In the holy city of Amritsar, I felt myself learning a new lesson every moment that I spent there. The holy Golden Temple, the historical Jhalianwalah Bagh and the Chaotic Wagah Border, everything is a beautiful experience. The temple area of Amritsar is filled with serenity and peace. I traveled to Amritsar on a flick of my mind. I took a bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate and I knew that this experience is going to be something that I have never had till now. I am not too fond of religious places, but at Golden Temple, I came across millions of devouts. Their faith and sentiments ended up teaching me a some valuable lessons.
Patience is the key to experience magic – Amritsar is the city of neverending lines. There are lines at Golden Temple, lines at Wagah Border. At times, you just feel like giving up and moving on. was stuck in a line and had to wait for half an hour to enter the premises of Golden Temple. Later I found myself struggling with the heat and crowd at Wagah Border. At times, I almost felt like giving up but I didn’t. At Wagah Border, I learned that there is not much difference between people on the either sides of the border. For starters, the crowd on both sides was filled with hooligans trying to break the line and come in the front row 😛
We are all humans at God’s abode – Golden Temple doesn’t classify people on basis of their social status or their cast. Here, it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor. At Golden Temple, you are treated as a human and humanity is what brings people closer. At langar, you’ll be sitting with other people who may or may not belong to the same social class. It doesn’t matter if you arrive in an SUV or on a Rikshaw, you leave that status at the gates of the temple. Inside, you are just another human being. It is a beautiful experience to watch faith bringing people closer without creating any boundaries between them.
Getting off the tourist trail is the best idea ever – Check any travel blog or itinerary, they always suggest a definitive list of places to see. For Amritsar, the list dies down after Golden Temple, Jhalianwala Bagh and Wagah Border. For a rule I always ditch the tourist trail and try to explore the nearby areas. The next morning, I saw myself exploring the lanes of Old Amritsar. Old Amritsar is filled with old buildings with beautiful designs and colourful doors. I ended up meeting many nice people, smiling faces, wondering about what am I doing with my camera. Some of them also thought that I have lost my way and tried showing me the way back to the temple.
Backpacker’s nest is an experiment on human bonding and interaction – Amritsar gave me some valuable lessons on human interaction and bonding. For a solo traveler, life often gets lonely at times. Backpacker’s nest is a concept hostel where you can meet other travelers. I was amazed by their experimental concept based walks which were conducted by their team. The time spent here will be something that I will always cherish because of their commendable attempts of creating something so thriving and effective for budget travelers.
Best things in the life are free but you need to earn them – Talk about the serenity at Golden Temple complex or the delicious food being served at the community langar, the best experiences at Amritsar come for free. But you need to have patience and wait for it to happen. The langar doesn’t give you a free pass. You can only sit when your time comes. The best photos of The Golden Temple happen only after multiple visits. In order to find the most enriching experiences, you need to earn patience and the art of waiting. I certainly earned a lot of it during my visit here.
At times you need to let yourself go and accept whatever life throws in front of you. Amritsar is experiencing Punjab. The food, the people and the aura make the place worth visiting and spending some time here. Where else you’d find a bunch of people riding a motorcycle and singing Punjabi songs loud without caring about what others might be thinking.