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.