Oh beautiful Bundi, what a nice place to calm down after all the hecticness and adventures. It was time to go, though. More to see, more to experience. The train tickets got booked, next stop…
This is a desert town in Rajasthan and boy was it hot there! So hot I could hardly move during the day. In the end I only stayed a few days, enjoying the hot, dry, desert scenery, camels on the road and some great stall food!
I did squeeze in a visit to the Rat Temple. That’s right, a Rat Temple. Where Rats roam free, they get food and milk and are generally having a good time. If you see a White Rat, it means good luck. And I saw one! Twice! So super lucky days for me ahead, I think. It was very funny to see all the Indians STORM over to where the White Rat was when it got spotted. I guess everyone wants a bit of luck when they can get it….
After Bikaner me and Tom got on the train again. I met a lovely group of women, and they fed me and then dressed me up as a “real Indian married girl-lady”. Say what you like, but the rest of the day, NO ONE hassled me at all… I was seriously thinking about investing in bindis!
This city is the mecca of the Sikh religion. The Golden Temple is where all the followers and pilgrims come together. The temple area provides free food and accomodation for pilgrims and foreigners alike. It was a great experience, because although it was extremely busy there, the atmosphere was peaceful and calm. My favourite passing-time was just sitting on the premises, watching people walk by. Some come and talk to you, some have amazing (and I mean amazing!) turbans and gear that comes with the Sikh religion, others bathe in the pond around the temple before paying hommage to the gurus. A very spiritual and lovely place.
How different is the infamous “Border Ceremony” near Amritsar. Where there’s a display of utmost national pride on both the Indian side and the Pakistan side. It’s impressive, weird, funny and kind of scary. As the soldiers march/race up and down, the Indians go absolutely bonkers. They LOVE it and are super excited. Definitely an experience I’ll never forget. And a big contrast with the calm temple.
All in all I really enjoyed my time in Amritsar, a very special place indeed. Makes me want to see more of Punjab, but for now, I’m on my way to McLeod Ganj. To the mountains!