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Visiting Amritsar - a simple guide? (Read 1 times)
Amritsar Travel Administrator
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Visiting Amritsar - a simple guide?
Jan 12th, 2009, 7:39pm
Dear Friends,   I recently asked a question on Amritsar Portal and I received such a great answer, I thought it was worth sharing with everyone here.  My thanks again to "ADMIN" for the very warm welcome.  See you in Amritsar !

My questions :  I am a middle-aged married woman travelling alone. I would like to stay at the guest lodgings of the Golden Temple by myself on 16-17 March 2009. I am a spiritual person but I am not a Sikh. I am familiar with the rules of conduct for this holiest of temples. What advice do you have for me ? What offerings should I bring ? What is the usual donation for non-Indian guests ?

Response from Amritsar Admin:  
In terms of your question, there are many other people much better qualified to answer your question. [Paola: I don't think so !] However I can offer you my own humble words of advice.

1. First and foremost there is no need for any offering or donation required. The "Guru's " House - Sri Harmandir Sahib at Amritsar is open to all religions, creeds and believers. Whether you are a Sikh or a non Sikh, you are free to enter and do not need to make any special offering.  However if you wish to make a small donation when you reach the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh Holy Book), then most people make a small donation in front of the book. This donation is entirely up to you.

2. The key rule of conduct at Sri Harmandir Sahib is "respect" for the place. As such, you will need to keep your head covered and take your shoes off. There are a number of places before you enter where you can store your shoes and you will be given a token in return.

3. Take  your time to walk slowly around the Sarova (pool), and let the tranquil kirtan with its hypnotic melody soak your body so all your troubles and stress start to leave your body, leaving you at peace.

4. For the ultimate release of any sufferings, take a dip in the pool. There is a womans area for you enter the pool to immerse yourself. It is quite an experience to dip in the pool and watch the world from another perspective.

5. At all times try not to have your back towards the Sri Harmandir Sahib or sit with your back to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

6. There is always a lot of hustle and bustle at busy times - so try and go there early in the morning or late in the evening (or both to get the best experience).

7. Take the opportunity to have the free langar (free serving of simple food) - this is one of the great achievements of the Sikh Religion - an institution of free food for all guests. The Langar hall is to one side. Please make sure you find it or ask someone.

8. When you get to the inner sanctum (along the covered walkway) to the center, bow your head with your hands together as a sign of respect for the great teachings of the Gurus captured in the Holy Book (Sri Guru Granth Sahib).

I think that's all - not great rules other than respect for the place. Of course it goes without saying, one should not be intoxicated with any acohol, drugs or have eaten any meat prior to the visit.

Be confident, and relax - Enjoy your experience. Sikhism is a tolerant and understanding religion - you will not make any mistake and people will advise you gently if you do not understand anything.
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