Festival of the month: Baisakhi 2014

The Golden Temple bedecked in lights stands in a warm glow of illumination.
Image courtesy: Pallavi Pasricha

At night Amritsar’s sky is sprinkled with incessant fireworks, as the tranquil waters of the Golden Temple reflect the magnificent celebrations in the sky above. This is what a traveller can expect on the night of Baisakhi, in the Sikh town of Amritsar. This is the day when Guru Gobind Singh started Sikhism. While the local community takes over the streets in processions and parades of dance and music, a somber event at the Jallianwala Bagh, brings everyone together. The mood of the day sways between sober prayers and congregations as well as frenzied celebrations.

Participate: In the morning visit the Golden Temple and attend special prayers. The karha prasad (flour sweet meat) and langar (community dining) on this day are exceptionally grand. The best way to participate is by joining a local family in one of the many fairs that are put up all over the city. Bhangra is the key attraction, along with food, music and other dances. During the day, the Holy book of the Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib, is taken out for a procession, amidst chants.

Getting There: Amritsar is well connected by flights, trains and buses to many cities across the country. You can also drive down from Delhi but that would take you at least 7 hours.


1. The Green Acres Haveli is an interesting option to stay in the outskirts of the city. The resort cum haveli has all modern amenities, but retains its rustic charm of staying in an orchard.

2. Another option to stay is Svaasa, a Welcome Heritage boutique hotel, which promises a local flavour to your stay. Svaasa is close to the city and they can arrange an interaction with a local family during your stay.

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AUTHOR'S BIO: With a penchant for travelling ‘ungoogled’, Supriya has willingly got lost a number of times in the most obscure places of India for the last 8 years. She lives on a healthy diet of anecdotes and tea with auto drivers, co-passengers and locals! Supriya currently runs a Bangalore based travel-photography outfit called Photography Onthemove and writes regular features for India and International travel publications. More on: www.supriyasehgal.com