After 8 1/2 months on the road, we have now arrived in India . It is the first time for me, Leo is here for the third time. Before I started this trip, I didn't really want to come here. I had heard many rumors and prejudices about India at home. Too crowded, too loud, too dirty, unreliable, dangerous ...
With mixed feelings, I am sitting on the bus that takes us from the Pakistani border to Amritsar, our first stop in this huge country. Since we don't know exactly which route the bus will take, we ask the young people sitting in the row in front of us. Fortunately, they speak English and are happy to help us. You are curious, want to know what we do here with so much luggage and where we come from. They reliably let us know when we have to get out and still point in the direction in which our hostel is located. A nice start to the new country for me.
Learn from the Drachensteig professionals
When we arrive at the hostel we move into our room. It is small and has no outside window. It also borders directly on the hostel kitchen, which guests can also share. But in this case we don't care. After experiencing so much in the past few weeks, let's take it easy here. And we start with that the next morning by having our breakfast on the roof terrace of the hostel. On this occasion we discover our new hobby that will keep us busy for the next few days: fly kites.
On a tour of discovery in Amritsar
When we are not busy flying kites, we explore Amritsar. Compared to many stations on our trip so far, the city is actually a little louder, messier and dirty. But at the same time also more colorful, diverse and exciting. There is something new to discover everywhere and we meet many people who speak to us curiously. It's nice that we can communicate so easily here, because someone always speaks English.
The golden Sikh temple
A highlight of our days in Amritsar is undoubtedly the golden Sikh temple, also known as Harmandir Sahib . We visit the Sikh shrine several times. It is a mystical place with a very special atmosphere. Thousands of people flock to the palace grounds surrounding the temple every day to pray, meditate, or just walk clockwise around the gold-leafed temple. In the temple itself, verses from the "Holy Book" are recited throughout the day. These songs are accompanied by music and can be heard through loudspeakers throughout the temple complex.
We are particularly impressed by the Sikhs' openness to strangers. People of all origins and religions are unreservedly welcome here. The temple is always open (even at night) and pilgrims are allowed to stay for free under the arcades or in the guest rooms for a maximum of three days. Almost more impressive for us is the huge food stall, which also provides warm meals to the faithful, but also all other visitors to the temple, free of charge. Clear that we want to take a closer look at that.