Amritsar and the Golden Temple

Amritsar and the Golden Temple

When: January 2019.     Weather: Coldish 10-18C

Leica M10P 75mm summilux and 35mm summilux.  Canon 24-105mm

In Amritsar for a weekend and the golden temple of course was a must to visit.  Not really having much time here to visit any nature reserves and not seeing any green patches at our conference hotel, the Taj Swarna, I didn’t bring any birding gear along, just the gear to shoot the temple.  And as I have noticed before, whenever I do not bring my birding gear, something will always show up…..

We opted to visit the temple, the most holy place of Sikhism at 5am so that we could see it by night and by daybreak….


the first monument as you approach the golden temple



the tradesmen were already open at this time



the temple is fronted by a large piazza..where you deposit your shoes and wash your feet prior to entering…


first glimpse of the famed temple through the arches….




even in black and white, the temple shimmered in the night, floating on a lake



and in colour, the golden temple lived up to its name….the crowds queuing to get in can be seen on the right



brilliantly golden!



magnificent from every angle…here contrasted against another building



end on view



prostrate worshipper



intricate detail



and as the sun came up, the worshippers still came



and then to my surprise I saw a few birds hovering over the lake….



it was the unmistakeable shape of a kingfisher!



A pied kingfisher…one of the prettiest kingfishers which typically hovers in the sky and then plummets into the water to catch a fish…..




assuming the position…


sighting its prey….it plummets downwards



and splashes into the lake



before emerging….


and flying off…it was so unexpected seeing the pied kingfisher right inside the golden temple…..and of course I didn’t have my birding cameras with me so these were taken with my manual Leica M10P and 75mm lens with some from the Canon 24-105mm zoom.


The Golden Temple of Amritsar is small, but is resplendent in its gold facade…seeing it at night is magical and I think more dramatic although I imagine it would look good if the sunrise or sunset was good.  As a bonus for birders, bring your birding gear if you have never shot the pied kingfisher….there were a number of them over the lake!




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