Amritsar and the golden temple.

I remember traveling on bus for hours from Dharamsala to Amritsar.  The journey was more than 5 hours if I remembered correctly with stopping at Pathankot.  One of the main attraction in Amritsar would be the Golden Temple of Amritsar.  The Golden temple is actually the holiest place for all Sikhs as mecca for muslims.  It would be the spiritual and cultural capital of all Sikhs in the world

By nature of all Sikhs temple , everyone is welcomed at The Golden Temple. There are no entrance fees, however everyone is required to cover up their hair. Best of all this place offers free hostels and foods , albeit I hesitate to take some due to fear of diarrhea.  This is one of the few places in India where you can find honest and helpful people.

Sikh , lion is sanskrit. These people are always carrying their words ,weapons and many more.  Possibly linked to their warrior status. these people really respect guest and non-sikh inside the Golden Temple of Amritsar

In India do expect to pay when taking portraits of people , while some will just take your money and chase you away.  However Sikhs are different , this old guard let me take this photo and gave me a pat on the head and smiled off .  Inside the holy temple,  you can find peace sitting at the lake,  away from the touts , conmans and liars.

Shegar, Tibet

shegar,tibetan landscape in a town near mount everest

Shegar will possibly be one of the town that I’ll ever remember for the rest of my life. A few years back I bought a cheap AirAsia ticket to Macau and I ended up at India. Yes , it was that crazy. At first I was only planning to travel to Lhasa. But I traveled across China , Tibet Himalayas , Nepal and crossed into India and ended up at New Delhi. I’ve never had so much fun before.

Back to Shegar story, we actually shared a van from Lhasa to Kodari (Nepal) a few Japanese, Isrealis, Canadians and Malaysians. This  cheapskate van brought us trough the ridges of Himalayan Range to Nepal. One of the important intenary of the trip is Everest Based Camp. Shegar is one of the town before Everest base camp. One that one fine beautiful evening, our van reached Shegar where we did a stop for the night. We passed some interesting stone formation through the town. It was near sunset, I guess I threwed my haversack and stuffs to ran off to these area to do some photography. Those nice people I met at the trip took care of my haversack. I think this house is one of those abandoned Tibetan houses.  We shot this place until sun down. It was terribly cold then. I remember eating some tasteless noodles and having Lhasa beer with a japanese guy I met.

On the night, himalayan sky would be the most beautiful thing ever. Stars are so visible due to evelation that entire sky would be screen saver like. Or one of those beautiful scenes from Avatar (3D) movie. This is one of those trip that is worth dying for and I could not find back.

Tibet is not was it is since then 2009 riot. I would have considered going back.

The road to kashmir

I wake up suddenly , it was a very tense situation around 1am. There was this lorry on the opposite side of the small rocky ,dusty cliff road road to kashmir. The were no divider and the cliff is a few hundred meters high. There were like more than 10 of us sharing a small jeep to kashmir. All of them are Indian nationals. Everyone is quiet suddenly.

The road barely can support 1 vehicle crossing most of the time. On time like these, we have to put all our faith on the driver. The opposite lorry gave some signal, reversed to a point where there are few meters extra wide on the road. Our driver quickly drive to the few meters buffer. I can hear rocks falling off the few hundred meters cliff , the cliff is probably just next to us but it was too dark to see.

Our jeep waited for the lorry to finish crossing. After that , being relieved everyone started chatting again. This is just one of the tens of times i woke up that 14 hours night journey. And the stars on the Himalayan sky are so beautiful.

Constant landslide made road improvement progress very slow in the Himalayas of India.