Amritsar: Sikhs, free food and funny border dances.

We visited the Punjab state just to go and see Amritsar. Amritsar is home to the Golden Temple, a fantastic Sikh temple that is situated in the middle of a holy lake. I really liked this temple despite a general dislike of religious things. Each day thousands of people (Sikh or not) are fed for free in the Langar, it is also entirely run by volunteers who come for a week or so at a time to help out.  I’ve never seen pots and pans so big, or seen food so efficiently dished out.

Photos from the langar kitchen:

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We visited both in the day and at night, it was super shiny at night and really quiet to wander around.

Failing in the art of selfie taking:

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One without my face in the way:

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The following day we went to the border with Pakistan. The Waggah border ceremony takes place each evening. This is where every day the Indian and Pakistani soldiers do a little angry dance to each other and slam their gates.

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We got the posh seats in our tuk-tuk:

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The Indian tourists turn up en masse, shouting patriotic chants in response to a guy with a microphone and an awesome mustache. The Pakistani tourists seemed a bit more placid in comparison. The whole thing is over in about 30 minutes but it takes a whole afternoon going to see it. There are numerous security checkpoints, westerners are separated from Indian tourists (maybe we are not patriotic enough), there is a lot of whistle blowing and then the main event starts.

There is a lot of angry marching, loud music and leg wagging from both sides. Gates are slammed, flags are lowered and I didn’t have a clue what was going on but it was all very funny.

These guys must be good at yoga:

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The stands were full up after a long wait and then the chanting started:

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Nice hats and mustaches: 

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We had a good time in Amritsar, we weirdly bumped into the Australian couple who we met previously at the Indian/ Nepal border and also the Canadian girls who we met in McLeod Gang. We left Amritsar and the Punjab to head to Rajasthan, where we will be spending the next few weeks. I crossed the state border huddled up in the sleeper train toilet vomiting for most of the trip – not great fun.

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