A Nomad's Diary - travel tales

This Thanksgiving feel the Divine presence at Amritsar..

finalIt’s Thursday folks and I’m sure that many of you would have started to ponder over your this weekend’s plan. So what are your plans? Shopping? or ¬†Hanging out with friends? or a Weekend trip with family or friends? Being a travel enthusiast I would certainly go for a weekend trip and that too with family.

For people living near Delhi-NCR, visiting Amritsar is a perfect destination for weekend family getaway. In fact my first trip to Amritsar happened this year only in October. It was kind of an impromptu trip, where in the morning we were contemplating about going somewhere and by evening we had left our house to catch the bus! Most of the plannings were done by me like the bus bookings, hotel, places to see, and most importantly being a girl – things to buy.. ūüôā

We set off for Amritsar in bus at around 10:30 P.M. and reached at around 9. We had a booking at Hotel Mango Suites located at Albert road. It is a decent executive hotel with neat rooms and at a 10-15 min distance from main city’s hustle-bustle. For commuting the means that was quite helpful for us was Cycle-Rickshaws & Walking.

The first thing that we all chose to do after literally dumping our luggage at hotel was to go an have a sumptuous breakfast at Munim di Hatti (a small sweet shop at Lawrence Road). This place is famous for Chole-Bhature & Dahi Lassi with lots of fresh unsalted butter in it.

Post our delicious start, we headed back to hotel for doing the formal check-in and taking some rest after the nightlong journey. We had decided to get ready by 1 P.M. so that we could reach in time so as to attend Wagah Border ceremony comfortably..We hired a cab from a place near Golden Temple and meanwhile had lunch at the famous Brother’s Dhaba, a packed vegetarian restaurant.

There are generally many vendors offering shared & exclusive cab service to Wagah Border. Frankly this place is for 1000-2000 visitors but the patriotism pulls all..so each day approx. 5000-10000 people assemble to witness the Beating Retreat ceremony or flag lowering ceremony at the Wagah border. The ceremony involves mutual greeting & paying respect between India & Pakistan at this border.
Tip: For any of you planning to attend Wagah border ceremony in near future; try and reach the Border by 2 PM though the actual ceremony starts at 4PM.

It was already evening when we reached back near Golden Temple and actually felt that night was the best time of visiting Harmandir Sahib. So thanking the time constraints we decided to do some quick shopping and go for a dinner before visiting the Golden temple.

Being in Amritsar has many unique offerings for a shopaholic. I was especially delighted to see the Phulkari Suits & Dupattas. I purchased a bagful of them and still couldn’t take my eyes off many more. Next was the turn for getting beautiful Punjabi Jutis. Among the other things to buy are wool, winter clothes etc.

We had  delicious fried Amritsari Fish and then dinner at Multi-cuisine Crystal Restaurant. Post that its was the  time for Divine intervention, to visit the Golden Temple.

Harmandir Sahib, commonly called as The Golden Temple is very peaceful & serene place. A place that calms your modern outlook and brings forward the sense of Thankfulness to God and draws you closer to God. Hundreds of people sleeping peacefully in the temple premise and on one side the preparation for the Langer (Community food for all). At the entrance of main temple many  people were doing Sewa that filled me with immense gratitude for such selfless work.  When we reached inside it was time for the final Ardas (prayers) which we attended and received the Kada Parshad (Sikh sacred offering). We spent some more time at the temple near the pond before we moved back to our hotel & called it a day.

The next day after breakfast we went to Jalianwala Bagh, a historic place in the freedom struggle of India. It is near Golden temple & so we again visited the temple for sometime had the lunch at the Langar and it was time to return back to Delhi.

Today on the Thanksgiving day my heart is still filled with warmth of Amritsar people and reverence to the Almighty.

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