George and the girls visited Amritsar a few days ago and they came back with stories of beauty, simplicity, and humanity. This is a place of both stupendous beauty and sublime peacefulness. Originally a small lake in the midst of a quiet forest, the site has been a meditation retreat for wandering mendicants and sages since deep antiquity. The Buddha is known to have spent time at this place in contemplation.Two thousand years after Buddha's time, another philosopher-saint came to live and meditate there. This was Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the founder of the Sikh religion. After he passed away, his disciples continued to frequent the site; over the centuries it became the primary sacred shrine of the Sikhs.
Amritsar means "the pool of ambrosial nectar." You can see why it was so named.
They enjoyed walking around the temple at dusk and then partaking in the communal dinner offered to thousands of pilgrims every day. I watched a video of the feeding and washing operation and it all ran like clockwork. It was almost musical as the bowls clanked their way through a human chain to bins and sinks to be properly washed in time for the next sitting of thousands more who will enter the temple and have dahl and rice. Shame they can't roll out this slick operation to some other aspects of Indian life. They slept on the cool marble surrounding the temple and were protected by a tall and handsome Sikh guard with a weapon to fit his stature. The temple never sleeps, never stops, and they were woken by gentle chanting at dawn.