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by , SmarterTravel Staff - December 21, 2009
Sikh pilgrim by the Pool of Immortal Nectar

This photo was taken by Zongqi Xia from Cambridge, Massachusetts.

"During a visit to the Golden Temple of Amristar (Punjab) in the winter of 2009, I took this photo while sitting serenely beside an elderly Sikh pilgrim by the Pool of Immortal Nectar facing the Harimandir. Just like the pilgrim, I was deeply entranced by the hypnotic and sublime chanting of Gurbani Kirtan.

Before my journey across India, I volunteered for a month with the Himalaya Health Exchange in the Himachal Pradesh as an elective during residency. We provided free medical care to an underserved part of rural Northern India.

I am a neurologist based in Boston. Since college, I have traveled to six continents and several dozens of countries. When I travel to a new place, I like to spend time wandering aimlessly and discovering the unexpected. An ideal trip for me combines elements of (mis)adventure, local culture, culinary delights, and serendipitous encounters with kind strangers."

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