Amritsar is a city in the northwestern Indian state of Punjab. Guru (leader) Ram Das (fourth guru of Sikh) founded it in 1574 on the land he bought at that time. Before this, the land was covered with thick forests. Guru Ram Das invited many people from near villages to shift to Amritsar and develop this city as a commercial hub.
Guru Ram Das also started excavation of the sacred tank or pool in the Amritsar, called Amrita Sarovar ("The pool of Nectar"), from which the name of the city is derived. Later, his son and fifth Guru of Sikh, Arjan Das, completed this project and also constructed Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple), in the Amrit Sarovar midst.
Amritsar is also known as the cultural capital of Punjab for its indelible history. It is a principal tourist place of Punjab, tens of thousands of tourists from India and abroad visit here for its trove treasure of culture.
5 Must Visit place in Amritsar
In Amritsar, there is a lot of exquisite heritage site you can visit - Golden Temple, Durgiana Temple, Wagah Border, Gobind Garh Fort, Jallianwala bagh, Partition Museum, Ram Tirath Sthal, Mandir Mata Lal Devi, Baba Atal Tower, and many more. In this article, I am going to shed light on some of them that you should definitely visit.
Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib)
Golden temple is the holiest shrine and the world's most prominent religious site for the Sikh community. It was built by Guru Arjan Dev (fifth guru of Sikh) in 1604. He also wrote the Guru Granth Sahib and ceremonially installed in the Golden temple. Guru Granth Sahib is a collation of many hymns, poems, and shabads. It is not only a holy scripture of Sikhism but also considered as living Guru.
The temple is built on a 67ft square of marble and is a two-storied structure. Later, in 1830, Maharaja (King) Ranjit Singh overlaid the upper part of the temple with gold foil with 400 kg gold.
Golden Temple is home to the world's largest community which offers free Guru ka Langer (communal canteen) to 20000 to 1,00,000 people per day. You can also volunteer there to cut vegetables, washing utensils, making foods, etc.
To enter the Temple Complex, it is compulsory to cover your hair with the cloth.
Durgiana Temple not only echoes the traditional Hindu architecture but that of Golden Temple. The idea to built Durgiana Temple as its stands today was the brain child of Gur Shai Mal Kapoor, a great visionary and religious minded person. In 1924, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya laid its foundation. This temple is dedicated to warrior Goddess Durga.
32km away from the city center of Amritsar will take you to Wagah border, the international border between India and Pakistan. The main highlight at the Wagah border is the "Beating the Retreat" ceremony happens every evening.
In this ceremony, the Border Security Force ( Indian Soldier) and Pakistan Rangers (Pakistan Soldiers) bring down their respective national flag, salute each other, fold their flag, and close the gate of their respective country ever since the country gained independence in 1947.
Ram Tirath Ashram
Sri Ram Tirath Ashram is a renowned ashram in Amritsar. The Ashram stands at the location where the sage Maharishi Valmiki had his hermitage and where he composed the epic Ramayana. This place is also called Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Sithal.
Sita ( wife of Lord Rama) also took place here after being abandoned by her husband Lord Rama and even gave birth to her twins, Luv and Kush.
Tucked behind the Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh is another important tourist spot. Jallianwala Bagh has left a deep scar on the Amritsar's history. In 1919, when Indian men, women, and children were protesting for the release of an imprisoned Indian leader of the Indian Independence Movement, General dyer ordered British soldiers to open fire on the protestors. In this incident, estimated 1500 people lost their lives, and several injured.