Golden Temple, Amritsar, Amritsar with kids

How Travelling To Amritsar Brought Our Family Closer

Have you been on a road-trip with your kids yet? Well we recently did, all the way to Amritsar. We went there with my hubby, my 2 year old son and my 14 year old nephew. Me and my hubby played Antarakshi along the way and sometimes we also managed to play UNO cards and Snake & ladders in the car. We were very excited to be away from our routine life and we really enjoyed the drive to Amritsar from Ludhiana.

I had always wanted to visit the Golden Temple

Why this road-trip was special:
We used to love travelling but were always hesitant to travel with kids. I think once the baby came we managed to go out for only a couple of weekend trips and just one “long” vacation of 6 days! So this trip to Amritsar was much awaited as I had always wanted to visit the Golden Temple which I had read so much about in my history books. And it was important for us to break the mental block of being on a road-trip with kids. It is much easier and a lot more fun, then we had imagined. We had lovely three days with serious family goals!

Our rendezvous with Amritsar:

At Amritsar we stayed at Hotel Radisson Blu, which had all the amenities a family travelling with a small child could need. The staff was very helpful as after all Sikhs and Punjabis all are known for their sweet talk, kind heart and jovial nature.

Day 1:

At Golden Temple we thanked god for our beautiful family : We first decided to go to the Golden Temple, the place we came to Amritsar for. We were also hungry and wanted to try out the legendary paranthas with dollops of butter that is the delicacy of Punjab.
But first we decided to visit Golden Temple, get darshan and then do some “paet puja” later. We had to park the car at some distance as you have to walk for quite some time to reach the actual temple complex. As soon as the Golden Temple came into view, we called said Wow!!! It left us breathless!!!
As we entered there was, a peaceful calm entered in our hearts and we felt at peace. All the things were very well organized, well maintained. Everyone was disciplined (to stand in a line), patiently waiting their turn. Inside the temple we also saw the method to ARDAS to God (i.e. direct talk to god) which was used by all the devotees to express their love to their Guru.

- The Gurudwara is surrounded by the Sarovar, a large lake which is considered holy. It is believed to be consisting of Amrit and provides spiritual blessings to anyone who bathes in it. We could also see different varieties of fishes inside the Sarovar.

- Just being there in that pious atmosphere made us thankful for the beautiful family that we had become. My little one seemed to smile through the visit as if he understood what I was feeling deep inside.

- The Gurudwara has a free community kitchen or langar, which is one of the largest in the world and feed almost 100, 000 people a day. But since we had other plans we left and went outside to ’Kesar Da Dhaba’ located at Chowk Passian and a 10-minute walk from the Golden Temple.

Kesar Da Dhabha: We had awesome and delicious Amritsari kulchas (stuffed with paneer, cauliflower and potato) with lots of butter and with curd. As my son is fond of butter, I was surprised to see him and my nephew eat and chew the paratha without fuss. Now we understood why Punjabis are true gourmets, to them food is everything, and no one can savor these delicacies quite like them! Maybe “mere beta ko bhi Punjab ki hawa lag gayi hain” I wondered!!! LOL!!!! 
My nephew asked me lots of questions related to Golden temple and we were patiently able to answer all the questions. I noticed that when we are back home and he asks so many questions then we used to become irritated. But here, we were not at all tired, instead relaxed. The food made us happy and a family that eats together always stay together you know. We went for some shopping and bought kada (traditional Sikh bangles) and aam papad (mango Sweatmeat), after which we gobbled on hot jalebis.

Day 2: 

Next day we decided to go “Wagah Border”, the place where you really feel patriotic.

Wagah Border: Next day we decided to go “Wagah Border”, the place where you really feel patriotic. Your whole body and blood fills with enthusiasm. 

- Wagah Border is the border line running between India, and Pakistan where the beating Retreat Ceremony is held every day before sunset. A flag ceremony is conducted by the Indian Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers since 1959, which our guide told us. This ceremony includes the closing of the international gates and lowering the flags of both the countries.

- People from both sides visit the Wagah border. The crowd was more as it was the weekend with people sitting in the stands and applauding the soldiers by repeatedly saying “VANDE MATRAM”, “BHARAT MATA KI JAI”.

- Seating arrangements are enabled for the spectators so that they can watch the ceremony. On both sides of the border, there was a massive gate which is inscribed as "Swarn Jayanti Dwar".  We remembered the patriotism of our school days. An it was a special moment to see my son experience the same. 

- After the programme was finished my son took photos with the jawans, who were very happy to oblige. We were also allowed to make videos of the entire programme. My nephew enjoyed a horse ride with one of the soldiers. He was really excited, as not everyone got that opportunity. It was wonderful to see him having so much fun without mobiles. 

Day 3

Jallianwala Bagh:

Next day we planned to visit Jallianwala Bagh, the place where Indians Next day we planned to visit Jallianwala Bagh, the place where Indians were killed brutally by British General Dyer. Once again we were in the old part of the city close to the Golden Temple and one rickshawwalla took us to the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial. 

- It was very painful to visit that place. There I came to know that Baishakhi also has a place in the freedom struggle of India. It was on this day April 13, 1919, that hundreds of innocent Indians, participating in a meeting in the famous Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar were butchered by the troops on order by Brigadier-General Dyer.

- We could see the marks of bullets on the walls of the gardens. Recently when the British PM David Cameron visited India he visited Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, he mentioned that the incident is shameful in the British History but still did not offer any apology.

- I almost choked, seeing all those bullet marks on the walls. We were really sad and it was a sobering experience. From our hearts we saluted to all the Indians who lost their lives in Jallianwala Bagh. We all came with our heavy heart from there.

Journey back home: 

After visiting Jallianwala Bagh we drove back home. A beautiful and fun filled travel ended on a rather unsettling experience. But we cheered ourselves by singing some songs, discussing our best moments on the trip. And then it was heartening to see the children fall asleep with a content smile on their face,

We had finally broken the barrier and were ready for more trips with our child now. What really helped was also the very enriching experience we had at this Holy city, Amritsar. 

Next we are planning to take him on a delicious Indian Tour, or may be we should plan to see the disappearing places in India, or a road-rip to the highest entertainment park in Himachal. What about you? 

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Anjana Bhartia

Anjana Bhartia is an army wife and a mommy blogger at MommyRepublic.in. She describes herself as an imperfect mom stumbling through motherhood, discovering the joys of natural and attachment parenting

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