Akal Takht Amritsar – The Throne of Immortal

A visit, though official, to Amritsar was becoming fruitful; nonetheless, I realized that I simply could not vacation here – there was too much to know and see at any place I visit and the time we had was too little. The Akal Takht Amritsar, which was next in our agenda, is located in the Golden Temple complex and took us just five minutes to reach there.

Built by Guru Hargobind in 1606, the place constitutes a political institution, where temporal and spiritual issues are addressed. Interestingly, the name Akal Takht gives a meaning of the “Throne of Immortal”. I walked in and around admiring the architecture of the building. It looked a five-storey structure having a ‘gold-leafed dome’. The lime plaster and painted decorations gave a great look. Moreover, the paintings on the wall and ornamented ceilings showcase the exemplary work of the artisans.

Akal Takht Amritsar

Akal Takht Amritsar | Image Resource: wikimedia.org

No wonder, Amritsar has encouraged history and heritage-based tourism with many architectural buildings, most of them refurbished when they were damaged due to certain political reasons. I dug in to collect some details about the building. It was built at the place where there was a high mound, where Guru Hargobind played in his childhood. The term ‘Takhat’, which means the throne, represents the raised platform, used to sit and perform kingly duties by the Guru.

Today the ‘Jathedar’ is regarded as the highest spokesperson in the Akal Takht. They administer the duties upholding justice for the Sikh Panth. The place was renovated and looked in its present form was built by the Sikh on the traditional policy of Kar Seva and service.

The announcements of Hakamnamas, which are called writs, are made from the Akal Takhat. They help give clarification on any doctrines of Sikh religion, or offer guidance on some points you want to practice. Furthermore, it is religiously understood that everyone should follow the Akal Takhat.

Any sacrifices or services of exemplary nature done for the cause of Sikh community are recorded and appreciated time to time by the takhat.

The place has increasing number of visitors from many places and they try to learn the culture and practices of Sikh religion. It was getting late and we were quite tired and wanted to rest to perform our official duties the next day.

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Image of the Week: Hotel P R Residency Amritsar

Hotel P R Residency Amritsar

Hotel P R Residency Amritsar

Hotel P R Residency Amritsar: If someone asks me to define Hotel P R Residency in Amritsar then I would definitely say this- a combination of luxury and comfort at affordable prices. Wow, where you can get a 3 star hotel at this price! And, what I enjoyed here the most are the hospitality, cuisine, event management and of course the service. Go for it guys!

Golden Temple Amritsar

Golden Temple Amritsar – The Beautiful Heritage Place of Divinity

It took us couple of hours to freshen up and we were ready for our first visit in Amritsar. I had included a few historical sites in our agenda because I loved to visit them. Amritsar, a city with overactive streets, traffic and pollution – is of course in most tourists itinerary for its heritage places. Frankly speaking, our first visit was to Golden Temple, which was located just 12 km away from the hotel.

Our cab was ready and within no time we were off to the holy temple. It took us just twenty minutes to reach the place. Contrived by Guru Arjan, who was the fifth guru, the Golden Temple or Harmandir Sahib, is the holy gurdwara of Sikhs. The gleaming beauty of the temple is enhanced by the surrounding water in the tank, which is called Amrit Sarovar where Amrit stands for nectar and Sarovar for pool.

Entrance of the Golden Temple

Entrance of the Golden Temple | Image Resource: wikipedia.org

We entered through one of the four doors, which gloriously represented the openness to other religions by Sikhs. The holy structure showcased a blend of Islamic and Hindu architecture with marbles and animal motifs. Furthermore, the engraved panels and dome are immaculately finished with gold, giving a stunning look. The temple was somewhat crowded with people from all walks of life. We had to wait for some time before we entered the gilded bridge.

Next, we entered the inner sanctum of the temple, where we heard the nonstop chanting of scripts from Guru Granth Sahib, which is the holy book of Sikh. We stood there and paid our respects and moved on to reach the ‘Sevadars’, who offered us the Prasad.

Golden Temple Amritsar

Golden Temple Amritsar | Image Resource: wikipedia.org

It was a mesmerizing experience that we lost track of time. We were guided to the Langar Hall, where we were served vegetarian meal. The food tasted really good.  Before leaving the place, we also went to ‘Har ki Pauri’ to bow and collect nectar from the tank to take home.

Next, we moved on to visit the Central Sikh Museum in the first floor. I was thrilled to see large exhibits of paintings, which represented mainly the Sikh personalities who contributed to their religion. There were exhibits that elaborated on the history, struggles of Sikh.

