The Golden Temple, India: photos by Darragh Field
Situated in Northwest of India, the holy Sikh city of Amritsar is home to the Golden Temple, the shining heart of the Sikh faith. The Sikhs have descended from a warrior clan with a proud martial history. Yet, despite this, Amritsar is an incredibly peaceful and serene city.
The Golden Temple or Harmandir Sahib (The Abode of God) is covered with 750kg of gold. Ornate and beautifully constructed, it conveys a sense of majesty and grace as it shines brightly in the sun. Around the temple are steel-eyed Nihang warrior guards, wielding spears and traditional Kirpan swords and wearing elaborately large and ornately decorated violet-blue turbans.
I had intended only to stay a day, but in the end I spent a week in the city, visiting the temple for hours each day and photographing the pilgrims. Despite the heat of the sun, the polished white marble of the grounds was cool under foot. Flanked on all sides by ornate buildings of white marble, the temple is also surrounded by water, known as the Pool of Nectar.
Whatever you believe, there is a pervading sense of the divine in Amritsar, a sense of something compassionate, understanding and graceful.