Amritsar and Sri Harimandir Sahib ( The Golden Temple )

Not religious myself although being baptized at birth but raised as a Buddhist, I find great fascination of humans ability to trust in faith of God. Any God. Their God. This time I fly to Amritsar, the symbol of equality and brotherhood, the only central religious place of Sikhs. What I admire about this faith is their belief that irrespective of any cast system or race, anyone can seek spiritual solace here. I had a notion I wanted to photograph the golden temple but what I had not count on was the ease and ability to do so without and hindrance. Even during the carrying of the Palanquin containing the Sri Guru Granth Sahib ( the holy book of sikhs containing the hymns of sikh gurus ) to The Akal Takhat Sahib ( The throne of the timeless one ). I partook in the procession and was welcomed and guided in its intricate ways. Arriving earlier to witness the hymns and the process of protecting the holy book layering  by layering of cloth over it in sections by two men. This took around 30 minutes. I found my way to a spot on the second floor that overlooks the grandeur. Photo taking was prohibited once inside the golden temple but the visuals of its magnificence stay embedded in my mind. This spectacle was truly the highlight of Amritsar.

Behind the Scenes - Amritsar and Sri Harimandir Sahib

I was marching behind then but moved aside to take a quick snap from my camera phone.

The following photos portrays The Golden Temple through my eyes both in the day and at night.

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Amritsar and Sri Harimandir Sahib

Amritsar and Sri Harimandir Sahib

Amritsar and Sri Harimandir Sahib

Amritsar and Sri Harimandir Sahib

Amritsar and Sri Harimandir Sahib

Amritsar and Sri Harimandir Sahib

Amritsar and Sri Harimandir Sahib

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Spending four full days here I ventured outside the religious grounds to capture life in Amritsar, as well as some other points of interests such as Jallianwala Bagh ( the memorial site of 2000 Indians who were shot indiscriminately by the British in 1919) and at Wagah Border, the pathway between Pakistan and India where they conduct a spectacular display between the Border Security Force of  Indian side and The Sutlej Rangers from the Pakistan side.

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Amritsar and Sri Harimandir Sahib

Amritsar and Sri Harimandir Sahib

While having  a foreign passport ensured I got VIP access through the long queue at Wagah Border. Once inside, Denise my friend who was travelling with me is of Indian descent although Australian by birth and myself dressed in local wear with a turban on my head, were perceived as locals. As we both did not look like foreigners, we were ushered to the back of the crowd, away from the front where the foreigners sat with a good view. I was unable to photograph its entirety up close but I managed to get this one shot.

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This following is what we looked like on this trip.

Behind the Scenes - Amritsar and Sri Harimandir Sahib

Behind the Scenes - Amritsar and Sri Harimandir Sahib

oh….. and below is how we got dressed up to hit the town to check out its nightlife!

Behind the Scenes - Amritsar and Sri Harimandir Sahib