So our planned evening rest didn’t last long…it was the first time we’d really stayed in the heart of a city, with readily available Tuk Tuks…..so out we ventured just after dark.
We were approached by a driver within seconds, and It seems that a tuk tuk ride is 100 Rupees, no matter where you go in the city…..about £1.20 for the two of us.
So we headed for the Sri Harmandir Sahib……what’s that you ask……well, along with the Taj Mahal, it was our main reason in coming to India. This is the Golden Temple, spiritual home of the Sikh religion, and one of the modern wonders of the world.
Though we are visiting with a guide tomorrow, we had been advised by a couple we met to go down at night….and wow, were they right…!
We left our shoes and socks in storage (free of charge), and got our headwear (also free). Before entering, you wash your hands and feet as well, but what struck me straight away was how welcome we were being made.
You walk up some steps, then back down the other side and the view that awaits hits you with an emotional punch.
The place is HUGE…I had seen pictures of course, but nothing can prepare you for just how big it is.
At night, it is especially beautiful, the lighting is fantastic, whilst the central golden temple itself is just stunning.
As of couse are the surrounding temples.
We made our way around the huge artificial lake, and found our way to the Langar Hall, which is a Sikh community run kitchen that feeds 1000s of people for free every day.
We wanted to go in, but were just wondering whether it was appropriate in the evening when an elderly Sikh beckoned us, a silver tray, bowl and a spoon was pushed into our hands, and in we went.
We were served a dahl, chapatti and a potato curry (which was very nice), and a bowl of water.
It is an amazing facility, a real shining light demonstrating how we should treat our fellow man.
We wandered around the streets outside to find some fruit to take back to the hotel, and after buying bananas, a Tuk Tuk appeared to take us back to the hotel…it really did just appear as we turned round, they have an uncanny nack of doing that!
We go back to the temple tomorrow, this time in daylight.