Amritsar Travel Guide

The word 'Amritsar' actually means a pool of nectar. It is one of the worldwide highly praised cities of India. It is located in northern state of Punjab and located about 25 kilometers east of border with Pakistan.

Amritsar is a chief commercial, cultural and transportation center of state and attracts lots of tourists from all over the world. It is now the gateway of Punjab and north India with Raja Sansi International airport offering cheap flights from Amritsar to London, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and various other countries so that people from all corners of the world visit this place which is the centre of Sikhism and the site of Sikh's principal place of worship.

It is one of the spiritual and cultural centres of Sikh religion due to existence of Golden Temple a renowned pilgrimage for Sikhs. Golden Temple also called as Sri Harmandir Saheb, pilgrimage here is must for any Sikh or believer of humanity and God. This is the most holy shrine for Sikhs and the town is founded by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh guru. Golden temple was built by fifth guru Arjun Dev and later the great Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh embellished the shrine and covered its dome with gold and precious jewels.

The Golden Temple is on a rectangular stage, surrounded by a pool of water called the Amrit Sarovar from which the City is named. The Adi Granth, compiled by Guru Arjan Dev lies on a throne underneath a jewel coated covering. A few yards away from the temple are the Akal Takht from where the Gurus held court. The building has immense historical significance for Sikhs and all the decisions concerning religious and social life of community are takes from here only. Book low fare flights to amritsar as you can visit Golden Temple at any time of the day and find it always full of devotees, listening to the recitation of Gurbani and feel seduced by the hypnotic melody of path.

History of amritsar

The history of amritsar begins from the time of the Indus Valley Civilization. In 326 B.C. the Greek king Alexander brought this area under his control. Later it became a part of Maruyan Empire. Gupta Empire ruled this place from 4th century to 6th century A.D. After this the Shahi Dynasty ruled this place until the Ghazni's Mohammed was attacked.

amritsar was formed by Guru Ram Das in 1574. In 1570 he constructed the building called Santokhsar Sarovar near Sultanwind village. After the name Sarovar, the place was called amritsar. The base for the Darbar Sahib was laid by the Muslim saint Sain Mian Mir Sahib and he had excellent relationship with Guru Arjun Dev and the next Guru Hargobind.

Mughal army attacked Guru Hargobind at amritsar on 13th April 1634. Guru Tegh Bahadur came to the city on 23rd November 1664. Until this time, there were many temples in amritsar and Bhai Mani Singh was appointed as his caretaker in April 1698. In 1734, he was caught in Lahore and killed. Darbar Sahib and Akal Takht were demolished by the Afghan chief Ahmed Shah Abdali in 1757. Many Sikhs were killed in the struggle. The raids by the Afghan army continued and many people lost their lives. The reconstruction of the shrines was started in 1765.

Amritsar became the most important trading center of Punjab by the end of the eighteenth century. Trade and commerce got success in this region. Ranjit Singh was the head of the Sukarchak and he declared himself as the Maharaja of Punjab in 1801 and amritsar came under his control in 1805. He built the double wall around the city and in 1809 he constructed the Gobindgarh Fort and made amritsar his capital. Many houses and palatial buildings were raised around the city. Darbar Sahib was gold plated by him in 1830. So this came to be called the Golden Temple.

On 13th April 1919 huge crowd gathered at a park in Jalianwalla Bagh. General Dyer ordered for firing and hundreds of innocent public were killed in that. This massacre created unrest in various parts of North India.

After the independence of India, amritsar was a border city between India and Pakistan. Pakistan wanted to bring amritsar to their region but India retained it with it. This led to communal riots during the Indian partition. Later it was made as the part of Punjab.

An Insight into Amritsar Tourism

Places to visit in Amritsar

Jalianwala Bagh: It is a historical shrine that tells the story of crowd killing during Independence movement of India, is a must visit place in amritsar. The memorial of the martyrs of 1919 massacre by a British officer General Dyer kept here. At present the place also has a park and a museum to tell the story of past to future generations.

Wagah Border: One of the enthusiastic places to visit in amritsar is Wagah Border which is situated on Indo Pak border and is 28 km away from amritsar. Several numbers of visitors come to this place to see the change of guard's ceremony and flag hoisting which get done with great skills and accuracy by border security forces of both the countries.

Durgiana Temple: A fantastic temple devoted to Goddess Durga is also a main tourist attraction of amritsar is conveniently accessible from Golden Temple. Constructed during the 16th century AD the temple is a huge structure and was built on a style of Golden Temple.

Gurdwara Baba Atal Sahib: It is the most recommended visit place Gurdwara Baba Atal Sahib in amritsar tour as many believe it to be the major tourist spot of amritsar. It was built in 1778-1784 and enriches the cultural picture of Punjab. This statuesque Gurudwara is octagonal in shape and 40 meters tall. This tower is said to be erected over the spot where Guru Har Gobind died.

Tarn Taran: This building built in honor of the famed Guru Ram Das. Tarn Taran is another Sikh temple situated about 24 kilometers to the south of amritsar. At this place, you will see an appealing lake which is popular for its holiness as well as the claimed medically remedial properties of its water for skin diseases and leprosy in particular. This architecture was constructed by Ranjit Singh and is now used to host fairs during the passionate celebrations propelled by every 'Amavas' night.

Best Time to visit Amritsar

November to March – This duration is suitable time to visit amritsar is between because the weather is moderately pleasant, enjoyable and perfect for sightseeing at amritsar. However, sometimes the temperature can be as low as to be freezing – 4 Degree Celsius.

April to June – This is the time before monsoon when city experiences the heat and dust coupled with the summer season. The temperature during these summer season's months can stroke a high of about 49 Degrees Celsius.

July to October – After the boiling heat of the summers, the monsoon season gives a warm relief to the city of amritsar. The city experiences gentle to heavy rains during these months. The weather is mostly pleasing and gloomy most of the time during this period.

How to Reach Amritsar

How to Reach amritsar by Air: Situated about 11 km away from the city-centre, the Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport of amritsar has more than 160 domestic and international flights. There are number of direct flights to and from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, London, Doha, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur daily. Raja Sansi International Airport situated in the city of amritsar makes it possible for everyone to get regular flights throughout the day. It connects the city with many important cities of the country as well as the world.

How to reach Amritsar by Train : The amritsar Railway Station connects the city to almost all major cities of India including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Agra, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Chandigarh. A train journey from Delhi to amritsar takes about 6 hours. Every day a number of trains run on a regular basis to different parts of the country from amritsar. In fact, it also has a connecting railway line to Pakistan.

How to reach Amritsar by Road : As it is situated on the NH 1, amritsar is well connected by road. Bus services, including both government and private services, to and from Ambala, Patiala, Delhi, Chandigarh and Jammu runs daily. The G.T Road links Delhi (464 km) to amritsar. Luxury, deluxe buses and taxis are also available from here that connects the city with all the major places of India on a regular basis. Other places near amritsar are Dalhousie (178 km), Dharamsala (187 km), Jammu (199 km) and Shimla (316 km).

Amritsar Map

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