If there’s one thing Skeety desperately needed to visit Amritsar for, it was the Kadah Prashad at Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple). Even if that meant waking up at an unearthly hour, 4 am and dashing to the temple for a plateful. Check. Skeets couldn’t begin in the post in any other manner.
Back to the beginning. Skeety unboarded at the Amristar Railway Station and a quick lunch break later, found herself on a Punjab Tourism bus to Attari border (formerly wrongly called Wagah. Wagah is actually a village on the other side of the border). The lower of flags ceremony or the Beating Retreat needs no introduction but the experience does. Witnessing this grand ceremony (lasting approx an hour) can be your most patriotic and humbling moment ever. And this would be also the closest an Indian could get to Pakistan.
|The Beating Retreat|
Also nearby, is the tranquil and serenic Pul Kanjri (pic below), which is a destination being promoted by Punjab Tourism which has some great legendary tales attached to it.
|Launch of Amritsar food trail map at Sarhad restaurant|
Sarhad, the restaurant
The launch evening unfolded, at a strategically named and placed restaurant: Sarhad, which was a five-minute drive from the Attari border. This fabulous brick-finish restaurant Sarhad reminiscent of the pre-partition Punjab was founded by Aman Jaspal to host people witnessing the Retreat ceremony for a break. The food here is a tribute to both Lahori and Amritsari cuisine. There were some hits and misses but Skeeter strongly recommends Miyanji ki Dal, thick, creamy, yellow dal and oh-so-flavourful! The railway cutlets are worth sampling too. Ordinary fare, but spiced and cooked to perfection.
Palki procession at Harmandir Sahib
The visit to Harmandir Sahib at 4 am to see the Guru Granth Sahib ki Palki was the second most humbling experience from the trip. To see thousands of Sikh devotees and tourists, up and about to witness the Palki procession is heart warming. The Sikh holy scripture is carried on a Palki in a procession along the bridge to the Akal Takht.
|The Kadah prashad at Golden Temple, Amritsar|
|Langar hall of Golden Temple, Amritsar|
|Chai being served at Harmandir Sahib|