The Harmandir Sahib (or Hari Mandir) in Amritsar, commonly called the Golden Temple, is Sikhism’s holiest shrine. Observe the life, vigor and vitality of this temple’s religious fervor and sacredness, where thousands of pilgrims converge from India and abroad. It is best visited early morning or at night..when it is beautifully lit up. Witness the nightly ceremony – ‘Palki Sahib’, when the ‘Guru Granth Sahib’ is carried in procession from the main shrine to its night abode..the Akal Takht, where it rests for a few hours until the opening ceremony next morning. Male pilgrims shoulder the heavy palanquin for a few seconds each before passing it along, forming a human ‘conveyer belt’ allowing everyone to participate and rest.
Golden Temple-Morning Ceremony
The Harmandir Sahib (or Hari Mandir) in Amritsar, commonly called the Golden Temple, is Sikhism’s holiest shrine. Observe the life, vigor and vitality of this temple’s religious fervor and sacredness, where thousands of pilgrims converge from India and abroad. It is best visited either at night or early morning..when the early morning ‘Kirtan’ begins in the sanctum with singing and the procession’s arrival from the Akal Takht with the ‘Guru Granth Sahib’ being carried on a palanquin on the shoulders of male Sevadars (volunteers) or pilgrims. The ‘Guru Granth Sahib’ remains on its throne in the sanctum until early evening, when it is again taken by procession on a palanquin to the Akal Takht for its night-time rest.
City Highlights of Amritsar
Explore Amritsar, literally meaning ‘holy pool of nectar’..the spiritual and cultural center of the Sikh Religion, founded by the 4th guru of Sikhs..Ram Das. Visit Sikhism’s holiest shrine – the Golden Temple..see its gold-plated gurdwara crowned with a golden dome shaped like an inverted lotus; visit Jallianwalla Bagh – a public garden housing a memorial commemorating the massacre by British occupying forces; see the old city with the Durgiana Temple..a premier Hindu Temple named after the Goddess Durga; watch the changing of the guard at the Wagah Border..the border crossing between Pakistan and India..where every evening is held the ceremonial closing of gates and lowering of flags of India and Pakistan; stroll through the sweet markets and visit the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama. Enjoy a 5min cycle rickshaw ride to the Golden Temple.
An interesting 4hr village visit lets you see and feel how a day in the village unfolds. Meet and interact with local farmers; see the villagers go about their daily activities..like bathing and feeding the animals. Notice green fields where crops like wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize and barley are grown. Observe how farmers work in the fields, while they nurture and care for the crops. See farming machinery like tillers, disc ploughs, disc harrows, sickles and tractors. See the creative ability of the women with embroidery of different designs and colors. Also visit a brick making factory on the way. Enjoy warm hospitality, believed to promote brother-hood and holds a special significance for the people.
2h-Heritage Walk with Guide
Take an insightful 2 hour Heritage Walk through the walled city of Amritsar, and observe this 400yr-old city with myriad narrow lanes and alleys, showcasing historic, religious and architectural sites. Starting at Town Hall, be accompanied by a guide, who accompanies you on a unique walk down history’s ‘memory lane’. En route, observe the Gurdwara Saragarhi, entrance Gate of Fort Ahluwalia, old Buildings outside Fort Ahluwalia, inside of Chitra Akhara, Baba Bohr (500yr-old Banyan tree), Darshani Deora; notice how traditional crafts and trade of the town still being practiced in age-old traditions; visit the utensil market; see Marwari carved intricate wooden facades, Balconies, Chaiwalas (tea-making stalls); view frescos in Shiv Mandir; see Jharokhas, Havelis, Hatties; visit Krishan Mandir, Dharamshala.