Temple Timings: The temple is open from 3am to 10pm every day. Every dawn at 4am the Guru Granth Sahib is carried from the Akal Takhat- a majestic building located just across the causeway to entering the holy shrine, in a golden palanquin called the Palki Sahib. The Akal Thakat means “The Throne of The Immortal”. There is again the return ceremony of Guru Granth Sahib to Akal Takhat on the Palki Sahib at night around 9pm. Every day lakhs of visitors visit the Golden Temple and standing for 2 to 3 hours in the queue is inevitable if you want to enter the main temple.
The best time to visit would be between 3am - 4am every morning or at night at around 9pm in order to avoid the long winding queue to enter the main temple.
Guru Ka Langar: After the darshan at the Golden Temple, the next must-do is to eat the Langar. The concept of providing free food was first started by Guru Nanak. The Golden Temple is said to house one the biggest kitchens that provides free food to more than 50,000 people any day. The meals provided at the Langar are simple, healthy and tasty vegetarian food consisting of rotis, rice, the Indian dal and a vegetable curry. You need to wait for some time in queue to enter the huge dining hall for the meal. There are two dining halls with a seating capacity for 5000 people. The Langar food is available even at late night.
The volunteers work round the clock to ensure that sufficient amount of food is available all the time. In fact these selfless volunteers do almost all the work from washing the utensils to chopping vegetables and cooking food for the many thousands who visit the temple. The food served is hot, fresh, tasty and of the finest quality. Hygiene is of primary importance at Langar seva. Every dirty plate is washed several times before it is reused.
Coming outside the temple precincts, step on the cobbled street that circles the temple for some exclusive shopping delights. From the famous Pulkhari dupattas, Amristari Juthis, cotton fabrics, beautifully engraved Sikh Kripans and much more, the street is a shopper's treasure trove. And while there at Amristar please don’t forget to drink the tastiest Lassi- sweetened buttermilk and have the best Punjabi cuisine from some of the oldest Dabbas. According to Rocky Singh and Mayur Sharma, from the popular television series on NDTV, ‘Highway On My Plate’, the Ahuja Lassi, located near Hindu MahaSabha college sells the tastiest lassi in India. The Ahuja Lassi was started by Mr. Ahuja way back in 1955. Kesar Ka Dabba in Chowk Passion and Brothers Dabba near Golden Temple are again two of the oldest dabbas in the state.
Please watch for more info on what to see in Amristar in our upcoming editions.