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Amaritsar 1

Golden Temple

28 °C

Leaving Delhi and Arriving in Amaritsar

Prior to heading off for the train at New Delhi Train Station, Annie and I stopped off for something to eat in the Pahranganj district on the Main Bazaar (High Street to us common Brits). Whist the Main Bazaar is full of small shops selling all manner of things, there are a few cafe/restaurants along here which cater for westernised standards of hygiene and sanitation. We ate food within a fine roof top cafe establishment to which we were offered tea coffee, coke, sprite and beer (spoken very quietly), which caught my attention and quickly responded with a quick 'yes please, two!'. The waiter returned with two tea cups and two pots of what he called 'special tea'. Indeed the tea pot was laiden with ice cold frothy Kingfisher Lager! Suffice to say we stayed a few hours prior to our train at 4:30pm.

The train station is like a mad house, I would not recommend New Delhi Train Station to anyone, people trying to sell, buy/rob or con your ticket from you or persude you to buy a new one because the one you have is incorrect/not a ticket but only a voucher for a real ticket. However, we managed to withstand the barrage of obstacles to get to our platform.

The trains are fantastically old and battered machines, but the carriage was a little newer and comfortable. In fact we had a pleasant 6 hour journey which was broken up by a 5 course meal! Sandwiches, Tea, nibbles, soup,Curry and ice cream! The landscape is flat here, and still imersed with poverty along most of the train route, including lots of people living on rubbish dumps, which was very sad to see. Arrived at 10:30pm to a screaming horde of rickshaws wanting to take us to our hotel which was across the road from the station! Hotel is called 'Grand Hotel ' Recommeded by Lonely Planet', however, I have read Lonely Planet and it does not say this, but is listed in the mid range hotels. This hotel has a bar called 'English Bar' and serves beer!

Following a stressful sleep under the mosquito net, we awoke for brunch in preparation for our long awaited trip to the Golden Temple. Built in the early 16C, this Sikh temple is the holiest sikh shrine in the world and is open to anyone who wants to visit providing you respect the religious etiquette I.e washing hands and feet, covering hair and shoulders, (men and women). White marble throughout the complex, with a holy lake and the Golden temple in the middle. It is such a divine and inspiring sight that it makes you feel quite overwhelmed. Indira Ghandi (former Indian President) made the decision to storm this temple in the early 1980's after an uprising which eventually led to her assassination – silly woman. What made me laugh was that the Indian Government fixed the temple, but the Sihks were not satisfied so they took down a whole clock tower and rebuilt it themselves!

Tommorrow we are going to the Indo-Pak Border to see the ministry of silly walks ceremony (those who have seen Michael Palin's around the world will know what i mean!).

Peace, Love and Harmony!

Posted by Annie Thornton 14:00 Archived in India Tagged temple golden

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Really good read guys, sounds like a real eye opener in some parts, looking forward to the next blog, be safe:).

by Riley

Ah...the Indo-Pak border! That's a pretty sensitive topic actually. Being an Indian I loved the whole experience.
I would really like to know your view on it.

by lazytraveller

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