This morning we visit the Golden Temple, considered one of the most beautiful places of worship in the world. It is situated in the middle of a sacred lake, fed by an underground spring and is architecturally a unique blend of Hindu and Muslim styles.
Within the temple is the Adi Grantha, the sacred scripture of the Sikhs, displayed on a jewel-studded platform. Visitors are welcome, but are requested to show respect for Sikh culture by removing their shoes, wearing a headscarf and refraining from drinking alcohol or smoking in the complex.
We also visit Jalianwala Bagh, the somber site dedicated to the innocent people gunned down by British troops during the Amritsar massacre, on April 13, 1919. At that time, thousands of men, women and children had gathered peacefully in the Jallianwala Bagh garden to celebrate the festival of Vaisakhi. But public gatherings were illegal at that time, and sadly the British soldiers opened fire. Between 379 and 1,000 people were killed, and many more injured. The Martyr's Well, which you can still see at the site today, is a particularly tragic reminder of the 120 souls who leapt into it – and thus to their deaths – in order to avoid the soldiers’ bullets. The massacre was a turning point for British colonial rule in India and, ironically, a step towards the nation’s Independence.
Later in the afternoon we drive up into the Kangra valley, in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, to heritage village of Pragpur.