It was getting late and we have to return to go to our next destination, which was Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar.

Image of the Week: Qila Mubarak Patiala

Qila Mubarak Patiala

Qila Mubarak Patiala | Image Resource: wikimedia.org

Qila Mubarak Patiala: I will certainly place my visit to the Qila Mubarak in Patiala in the list of most amazing experiences in life. Here I had a peek of the lives of Maharajas along with the architectural combination of Rajasthani and Mughal Empire. This historic place definitely ignited my desire to know more about such places. I knew there is a historian inside me, and even my friends say so. Lol.

Jallianwala Bagh Amritsar – The most Tragic Place in India

With the architectural beauty of Harmandir Sahib still lingering on, we headed to Jallianwala Bagh Amritsar, which is just a walking distance of five minutes from the temple. The narrow lane took us to the park premises, which adorned a grave and gloomy look. Our mind raced back to the gruesome incident of 1919 and our hearts sank into deep melancholy. I could not believe how a city like this staggered on until now bearing the weight of violent history.

The park was built in 1951to memorialize the death of innocent people, including women and children at the hands of British. A dark event in the history, it is called Jallianwala Bagh massacre or Amritsar massacre. The park is open to public on all days from 6 am to 9 pm.

Jallianwala Bagh

Jallianwala Bagh | Image Resource: wikimedia.org

Standing near the entrance, I read the memorial tablet and it took me to that day on 13th April 1919 when a large number of people of about 20000 gathered in this place to take part in the protest of the arrest of the freedom struggle leaders. The gathering included innumerable women and children.

It was then British General Reginald Dyer came here with Gurkha riflemen and started firing at the crowd for about ten minutes, which was around 1650 rounds of firing killing many people and leaving many severely wounded.

Sculpture at Jallianwala Bagh

Sculpture at Jallianwala Bagh | Image Resource: kerala.gov.in

We stood near the memorial and prayed for the souls of those who sacrificed their life. The place from where the firing happened was marked with a conical structure. Furthermore, the walls of the park that told the story of the shocking incident had the bullet marks revealing the blood-stained history of our country.

After paying homage at the memorial, we walked around the martyr’s well, in which people jumped to escape the bullets. The well was closed; nevertheless, it stands as a structure that still withstands the horrified incident of the past.

Bullet Marks at Jallianwala Bagh Walls

Bullet Marks at Jallianwala Bagh Walls | Image Resource: wikimedia.org

By then, we were quite tired and wanted to refresh and walked out to the number of eateries available on the street. I wanted to have lassi, a special drink of yogurt and sugar, topped with cream (malai) and saffron. My friends had satpura, a type of biscuit served with chutney.

After that, we headed to our next sightseeing place, Akal Takht Amritsar.

Image of the Week: Durgiana Temple Amritsar

Durgiana Temple Amritsar

Durgiana Temple Amritsar | Image Resource: wikimedia.org

Durgiana Temple Amritsar: This beautiful temple is surrounded by a pond on all sides. The architecture resembles the one of the Golden temple. This place is rather peaceful and the crowd is also less. Thus we got a good darshan and had a tranquil experience. We also visited the Hanuman temple that was situated right next to the Durgiana temple.

My Train Travel from Patna to Amritsar by Amritsar Mail – A Worthy Experience to Remember

Hi, this is yet another account of my travel experience and this time I connected my official trip with leisure. An audit officer by profession, financial accounting is my forte, and I love to improve my organisational skills too. Since my job demands a lot of travelling, I joyfully trot along anywhere I want to. I always vindicated my choice of destination, which was mostly fixed officially. Like always, my train travel from Patna to Amritsar was fixed and I had two of my buddies joining me.

We booked AC two-tier tickets online to travel by Amritsar Mail (13005). I started my travel early in the morning with as much zest as I do every time. I greeted my friends at the Patna station and we got into the train, which departed exactly at 4.20 am. The seats were quite comfortable and the compartment was clean. I am particular about the cleanliness and so travel mostly in the upper class.

Patna Station

Patna Station | Image Resource: panoramio.com

We were quite prepared since we had to be in the train for a day and night before we reach Amritsar. Of course, there are many Patna to Amritsar routes, which are quicker; nevertheless, we prefer to travel in this for some reasons.

We had some quick snacks when the train crossed ARA junction and talked about our plans at Amritsar, which beckoned with its lush green surroundings and bustling towns. It was time for some reading, brushing up with some daily events, and within no time I was browsing through the newspaper.

