Sunday, November 3, 2013

India's Golden Temple

Us with Sister Sackley and her brother and sister-in-law
(see the line of people waiting to get in the temple behind us)
While in Amritsar, we also visited the "Golden Temple", so named because the building, originally built in 1574,  was covered in gold during the early 19th Century by a Sikh named Maharaja Ranit Singh.  The Golden Temple (real name is the Harmandir Sahib) is a place of worship for Sikhs and holds the Adi Granth or holy scripture of Sikhism (thanks Wikipedia).  It is completed surrounded by water and you can wait hours to go in and see the holy scriptures.

We elected not to go in, but fortunately our driver for the day was a Sikh and said he would be glad to show us around the outside.  We gladly accepted.  The first step was to don our orange headgear (orange is one of the official colors of the Indian flag and while other colors of head cover were available, these were 'cool' and only cost 10 rupees each).  Before entering the temple site, everyone must remove shoes (and socks) and wash their feet.  We then walked the path of some 100,000 visitors each day.  In fact, our driver, Artindar, said that the Sikhs feed 100.000 people each day for free.  I really had my doubts until I saw the metal plates, the huge cooking pots and the chapati (unleavened flatbread) making operations (mostly manual, although there was one conveyor belt operation that flattened and cooked some of the chapati).   The temple was impressive, but we were more impressed by the the monumental effort and humanitarian service to feed so many people everyday, staff predominately by volunteers.  It was an inspiring experience for us.

People are fed throughout the day.  The Sikhs will feed
anyone that wants to eat.  We were also invited to eat.

Cooking pots

Lots of onions

Making chapati (unleaven bread)

Volunteers preparing garlic

We saw 4 different racks of plates like this one
Our driver/guide - Artinder Singh


  1. Great pics. Thanks for posting!!

    Dan and MaryJo C.

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