The Golden Temple
The main attractions in Amritsar were: The Golden Temple, the Border Closing ceremony, and the site of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.
The Golden Temple is the heart and center of the Sikh religion.
The central temple –
One of the ceremonial guards…
Volunteers man the Temple’s kitchens to produce free meals for thousands of visitors every day. This is what washing the dishes looks like.
Unfortunately, this was a holiday and the line-up to see the inside of the central Temple was about 3 to 4 hours. We chose not to wait that long.
In deference to Sikh sensibilities, this is the only vegetarian McDonalds in India, on the way to the Temple. All the other McDonalds in India served only chicken, since cows were sacred to the Hindus and Pork was forbidden to Muslims. This one did not serve any meat.
The Border Ceremony
Every evening, there is a major production when the border guards take down the flags and closing the border gates on the India and Pakistan sides of the main road from Amritsar to Lahore.
The pageantry of the Border Police is absolutely amazing – they almost kick their own foreheads with their high-step marching – something that takes a lot of practice and flexibility.
As the ceremony ends, the two countries’ flags come down simultaneously, so neither is ahead or behind the other in the process…
The crown that turns out on the India side is much larger and much more lively than the Pakistan side – behind this photo even more stadium is under construction.
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
This location is a memorial to an event in 1919 when British troops blocked the exits from a park and opened fire on a crowd of unarmed Indians. The memorial includes markers where the bullets left indents in the brick walls, and the “Martyrs’ Well” where some jumped in and drowned to escape the gunfire/.
Now, off to New Delhi, a 6 hour train ride.