Varanasi Junction

Varanasi Junction | Image Resource: panoramio.com

The train stopped at the Varanasi Junction at 9.15 am and we had our breakfast, which we had carried from home. The roti with channa was quite filling and I had some sweets too. In the mean time, we had a guest, who was also to Amritsar. Being a regular visitor, he offered us some tips and places we could visit there.

Though it was a long journey, we did not feel any tiredness. The train reached Rampur Junction at 8.30 pm and by the time it reached Moradabad Junction at 9.20 pm, we finished our dinner and got ready to sleep. Any Patna to Amritsar routes take you to the entire stretch of Uttar Pradesh, touch Haryana and enter Punjab.

5 Fitness Apps That Actually Gets You Results

My auditing work has made me focus more towards applied mathematics and sciences. But I am a tech-savvy person, who is also a fitness freak. This is actually a surprising combination. I love to experiment with my smart phone and this interest landed me into finding beautiful apps, which can actually help to keep the body fit.

Here is a list of the apps I discovered lately. Guys have a look into this and explore the world of fitness at your finger tips!

Weight Watcher’s Mobile – ‘Weight watchers’ is a company that runs its unique name in fitness and exercises. It has created its smart phone app that fits best for individuals who want to keep tabs on their calorie consumption. You can set this app to count down your calories every day or every week.

Hot5 – This newly developed app is the latest of the year 2014 and the number of download is simply increasing day by day. You can work out simultaneously by watching the videos! Just download the app from iStore and enjoy the free videos on your iPhone. The Android version doesn’t support this app unfortunately.

Fitness Apps

Fitness Apps | Image Resource: amazonaws.com

Health.com – Health.com is a unique portal that provides its own application for smart phone users. In this app, you can get inspiration everyday! Here you can set your own fitness goals and target how much you want to lose in a single month. All in all, it is a hard diet book for all individuals who love instant and interactive features, GPS technologies and fitness tips.

Zombies, Run! 2 – Yeah, you read it right! Zombie is a gaming app but its presence is also felt in the world of fitness. In this app, you can complete mission, save friends, kill enemies which in turn jogs up your level of competition and imagination. This kind of app works very well among people who are passionate for games and fitness freaks!

RunKeeper – RunKeeper lets you track your progress over time. It helps you to achieve your targets by setting parameters. Its easy layout presents a very good way for planning and practicing tasks!

You may try any of these for a better life.

Tughlaqabad Fort, New Delhi – An Architectural Enterprise of its Kind

It was the ninth and supposedly the last day of my stay in New Delhi. The feeling of nostalgia had already surrounded me and I had started feeling like home there. My days spent at the heart of India had been very good, among which I enjoyed the day spent at the Safdarjung Tomb the most.

As it was the last day of my stay in Delhi and I had my train back to Bihar in the night, I decided to go on a trip to the Tughlaqabad Fort. I didn’t want to make me tired as the journey ahead to back home was quite long. I decided to reach at the Tughlaqabad Fort at 10 am in the morning and be there till afternoon.

Tughlaqabad Fort, New Delhi

Tughlaqabad Fort, New Delhi | Image Resource: wikipedia.org

I booked a cab which drove me straight to the Tughlaqabad Fort. I got down as the taxi driver pointed me towards the fort. The Tughlaqabad Fort is an architectural marvel built in the Tughlaq Dynasty. Being such an old monument, the fort is little worn out as it could be clearly seen. But the Government has taken good care of the fort and has managed to keep it special till today. Like me, there were hundreds of other visitors present at the fort too.

There lie the Ghiyasuddin tomb, which was supposedly built in the 14th century and it is no less than a great structure. The Tughlaqabad Fort reminds of the Khalji architecture, which basically laid its focus towards the color patterns. There is an arch-opening on three sides, which are tinted with a decent color combination. The dome is rested along long beams, which are yet a few of the other striking features of the structure.

Tughluqabad Nothern View

Tughluqabad Nothern View | Image Resource: wikipedia.org

The fort is one of the oldest architectures of India and it bears the rich testimony of the Delhi Sultanate. There are stone works and art all over the building, which reminds of the skilled architecture of the bygone era. There are number of other monuments in the premises of the Tughlaqabad Fort too that enhance the richness of the entire area.

I had a mesmerizing time at the fort, which was glazing even after being ruined over the time period. I finally bid good bye to Delhi and carried my backpack down to a street-side restaurant.