Located in the state of Punjab in India, Amritsar is 35 Kms from the border with Pakistan. The Golden Temple- the holiest religious shrine for the Sikhs- is located in the city. The Golden Temple is also known as Harminder Sahib, meaning “The Abode of Gods” or Darbar Sahib meaning “Highest Court”. The Temple is surrounded by a sacred Saravor (lake). It is the largest city of Punjab and major commercial and cultural center.
The City was earlier known as Ramdaspur or Ambarsar by the locals. The name derives from Amrit Sarovar. The waters of the Sarovar are believed to have healing powers. In the year 1570 Guru Ram Das started the excavation of the Saraovar (holy tank) and built a town in the area. In 1588 the fifth Guru had a Temple constructed on the site for a place of worship. Earlier the area was covered with thick forest and had several lakes. In order to establish the city Guru Ram Das invited traders from nearby places to settle here. The shops of the traders still stand in a street called “Batisi Hatta (32 shops). THe holy Book of the Sikhs – The Guru Granth Sahib- was completed by Guru Arjan Dev and installed in the Harminder Sahib. Baba Buddha Sahib was the first Granthi (Priest) of the Golden Temple. The British took over Amristsar in 1840 A.D. They demolished the city walls and built a Town Hall to administer the city. They also built a Railway Station and Post Office.
Things to do (Activities)
Besides the Holy Golden Temple Amritsar is known for Jallian Wala Bagh – a memorial to honour the 2000 Indians who, while attending a peaceful public meeting, were massacred by the British soldiers in an indiscriminate firing on 13th April, 1919. Also Visit Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum, explore Gobindgarh Fort, Ram Tirth Ashram and Jama Masjid Kharuddin.
Explore The surroundings
Lying 35 Kms from Amritsar and associated with Maharaja Ranjit Singh who lived here from 1800 to 1840 A.D. Beautifully constructed the place has 12 doorways to allow the breeze in. The historical building was damaged when marauders attacked and damaged the place. The place was restored and today people visit to pay respect.
Situated 35 Kms from Amritsar (Wagah is located in Pakistan and Attari is on the Indian Side). The Wagah-Attari border flag ceremony, started in 1986, takes place for two hours before sunset every day at the border gate. The Pakistan Rangers and The Indian Border Security Force (BSF) participate in a “Silly Walk Ceremony” along with the flag ceremony.
Harike Bird Sanctuary
The sanctuary was developed in 1953 and is 55 Kms from Amritsar. A lake is situated in the deepest part of the sanctuary which is the largest wetland in Northern India. There is a reservoir here constructed at the confluence of Sutlej and Beas Rivers and is home of migratory birds during winter, turtles and different species of fish and mammals.
Amritsar Airport (Guru Ram Dass Jee Airport) is 11 Kms from City Center. 160 Domestic and International flights operate to Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, London, Doha, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.
Amritsar is connected to all major Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Agra, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Chandigarh. From Delhi a train journey takes 6 hours to Amritsar.