Discover Amritsar, India
You will walk through some narrow streets to the temple. On the way keep an eye out above you, there are some very old buildings with very intricate wood carvings. The original Sikh temple in Amritsar was built here at the end of the 16th century, some years after a leper was cured having bathed in the pool. The temple was rebuilt in 1764 by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and 100kg of gold was added in 1830 giving rise to its name 'The Golden Temple'.
Your guide will show you around the main area of the temple and explain the history and layout including the vast dining halls where all visitors, regardless of their religion, are invited to eat together. Perhaps the most incredible part are the kitchens run by volunteers, you will see vast cauldrons full of dhal, groups of ladies rolling out chapattis, meanwhile the noise in the background is the endless washing of plates. Sweets are also available and a non stop supply of Chai is all free for anyone who wants it. You will see people bathing in the water which is believed to wash away all illness. You may also hear chants coming from the temple while worshippers walk round in a clockwise direction.
There is an interesting museum up some narrow stairs at the main entrance, which commemorates those massacred in Operation Blue Star in 1984 at the Golden Temple. The old city is just a 15 minute walk from the Golden Temple with all its narrow alley ways and small Hindu temples. At the Jallianwala Bagh there is a memorial to more than 1000 demonstrators who were killed or injured when the British, under the command of General Dyer, opened fire on them in 1919.
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