Every day, barefoot Sikh pilgrims in colourful turbans flock to Amritsar’s sacred Golden Temple, which sits in the middle of a lake. At the water’s edge, men disrobe to dip themselves in the holy water that Amritsar, which translates to ‘pool of immortality-giving nectar’, is named for. The temple kitchen is a hive of activity as hundreds of volunteers peel cloves of garlic, knead roti and stir huge vats of dahl to feed worshippers, who sit cross-legged in the dining hall. In the evening, crowds gather to watch the holy book ceremoniously put to bed, accompanied by music and prayers.
Amritsar may be the heart of India’s Sikh faith, but it’s also the biggest metropolis in Punjab, filled with beeping rickshaws and stalls selling chai and fluffy chana puri. The city has seen its share of struggle, evident at the stirring Partition Museum and Jallianwala Bagh Gardens, where British soldiers massacred hundreds of unarmed protestors – you can still trace the bullet holes in the walls today. As late afternoon falls, head to the Wagah Border with Pakistan, where the eccentric evening flag ceremony takes place, guards marching in rooster-red hats.
Amritsar’s religious treasures are best explored with a local guide, so talk to our India team about arranging your Amritsar holiday.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Malcolm, who's travelled extensively in India. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember.
Freephone an expert 01306 744 656