A road trip in Amritsar
Do you know what are the three essentials for a road trip ? One is a great car, two is great company and three is great food. Recently I went for a road trip in Amritsar for Honda Weekends with fellow blogger, Ankita Sinha and auto experts, Bharat and Akshay, I realized the true essence of a road trip. Honda believes that every day can be a weekend if you have the right ingredients to hit the road and so we set off on a journey across vast golden fields, feasting our eyes on the scenery and feasting literally on the delicious food.
To begin with, it was not just a road trip in Amritsar. It actually started with an early morning flight from Bangalore to Delhi followed by a seven hour train journey. Put five travellers and foodies in one compartment and conversations flowed like alcohol. From ghost stories to travel tales, we regaled each other until Amritsar finally greeted us in the dark. We almost, (Well I almost) gate crashed a wedding party (it has been a long lasting desire to attend a Punjabi wedding) but then sanity prevailed .
Morning saw us up and ready for our road trip. A brand white Honda Mobilio was there to take us across Punjab with a film crew in tow, whose favourite question was where are we headed today ? And we all had to chorus ” From Amritsar to Pathonkot.” But then, two, three, four, five hours into the journey, Pathonkot did not arrive. And yet, that was the best part of the trip – the surprise detours, the little vignettes and the simple discoveries coupled with, ” I really dont care where I am going, as long as I am having a good time ” attitude. The wind in the air, the excitement in the head, the scent of a new car, the echo of laughter, the randomness of the entire thing –these are what my memories are made of.
And yet, there are some special moments from my road trip in Amritsar
The aura of the Golden Temple
It has always been my dream to visit the Golden Temple and here I was, in an absolutely ethereal world, up at 4 am , the stars reflecting in the waters, the gold shimmering away while devotees stood there and prayed. The music slowly waltzed in – devotional and soothing as I lose myself in the moment, humbled and swayed by the powers higher than me. It is a moment that cannot be expressed in words, just experienced.
Walking into a Bollywood moment
Romance is in the air. The golden aura of the temple gives in to the golden luster of the mustard fields. It is almost like Shahrukh and Kajol had wandered here, hand in hand, only yesterday. The golden fields of Punjab are a symbol of immortal love, thanks to Bollywood and here I was, feeling a few years younger, sheepish and hopelessly in love with the landscape.
The morning mist
If there is anything that can be romantic and alluring, then it is the mist. There is something mystical about a mist that veils and unveils everything around it. You cannot feel its touch, yet you can feel its presence all around you, wrapping you in a fold and then leaving you cold. It was one such gorgeous morning
Aam papad and aalu kulcha – food trail in Amritsar
First it was the aalu kulcha served with chole and smothered in butter. At the Bharawan Da Dhabha Then there was the Amritsari pindi soaked in asli ghee at Kanha Sweets Where ever we were in Amritsar, food followed us. Or maybe we were on such a sensory high that we followed a high. So we stopped by to buy aam papad from a guy under a banyan tree whose family has been doing this for years or swallowed jamuns and jalebis, just because they were highly rated by Vikas Khanna. Believe me, visit Amritsar needs to be visited on an empty stomach.
The Indianness of an Indian town
Lost in the glitsy glmaourous world of metros and cities, we have forgotten the Indianness of an Indian town. The simplicity, the attitude, the style – each town has its own character and they have retained it, not yet become clones of the big cities. Coke seems to own the city and yet the local endearing people still live in a time warp. The streets burst into a torrent of life and colour while people make fashion statements on the road. For a moment, I reminded myself that the heart of India lives in its towns and villages.
And so, the week days became weekends while the detours became destinations. But then life on the road is all about moments – living in the moment and experiencing it as well. Have you been on a road trip in Amritsar ?
This post was written in association with Honda, post a road trip organised by them for travel and auto bloggers in Punjab