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Holy Destinations of India


The Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das, founded Amritsar, meaning 'a pool of nectar'. It has grown from a sacred village pond into a spiritual temporal centre of Sikh culture. Amritsar is the soul of Punjab and today it is India’s important distribution centre of dry-fruits. It is one of the most ancient and fascinating cities of India. It is also the city where Jallianwala Bagh, the garden where scores of innocent Indian people were massacred by the British. Amritsar is an institution by itself.


General Information :-

Area: 114.95 sq.kms.
Best Time to Visit: Between October and March
Climate: Amritsar has extreme climate with very hot summers and very cold winters.
Main Languages: Punjabi, Hindi and English
Population: 25,03,165
Temperature: Summer - Max: 34 Min: 15
Winter - Max: 18 Min: 0


Major Attractions of Amritsar

Mata Mandir Temple : A grand old pious lady developed this Hindu temple situated at Rani ka Bagh, on the lines of holy shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi at Katra (Jammu), the temple draws crowds of devotees from far and near. Festivals are celebrated with great pomp and show. An evening visit to the temple gives an opportunity to the visitors to observe the life styles of Hindu families..

Location:  This temple is to the northwest of the railway station. It is notable for a Disneyesque series of grottoes and shrines featuring Hindu deities

Ram Tirth : On the outskirts of Amritsar is this significant historic birthplace of Lav and Kush. It is the spot where sage Valmiki's ashram stood and this is a sacred place for the Hindus where we get a glimpse of statues illustrating scenes from the Ramayana. The place gets a special mention in the great Hindu epic "Ramayana". It was here that Sita came after Rama deserted her. It was here that the great saint Maharishi Valmiki gave her shelter and protection. Mata Sita gave birth to twins "Luv"and "Kush" the great sons of Lord Rama. Maharishi Valmiki conducted them to highest levels in education in the realms of religious and social life besides intricacies of warfare.

Golden Temple : Also called Sri Harmandir Sahib, the Golden Temple was laid by Guru Ram Das in the 14th century. It is acclaimed as one of the holiest sites of the Sikhs. It has four doorways and gorgeously decorated arches. Reflecting influences of both Hindu and Muslim styles of architecture, the temple standing in the middle of a tank, exudes tremendous architectural brilliance which draws the attention of numerous tourists around the globe. Although principally a pilgrimage spot for the Sikhs, it is visited by people of all religions and proves to be one of the greatest tourist attractions in Amritsar on your tour to India.

Jalianwala Bagh : Sited near the Golden Temple, it bears testimony to the disaster called Jallianwala Bagh Massacre at the time of the rule of the British Raj. A congregation, attended by several Punjabis on the occasion of Baisakhi (New Year) celebrations on 13 April 1919 was set on fire by General Dyer. Till date it serves as one of the greatest tourist attractions in Amritsar.

Durgiana Mandir : Located close to the Golden Temple, this temple, modeled in the style of the Golden Temple, is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga. However, it also offers prayers to deities of Lakshmi and Narayana. Believed to have been built in the 16th century AD, the temple stands in the center of a lake

Baba Atal Rai Tower : Situated not far from the main town, Baba Atal Rai Tower is believed to have been the place where Guru Har Gobind died. Christened after the son of Guru Har Gobind, this nine-storey building gives you a panoramic view from the top. The first floor of the tower preserves some of the trinkets that bear associations to Guru Nanak’s life and his teachings

Wagah Border : Literally defining the Indo-Pakistan border, Wagah is just 28 km from the main town of Amritsar. The ‘change of guards ceremony’ at sunset draws a good many spectators

Tarn Taran : Situated at 25 km from Amritsar, Tarn Taran houses a sacred tank which is believed to have healing powers. It has a Gurudwara as well which was built by Guru Arjan Dev in AD 1768.

Also excursions to Gobindwal Sahib, Amanat Khan Serai, Baba Bakala and Dharamshala from Amritsar can be highly rewarding.

Photos of Amritsar

Golden Temple Amritsar Inside View of Golden Temple, Amritsar
 Golden Temple Inside View of Golden Temple

Accessibility / How to reach

By Air - Your query of transportation access to Amritsar by air is duly answered by the accessibility of various air services to and from the Raja Sansi Airport which is hardly 10 km from the main city. You can avail of connecting flights from Amritsar to Delhi - London and Delhi - New York. Lately, plane services to and from the Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) have gained popularity. Taxis are easily accessible to and from the airport.

