At 7:45 AM I took the taxi for ISBT in Kashmiri Gate, leaving the buses from Volvo to Amritsar. It was raining in the night. At the ISBT I was told there were no buses for Amritsar before 12:30, and by chance there was a chance that the bus was on time, quite low. As the bus was about 9 hours or so, it does not make sense to land in a city without a hotel reservation at night. A bus driver told me that his bus went to Jalandhar and from there Amritsar was only two hours away.
Finally, I decided to go to Chandigarh and spend one night there. There were many Volvo buses that were for that city and the bus trip was five o'clock. It started to rain heavily on the road. I had a chocolate cake for breakfast, my lunch was a chocolate brownie and breadsticks.
By bus from Chandigarh I bused to Volvo buses for Amritsar. The man behind the desk was very helpful. He told me that buses left Amritsar from another ISBT in Sector 43 and wrote the bus times for me on a piece of paper. He seemed like a good man, so I asked him if he could recommend good hotels in or around Sector 43. He wrote a hotel name 'GK President', which he said was good and within my budget. I decided to go to the ISBT first and then to the hotel. I did not want to take a car rickshaw because I knew they would ask me more than twice the normal price. I saw a few local buses passing by and thought it would be a cheap and convenient means of transportation. A few young people helped me get the right bus on board and I was on my way to the ISBT. After checking out where the bus left for Amritsar, I took another bus that recommended me to the hotel that would drop me. From there I was told that a car rickshaw ride cost 20 rupees, but when I stopped passing by, the driver said it cost me 50 rupees. Cheat! I walked a little further and got a car rickshaw with a normal price of 20 rupees. The hotel looked good and my room seemed okay until I noticed the water of the room air conditioner on the bathroom floor. I immediately asked and got another room.
As I had been to Chandigarh before and had visited most of the city, I decided to rest in the room for the day. It was a fun ride in the local bus and the people were warm and helpful. Trying to understand their heavily accentuated Hindi was sometimes difficult because I could not see if they were speaking in Hindi or Punjabi. Still, it was nice to communicate with them. The food in the hotel was nice too. I loved the chicken curry I had ordered in my room for dinner.
After a nice breakfast of Aloo Parathas and a glass of warm milk I was ready for my trip to Amritsar. It was 8 hours when I reached the ISBT. I was told that the Volvo bus would arrive at Amritsar at 10:30. Another guy told me it would be at 12 o'clock. I did not want to throw away anymore on Volvo buses, I wondered if there was another bus to Amritsar. To my surprise there were bus connections for Amritsar one hour a day. It was then that I thought that the helpful man at the ISBT had noticed the timings for the A / C buses instead of Volvo buses for me. There was a bus waiting at the gate and I immediately walked in. On the road after an hour or so, the bus ran into a problem and we had to wait in the emerging heat until another bus passes to Amritsar. After a seven-hour trip, the bus arrived at Amritsar around 16:00. I checked out the next day for buses to Dalhousie and learned that only one direct bus to Dalhousie leaves at 9:10 am. Otherwise there were buses (both Volvo and local) during regular buses to Pathankot at regular intervals. From Pathankot I can take another bus for Dalhousie. Because I had a heavy suitcase and a handbag, the direct bus was a good option.
It was nice to see bike rickshaws in the city. I had luggage with me, so I took a car rickshaw instead of Queens Road. That was a fair amount about the price with some of the drivers. One of them had asked 100 rupees! But I finally got a car rickshaw that imposed me the 50 rupees normal rate. I had read that most of the good hotels on Queens Road were located and Hotel Shiraz Regency was a popular choice. But when I arrived at the hotel, I was told that all the rooms were booked. They recommended me a hotel on the other side of the road - Country Inn & Suites By Carlson.
Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Amritsar
A really nice place, I thought, when I offered a refreshing napkin and a welcome drink. I had to make the most of the rest day - visit the Wagah border and the Golden Temple. The former was a good 29 kilometers away and I had to come to the evening parade as early as possible. A taxi was settled quickly and I was quickly on my way to Pakistan. The taxi driver drew my attention to Pakistan's trucks that carry herbs, dry fruits, cement making materials, and so on. The lorries from India also fed food to Pakistan.
The Wagah Border
Bags had to be deposited with special counters before moving on to the border gate. I placed my wallet, mobile phone and digital camera in my baggy bags and contributed to the vast array of over three or four thousand people.
Swarupa on the Wagah border near Amritsar
In this photo I stand against the background of the Indian gate with the Indian flag flying high. The only one outside is in Pakistan. The action zone is this area between the two ports...
Dancing on the Wagah border
Patriotic songs and peppy numbers blared from the speakers. People did and cheered and Indians flags in the center while I smelled oncomfortably on the hot concrete chair that stood my ass. I wonder why the others sitting around do not suffer like me! On the other side of the gate, the Pakistani's do their own thing. At last the parade began...
Parade on the Wagah Border
I left the place a few minutes before the parade ended to avoid being in the middle of big crowds while getting out.
On the way back to the taxi I stopped for a 500ml bottle of lemon drink. I have complicated the content and reached immediately for another bottle, it also reads within a few seconds. The aroma of roasted corn on the platter suddenly saw me eating nothing since breakfast. It tasted heavenly when I put it on.
Returning back to the city, we passed through the University of Khalsa.
University of Khalsa in Amritsar
The taxi driver was very excited to show me the place and ask permission at the main entrance so I could click some photos from the university.
Later I took a cycle rickshaw to go to the famous Golden Temple.
It looked so beautiful! Just like any other Gurdwara (place of worship of Sikhs), people must cover their heads too. If they do not have suitable lining, the temple offers orange colored head scarves that are returned on the way out.
Swarupa at the Golden Temple in Amritsar
The holy sanctuary receives over 100,000 visitors daily. I came to the huge queue of devotees to enter the temple half.
It was nice to ride a bike rickshaw back to my hotel until the driver stopped pulling the rickshaw cover that covered my city view. He said it was good for me because there was enough chillar (hooligans?) On the streets.
Cyclic rickshaws in Amritsar
At my hotel there was a multi-cuisine buffet dinner but unfortunately I lost my appetite for food. I settled for sweet corn chicken soup instead.