Tightening the Bandana, I touched the holy waters, creating ripples and making the fish circle in a rapid fashion. The holy lake looked blissful as it glimmered under the golden lights. Orange & black fish surfaced quickly and in a blink of eye, vanished back in dark. The chanting of holy words took me on a spiritual odyssey and I realized an envelope of serenity, encapsulating my conscious.
Some devotees were taking a dip in the holy waters, praying to the almighty with faith. I walked towards the temple, measuring the carpet laden perimeter with my foot. I couldn’t help but admire the glorious & bright marvel in front of me, Golden temple at night.
Blissful views of the Golden Temple
Golden temple at night is certainly a treat for the eyes & soul. The peaceful temple, which represents Amritsar for travellers, is highly revered by the Sikh community. The influx of devotees starts early morning and continues till 10 pm. If you have a day for Golden Temple, you should definitely make it a point to visit at night.
On certain occasions, when there is a birth anniversary of a Sikh Guru or an important event for Sikh community, Golden temple at night transmutes into a marvel beyond the golden lights and shades of it on the holy lake. Illuminous firecrackers cover the sky above the shimmering golden temple at night and coerce the stars to disappear.
Visiting the kitchen where langar is prepared.
After admiring the brilliance of the jubilantly lit temple and offering prayers to the almighty, we visited the kitchen where meals (langar) are prepared. If you are reading this sentence, before reading the next one, look away and take a guess about how many devotees are fed at Golden temple everyday!
Did you guess it yet?
What’s your guess?
Well, an average of 2,00,000 people are fed everyday by the commendable efforts of 100+ volunteers at Golden Temple. The number is not only astounding but also reaffirms faith in a principle of humanity. The principle of selfless dedication of one human for another being, just to ensure that a co-existing individual of society doesn’t go to bed with an empty stomach and a heavy heart.
When I visited the kitchen where volunteers toiled hard, I was impressed by the efficiency and commendable operations set up by the temple authorities. We started by visiting the large room where a massive roti maker was installed. Every minute, hundreds of breads (rotis) were produced. Two volunteers collected these breads in a vessel and handed it over to a group of 7-8 women. These women applied edible oil on these breads, making them softer. These breads were served by 20+ volunteers, along with other delicacies, to 300+ people at a time.
Once a devotee has savoured the meal, he/she will place the plate in a large vessel which will be transferred to the dish washing section. There are 50+ volunteers, assigned at various stations who thoroughly wash these plates and make a certain plate ready for re-consumption in less than 10 minutes!
The whole cycle of operations was highly efficient and I couldn’t help but get surprised to the dedication of the volunteers to help fellow beings!
Visiting Golden Temple at night was a truly mesmerizing experience. I was not only impressed by the glow of golden lights and marvellous ebullience, but also inspired by the efforts invested by the volunteers. They didn’t seek any recognition or applause for their deeds. They just believe in giving and serving the hungry. If even half of our world starts believing in the concept of subjugation of selfish motives and selfless service for society, this globe will transform in a much better place to live!
Disclaimer: I visited Golden temple recently during my trip to Punjab. I was invited by Punjab Tourism board to explore countryside and heritage of Punjab.