Amritsar ~ The Golden Temple ~ Oct 8

The Mecca for the Sikhs*
Sikhism was founded in the 1400’s…the founder Guru Nanak regarded God as truth, who makes himself known through a series of gurus & encouraged his followers to emphasize meditation over ritual, to assist the poor & fight oppression, to earn a living w honest labor, to worship , have faith & believe in the power of God. The word “Sikh means learner. Men never cut their hair, so they wear turbans. The Amritsar temple was built in the late 1500’s to house their sacred book, the Adi Granth, a compilation of gurus’ hymns and poems. The temple was stunning as well as the surrounding buildings…

After 3 glorious days in Dharamsala, Vinod drove us for 5–6 hours to Amritsar in the state of Punjab and it was there that we experienced walking inside and around the Golden Temple…a feeling of worship pervaded the area, due to the hymns being sung over the loud speaker, which grew on me…the only turn-off was seeing people taking selfies all over the place….and pushing in line to get into the temple….mmmm…..

The real oxymoron was the town of Amritsar, as you step away from the beautiful buildings surrounding the temple, you enter a web of chaos…narrow streets, an assortment of vehicles, tangled wires, (on one i even noticed “hanging garbage”), old warn-down buildings…etc…This was taken a few blocks away…

That evening over dinner we received several “miss you” texts/pics from Vinod’s wife & daughter as we discussed our plans…going to train it to Delhi the next day & then 2 weeks in Pune before my departure…Suddenly an idea popped into my head … why not return to Dharamsala w Vinod for another 5 days & then bus it to Delhi & fly to Pune? Ahhh….how flexible/changeable one becomes when on the road…The scheduling goddess Aparna got right on her cell & cancelled my train ticket…so she went to Delhi to visit her daughter & fam the next day & I returned to Dharamsala w Vinod! He was stoked & said i could stay on as family….Before leaving Prisha, I said to her, “I’m not going to say goodbye, I’m just going to say, ‘I’ll see you later alligator’ and you can say, ‘after a while crocodile’…” She had no idea just how soon that was going to come true!

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