Smorgasbord - Politics, Lisp, Rails, Fencing, etc.

My musings on assortment of things ranging from politics, computer technology and programming to sports.

Monday, April 03, 2006


On this day:

Amritsar Golden Temple



I will rate the Amritsar Golden Temple as one of the most tourist friendly places in the world. The people over there are very hospitable and friendly.

The Golden temple is situated in the middle of a lake in a citadel. As a mark of respect, all visitors are required to cover their heads. One can use any piece of cloth to cover the head, but if none is available on hand then free scarfs are available inside the temple complex but just outside the citadel. Also, shoes need to be removed, and people must not drink alcohol, eat meat or smoke cigarettes or other drugs while in the shrine. The citadel has four entrances and is open 24hrs for people of any religion/caste/colour/sex etc.

The temple houses Sri Guru Granth Sahib which is considered the Supreme Spiritual Authority and Head of the Sikh religion. Sikhism rejects idol worship, so the book is not worshiped as an idol, but is respected for its contents. In the evening around 10:30pm there is a Sawari during which the book is removed from the Golden Temple and taken to its resting place. The book is take back to the temple early in the morning around 2:30am. In the mean time, the temple is washed and cleaned with milk.

The citadel also contains Akhal Takht, the supreme decision making body for Sikhs all over the world. Besides the citadel there is a building where in langar people are served free food 24hrs, 365 days. Many visitors also take bath in the pond (Sarovar) surrounding the temple. Roughly, for every worker in the temple there are three sevaks who work and help in performing the various chores voluntarily. Anyone, interested in performing seva can also approach other volunteers and ask for guidance.

If anyone goes to Punjab, I will highly recommend a trip to the Golden Temple.

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