Quite simple breath-taking, yet surrounded by the heat, dust, hustle and bustle of old Amritsar. Despite initial appearances from the outside the whole complex is run with incredible efficiency, drop off you shoes at one of the "lockers" and walk barefoot round to the entrance, dodging the odd moped and building works. No need to buy a head covering by the way, all is provided for. Enter the temple complex past formidable looking Sikh temple guards totting enormous spears, you walk through into another world. Endless white marble surrounds the central pool full of some of largest and most languid carp anywhere. The central structure, famously clad in beaten gold shines like a beacon and is one of the most incredible sites I've ever seen. It's really quite a humbling place, surprisingly quiet given the number of people around and if there's a league table of welcoming religions then Sikhism is right up the top. Take time to enjoy a walk around, it's may take a while not least as you'll be stopped by other visitors for a chat every few yards. Once you've marvelled at the Harmandir Sahib don't miss out on a trip to the canteen where meals are dispensed in mass quantities to all comers. All told an unforgettable experience so good we came again, twice. If you want to dodge the long queue to see inside the Harmandir (not great for a 6 year old in the hot sun) then come very very early when the Guru Granth Sahib is brought out in procession.
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