.

Amritsar Golden Temple 06

Amritsar Golden Temple 05

Amritsar Golden Temple 04

Amritsar Golden Temple 03

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03zl387I0fM
It is worth connecting with an on-site guide that can provide expedited access throughout. The line to the main shrine can be huge and guides zip through the exit line.

Amritsar Golden Temple 02

Nearby is the site of the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, hundreds of non-violent protestors were killed by British forces in a pivotal moment in the rise of resistance to British rule. The massacre is depicted in the film Gandhi.

Jallianwala Bagh 01

Jallianwala Bagh 02

Jallianwala Bagh 03

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And then it is out to the India-Pakistan border for the incredible border ceremony…

Wagah Border Closing 05

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