Taking a tour of rural Punjab has been on my bucket list ever since I watched Bollywood blockbuster Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. Every time I browsed through any tour package for Punjab, I always thought, one rural site must be included in my travel itinerary. And as I browsed through the pictures, I would often find myself humming ‘…. Ghar aaja pardesi tera des bulaye re.’ And finally when I was packing my bag for Anandpur Sahib, I was musing on the idea of getting to see women in traditional phulkari salwar suits dancing in the fields from the train window. Then I shrugged the thought… such things happen only in films.
With my heart full of beautiful mustard fields, mud huts, greenery all around, I embarked on my journey to Anandpur Sahib. I was in fact accompanying my friend who was going to pay a visit to the Gurdwara. Having lived and worked with a lot of Sikhs, I have a lot of respect for their culture and religion. This was my chance to get to see everything up and close. I was only too eager to experience it in person.
Reaching Ananda @ The Satluj
We booked our rooms at Ananda @ The Satluj, a riverside farm stay in Punjab. The website said that the resort helps you to experience the organic lifestyle of Punjab in the most raw and real manner. Needless to say, my excitement was soaring higher as we inched closer to our travel destination – Anandpur Sahib which happens to be one of the most popular tourist places in Punjab.
Upon our arrival, we were escorted to the resort by the pickup cab facilitated by Ananda @ The Satluj. As the car approached the resort I happened to glance over Sri Anandpur Sahib Gurdwara. In complete awe of what I could see, with my eyes wide open and my jaws dropped, I kept watching the magnanimous pristine white Gurudwara of Sir Anandpur Sahib. And then finally we drove past and headed to our resort gate.
Farmstay at Ananda @ The Satluj
As we entered the riverside resort, we were warmly welcomed by the resort staff with a smile and after the initial formalities we were escorted to our cottage. Now I am completely at a loss of words. And it is truly beyond words!
The cottage was no less than a dream nook. It was complete with all modern amenities but flawlessly recreated a look and feel of a rustic hut. I opened the door and felt the fresh air brushing over my face. Small white pebbled laid in front of the cottage door leading to the river flowing silently in front of me. My eyes roved around further and met the mountains and the farm lands that surrounded the resort. I felt as if the entire nature was ready to take me in its arms. I could feel the peace and a deep sense of security that one feels in the mother’s arm. I think that why we call it Mother Nature.
Paying Homage at Anandpur Sahib Gurudwara
Now it was time to see the Gurudwara up ad close. As I climbed the stairs that led to the Gurudwara I was taken aback by the cleanliness and sanctity that is maintained at the place. As we entered, I could hear the mesmerizing and enchanting sounds of the shabad. Though I could not make out the meaning of the words, the rhythm, voice and the tune slowly and steadily started to tug at my heartstring and in a matter of a few minutes I was complete engrossed in it. We sat there for a while before heading towards the langar. Even after we left the shabad kept reiterating in my ears. I closed my eyes in reverence. Amen!