Cycle rickshaw to Amritsar train station: Rs 30
Train Amritsar – Jammu
Bti Jat Exp # 19225
Class: 2AC upper berth
Fares/pax: Rs. 460
Leaves 01:10 Amritsar Jn (ASR)
Arrives 06:15 Jammu Tawi (JAT)
Distance: 206km Duration: 5h, 5min
Rickshaw Jammu Tawi train station to Jammu airport: Rs. 150
We reached Amritsar train station a few hours before our train, so whether we like it or not, we had to kill the time in the waiting room. We were totally tired by this hour and not in mood to do anything. I took a short nap while Az laying down watching our luggage.
I sent sms to Sudhir asking if he’s in Jammu and if we could meet, and he replied that he was away for work.
Thankfully the train arrived on time and it was our first sleeper train (2-Tier AC). We had our upper berth on top while a middle-age couple sleeping at the lower berth. The bedding was perfect, and by the moment we climbed onto it, we closed our eyes and dozed off.
How to get there: The Golden Temple is located in the heart of Amritsar city. Depending on where you’re leaving from, taking auto-rickshaw shouldn’t be too expensive.
Now it’s self-explained of our inner conflicts when we were at Wagah Border we kept asking myself “why the hell did Manu bring us all the way to this place to waste time and see this lame show of kids and old women dancing in the street?” when we almost got mad at Manu, coz now when we were standing before the Harmandir Shahib Golden Temple at dark night, we could see the most sparkling golden light seen so clear. Yes, Manu brought us to some place else first because he need to spare the Golden Temple for its beautiful night view! Maybe it can be pretty too in day time, but at night you can see it being more attractive because of the lights and all.
Dinner time! After coming back from watching the border ceremony, we felt hungry and Manu brought us at this excellent Punjab Restaurant (vegetarian) in Amritsar. Manu and Az had a Thali – a platter consists of several types of curry, dhal, rice, vegetables, yoghurt, papadom (in India they call them papad), and naan. You can choose from variety of naan available, and I think Az chose cheese naan. Thali is a practically complete set dishes. But I chose something different – a bowl of mushroom soup (although it looks like curry) and naan. Forgot to take close-up picture, but click to enlarge picture below :)
Rickshaw to border, entrance fee, food: treated by Manu! :)
Finally after a long, tiring auto-rickshaw ride (it’s our LONGEST auto-rickshaw ride in India!) we arrived at this place, and suddenly we realized more and more people are going the same place. We had to leave our mobile phones at a stall who takes care of people’s belonging (for some fees) Manu said we cannot bring phone there, which I dont know for what reason, but only later I read somewhere that it’s because we’re now only a few steps away from Pakistan’s border, and inter-network between two countries might cause and get problems here.
YAY, now we really met Manu! :D Everyone, this handsome guy is Manu Sharma (the left one is Manu, if you still can’t recognize Az :P), born and raised in Punjab, India, and happened to be my penpal during younger days. So to speak, he was the very FIRST penpal that I met in real life (!!!), forget the fact that we had left the snailmail letter-writing for many years already. Who could have thought I would be meeting a penpal – whom used to be thought too far away to be possible. We had lost contact for a few years (since we have grown up and thought writing letters aint cool anymore) but I accidentally managed to find Manu again somehow on his Flickr, and later on FB. He was the first of my friends whom I told that I was going to India (of course!) and since then he had been helping me ALOT for India trip plans. Now Manu Sharma is right before our eyes.