Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winter Break Part II: Amritsar

After five days in Dharamsala, the four of us us took a 5-hour taxi ride west to Amritsar in the state of Punjab. Amritsar is home to Sikhism's holiest temple - the Golden Temple. Sikh pilgrims come from all over the world to visit the temple. We benefited from the pilgrim culture by landing a free place to stay just across the street from the temple where there are accommodation blocks for pilgrims. We ended up with a private room that locked, so considered ourselves lucky. Apart from the Golden Temple, we saw Jallianwala Bagh which is a memorial park for the 2000 innocent people who were murdered by British authorities in 1919. (If you've seen the movie Gandhi, you might remember the scene.) We also took the 30-km trip to the Pakistan border to see the ridiculous border-closing ceremony. Mostly, however, I laid low to recover from a fever and we spent time in a coffee shop to avoid the chaos of the city. While the sights of Amritsar were worthwhile, we all felt that 3 days was too long.

Before entering the Temple, you have to wash your feet in this trench. Due to all the disgusting feet we saw walking around, from here out we blamed any irregularities in our health on the dreaded "temple foot."

A memorial at Jallianwala Bagh.

The border-closing ceremony is very much like a sporting event, complete with cheering, dancing, and the wave. This is the rambunctious Indian side.

Pakistan was not as well-represented.

Indian soldiers at the border closing. They can lift their legs very high.

This is what I looked like most of the week due to a fever. I bet you're jealous of our room. At least it was free.

1 comment:

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