By Rail - Well connected by excellent rail routes, reaching Amritsar is very easy. Direct train services are provided to important cities like Delhi, Calcutta, Bombay, Puri and other places. The Samjhauta Express also connects Amritsar to Lahore in Pakistan.

By Road - A good roadway set-up links the different corners of the city of Amritsar. Other cities of the state of Punjab are easily approachable by means of road transport. Grand Trunk Karnal Road links Delhi to Amritsar. Regular bus services are accessible from I.S.B.T. Delhi to Amritsar. In case you are wondering how to reach Amritsar by road, you will have at your disposal ample good options


Accommodation in Amritsar

  • The Golden Temple offers free accommodation to pilgrims and tourists in very basic dorms or 3-bed rooms in Guru Ram Das Niwas, behind the temple. While free, donations are expected (Rs 50-100 minimum per person per night is appropriate). You should also remain quiet and respectful of the surroundings, keeping in mind that this is a holy place of pilgrimage more than a tourist attraction. Alcohol and smoking are strictly forbidden, not only within the temple complex but anywhere within eye-sight of the temple complex. If you can handle that, then this is arguably the best place to stay - watching people go about their routine, talking to the pilgrims, and absorbing the gorgeous atmosphere. Put your donations in the donation box near the entrance to Ram Das Niwas, as opposed to the guards who will ask you for it when checking out.

  • Hotel Sita Continental, Sheran Wala Gate, Ph +91-183-5002840 is 10 minutes walk from Golden Temple. Its basic, new, and clean. Rates for double bed-room vary between Rs. 550-650.

Where to Eat in Amritsar

  • The Golden Temple has a dining hall (langar) serving free basic meals to all... A definite must for visitors. Plates and spoons are handed out near the entrance, then follow the crowds inside and take the next vacant spot in one of the rows on the floor. Servers come by with large buckets of dal, chapatis and rice. Make sure to finish everything on your plate (wasting food isn't an option here!) then take it outside to volunteers at the washing area. It's inside the complex which means no shoes and cover your head.

  • Crystal Restaurant, around the corner of Bhandari Bridge serves up great Indian, Italian, Continental and Chinese food.

  • My Kind of Place offers fast food such as pizza, burgers, and chips. It offers Chinese & Continental food also.

  • The Brothers or Bharavan the Dhaba, is place situated near to Golden Temple where you can eat traditional food or chinese, continental where you can enjoy taste of your choice at affordable prices.

  • New Punjabi Rasoi, around the corner from the temple it's one of the most popular restaurants in town and serves up great Indian food including tasty masala dosas. Meals ~Rs 40-60.

  • Neelam's, a few doors down from New Punjabi Rasoi, offers pizza and other basics. Meals from Rs 30.

  • Pizza Hut, Yes, the American chain. about a 30 - 50 Rs Auto-Rickshaw ride from the golden temple. Most auto-rickshaw drivers know where it is, or can get directions. Good if your stomach needs a western meal for a change. Comes with customer service that one would expect in a four-star restaurant in the west.

  • Costa Coffee, Located directly beside Pizza Hut (See above). Good if you're a coffee-addict and need your caffeine fix. Friendly service, comfy chairs, and always seems to have copies of The Times of India and The Tribune in the newspaper box.

  • kesar da dhaba. near golden temple offers good punjabi food made in pure ghee. Daal Makhni is truly Awsome Dont forget to try a glass of lassi after a heavy meal

Shopping in Amritsar

  • Guru Nanak knick-knacks. His face graces all kinds of goodies.
  • CDs of temple recordings, chants, and Punjabi music in the shops along the front of the temple.
  • Punjabi Juttis (shoes) from the tiny shops near the Hall Bazaar flyover.
  • Warian (spicy pulses ground with spices) from Hall Bazaar
  • Sikh symbols and relegious paraphenelia like Karas (sikh relegious bangle), swords, daggers etc from the shops close to the Golden Temple

Get Out

Visit the Pakistan border at Wagah to see the border closing ceremony. Indian and Pakistani soldiers do a march-off every evening, a popular and fun event. Taxis leave from the backside of the Golden Temple. It's a 45 minute ride, and you should leave Amritsar by around 3:30PM.