Harmandir Sahib
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Sunrise at the Golden Temple
The Golden Temple is simply spectacular. An intricately crafted and maintained structure, the Sikh Gurdwara itself is a site to behold. But it is more than just beautifully intricate marble and golden temple surrounded by holy water; it is an entire complex that is full of spirit and life. Because the Gurdwara is a pilgrimage site, Sikhs and many others travel miles to arrive here. The temple provides places for pilgrims to sleep and free food for all to eat. It is a blessing to volunteer at the Golden Temple, so many of the people who you can see maintaining the site are there only as visitors. Around the main Gudwara, there are dozens of rooms in which men are reading from holy books and singing or chanting. In every corner, there appears to be another place to honor the Sikh traditions of openness and devotion. Very modest accommodations are available at no cost to travelers which we took advantage of. (Note: donations are accepted and expected - but be sure to donate at the official window). The best part of staying in the complex was being able to wake up early enough to watch the sun rise over the temple. As it is open 24 hours a day, the movement never completely stops. And right before sunrise, there is a burst of activity as the light begins to shine on the already luminous temple.
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