The Golden Temple

Glinting across its own little sea, The Golden Temple consumed our eyes and stole our breath. Coi Carp circled beneath our feet as we sat cross-legged by the water’s edge gazing at the incredible creation. The further the sun sank, the more the Temple glowed; gloriously golden. The water seemed to shudder in ecstasy as it rippled, reflecting both the sinking sun and the Temple, flickering bright orange one second, rich red the next.

Gathering ourselves, Sophie and I turned, re-arranging the shawls that covered our heads (you’re not allowed in without your head covered) and prepared ourselves for some photos. Within seconds a very polite young Sikh man came over and explained that to turn your back to the temple was considered as a sign of disrespect. Apologising profusely we turned back around just in time to see the last of the sun.

The temple was now lit by lights and a suddenly a micro-phone crackled and a prayer of some sort ricocheted around the cloister. The sound was hypnotic; deep, rhythmic and soothing. Without realising it I found myself (not a religious person) praying, it was not necessarily addressed to anyone, but it was definitely praying. As we got up to leave, we realised that we’d been sat there for three hours, three silent (apart from the brief reprimand) hours…