Madam - Golden Temple nectar pool sign - AmritsarThis sign is from the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

The Golden Temple is really wonderful – one of those places that is every bit as fabulous as you imagine it’ll be. I was there in November last year.

There’s a lovely atmosphere – lots of religious music – a family on holiday feeling and of course, it’s the most holy place in all the Sikh world.

The building itself is astounding and the holy of holies, the Golden Temple inner santum sits floating on a pool of water. This is described on some of the signs as nectar. If you’re Sikh, part of your pilgrimage is to take a dip in the holy water.

All well and good. So far, so similar to Hindu temples with their tanks for holy bathing adjacent to the main temple.

Plus the whole temple complex is alive with people doing community service for the temple – helping in the kitchen, washing the marble walkways (so often, at some times of the day it can be a bit slippy in places). The entire place is a hive of activity and utterly spotless.

Madam - Golden Temple nectar pool - AmritsarIt’s really rather magical. Despite being so busy, there’s a calm energy and it makes you want to sit and soak it all in. I was there just before going on a yoga retreat and I sat with a new pal and just absorbed the astmosphere.

I was particularly taken by the signs in the pool of nectar asking people very politely not to throw rubbish in the water.

Eatable singular, you’ll note. Which amuses me more, such charming language.

Plus if you do choose to sit by the edge of the pool not to dangle your legs in it. That not being very respectful to a pool of holy nectar.

So the sign ask people to sit cross legged – or as it’s charmingly called on the sign ‘sit by folding legs’.

I’m slightly shocked by the idea of people coming to their most holy site and even considering throwing a food wrapper into the pool. It seems so disrespectful, in this most respectful of places.

Perhaps it’s aimed at tourists?

But it must happen often enough that they need a sign for it.

And fair enough, almost everywhere else in India is covered in rubbish. So I guess it’s a testament to quite how thorough the cleaning is at the temple, that it’s all so very, very clean.


This sign is part of our regular series, Signage Sundays, where I indulge my obsession for all things sign related (and, I confess, occasionally, a few things that aren’t sign related – but it is mostly signs, and mostly Indian signs at that).

If you’d like to read more check out these other sign related posts

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Or look at the complete list of Signage Sundays.

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