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Amritsar

About Amritsar

Amritsar has still not lost the rich architecture and culture which their ancestors had built with audacity. Situated in northwestern India in the northern part of the state Punjab, it lies about 25 km east of the border with Pakistan. Amritsar is an important city in Punjab and is a major commercial, cultural, and transportation centre. It is also the centre of Sikhism and the principal site of the Sikh's place of worship.

Being situated on the main Grand Trunk Road (GT Road) from Delhi connecting Lahore in Pakistan, Amritsar has a lot of activities going on. Some of the most beautiful ancient buildings are a part of this city's heritage. The golden temple, the five sarovars and many more famous tourist places are related to Amritsar. Apart from the historical monuments, there is a part of city totally pristine and urbanized. It is excellently connected to all the main cities by air, road and rails. Apart from connectivity to major Indian cities, international cities such as Birmingham, Toronto, Dubai, Singapore, Tashkent, Ashgabat and London are also connected extensively by air.

History

Distant view of Babatul, AmritsarAmritsar city is one of the major cities of the Punjab state in India. Under instructions from Guru Amar Das, this city was founded by Guru Ram Das in 1574, on land bought by him for 700 rupees from the owners of the village of Tung. (Earlier Guru Ram Das had begun building Santokhsar Sarovar, near the village of Sultanwind in 1564 {according to one source in 1570}. It could not be completed before 1588. In 1574, Guru Ram Das built his residence and moved to this place. At that time, it was known as Guru Da Chakk. (Later, it came to be known as Chakk Ram Das).

 

Geography and Climate

Amritsar is located at 31.63° N 74.87° E.[2] It has an average elevation of 234 metres (768 ft).

Amritsar has a continental climate, typical of northwestern India. The winter season (November to March) when temperatures ranges from 18 °C to about 4 °C, the hot season (April to June) when temperatures can reach 49.5 °C, monsoon season (July to September) and post-monsoon (September to November). Annual rainfall is about 790 mm. The best time to visit Amritsar is between October and March.

Golden Temple

The Golden Temple is the main attraction in the city, and the most important religious place to the Sikhs. It's a stunning complex, and always full of thousands of pilgrims from all over India, excited to be at a place that they usually only see on television. The excitement to be here is infectious, and many people will be more than happy to tell you all about their religion and customs, and show you around the temple itself. Cover your head, remove your shoes and wander around one of the most amazing places in India. The complex is open almost 24 hours (from 6 AM until 2 AM) and is worth visiting twice: once during the day, once at night, when it's beautifully lit up.

As you arrive near the complex, you will more likely than not be accosted by hawkers trying to sell you bandannas to cover your head. It's not a bad souvenir for Rs.10, but there's also a big barrel of free ones to choose from at the entrance itself. Deposit your shoes at the subterranean building to the left of the entrance, wash your feet at the entrance and head in.

Darshani Deori
This is the main entrance, sporting a distinctly Victorian clock-tower.
Amrit Sarovar. The giant pool of water that surrounds and reflects the Golden Temple. Sections (marked off by ropes) are set aside for (male) pilgrims wishing to bathe.

Harmandir Sahib
This is the Golden Temple itself, floating above the Amrit Sarovar, housing the sacred Adi Granth scripture which is recited out loud during the day. This is the most crowded point, accessible by a bridge from the edge of the pool, and entry here is regulated by guards.

Akal Takht
directly opposite the Harmandir Sahib. Meaning "the Timeless, this is where the highest council of Sikhs sits and deliberates. At night, the Guru Granth Sahib is taken to the Akal Takht.

Central Sikh Museum
2nd floor (entrance on the right side of the main side of the main entrance). Devoted to large gallery of paintings, mostly showing the gruesome ways countless Sikhs have been martyred, and various knick-knacks from the gurus. Free.

All Sikhs are expected at some point in their lives to volunteer for a week at the temple, and everyone you see working here is fulfilling that duty. It's likely possible that you can join in if you feel so inclined - you could start by chatting up the people outside peeling vegetables, or those washing dishes.

 

Religious Shrines

The following is a list of the prominent Sikh Gurudwaras and sacred places in the city and its vicinity:

Dhan Dhan Khalsa

Harimandir Sahib (Golden Temple)
Gurdwara Manji Sahib, Devan Asthan
Akal Takht (Dhan Dhan Baba Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindranwale Dhan Dhan Baba Shahbeg Singh Ji)
Gurudwara Shaheed Ganj Sahib Ji (Dhan Dhan Baba Deep Singh Ji)
Gurdwara Ramsar Sahib
Gurdwara Baba Deep Singh, built at the site of the martyrdom of Baba Deep Singh
Gurdwara Bebaaksar Sahib
Birth Place of Guru Hargobind Sahib
Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Tarn Taran (twenty five km south of Amritsar)
Gurdwara Baba Budha
Guru da Bagh, Kokawali
Gurdwara Bowli Sahib, Goindwal Sahib
Gurdwara Bir Baba Budha, Thattah-Chabhal
Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Khadur Sahib
Chheharta Sahib, Guru Hargobind Ji
Baba Bakala, where Bhai Makhan Shah proclaimed that he had found the ninth Sikh Guru in Guru Teg Bahadur
Birth Place of Baba Budha Ji, Kathunangal
Saragarhi Gurudwara
Tala Sahib Gurudwara
Gurudwara Bhai Manjh Sahib Ji
Gurudwara Pau Wind Sahib Ji (Dhan Dhan Baba Deep Singh Ji)


Hindu

Durgiana Mandir
Sage Valmiki's Ashram Named as Ram Tirath
Mata Lal Devi Mandir
Maha Kali Mandir,Near Escorts hospital.
Gopal mandir
Ram Tirath
Shivala Bhaian Temple
Doonge Hanuman, Baazar Tookrian


How To Reach

By Air
Raja Sansi International Airport in Amritsar provides regular service to major cities like Mumbai and Chennai. Airport to the heart of the city, it costs only about Rs 100/- by taxi. Foreign cities can be connected through Mumbai and Chennai.

By Train
Amritsar Railway Station is well linked to other rail heads in the state and also connected to most of the cities in India. It has a connection railway line to Pakistan.

By Bus
State run public buses and private buses are available to move in and out from Amritsar. Grand Trunk Road connects Delhi to Amritsar. Luxury buses are available from Delhi.