Last year, this time we were there.

I’d heard so much about the Harmandir Sahib, that I knew I had to visit someday. It was a dream that stemmed from a childhood I held very dear. Those of you who remember the wedding I attended last year, would know that this was the second half of that girl trip. The day we stepped into the city of Amritsar, we headed for the Golden Temple. It was the Gur Purab weekend. Divine intervention worked its way, I guess.

We were staying pretty much in the vicinity and couldn’t wait to get there. Once we reached there around 8.30 pm, we kept our shoes outside, dipped our feet in the icy cold water and walked with our heads covered. A feeling of peace and serenity greets you as soon as you walk in. But nothing, nothing prepares you for what meets the eyes. It was the eve of Kartik Poornima which is celebrated as Guru Nanak’s birthday. The Golden Temple, decked like a bride, took our breath away at first glance.

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People thronged the parikarama and we walked, too, in awe of something bigger than us. As we stood in line for the Darshan, the mellifluous keertan touched the strings of our heart. No words can do justice to what we felt. Once we were done taking divine blessings, we heard the Palki come out.  Our heads bend in reverence and our eyes closed in devotion with every other around us. Faith, when from the heart, can truly move mountains. Faith, this time, just moved something in all of us. I know for  fact I left a part of my baggage there that evening. Almost instantaneously, we decided to return for the morning service.  And we did, a day later.

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We thought we would walk down to the temple at 4.00 am. The durbaan of the hotel, however, insisted on putting us in a rickshaw. I did try to protest, but to no avail.  He ensured that the rickshaw driver got it loud and clear that he was to drop us three ladies safely. The durbaan did not have to, but he did. It felt nice that he was so concerned. It also felt sad that we needed this sort of ‘protection’ to travel around in our own country. A dichotomy of sorts, I guess.

The first sight that greeted us when we reached was that of a full moon high up in the sky. My thoughts took a back seat as I saw a devotee pay his obeisance in the  crisp wintry waters. I just had to capture the moment.

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As we walked around the sarovar, this time more aware of our surroundings, this ber tree  had a story to tell.

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We knew it would be a long time before we would visit again, so we took the time to capture the memories, from every nook and corner.

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Yes, the Golden Temple on a full moon night is an ethereal vision to be experienced. Put it on your to-do list.

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It was inching towards dawn, and you do know how I delight with sun rises. This morning was going to be glorious, I could feel it. And so, we waited it out, patiently. One tick, one tock at a time for the sky to turn blue.

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And slowly nature unraveled its mystery in front of us. The blue hour merged with a hint of crimson, not ready to take the plunge yet.

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The sky was getting clearer, the temple lights were now going out, one phase at a time.

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The water glistened like molten gold thrown mingled with rustic copper. The Sun God was going to make an entrance, it seemed.

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And he did. First, just a glimpse of his shimmering crown.

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And he came in all his glory.

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Morning had broken, indeed.

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And I got the coveted picture of the first rays of the sun on the Golden Temple. Some things are worth giving up sleep for…

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And then, we were homeward bound. Back to the world as we knew it, till such time when we would embark on another journey. This trip meant different things to each one of us. And yet, we were destined to make it together.  It has been a year, already. Maybe it is time for another journey,no?

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And the post would be incomplete without a video, so here goes. 🙂

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