Amritsar (Pool of Nectar) founded by the Sikh Guru Ram Dad, is named after the sacred pool of Golden temple. It is the second largest town of Punjab. It has grown from a sacred village pond into a spiritual temporal centre of Sikh culture. Amritsar is the soul of Punjab and today it is India’s important distribution centre of dry-fruits. It is also the city where Jallianwala Bagh, the garden where scores of innocent Indian people were massacred by the British. Amritsar is an institution by itself. Amritsar is only 24 Kms away from Pakistani border. Travellers by land have to pass through Amritsar as it is the only way to Pakistan. The holy city of Amritsar has an extreme climate with very hot summers and very cold winters. Monsoon hits the city around the first week of July and brings average rainfall. The best time to visit Amritsar is between October and March.
HOW TO REACHÂ
PunjabÂ has two airports located at Chandigarh and Amritsar. Al most all-important airlines operate regular flights to both of these airports connecting them to major cities of India.
PunjabÂ is well linked to other parts of India by extensive railway network. Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jalandhar, and Pathankot are the major railway stations in the state, which are served many important trains.
Â An excellent network of roads and state highways connect all-important cities ofÂ Punjab. The National highways NH1 or the Grand Trunk Road link the state directly to most of the significant places in northern and eastern India.
WHAT TO SEE
The Golden temple is also known as Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib. It is a significant Sikh temple, which is located in the city of Amritsar. It is the central Gurdwara or Sikh place of worship the world over. Thousands of people visit the Golden Temple every year and is one of the most visited places in Punjab. The proper name is Harmandir which means “temple of God”, while some refer it to as darbar, which means “court”. The Golden Temple has some unique features.
Attari Wagah Border:-
Attari Wagah Border often known as the ‘Berlin wall of Asia’, is the ceremonial Indian-Pakistan Border situated 28kms from Amritsar and one of the famous tourist attraction of the city. Each evening a retreat ceremony takes place with the BSF (Border Security Forces) on the Indian Side of the Border. The flags of both the nations are lowered and a thrilling parade is performed by the soldiers of both nations.
Akal Takht also known as Akal Bunga, situated just opposite to the Golden temple is one among the five sacred Takhts of Sikhs; the others being Takht Shri Damdama Sahib at Talwandi Sabo, Takht Shri Keshgarh Sahib at Anandpur, Takht Shri Patna Sahib and Takht Shri Hazoor (Hazur) Sahib at Nanded. In Persian, the term Akal means ‘the timeless one’ and Takht means ‘throne’ . Hence, Akal Takht as a whole means ‘The throne of the timeless one’ (literally means Eternal Throne i.e. God.).
Pul Kanjari is a small village situated 35kms away from Amritsar on Amritsar-Lahore road, near the villages of Daoka and Dhanoa Kalan on the Wagha border. It is one among the heritage sight built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, where he used to take rest while passing by along with his royal troop. During his reign, Pul Kanjari was an important trading centre and the king used to stay there for few days when travelling between Lahore and Amritsar. This fortress also contains a bathing pool, a temple, a Gurudwara and a mosque which were the secular concern of the Maharaja. The village has a monument built in memory of the Jawans who lost their lives in the 1971 war with Pakistan .
Jallian Wala Bagh:-
Located 400 meters north of the Golden Temple, Jallian Wala Bagh is a place noted for its notorious massacre under British rule. The incident was happened on April 13,1919. During the time of freedom struggle, when Mangal Pandey blew the bugle for commencing the struggle for independence, General Dyer, the Lieutenant Governor of the province, made a law that no Indian will be allowed to hold gatherings or processions. On 13th April to celebrate the Baisakhi festival, thousands of people gathered at Jallian Wala Bagh ground that is surrounded by high walls on all sides and has only a narrow alley for access. Thinking it as a violation of the law, General Dyer personally led the troops to the sight and ordered his men to open fire without any warning which is resulted in the death of 379 and injured more than 1200. India was outraged by Dyer’s massacre.
Sarai Amanat Khan:-
Located 38 kilometers south west of Amritsar, Serai Amanat Khan is one among the four serais of Punjab, famed for the carved out gate built in Mughal style. Serias means inn. Amanat Khan seria consists of hundreds of rooms which is about 100 yard both in length and breadth and it provides accommodation to the people passing the royal road from Atari to Govindwal.
Tower of Baba Atal Rai:-
The 33 meters (108 ft) high nine storied octagonal tower of Baba Atal Rai, located few miles away from the main city on the south-east of the Golden Temple is the tallest tower in Amritsar. This significant landmark of the city was built during the year 1778 – 1784 in memory of the sixth Sikh teacher, Guru Hargobind and his youngest son, Baba Atal Rai. Originally it was built as a samadhi, or cenotaph that enshrines the remains of Atal Rai and Guru Hargobind and with the passage of time, it was transformed into a Gurudwara.
Basant Panchami at Gurudwara Chheharta Sahib:-
The Basant Panchami at Gurudwara Chheharta Sahib is the most famous festival of Amritsar which is held on the 5th day of the bright half of the month of Magh ( January- February). The celebrations usually starts early morning, continue throughout the night and ends on the next day afternoon. Kirtan darbar (chanting of hymns and poems belonging to Sikh literature) will be conducted on the whole night.
Samadhi of Guru Angad Dev Ji:-
Built in 1815 AD, the Samadhi of Guru Angad Dev Ji was built by the great Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It is situated at a distance of about 30 km from Amritsar. Guru Angad was the second Guru of Sikhs? and a devout follower of Guru Nanak.
Ram Tirth Fair:-
Ram Tirth Fair is celebrated at the Ram Tirth Temple , which is situated 11 km west of Amritsar on Amritsar Lopoke road. This four to five day long annual fair, held on the full moon day in the month of November, is an important religious event of the city. During the fair, pilgrims visit the temple in the early morning of the Puranmashi (full moon night) and take a bathe in the sacred tank which is believed to have been dug by Hanuman. After that they circumambulate the thirty feet wide tank with the chanting mantras ‘Ram Ram’.
Harike Pattan Sanctuary:-
Covering an area of 93 square miles Harike Pattan is the second largest bird sanctuary of India situated mid way between Amritsar and Ferozepur on the banks of Wetland. This popular picnic spot is located in Tarn Taran district, about 60 kilometres from Amritsar.
Shopping in Amritsar is a memorable experience. The market places, lanes, bazaars, squares, and plazas hum with activity. The main shopping areas are the Hall Bazaar, Katra Jaimal Singh and Lawrence Road. The city offers traditional souvenirs along with modern brandwear at all locations. The main attraction however is the woolens, carpets and blankets, besides juttis and embroidered work. The bazaars of Amritsar offer a colourful range of traditional and modern wares, right from carpets, durries, kites, fireworks, bangles, shawls to cut-glass and woolen textiles. At Guru Bazaar, near the Golden Temple, each lane sells a different commodity.
it is a combination of spicy non-vegetarian palate aptly teemed with healthy and tasty veg dishes. Amritsar is a heaven for food lovers, and if you aren’t a foodie, this place will surely make you one. Its the local dishes that add charm to the cuisine of any place. So, here are some of theÂ famous dishes ofÂ Amritsar.