I vowed to start and explore more of Delhi and its surroundings this fall and winter. Now that both girls are in school, I have more time and opportunity to see what I can see. There have been a few adventures and outings. Embarrassed as I am to say this, I'm not good at getting out on my own. This week, it has been fun and interesting to have my in-laws visiting. They are great companions and good sports when it comes to adventuring. Thanks to the advice of a couple good friends, we found the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. It is one of the main Sikh temples in Delhi. It is a smaller version of the Golden Temple in Amritsar which we visited in February.
As we were waiting in the long lines to store our shoes, don our head covers, and enter the temple, someone pointed us to a side door that led to the area for "tourists." India has made me somewhat cynical and un-trusting. Assuming that it was a ploy to get us to pay more money than the locals, my feathers got ruffled. I asked, in my sternest voice, "Why can't we put our shoes with the locals? What is going on here?" It was a pleasant surprise to find an office for tourists where a kind guide took over and gave us a very informative tour of the temple.
He led us through the pool to cleanse our feet, past the pilgrims, and through the temple.
The best part of the temple was seeing the kitchens. Volunteers prepare food for any and all pilgrims and visitors to the Bangla Sahib. Over 20,000 people of all castes, classes, religions are fed every day at this location. (See this CNN article to read more.)