Up at 07:30am, just in time to wish Martin safe travels before he headed off to Shimla, and after a pleasant breakfast of porridge and toast we went back to bed til midday as we were both bushed from our day yesterday, and the accumulated effect of travelling consistently over the past six months, moving on to a new location almost every day.
We met Claire and Emiel under the cool shade of the outdoor dining area, and sat around for the afternoon chatting and working on our computers. We’ve arranged to take a tour tomorrow around Amritsar so that will be cool.
Late in the afternoon we heard a ruckus outside, and the guesthouse staff opened the side gate to see what was happening. A parade was coming up the side street – led by a military band and then followed by a ute with massive speakers blaring out music, and then a crowd of people dancing in the street, followed by a horse drawn cart carrying the statue of a deity being worshipped. We were all taken into the group and had a dance with the people, much to their delight.
A short while before sunset we all caught a tuk-tuk out to the Golden Temple (Bhai Mati Das) Amritsar’s number 1 attraction. After donning headscarfs or bandanas, leaving our shoes at the counter, and washing our hands and feet we entered the temple complex and had a great time walking around the pool that surrounds the Temple. Soothing music was playing over the loudspeakers, and the place felt very serene and mellow.
Claire and Emiel had previously visited the Golden Temple yesterday along with Martin in the middle of the afternoon and had commented that it was very hot and very bright with the white marble reflecting the sunlight quite harshly, and the music was more frenetic during their visit, so they thoroughly enjoyed seeing the temple this evening.
After a slow wander around the temple we caught a tuk-tuk to the nearby Brother’s Restaurant, after reading good reviews in Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor. Our vegetarian meals didn’t disappoint, and for 1,000 INR (approx AU$20 total for four people, including drinks) it was great value.
Our tuk-tuk ride home stopped by at a bottle shop so that Karen could treat herself to a bottle of scotch, and for now we’re all relaxing in the cool garden.
Tomorrow we’ll go sightsee in Amritsar – including the site of the 1919 massacre that led to the downfall of the Raj. The following day we’re off to Shimla for some well-earned R&R