I was finally entering “India” again, after a month-long sojourn into a world of Himalayan calm, yoga and Tibetan Buddhism (Dharamsala hardly feels like India). Was I ready to free fall back into the masala mania?
While the traveler in me was excited to get back on the explorer’s road; the solo gal in me was dreading it. Having found roots for a month in my yoga-family coccoon, I wasn’t thrilled with going back to solo-roughing it. Fortunately when you flow with the universe, it provides you with what you need; thankfully, it granted me friends who wanted to visit the next city on my list– Amritsar.
I inhaled the new landscape, watching our six hour drive go from Dharamsala’s plush mountain valleys to arid Punjabi farmland, bhangra beats and turban coiffed men on motorbikes. Well-paved roads, an organized city layout and a stunning jewel of a gudwara (the Golden Temple), we had arrived in the proud city of Sikhism. Was this India too? That warm and romantic feeling towards travel came over me again. India had surprised me with a different face again.
Amritsar was nicer and proudly distinct over other Indian cities and towns I’d been to… layers cleaner too!
But what can you see in Amritsar, if you’re short on time?
My 2.5 day itinerary:
• Visit the Golden Temple (of course!)
Click here for post on the Golden Temple.
• Enjoy the humor of the India – Pakistan border crossing performance.
You have to see it to believe it and when you do, you’ll want to see it for yourself. Click here to read my post & watch video.
• Visit the Mata temple
If you’re into a unique temple experience with a bit of camp, then the Mata temple is the second to the gold in Amritsar. Guidebooks don’t call it a labyrinth for nothing. Devoted to a female saint, Lali Devi, walking through this Hindu temple is like taking a journey through different houses and god/goddess sectors. You’ll walk up and down staircases, duck through low arches, wind through corridors and trudge through water — it’s a bit of a workout but it’s sure to keep you entertained all the way.
Oh yeah, if you’re a woman looking to get pregnant, this is where you’d want to pay your respects!
• Shri Durgiana temple.
Durga is the mother of all goddesses. Her temple is a 20 minute walk from the Golden Temple and resembles it as it’s set in the middle of a large pool of water.
• Receive holy blessings & look a little silly (but hey, who can’t use a little luck?).
• Watch a baby celebrate his first birthday.
When children (girl or boy) turn one year old, they receive a ‘baldy’ shaving at the temple.
• Explore the variety of shops and street vendors.
• Eat dosas
A dosa is a kind of a thin, crispy crepe which is contains paneer, spinach, veggies, etc… and a side dish of dip.
• Explore the streets via taxi ride.
- Photo Essay: Amritsar’s Golden Jewel – you are my Taj! (grrrltraveler.com)
- Photo Essay: What to see in Amritsar in 2.5 days? (grrrltraveler.com)
- A cock show at the India-Pakistan Border