Wednesday, May 2, 2012

No Shoes, No Problem

At the moment I am in Muktsar, Punjab, with my friends family the Goyals. They are super nice and have been making me amazing Indian dishes.

Border at Ferozpur
On Monday I went with the family to see the closing of the India-Pakistani border at Ferozpur, Punjab. The ceremony is an over-the-top show of power between the border guards of each country. The event seems more like a bird mating dance than a border closing. The soldiers stomp around wearing tap-dance like shoes, yelling and playing trumpets. On either side of the border there are bleachers for bi-standards to watch and cheer for their country.

On Tuesday I headed to Amritsar, which is full of famous temples. First on our list was the Golden Temple. This is a Sikh temple so you must wear a head covering to enter. Like all temples shoes must be removed and your feet cleaned to enter. The temple is an amazing sight. The complex is surrounding by white marble buildings. In the center is a huge pool of water with koi fish swimming around. In the center of the pool is a golden temple. Sikhs come from all around the world to pray at the Golden Temple.

Golden Temple
The temple exterior is covered in gold plates and the interior is beautifully decorated with gemstone designs. At the temple the family and I bought offerings and stood in line to get a view of the Guru Granth Sahib, the most sacred book of Sikh religion.

After the golden temple we headed to Jallianwala Bagh garden, were the massacre of 1579 Indian people by British soldiers. Here an eternal flame burns in their honor.

We then headed to Durgiana Temple which is a Hindu temple. It is very similar to the golden temple. It is surrounded by a large pool of water and is covered in gold and has silver plated doors. Bells may be rung to praise the many Hindu gods.

Jallianwala Bagh Garden
Mata Temple was our last temple visit. At this Hindu temple one must follow a labyrinth which passes through caves that you must crawl through, rivers of water and colorful rooms decorated with mosaic art depicting the many Hindu gods. Along the way you can give respect to all the gods. After finishing the labyrinth you can participate in the signing and eating in the main temple area.

After visiting the many temples. We headed to the Wagah India-Pakistani border. This is much bigger than the Ferozpur border. We watched again the bird-like dance of the soldiers and cheered for our sides.

On the road back we stopped for pakora and chai before arriving home for a well deserved sleep.


  1. Very interesting, I'm sure you will not forget this trip.

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