Wagah border ceremony

The lowering of the flags at Wagah border is a daily military practice between India and Pakistan.

83

The ceremony takes place at sunset at the Wagah border (its Indian name is Attari), a border town between India and Pakistan. Wagah is 27km from Amritsar on the Indian side and 29km from Lahore on the Pakistani side.

Both sides have visitor galleries. I viewed the ceremony from the Indian side.

The ceremony is very theatrical with the marching involving the soldiers raising their legs as high as possible.

The soldiers march towards the gate at the border, which is opened. The soldiers will then salute each other and the both countries will start lowering their flags at the same time. The flags are then folded and the gates slams shut.

016

019

027

34

46

49

55

67

71

The Golden Temple – Evening Visit

The Golden Temple is a Sikh place of worship in Amritsar, India.

27.jpg

This post is about my evening visit to the Golden Temple. Click here to read about my visit during the day.

In the evening the closing ceremony to observe is the sukhasan. Sukh means comfort or rest, and asan means position.

At night the Guru Granth Sahib scripture book is placed on pillow bed decorated with flowers and carried into the Akal Takht amongst chanting to symbolically be put to bed.

31

36

39

45

49

24

The Golden Temple – Day Visit

The Golden Temple is a Sikh place of worship in Amritsar, India.

60

The Golden Temple, also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib, which means ‘abode of god’ is the holiest Gurdwara and the most important pilgrimage site of Sikhism.

Gurdwara, which is a place of worship, means ‘door to the guru’. Sikhs welcome people from all faiths, including those who do not have a faith to their gurdwaras.

There are four entrances to the shrine from four directions signifying this point that all are are equally welcome.

69

70

111

119

123

Construction on the temple begun in 1581. The temple has had to be rebuilt several times after being destroyed by Muslim armies from Afghanistan and the Mughal Empire.

The name Golden Temple came after the temple’s marble exterior was overlaid with gold foil in 1830.

The temple is surrounded by a manmade pool named Amrit Sarova, which translates as ‘pool of holy nectar’. There are many exotic fish in the pool. Devotees who visit the temple may bathe in the holy waters.

My small group visited the Langar, which is a community kitchen that serves free vegetarian food to everyone regardless of faith, gender or economic background. Everyone sits on the floor in rows and food is served by volunteers.

After lunch we visited the food preparation and cooking areas and participated in making the dough for roti.

Later in the afternoon we sat and watched a trio of Sikh musicians perform hymns with traditional instruments.

77

108

88

96

129

131

Jallianwala Bagh Memorial

Jallianwala Bagh Memorial is a public garden in Amritsar that is memorial to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

141

The memorial was established in 1951 to commemorate the massacre.

On Sunday 13 April 1919 the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer opened fire on thousands that had gathered peacefully in the Bagh to celebrate Baisakhi, an annual Sikh festival.

Visitors will enter the garden through a narrow lane, which would have been the only way to escape but was blocked by Dyer’s men.

The bullet ridden walls have been preserved as a reminder of the tragedy. There is also the Martyr’s Well, which many people jumped into to avoid the bullets. Around 120 bodies were recovered from the well.

151

The spot from where General Dyer’s troops opened fire

156

Bullet marks

166

172

Martyrs’ Well

As well as the preserved bullet marked walls and the well there are several monuments within and outside the garden.

The centrepiece of the garden is the Flame of Liberty, a 30ft four-sided red stone pillar in the shape of a flame. The Flame of Liberty was inaugurated on 13 April 1961 by Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the Republic of India.

Amar Jyoti, which translates as ‘timeless light’, is an eternal flame, that burns 24 hours a day.

Outside the entrance to Jallianwala Bagh is an elegant white marble statue that is also in the shape of a flame.

The 6.5 acre garden is located within the Golden Temple complex, and is a short walk from the Golden Temple.

159

163

Flame of Liberty

177

Amar Jyoti

187

153

178

Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun’s tomb is the tomb of Humayun, the second Mughal Emperor of India, in Delhi, India.

042

Humayun’s first wife, Empress Bega Begum commissioned the tomb. It was designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas and his son, Sayyid Muhammad.

It was the first garden tomb in Asia. Construction begun in 1566, nine years after Humayun’s death. It was completed in 1572.

There are around 150 graves in Humayun’s tomb and the surrounding gardens.

Humayun’s tomb is located at Mathura Road, opposite Dargah Nizamuddin, New Delhi, Delhi.

045

046

051

030

024

007

008

009

Qutb Minar

Qutb Minar is the tallest minaret in the world located in Delhi, India

001

Qutb Minar (also spelt Qutub Minar & Qutab Minar) is a five storey tower that is 73 metres (239.5 feet) tall. Its base is 14.3 metres (47 feet) in diameter. This narrows to 2.7 metres (9 feet) at the top. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone. The fourth and fifth storeys are made of marble and sandstone.

It was built in several stages with various rulers adding to it. Quab-ud-din Aibak, the first ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, established Qutb Minar around 1192. Shams-ud-Din Iltutmish the third ruler added three more storeys. Firoz Shah Tughlaq added a fifth storey when repairing the top storey following a lightening strike.

Qutb Minar contains a spiral staircase of 379 steps. It has been closed to public since 1981, when the staircase lighting failed and 47 people were killed when 300 to 400 visitors rushed to the exit.

There are also other significant monuments and buildings surrounding Qutb Minar, including Alai Minar (an unfinished tower), the Iron Pillar of Delhi, Major Smith’s Cupola (also known as Smith’s Folly), the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque (the first mosque built in India), the Tomb of Iltutmish and the Tomb of Imam Zamin.

Qutb Minar is in Mehrauli, New Delhi, Delhi.

02

03

04

05

06

07

08

09

Lotus Temple

The Lotus Temple, is a Bahá’í House of Worship, in Delhi, India

006

The Bahá’í House of Worship, which opened in Delhi in December 1986, is a place of worship where people of all religions can gather. This is one of the key concepts of the Bahá’í Faith – the Oneness of God, the Oneness of Religion and the Oneness of all People.

Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of Bahá’u’lláh founder of the Bahá’í faith, wrote that a House of Worship should be a nine-sided circular shape.

Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba was inspired by the lotus flower, a symbol in many religions. The temple, which is located on a 26 hectare property amongst landscaped gardens, features 27 marble clad petals, that are arranged in groups of three to form the nine sided shape.

Around the petals are also nine pools of water, which gives the impression of a floating lotus flower. There are nine doors that open onto a central hall that can hold 2,500 people (1,300 seated).

Bahá’í writings state that no statues or pictures be displayed within a House of Worship. Photography is not permitted inside the temple.

The Lotus Temple is opened Tuesday to Sunday from 9am. The temple closes at 5:30pm in winter and 7pm in the summer. Last entry is 30 minutes prior to closing.

There is also an information centre but this was closed when I visited.

The Lotus Temple is located at Lotus Temple Road, Bahapur, Shambhu Dayal Bagh, Kalkaji, New Delhi, Delhi.

022

008

010

011

015

021

002