November 02, 2008

Shatabdi Express to Amritsar

After a few days wandering around Delhi and a day trip to the Taj in Agra, it was time for Stein and I to head of to the Punjab. We had an early morning train to catch. Homeless people were still asleep on the floors of the train platform as we boarded the Shatabdi Express to Amritsar. The Shatabdi trains are the fastest in the Indian Railways fleet, equipped with such luxuries as air conditioning, a one litre bottle of packaged drinking water, and newspapers. Meals are also served on board. A little before lunchtime we arrived in Amritsar. A friend of a friend picked us up from the station and took us to the Golden Temple, the holiest site for followers of the Sikh faith.

After purchasing a pair of orange coloured bandanas to cover our heads we entered the place of worship. Guests are welcome to stay within the complex. Accommodation and food is provided to all. We were given a room in one of the niwases ("houses"). After making sure we were comfortable, the friend of a friend suggested we visit the Pakistani border and bid us farewell.