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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Amazing Amritsar

The Golden Temple 
A recent trip to Punjab was a nostalgic one considering it was one of the many done earlier. The air of the place and the friendly people, however, make every experience a new one and no matter how many visits I had done, this seemed special. A long drive on the national highway from Delhi was punctuated with a stopover at Murthal to have a bite! The delicious food with a lavish spread of ghee and aromatic dal was just a trailer of what was to follow in the coming days. The drive through the lush green fields on either side of the road was a feast for the eyes.
The scenic beauty from Chandigarh
The natural carpet of green with specs of yellow was soothing after seeing endless traffic snarls in the city. My companions on the trip did not want to miss the opportunity to shop for the woollens from the sprawling showroom adjacent to the highway in Ludhiana. The setting sun and the gradually thinning traffic brought us to Jullandhar, where we stopped over to pay our obeisance in an ashram. By the time we reached Amritsar it was almost 9.30 PM. We checked into the hotel which was very close to the Golden Temple. Without wasting any time, we headed for the sanctum sanctorum. The glistening gold of the dome shimmered in the lights that adorned, and the reflection from the pool added to the beauty. It was closing time but we were fortunate to get a glimpse of the Guru Granth Sahib( the holy book) being taken back to the Akal Takht, an adjoining building. in a palki decorated with flowers and silk amidst chanting of Shabad(hymns).
Ujagar Singh Papad and Wadi shop
Next morning it was time to explore the city which was overflowing with the tourists. The din of rickshaws, the fruit sellers, jostling with pedestrians add to the cacophony but makes one realize that the city is alive and kicking.
Phulkari collections at Katra Jamail Singh shop

The cloth market in Guru Bazar and Katra Jamail Singh are a shoppers paradise to buy the Phulkari, Dupattas, Brocades, Salwar Suits, woollens, blankets, Jootis( shoes) and much more at a steal!For the lovers of authentic Punjabi food more than a century old Kesar, the Dhaba offers the most lip-smacking food that one is unlikely to forget. There is a score of other places where indulgences like kulfi, piping hot jalebis and Gulab Jaman can be tried. There are also Dhaba that specialize in non-vegetarian fares like chicken and fish.

A visit to the Jalianwallah Bagh to remember the martyrs that fell to the bullets of  Brig Dyer almost a century ago on the Baisakhi day is a must. The place is just a stone's throw from the Golden Temple. For those who like an adrenaline rush with a patriotic fervour, a visit to the Wagha border about 35 km from Amritsar will not be disappointing! Only one has to reach the venue almost two hours before the start of the ceremony at sunset to get a decent place to watch as it is overflowing with people most of the time. There are several other attractions depending on the interest such as Durgiana Temple,  Sheetla Mata Temple and of course the walled city to explore. I find discovering the small alleys overflowing with shops, trinkets and local cuisine especially sellers of Wadi and Papads and Pickles( A kind of North Indian food) very fascinating.  The winding alleys bring you to Bazar Kathian to the Ujagar Singh Wadi and Papad shop which is almost a century old and considered one of the best.

The chariot with Lord Krishna and Arjun at Kurukshetra
The two nights went away in a jiffy and we packed to leave for Chandigarh en route to Delhi. The return journey through the small villages and a trip to the Chandimandir cantonment overlooking the Shivalik ranges, a visit to Kurukshetra where the war of Mahabharata took place would need another post. It was a short and sweet memorable trip

9 comments:

  1. I feel like going there at once.Nice read.

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    1. Many thanks Induji! Must visit, a lovely place

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  2. Visual description Rahul, felt as if I was there. How long was the drive from Delhi?On my to do list.

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    1. The drive from Delhi to Amritsar by road is about 7 hours but depends on how many breaks you would make on the way! The journey is very enjoyable as the road is very good! Look forward to your delightful comments always, Alka:)

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  3. And guess what? I am yet to visit Amritsar.

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    1. Ha ha ... this is what happens when you are traveling abroad and to far off places more often, Mridula:) Do visit Amritsar and you won't be disappointed!

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  4. we had been to Amritsar in 2015. your post refreshed my memories.
    you were right - better to go early to the Wagah border - very crowded everyday. the energy and the "Jai Hind" that filled the air as awesome
    The Jallianwala Bagh is a sad reminder of our painful past . it stunned us into silence

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    1. Agree Sujatha , that the place is awesome:)

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  5. I definitely comply with some points that you just have mentioned on this post. I appreciate that you just have shared some reliable recommendations on this review.

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