theindialog

August 14, 2009

Golden Temple & Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar

Filed under: Leisure,Punjab — loggers @ 2:58 am

Loggers at GT

We noticed that the complex was clean and peaceful despite being thronged by thousands of visitors. The walls were decorated by Omega and Baume & Mercier clocks. Bhajans were being played on dozens of strategically placed Bose speakers. After having visited other places of worship around the country, we were taken aback by the advanced technological infrastructure.

B&M at GT

The line to enter the main chamber, where the Guru Granth Sahib is kept, was 45 minutes long at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon. Unlike other queues, the path was lined with multiple fans which made the wait comfortable. As live bhajans (prayer songs) were being played on speakers on both sides of the line, people maintained silence and order. Women and men have to cover their heads before entering the premises. As the walk has to be done barefoot, avoid visiting the temple on a hot, sunny day.

Waiting at GT

Upon entering the chamber, we were blasted with cool air from the Daikin ACs. The main structure is divided into 2 floors and a terrace. We found mini-balconies where we sat individually and absorbed the lake view and the temple atmosphere. We would recommend spending some time in the main temple and also going up to the terrace for the views it offers. While exiting, do try the sheera served by the temple officials.

Terrace

The temple also has a museum, with paintings and relics depicting the history of the Sikh community. The paintings were surprisingly violent, depicting the murders of religious and political Sikh leaders. Interestingly, the so called ‘terrorists’ of the Blue Star operation of 1984 were classified as heroes by many of the writings alongside photos of the time. A particular caption under a post operation picture of the temple is paraphrased as:

“Thousands of Sikhs were attacked in a calculated move by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The event was a uniting force for all Sikhs, and the community soon had its vengeance” (with Indira Gandhi’s assassination)

Turbunator

Jallianwala Bagh, a garden infamous for the bloody incident that sparked an aggressive and urgent struggle for independence from British rule, is a few meters away from the Golden temple. Neat stone tablets at the entrance explained the significance of the area. We were impressed by the maintenance of the site by the Department of Tourism. Important historical landmarks were highlighted and the park, known for its gory past, was manicured to be aesthetically appealing, a great positive for the tourism sector as a whole.

Jallianwala Bagh

Jallianwala Bagh

Jallianwala

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