Jorge Sanchez (Spain):
In 1989 I crossed overland the border Pakistan – India and in Atari the Customs agents did not allow me to proceed further into India. They told me that it was forbidden to cross Punjab individually and I had to wait a bus coming from Istanbul which would appear after six hours. He confiscated my passport and small bag until I boarded that Turkish bus.
Six hours was too much time for me to wait. I proposed the agent to allow me to visit the golden Temple, in Amritsar, only a few kilometers away, and promised him to get back in time for theTurkish bus. I said that I would be generous. And saying this, I showed him a few ten rupees notes, ready to pass them to him.
He agreed and took my rupees, but my passport and bag would remain with him.
I caught a shared taxi and reached the most sacred temple for the Sikh religion, started to be erected by Guru Ram Das.
During three hours I visited everything inside the temple, and listen to the harmonic music played by some of the monks. Even I had a free lunch that the faithful Sikhs gave to all the visitors.
Back to the border I waited for the Turkish bus, but if was full and for taking me standing on the bus the driver asked me 20 US Dollars.
I refused and asked for help to the agent who allowed me to get to Amritsar. He then helped me to get into a military car to the border with Haryana, thus crossing the whole state of Punjab. Once in the border, in Ambala City, I hitchhiked and soon a bus, filled with Punjabi people, dropped me in Connaught Place, Delhi, for free.
Six months later, still during that same journey, I crossed again Punjab, that time it was open to the foreigners, and stayed inside the Golden Temple, Amritsar, invited during 3 days, participating in the Sikh ceremonies.
Date posted: July 2013
Have you been to Sri Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar, Punjab? Share your experiences!