Established in the year 1577 by Ram Das, the fourth Sikh guru, Amritsar is the holiest place of pilgrimage for Sikhism. The mesmerizing Golden Temple is the most tranquil and awe-inspiring sight of India and it always remains the primary attraction of the city. The name of the city was derived from name of the pool which is around the Golden Temple and it means holy pool of nectar. However, the hyperactive streets around the temple are always congested, air polluted and full of traffic noise.
The city of Amritsar is actually separated into two halves by interweave of railway lines. The old part of the city, in the southeast part of the railway lines, comprises the Golden Temple and some of the popular ancient sights along with twelve medieval gates. This is the most striking place to explore in the city that includes capillary network of bazaars which looks like floating between the centuries. In the northern part of the railway lines is the modern Amritsar which has actually emerged in chaotic fashion across the scattering of regal-era boulevards. The up market hotels and sparkling malls exemplify the prosperity of Amritsar.
How to Reach
By Plane: Amritsar has its own international airport which is about 11 km away from the heart of the city. Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport is one of the modern airports of India and has surprising number of flights to almost all domestic and international destinations.
By Train: Amritsar railway junction is the important railway station of India and connects the city will almost all major cities and towns of India. The city is well connected with other major cities with express and super fast trains.
By Road: Long Distance car services are available that connects the city with Delhi via NH-1. Bus services are also available that connects the city with all major towns and cities of India.
Sightseeing in Amritsar
The Golden Temple: It is the primary attraction of Amritsar city and the most crucial religious place for Sikhs. The Golden Temple is the most mesmerizing complex within the city and always full of thousands of pilgrims from across the country and they are always excited to visit this place which they usually see on television. The complex is open for 24 hours a day and worth visiting twice, especially in night when the temple is elegantly lit up.
Jallianwala Bagh Garden: It is situated in a short 5-minute walk from the Golden Temple and it is site where 1919 Amritsar massacre took place. On 13th April 1919 the British Indian Army opened fire on the gathering of men, women and children who were unarmed. The firing from the British last for ten minutes and 1650 rounds were fired and 1579 people were killed. So, to honor those people the site was inaugurated by then-President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, on April 13 1961. The bullets holes can be seen on the walls and adjacent buildings today also.
Summer Palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh: It is a museum located in the Ram Bagh Park and it houses a museum, miniatures, exhibiting oil paintings of ancient times, weapons, coins from Sikh period.
Mata Temple: This is a complex that replicates Hindu cave temple and it is devoted to female saint Lal Devi. Usually, this temple is visited by women who wish to become pregnant. The path towards the temple passes through some low tunnels and caves that are full of water, inclined pathways and reflecting lobbies, thus making the experience more like a fun house instead of a place for worship.
Where to Stay
From expensive to budget hotels, the city of Amritsar has wide variety of hotels to cater the needs of all classes of tourists. Some of the popular hotels across the city include, Hotel Ritz Plaza, Hotel CJ International, Hyatt Amritsar, Ranjit’s Svaasa, Grand Legacy, MK Hotel, HK Clarks Inn and many others.