Vaisakhi is a Punjabi spring harvest festival which falls in mid-April, signifying the start of the new year in the Punjabi calendar. While it has importance for Hindus and some Muslims, it is a major event for Sikhs, who celebrate the formation of a holy body of devotees on this day.

Vaisakhi at the Golden Temple

Vaisakhi at the Golden Temple

In 2015, Vaisakhi fell on April 14, and I happened to be passing the most sacred of Sikh sites, Amritsar’s Golden Temple, at the time. The temple was decked out with thousands of lights, shimmering splendid in the surrounding amrit sarovar (“pool of nectar”).

Sleeping in the courtyard at the Golden Temple

Sleeping in the courtyard at the Golden Temple

Thousands of devotees were sleeping in the temple’s recesses, while more still were stretched out in the courtyard outside the complex. It was 1am. I had visited several times before and seen it buzzing with humanity; to be surrounded with that same humanity, but strangely silent, was an almost other-worldly experience.

Decorations at the Golden Temple for Vaisakhi

Decorations at the Golden Temple for Vaisakhi

Have you visited a place which was having a festival? What was the experience like?

Comments (8)

  • Anna @ shenANNAgans Reply

    WOW. That is really cool. The temple looks magical with all those lights and the pretty decorations. I bet it was wonderful being able to experience that.

    I havent been to a religious festival, but I go to ALL the food festivals and that to me can be an almost other-worldly experience. 🙂

    Great post my friend. Hope you are having a brilliant week.

    July 2, 2015 at 3:48 pm
    • Tim Blight Reply

      I was really lucky to be there when I was – totally unplanned!!

      And yeah, food puts me in another dimension sometimes too!! Thanks for reading 🙂 Happy weekend 😀

      July 3, 2015 at 9:34 pm
  • veena Reply

    Amritsar is one place I still want to visit! I’m hoping to make it up there in the next year, fingers crossed. Looks like this was an amazing time to be there!

    July 2, 2015 at 5:32 pm
    • Tim Blight Reply

      I hope you can get there soon – it’s one of my favourite places in India, if not the world 🙂

      July 3, 2015 at 9:34 pm
  • Andrew Boland Reply

    looks fantastic! A wonderful spot in the world even without the festival!

    July 3, 2015 at 11:08 pm
    • Tim Blight Reply

      It certainly is!! Have you been there?

      July 8, 2015 at 8:27 am
  • Sarah Reply

    This is so timely for me as I REALLY want to visit this place. As a devotee of Kundalini Yoga, I have recently become more connected with the Sikh faith and am looking forward to seeing this holy place. Meet you there? 😉

    July 5, 2015 at 7:34 am
    • Tim Blight Reply

      You really must visit Amritsar – it’s my favourite place in India (although I haven’t yet been to Varanasi 🙂 )

      July 8, 2015 at 8:29 am

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