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India - Amritsar, Golden Temple, ...

 Rickshaw sleeping, Amritsar
Amritsar - The place of Sikhs and the Golden Temple. City itself is rather hot and dusty at this time of the year. The easiest way is to take a cycle rickshaw around. Those incredible guys pedal their small vehicles thought the heat for quite a small amount of money. I always have to admire them and often I feel quite exploiting them. On the other hand, to use their service means to let them to earn money for living. So it is a bit bewitched circle. India - the country of shocking contrasts, poverty & richness - with its mayor religious drive and social closeness.

Anyway, Amritsar seems to be a bit more organized place. This is probably thanks to the Sikhs. They stress more on education and the whole community is very close. City bus station is one of the wonders of India - big, quite clean and numbered, with the destinations written in English & Urdu. Apart from the bus station, the main highlight of the city of course is "The Golden Temple" holly place of Sikhs and a beautiful architectural wonder. Especially when lighted in the night. Sikhs are extremely friendly people and you can sleep in the temple for a free up to three nights. Although some donations are expected.

The Golden Temple inside, Amritsar

Night view - the Golden Temple
They also have one of the biggest kitchens in the world. Every day they cook for more then 10.000 people and this amount doubles over the weekend. The food they provide is basic (chapati, dal, ...), but it is also free. There is no distinction in any way there - anybody is welcome to stay or eat.

There are always many people walking around the lake. In its center is situated the Golden Temple. Sikhs do consider the lake to be full of a "nectar" and they drink, bath, ... in it. In the temple you can find their holly book, which is carried in every morning and out every evening. It spend its night on the shore in one of the surrounding buildings. During the day a recitation from the book is transmitted by an amplifier. It sounds more like a singing rather then reading. For me this is typical example of the Muslim part in the Sikh religion.

The Golden Temple

Washing bowls, the Golden Temple, Amritsar

The Golden Temple is nice and relaxing place. I like to sit near the lake and watch the worshipers passing by.

More articles on India here: - "India - Manali, Vashist, Brighu Lake ..."

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