Sunday, February 28, 2010

Amritsar - Golden Temple and Holi

We didn't wake up as early as intended (slept until almost 9am--wow!), and first thing took a cycle-rickshaw down to the Golden Temple, with virtually nothing with us so we could get in faster. Anyway, photos are not allowed in the Temple itself (see yesterday for a representative inlay from elsewhere).

There were already lots of people there, and we waited almost an hour to get out to the Temple, but it was worth it. The inlay work was incredible. It put the Taj Mahal to shame. The Taj has only semi-precious stones. The Baby Taj had only less valuable materials, which have actually quite a bit more depth. Other sites have all had either the one set or the other. The Golden Temple combined both to great effect, along with other materials, including mother of pearl and some we didn't recognize or remember seeing before. Additionally, rather than just flowers, these inlays included animals, people, and fruit. And they were virtually all different from one another. The Taj had a bunch of the same inlays.

This was also where the music from yesterday was coming from. It was more beautiful up close and not through the PA system. There were also some of the biggest most beautiful crystal chandeliers I've ever seen, lit with many small compact fluorescents. Love it. (We rarely see any other kind of bulb here.)

After, we took a cycle-rickshaw back to our hotel and along the way were hit with a goodly number of color-filled water balloons for Holi. We didn't think they did that until the second day of Holi, so we weren't dressed for it. Oh well. We had a quick breakfast back at our hotel, packed up, and headed for our noon-ish bus to Dharamsala and then Mcleod Ganj. Our bus didn't come and we ended up taking 3 buses to get to Mcleod Ganj and had a long wait at the bus station for the first one. Mary had an unhappy ride with lots of motion sickness, but eventually figured out that she had some audio books with her and started listening to "The Highest Tide". Josh was able to read almost the whole way. Lucky duck. The scenery was amazing (post some next time), until it got dark.

1 comment:

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