There is something special about Amritsar—more than just the Golden Temple—which in itself is an amazing place. It is the holy heartland of the Punjab. Perhaps it’s the steady flow of pilgrims. There is a free bus from the train station –the three kilometer to the holy Golden Temple which is in the center of town. As one heads along the route, an old woman starts chanting and the whole bus is chanting in reply. The music is repetitive, soothing and calming to the ear in comparison to the usual cacophony. The people are different. The Sikhs are very tall and quite striking. The men look all the taller in their colorful turbans. They tower overall all the other Indians who do not come to their shoulder. Things are more organized in the Punjab. The farms look well run with the usual large multiple family unit compounds located in the flat fields.
The Golden Temple is an enchanting place—always full of pilgrims who make their way clockwise to the Golden Temple situation in the middle of a large rectangular body of water. Subject to obeying the barefooted and head cover rules for men and women all are welcome without any sign of intolerance. They are genuinely proud of this place and so they should be. It is an impressive as the Ta Mahal, only it’s a living place of worship. One visit is not enough; one must go a few times to absorb it all.