I am here at Beas , Panjab at Radha Swami Satsang , Beas , at my father-in-law’s home on my annual visit. I have been coming to this place now for more than 30 years.
I have read about the developments around Golden Temple. It was mentioned that it’s being developed on the lines of Vatican complex. This has motivated my visit to Amritsar along with some additional incentives of visiting some museums. Shopping of punjabi clothing is my way of releasing my traveling stress.
We (RB and me) started early at 8.30 am with plans to have breakfast on a roadside dhaba. 8.30 am is pretty early for a us in our winter holidays relaxation and rejuvenating trip. We started right on time, in the family Santro car. This 12 years old is fit and strong, a robust Panjabi beauty.
On GT road, we stopped at SK7 dhaba and had stuffed pranthas of aloo (potato) and gobhi (cauliflower) with curd and hot masala tea.
The gobhi prantha, curd and masala
Pranthas were huge and had the rustic panjabi taste. Usually, people prefer plain or salty curd with stuffed pranthas but I like to have sweet curd to balance the spicy chilli stuffing.
This place has clean toilets too. More options were available as you move towards Amritsar near Mallian.
I prefer to have food in dhabas as they cook fresh foods and have mostly recipes passed on from generations. That’s the secret of their authentic tastes. Besides anything else, I go for hygiene.
Following the instructions from Google map to reach parking behind Golden Temple, we landed in a web of crisscross narrow lanes. After wasting lots of precious time, we came across a parking by the boundary wall of Baba Atal Gurudwara. The parking guy took 20 Rs. and gave us a receipt. There was no board of parking put-up there anyway. Finding a place to park the car after all the tussel of reaching here was a big relief. An E-rickshaw came from nowhere and dropped us at nearest entry to the golden temple. Before boarding, we confirmed the location of parking for an easier return to pick up the car.
I would suggest to park your vehicle outside in some nearby mall and take a local E- rickshaw to reach golden temple. You will save driving stress, time and effort.
After depositing the shoes, we moved towards the main complex. I last visited two decades ago with my sons. At that time, there was no crowd and we had very easy entry to the main sanctum of the golden temple. The crowds this time was huge and we decided to enjoy the serenity of the place and spent some time around the complex instead of being part of the queue.
The weather was very pleasant. Complex was very clean. We bought panjiri prasad and kadha prasad . There is a museum about Sikh history in the complex . It has marvelous collection of information about the glorious past of Sikhs. A very enriching and proud experience !
Jalianwala bagh is also in the same complex. The entry through the historic lane through which Gen O’Dwyer entered the bagh with his forces to attack the Indians inside still smells blood.
There is also much improvement in the complex as compared to my last visit. A visitor gallery showing the glimpses and heroes of Jalianwala bagh has been put up to enrich visitors knowledge about forgotten facts .
This well had witnessed the massacre and had offered itself to thousands of bravehearts. Visiting Jalianwala bagh was a very humbling experience.
We hired an E rickshaw for wholesale cloth market. In most of the tourist places, a nexus between the rickshaw walas and shops is well known. I never go to a shop recommended by any local unknown person. After hopping few shops, finally got a genuine wholesale shop. If the rates of garments around golden temple complex is Rs. 2000 , you can find same cloth in wholesale market in Rs.650. So, it’s worth a walk of 15 minutes through the nearby lanes. E-rickshaw takes you there in 10 rs per person.
Around 2 o’Clock, we came back to Golden temple complex and had our lunch at “Bharawon ka dhaba”. “Kesar ka dhaba”is a popular old food joint. I was not keen to follow the old “well-known” eating places as these places are unnecessary hyped.
We had makki ki roti – sarson ka saag and amritsari aloo kulcha – pindi chana. Both were tasty and has authentic punjabi taste. The finishing touch was phirni. Very tasty, not very sweet melt in mouth sweet dish, phirni was clear winner in local desserts.
The food was tasty and was served with so much of love. The convenient location and taste of food is the reason, this dhaba has become very popular with tourists.
The Independence museum is another important and not to be missed place in Amritsar. It’s all also within walking distance from golden place. Old recordings , documents and historical facts about our independence struggle is an eye opener. The selfless fighters have given us the most valuable gift of life – Freedom. We spent almost two hours there.
Have a look at the premises around the golden temple.