Punjab, India- Nattalie
Ive always been one to seek places ‘made of ’ history and rich culture. The kind that unearths a vibe, right before your very eyes, about a particular society. Either that , or a beach getaway does it for me. Observing daily life go by in such a place, allows you to discover or perhaps stumble upon the deeper significance beyond the whole community. From dress-code, ceremonies, food to how interactions occur.
On arrival in Amritsar you certainly notice how busy the streets are and that sunny July day was no exception. All I wanted was to cool down and cater to my butter chicken cravings. It was easy to find a restaurant close by thanks to recommendation from strangers. The only thing out of the ordinary was a man following me claiming he’d show me the ‘right restaurant’. I paid him no attention and wandered about for ten minutes before running into friendly travellers. They invited me to join them for lunch which saved me the hustle of telling my newly found stalker to get lost. We walked past some old buildings and found our restaurant soon after. They served an AMAZING drool-worthy butter chicken with naan. A meal that had become a go-to favorite. Soon after I was ready to find my hotel clean up and take in the atmosphere. A tuktuk ride later I was happily in my room post-shower, updating my friends I had reached the destination safely and was excited to visit the Golden Temple.
I had read quite a bit about it prior to my arrival but nothing really prepared me for the intense emotional journey that came from within and engrossed my whole body. The entrance to the site is surrounded by a white stunning architectural structure, its only after you walk in that your sights are set on the Golden temple. I had started out walking about this spiritual monument and taking pictures as did most people. But only when I started to really observe it and be in the moment that a deep sense of calm came flowing in. It was beautiful. The clear sky above , the women laughing, the men cleansing their bodies in the water. It all felt right. (It should be noted women have a separate are to get into the water) I just sat and observed in awe. What I did not know at the time was that this was by far the most impressive sacred place I had visited in India The travellers I had lunch with earlier walked by and joined me. It was 01:00am when they though we should leave. I was so taken by the beauty of thesite and all the good energy.
I could not remember having felt as vulnerable and bare as I did in that moment. I was so taken by the beauty of the site and all the good energy. A feeling deep within tagging at my gut . In that moment I knew I had no business returning to my room. This was where I would spend the night. In the middle of strangers. Observing life go by under a beautiful moonlit sky. I felt at home right there 5,431km away from home. Only beauty could be observed.
Pictures below are shots from a frequently event held at the India Pakistani border. Certainly worth attending and located close to the golden temple.