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Amristar - the golden temple and Attari

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Amritsar,
We arrived in Amritsar 16 hours after we left Agra. Within 24 hours or so we saw the Taj Mahal and the Golden Temple. In my opinion the Golden Temple was a much more memorable experience. The golden temple is a place of worship for the Sikh religion. The Sikh seem to be a very proud people and are known for there skills as warriors. Many men carry swords around the street. Not the kind of place to get into a bar fight but this is not really a problem here since alcohol is illegal. Amritsar has a population of 1.1 million people but it has the feel of a small town. The people were warm and very helpful even if they carried a 3 foot sword on their belt. Not everyone in Amritsar carried a sword, far from it, but every male sikh wore a turban and a beard. We had to follow in suit when entering into the Golden Temple, the beard I grew overnight and instead of wearing a majestic turban I tied a pair of Claires leggings to my head. No one suspected a thing! I'll let Claire tell you the rest.

Gearoid

Aaaaaah, Amritsar!!
Amristar se trouve dans l’Etat du Punjab, royaume des Sikhs. Ici, ce n’est pas le bindi qui est maitre, mais le turban majestueux (porte par les hommes, sans oublier barbe et moustache).
C’est une super ville, les gens sont adorables, il y a un tres bon « buzz » et le golden temple est tout simplement magique…
C.

Haaaaa Amristsar !!
Amristar is in the state of Punjab, land of Sikhs. Here, it’s not the bindi that you will find everywhere but the majestic turban (only worn by men, with a beard and moustache).
It’s such an amazing city, people are so lovely, there’s a great buzz and the golden temple is just magical...
C.

Il parait que le dome est fait de 750 kg d’or…On vous laisse juger

Apparently the dome is made of 750 kg of pure gold, you judge

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Des pelerins

Some pilgrims

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Sur le toit du temple (photos interdites mais une fois de plus, au peril de leurs vies, vos deux journalistes bravent le danger specialement pour vous)

On the temple’s roof (pictures were forbidden but once more, your two journalists face the danger, risking their own lives especially for you)

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Deux journalistes en or, ou nous faisant les imbeciles a prendre notre reflet dans de l’or brut, au choix

Two golden journalists, or Gearoid and Claire being stupid taking a picture of their reflect in pure gold, you choose

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La queue pour assister a la ceremonie a l’interieur du temple

The Que to attend the ceremony inside the temple

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Les couleurs des saris ou des salwar kameez, contrastant avec le blanc immacule du complexe (du lait est jete sur les murs tous les matins) et l’or du temple

The colors of saris and salwar kameez, contrasting with the immaculate white of the complex (milk is thrown on its walls every morning) and the gold of the temple

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Attari,

Apres cette matinee magique (l’atmosphere est tellement sereine a l’intereur du golden temple que c’en devient envoutant), nous voila partis pour la ceremonie de cloture de frontiere Inde-Pakistan, a Attari.
Tres touristique et surtout tres…nationaliste, l’experience en est cependant pas pour le moins interessante.

After this magical morning (the atmosphere is so peaceful inside the golden temple that it’s mystical), we went to the border-closing ceremony between India and Pakistan, at Attari.
Very touristic and mostly very...nationalist, the experience however worths it.
C.

Les soldats gardant la frontiere Indienne

Soldiers of the Indian border

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La foule etant divisee en deux (hommes/femmes), me voila donc au milieu de milliers d’indiennes (trouvez Charlie)

Crowd was divided in male / female, so here I am, in the middle of thousands of indian woman (where is Wally)

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Les gradins cote indien, bondes

Seats on the Indian side, packed

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La frontiere pakistanaise

The pakistanese border

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Les gradins cote pakistanais, nettement moins bondes (en meme temps c’est dur de faire face a une population de 1,1 milliards d’individus)

Seats on the Pakistanese side, clearly not as packed (at the same time it’s quite hard to compete with a population of 1.1 billion people)

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Les attractions de la ceremonie :

The attractions of the ceremony :

Des femmes du public et de tous les ages (de 5 a 90 ans) courant, drapeau indien au vent

Women of all ages (from 5 to 90 years old) from the public, running with the Indian flag

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Session danse sur fond de tubes indiens, seules les femmes sont autorisees sur la piste

Dance session on Indian hits, only women allowed on the dance floor

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Moi qui me fais entrainer par une jeune indienne qui voulait danser. Il a fallu que je demande quelques conseils niveau mouvements aux autres jeunes filles dans le cercle pour ne pas etre trop ridicule ! (Mais je suis sure que je l’ai quand meme été)

Me who’s being pulled to the dancefloor by a young Indian woman who wanted to dance. I had to ask some piece of advice about dance’s movements to the other girls of our circle so I wouldn’t look too ridiculous! (I’m sure I still did)

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Un soldat indien donnant le commandement pour baisser les drapeaux.

An Indian soldier giving the signal to lower the flags

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Les soldats indiens et pakistanais baissant les drapeaux

Indian and Pakistanese soldiers lowering the flags

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L’experience vaut vraiment le detour! Mais bon, au vu de la situation entre l’Inde et le Pakistan, avoir un animateur qui hurle dans son micro « criez plus fort qu’eux, allez la jeunesse indienne levez-vous etc », c’est peut-etre pas la meilleure idee qui soit… « Moi j’dis ca, j’dis rien »…

It really is something to see! But well, if you think about the situation between India and Pakistan, it may not be the best idea to have some animator shouting in his micro “scream louder than them, come on stand up Indian youth etc”... I’m just saying...
C.

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La visite continue dans la region Himalayenne….
The visit continues in the Himalayas...

Posted by g-c 16:34 Archived in India Tagged photography

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