From Dharamasala I had to chose between heading north or south and I chose south. I wanted to see more of India and all the big spots in India are south. The plan was to work my way south and catch a flight to Sri Lanka before my visa expired. Amritsar is famous for the Sikh Golden Temple and it was a great experience and my first time into a real Indian feeling city. The hustle and bustle outside the temple gave me a good feeling of being in a land that was not mine. The Golden Temple, however was amazing. The real gold plated building and the surrounding holy water around it was architecturally beautiful, but it was the place, the people and the idea behind the holiest of Sikh temples that made it special. The whole temple is run by Sikh volunteers who donate their time when they can or once in their lifetime. They cook meals almost 24hrs a day in a huge two floor dining hall for over 6000 people a day and they constantly cleaned the place and polished the gold every night. You could also sleep in the temple complex for free. Foreigners got their own small dorm to share but the other Indian visitors or Sikh Pilgrims would sleep in any space they could find. They slept in every chair, they slept on the grass areas around the complex, around the temple, in the hallways and in the courtyards. Literately in any available space was filled with families sleeping on hard marble so they could visit this temple. For me this really showed me something. Think back to when you were a kid going on a family vacation and your parents told you would be sleeping on the floor with no blankets, surrounded by strangers and no private bathroom, all to visit a temple. You would have thought they were crazy. If I gained anything from the Golden Temple it would be the importance of faith and religion to their lives and how they will sacrifice all comforts to take part in it, and for the most part don’t complain. A Place definitely worth experiencing. Sunrise, sunset and night time the temple is Golden.
Also worth checking out is the Waga border where they dance off every evening for a closing ceremony. The only land border crossing between India and Pakistan. They dance show pride and cheer on their countries in what appears to be a friendly dance off. A must see if you’re in Amritsar
I wish! I use that tag to try and spread my travel pictures. If you see this @lonelyplanet im available for work haha. Keep the questions up.
Even after living China i learnt very few Chinese words. Enough for some laughs but not a conversation. In two months in India i have learnt a few Hindi words to get by, but mostly use English since most Indians speak it very well.
Ask away if you got more questions.