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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in India

Gurudwara Bangla Sahib: a glittering beacon of harmony and faith

It’s the only place where you’ll see a person who drives a Mercedes Mayback happily polishing shoes…

By Prashant Upadhyay
Tour Guide

Aside from being one of the most prominent Sikh temples, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is an emblem of harmony. Born in the 15th Century in the Punjab area amid heightened conflict between Hinduism and Islam, Sikhism carried an important message: ‘there is no Hindu, there is no Muslim,’ meaning everyone is spiritually equal no matter whether you’re black, white, poor or VIP. This is why a Sikh temple is the only place of worship where you’ll see a person who drives a Mercedes Mayback happily polishing shoes, cleaning floors and washing the dishes. What’s important is this service to humanity.

The main highlight is the community kitchen where every day of the year, volunteers practise the concept of langar serving food to over 30,000 worshippers regardless of religion or race. When you visit, sometimes you can help chop vegetables, roll chapatis and serve the pilgrims. It’s an amazing experience.

I explain the different aspects of the religion to guests on an excursion here inside its glittering marble walls and gold onion domes with everything centred around the holy scripture. Aside from aesthetics, the history is interesting too. The temple was originally the bungalow of a 17th Century Mughal ruler and where the eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Hari Krishen (at the tender age of 8) stayed during a severe cholera epidemic. He was revered as someone wise and kind beyond his years and personally helped the suffering bringing fresh water to them from the well of his house. The water over which a tank pool has been constructed, Sarovar, is said to have healing powers. 


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Alfred & Prashant Upadhyay

Born in Agra, Prashant moved to Delhi and has lived there for almost 11 years. He left his 9-5 job to pursue a career that would make him happy while also allowing him to interact with different people and cultures. In his role as a guide, he is living out his own dream regaling India’s fascinating history and showcasing its extraordinary cuisine. He strives to introduce guests to his home country in accordance to Atithi Devo Bhawa – Sanskrit for utmost hospitality.

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