Facts at Glance
Location: North-Western part of Punjab
Language: Punjabi, Hindi, English
Known for: Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
Nearby Cities: Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana
Located in the north-western part of the state Punjab and being the religious heart of Punjab, it is one of the most commercial and popular cities of Punjab. It is the spiritual centre for the Sikh religion. The Tung village reveals the origin of this city, which was named after the lake founded by the fourth Sikh Guru Ram Das in the year 1574. The sacred lake houses the Golden Temple or Harmandir Sahib.
Surprisingly, Sikh shrine (Golden Temple) attracts more visitors than the Taj Mahal of Agra. It is the most popular destination for NRI (Non-resident Indians). It is home to Central Khalsa Orphanage. Interestingly, the city with the long history with the tragic incident of Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919 under British Rule is one of the most developed cities of Punjab. The culturally rich city is also popular for its delightful cuisine. Today, the city always remains infused with national as well as international tourists including celebrities.
Amritsar is an historical religious place where two religions reside. It is that sacred place where Sage Valmiki wrote the epic, Ramayana. Rama and Sita are believed to have spent their lives here. In addition, it is the sacred place of Sikhism where the world popular Golden Temple is located.
Major Tourists' Attractions in Amritsar
. The Golden Temple: Also popular as Hari Mandir (the temple of the Lord), it is the biggest sacred Darbar Sahib of Sikh religion. The temple is located in the middle of a sacred pond that gives a wonderful sight especially when its glimmering reflection is caught by the ripples of the ponds in the night time. The three storey temple is architected beautifully; the top storey canopied gilded dome and surrounded by golden turrets. The inner side of the temple is adorned by filigree and enamel work in gold. It is one of the rare examples of its kind. The most significant event of the temple is the celebration of birthday anniversaries of the Gurus. During this time, the temple is unbelievably adorned like anything. The entire premises are illuminated with colorful lights. Thousands of devotees unite here.
. Durgiana Temple (Lakshmi Narain Temple): Located nearby the Lohgarh gate, the temple was constructed by Guru Harsai Mal Kapoor. Sometimes it is also called as Silver temple for its carved silver doors. It is located at the walking distance from the Golden Temple complex through the narrow passageway. It also brings the visitors to the 16th century Hindu temple of Durgiana. Besides the main goddess Durga, the temple is adorned with the goddess Laxmi (Goddess of wealth) and god Narayan ( Preserver of Universe ); therefore, it is also known as Lakshmi Narayan Mandir. The foundation of this temple was done by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, who was one of the greatest reformers and former President of Indian National Congress of pristine India.
. Maharaja Ranjit Singh Garden (Ram Bagh): It was also popular as the Company Garden in the early period but later on Maharaja Ranjit Singh changed the name as Ram Bagh, showing his great faith and devotion to the great sage Guru Ram Das (the founder of the city of Amritsar). Ram Bagh is a beautiful garden which shows the important events of the life of the Great Maharaja. It is also famous for the summer palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839). The garden is built as the replica of Shalimar gardens in Lahore. Ram Bagh garden has a huge statue of the legendary king with his horse. Now the garden and the palace are situated in the middle of the premises. However, now it is used as a National Museum.
. Wagah Border: It is the international road border connecting two countries India and Pakistan. Located at the distance of 27 km from main city, it lies on the Grand Trunk Road between the cities of Amritsar, Punjab, India and Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It is especially known for the inclusive Wagah Border ceremony that happens at the gate of border every day before sunset. Wagah is named after the name of village Wahga located partly in India and partly in Pakistan. After the independence, India and Pakistan divided as two independent countries and resultantly, half of the village's eastern part remains in the Republic of India while other half i.e. the western part is in Pakistan.
. Ram Tirth: It is located at the distance of 11 Km West of Amritsar on Chogawan road and popular as the land of Rishi Balmiki. Interestingly, it reminds us the era of Ramayana. This holy shrine has a fascinating and informative past. The appearance of divine goddess Devi Sita, Ram Tirth had been an evidence to the birth of Luv-Kush the sons of King Rama and goddess Sita. It is also believed that the great saint Balmiki have scripted many of his sacred manuscripts at this place. You can still visit the cottage of Rishi Balmiki at Ram Tirth where he once lived. After giving the birth two sons Luv & Kush, divine mother Sita used to stay in this cottage. The evidence of her stay still exists in the form of a well. It is believed that it was dug by Hanuman. Today, a large number of tourists and devotees across India come to visit this historic place every year.
. Jallian Wala Bagh: One of the most heinous and inhuman incidents Jallian Wala Bagh massacres which is also known as Amritsar massacre, took place on 13 April 1919, in the Jallianwala Bagh, public garden of Amritsar. This shooting incident was ordered by Brigadier-General Reginald E.H. Dyer. About 1600 rounds of bullets were fired by the British troops on 20,000 innocent people including women and children. You can still see the bullet marks on the walls of the park compound.
. Samadhi of Shravan: Samadhi of Shravan is one of the oldest heritage sites in Amritsar. Belongs to the Ramayana era, it is located at the distance of 6 km from Anjala near Jastarwal. It is believed by the people that Shravan Kumar who had been taken a vow to his blind parents that he swills them on a pilgrimage visit by cradling them on his shoulder in a pannier but by the time he reached here; he arrowed by King Dashrath by mistake and buried here. The Samadhi is located on the bank of an old small river (i.e. Purani Dhab).
. The Historical Banyan Tree (Shaheed Bohr): Located outside the antique Ram Bagh Garden, Shaheed Bohr is a historical Banyan tree. It is the place where four revolutionaries were hanged till death by the British Government in the year 1871. Because of this reason, it is also called as martyr's Banyan tree. The huge tree with lush green arbour and wide girth fascinates the tourist and local visitors.
. Jama Masjid Khairuddin: Situated in the Hall Bazar and Famous for its marvellous architectural beauty, Jama Masjid Khairuddin is one of the most admirable religious centres of Amritsar. It is built by Mohammad Khairuddin in the year 1876. This is the same holy place from where a call against the British rule was given by Tootie-e-Hind, Shah Attaullah Bukhari.
How to Reach??
By Road: Interestingly, the city Amritsar lies on the Grand Trunk Road that directly connects it with Delhi. Further, Amritsar is well connected by road network with cities and towns of Punjab as well as neighbouring state. State Transport Buses as well as other private buses are readily available to and from Amritsar which frequency is pretty high. You can catch daily direct buses for New Delhi, Chandigarh, Jammu, Katra, etc. from here. Above all, since the road network is pretty developed so you can also drive to reach this city from any nearby city or even from Delhi as well.
By Train: Amritsar Railway Station is an important railway junction which is directly connected with many major and minor cities of India like, Jammu, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chandigarh etc.
By Air: Located at the distance of 11 km, the Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport is the closest airport from Amritsar. It is connected by domestic flights to Delhi, Srinagar and Chandigarh.