Friday, April 12, 2019


The first thing we did on arriving in Amritsar is visit the Golden temple. The Harmandir Sahib also known as Darbar Sahib, is a Golden Gurudwara of Sikhs located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. It is the holiest Gurudwara and the most important pilgrimage site for Sikhs. It was founded in 1574 by the 4th Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das and completed in 1604. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the 

one who covered it in gold in 1830, two centuries after its construction. This took 162 kg of 24 karat gold, then worth about Rs 65 lakh, again in the 90s, it was renovated with 500 kg of Gold.
If you have driven to Amritsar in your own car/van, you will do well to keep it parked in your Hotel premises and commute using the local autorickshaws/e-rickshaws as the street of old Amritsar where 

you have to go sight seeing and shopping are extremely narrow and the traffic of vehicles and humans is absolutely chaotic.
Next morning we visited the Jallianwala Bagh, a public garden which has acquired the dubious fame thanks to the massacre of peaceful Indians on 13th April 1919, a hundred years back, when troops of the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer fired rifles into a crowd of Indians who had gathered to celebrate Baisakhi.

Hundreds of people jumped to their death into the well in the Bagh to escape firing. 

The bullet holes in the wall are still preserved as a memory to the martyrs.
Next visit was to the Durgiana mandir which is modelled on the lines of the Golden temple. It was 

built in 1921 by Guru Harsai Mal Kapoor in the architectural style of the Sikh Golden Temple and inaugurated by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya an Indian educationist and politician notable for his role in the Indian independence movement.
The evening was reserved for ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony at Attari, the border between India and Pakistan where every evening when the respective flags are lowered there is a show of patriotism at 

the gate by the Border Security Forces of both countries supported by nationalist slogans on either side. It is a spectacle that is very popular and very well orchestrated.
Apart from the sight seeing activity we did thoroughly enjoy the Amritsari food of kulchas, chhole, 

fish and lassi interspersed with shopping not in malls but in age old shops lined up in the Kartar 

market. You can get Punjabi/Pathani suits for men and women tailored and delivered to your hotel in a day and get some real bargains on leather jootis (footwear) to top it off. We did!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019


Finally visited Dalhousie, the hill station that was in my must visit list for a long time.
My first impression – crowded with people and hotels/motels/malls. Fortunately for us our hotel, though next to the Bus Terminus, seemed secluded once we entered and the view of the Pir Panjal 

range of the Himalayas from the hotel premises was magnificent.
Dalhousie, a hill station in Chamba district of the State of Himachal Pradesh, was named after The Earl of Dalhousie, who was the British Governor-General in India while establishing this place in the 1850s as a summer retreat, at a height of 1970 metres above sea level.
Our local sight seeing started with a visit to Panjpula where one can avail of the adventure activities

like walking across the rope bridge and zip lining or chill in a mountain cafĂ© with a tea, coffee, soft 

drink or maybe a hookah/sheesha of your favourite flavour.  You can start your souvenir shopping 

right here or move on to Gandhi chowk where there is a pedestrian zone for a mall. Do check out the

St.John’s church established in 1863 in Gandhi chowk and then move on to the next chowk, the 

A tiny temple on the path to Subhash chowk.

 Rock art on the path to Subhash chowk

Subhash chowk seen from Gandhi chowk

The mall between Gandhi chowk and Subhash chowk

Coffee if you wish to feel refreshed in the mall.

Subhash chowk, where you can check out St.Francis church built in 1894.

In Shubash chowk there are plenty of restaurants that serve excellent food. We ate at Shere-e-Punjab 
which afforded beautiful views too apart from wonderful service and delicious food.

Next morning we decided to explore Khajjiar, 22kms from Dalhousie, as the roads had opened up a 

couple of days earlier after the snow was cleared. Khajjiar is famous for its bowl shaped, pine ringed 

meadow. It offers a lot of photo ops which we indulged in, had lunch there and started back to 

The return drive was made memorable due to a massive traffic jam in the narrow mountain roads. We were stuck in the traffic for an hour and a half.

A couple of nights in Dalhousie, I think, were good enough, and am glad I knocked it off my list.