challenge : relaxing in Amritsar

I can hear you, laughing sarcastically.

“- Relax in Amritsar, the most polluted and noisy city of India? Mission impossible!” I hear you say.

It was without counting on my conflicting mind.

After six –fresh – hours train ride from Delhi, I arrived safely. While appear from all sides many rickshaw drivers, I try a mindfulness breathing technique I learned in my yoga class.

Joggled, tossed throught the city, I go into deep meditation and leave aside the various vehicles (buses, cars, cows), narrowly missing hitting us head-on.

Finally, I arrive to the lovely (but a little bit expensive) hotel I chose as a spiritual retreat. The Ranjit’s Svaasa is a lush oasis, where green plants intermingle.

The spacious room welcomes me for a nap yoga session well deserved.

Hotel in Amritsar


At 15:30, knocking at my door and someone tells me that the taxi I ordered arrived.

Here I am heading for the border, to attend an unusual ceremony! Slamming boots a “goose step” alternate in a fun dance and, I confess, not very relaxing.

With lound cries, soldiers all dressed in red and wearing hats with feathers start an intimating “haka” for Pakistani, who reply from the other side of the huge Gate.

Nevertheless, neither the crowd nor the jostling reach end of my Olympian calm.

On the contrary, I start to let me take the game, tinted by the festive atmosphere that emanates from this show of this exhibit of community strength. I even find myself cheering !

19h. Night falls already, bringing an irrepressible desire to recharge the batteries. On the advice of a friendly way, I find myself at the Grand Hotel, where I am serving a Kingfisher pressure, well known for its therapeutic properties beverage (…).

The next day, under a torrential monsoon rain, I go towards the famous Golden Temple. In this turbulent whirlpool, tangle of rain and honking sound, I can’t wait for the tranquility of the temple. As it should be, I put my shoes and my bag and I begin the tour. The place is absolutely beautiful, even if the rain makes the marble very slippery.

Golden Temple of Amritsar


My first ambition of making a retreat of this weekend is sorely putted of the proof by the Sikh Museum, which chronicles a series of paintings and photographs about the torture of various gurus.

I find refuge in the pavilion, where musicians accompanied by a catchy rhythm singers

I find refuge in the pavilion, where musicians play a catchy rhythm to go with singers of kirtan1. Then I go upstairs, whose narrow lanes makes the climate more intimate. I remain stunned by falling on the Granthi2, absorbed in reading the voluminous Guru Granth Sahib3.

Finally, to complete this high-Color visit (like friendly Sikhs’ turbans!), I go to the canteen of the temple to enjoy a delicious chai. This place has an average of 60 000 visitors each day, so you will be welcome to clean the dishes !

After this weekend – which was certainly not an easy one – my only advice would be: go to Amritsar without prior expectations. Let yourself be surprised by this rich and warm city, smile and share. It is in any case one of the five recommendations of Sikh people, known for their philanthropic and chivalrous philosophy.


1Holly song

2Male or female in charge of the reading of the holly book. It changes approximately every two hours.

3Holy book of the Sikhs