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Amritsar Tour

31st Dec 2005

To continue the Chandhigadh Saga of touring, one of the memorable last day of the year I ever had enjoyed is 2005.

We the team of 11 Hexawarian & Mr. Samapath from Outerbay (The company for which we are working here in Chandhigadh) had decided a day outing to Golden Temple, Jaliyanwala Bag and The Wagah Border.

Amritsar is 235 km from Chandhigadh and further Wagah Border is 29km from Amritsar. We started at 6:15am from our Guest House and reached Amritsar at 11:30am. Due to the fog our journey got delayed by 30 min. We thought Amritsar will be a well organised city but our imagination flushed off seeing the city infrastructure. It was really unorganised city. It looks like an old pilgrimage village.

Golden Temple
Located in the heart of the city is the Golden Temple, the most visited tourist attraction of Amritsar. Characterized by its four entrance doors (called deoris) in all four directions and the tastefully decorated shrines, in terms of art and architecture, the Golden Temple welcomes everyone regardless of the religion or faith one follows. The stunning sanctum, shimmering in the water of the holy tank, flanked by spotlessly clean marble walkways and pavements makes it breathtakingly beautiful. The main temple is of gold and every day people give gold to this temple. Their might be 100's of people working for the maintenance. The entire Temple area is huge. Since this day was auspicious one, many devotees were there to pray the Takth. Like others we also tried to get in the queue but due to the heavy rush which once again unorganised way handled by the authority, we decided to see from the outside and planned to move our next destination. We waited here in the queue for one hr. and we could able to move max 10ft.

We then visited Jaliyanwala baug. It’s next to the golden Temple. A historical monument that tells the sad story of mass Mass Killing Pictkilling during the independence movement in India, Jalianwallah Bagh is another must visit in Amritsar. Here lies the memorial of the martyrs of the 1919 massacre by British General Dyer. Presently the place also has a park. The Martyr’s Gallery is open from 9 am to 5 pm in summers and from 10 am to 4 pm during winters.

We then moved to Wagah Border after quick filling our hungry stomach. We found few foreigners as visitors in the Amritsar. Also Wagah Border is one of the famous destination close to Amritsar. One can find so many tour operators marketing out with their agents on the gates of Golden Temple and Jaliyanwalah Baug.

As we kept on moving towards border the atmosphere looks no different among the locals but we all tourist were very much enthusiastic about the borders. For me it was one of my dream becoming reality which I thought long back in My College NCC (National Cadet Coprs) days. Similar to this my colleague Parag and Sampath expressed about the visit.

The Wagah BorderWe saw all types of vehicle moving towards the border and could able to imagine about the rush. The flag down ceremony starts at 4:30pm to 5:00pm. After parking our cars we found people are already queued near the metal detector door. We reached well in time before opening the entry. As soon the guard opened the doors, people were struggling to go through the bottle neck. So much enthusiasm among the people and I feel it’s
natural. Then the whole crowd moved towards the 'Swarna Jayanti Dwar' (The gate near the Border). To my surprise on both side of the border both Govt had built up a Stadium to Sit and watch the ceremony having capacity of at least 2000 people.

First time I saw a Pakistani Guard in black pathan ware, so closely near the Gate. Courtesy to our then Prime Minister Atalbihari Vajapay the travel bus from Amritsar to Lahore were there waiting before the ceremony to cross the border to go to Lahore. My colleague Parag expressed his wish to visit Lahore where no formalities required at all to cross the Border. He has some hope of reunion of both this country which I can’t see its practical. But as per Mr. Samapath we should not loose the hope.

We were there 5 minutes before the ceremony. The entire Indian crowd was very much charged up due to the event & as well due to those devotional songs were played on the loud speakers. In between the announcer used to charged the people with 'Hindustan Jindabad, Vande Mataram, Bhramt Mata Ki jai' type of slogans. At one point people started dancing on the road. Its amazing atmosphere. There were some people who cried literally.

Exactly at 4:30pm the flag down ceremony started and both the side the guards were doing their best performance of the year. The kind of energy flowing out of them while parade was like they were on fire. The kind of 'Josh' and foot stamping and elevating at the time of right and left turn was a kind of killer performance. No doubt about our border is in a strong and safe hand of these guards. My Salute to these soldiers and to Mother India.

Exactly after 30 minutes the ceremony closed and we were very much satisfied with this last destination visit and gossiping about the same. While returning we talked about the ceremony at least for 2 hrs. Everybody agreed that this is the best way celebrating the last day of the year 2005.

We reached home (Chandhigadh) at 11:15pm and had a small party in celebration of our Successful day tour and to Welcome the New Year 2006. We wished each other and closed the day.

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Written By Rajan Rikame

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