Amritsar - The Holy City
Amritsar is a holy city in the start of Punjab. It is also a city of celebration. You can probably know that at the first sight of the town – The jam packed roads, The decorated cycle rickshaws, women wearing colorful salwar kameez, men bearing brightly colored turbans over their heads, the first whiff of spicy Punjabi food, the prominence of the color saffron all across the streets. These tiny little things of Amritsar makes you wanna jump and dance.
After a short ride from the railway station, I reached at the gates of the majestic Golden Temple. The gates were huge, heavenly, white and beautifully carved. Everybody’s welcome at ‘The Door to God’ – “Gurudwara”, the literal meaning of the word. There are hundreds of pilgrims who arrive in masses at the temple in trucks from all over the country. All thrilled about offering their prayers and services to this temple of great spiritual importance.
The temple is surrounded by monumental structures from all four sides that provide shelter for the holy men and the saints. The clear green water of the lake is home to hundreds of colorful fishes. Many pilgrims take a dip into these holy waters which is considered as a blessing.
The temple itself is a great example of ancient architecture. It is built in the middle of the lake, connected by bridge. The magnificent temple is polished by real gold and looks no less that a colossal gem of a jewel. The walls of gold are beautifully carved by artisans from across the country. The carving of that kind is hard to see in these times. Its beauty is timeless.
The inside of the temple is hand painted by gold and colors of peacock blue, bottle green and maroon. A magnificent chandelier hangs from the central dome at the heart of the temple where the holy book of Sikhs – “The Grant Sahib” rests. Surrounded and guarded by holy men, the holy book is the “Guru” of Sikhs. The teachings of all the ancient gurus are documented in this holy book of utmost faith. This is what thousands of pilgrims travel hundreds of miles from all over the world and come to Amritsar for… A glimpse of the mighty Guru Grant Sahib.
As night falls, The guru is taken to a smaller temple opposite the Golden Temple, in a hand carried golden cart held by the pilgrims and the holy men in a ceremonial way, where the Guru supposedly sleeps through the night. The Guru is carried back to the Temple of gold at the break of dawn where they are meant to be for all of eternity.
The pilgrims volunteer in various activities of the temple by offering their services such as in cleaning the premises, preparation of langar (meals), washing utensils, guarding and other million jobs. The premises are spic n span all day and night. Every inch of the temple is scrubbed and scrubbed until it sparkles gold! The prashad is made in huge quantities for thousands of people who visit the temple everyday
More by this Author
#10 Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth Chris Ware This is a very strange story about a boy who escapes into his imaginary world from his very depressing life. The story of the graphic novel...
Crystals, minerals and metals have played various roles in the myths and legends of human cultures throughout history. They are fascinating examples of the attempts of the men and women of ancient times to explain...