Amritsar is one of the most ancient and sacred cities of India. Abode of
the famous Golden Temple, it is the centre of Sikh history and culture.
Amritsar is also a prime and popular pilgrim destination in India.
Amritsar is situated in the Langar district of the state of Punjab in
the northwestern part of India. It lies at a distance of about 217 km
from Chandigarh and 32 km from Lahore in Pakistan. The best time to
visit Amritsar is from October to March.
Tourists must visit Amritsar during the festival of Baisakhi.
One of the most significant festivals celebrated in Amritsar, Baisakhi a
harvest festival and it is when the whole of Amritsar
celebrates the New Year. Locals, dressed in their finest, new clothes,
eat, dance and make merry. The day has an auspicious start as Sikhs
first visit the gurudwara to offer their respects, which is followed by a
traditional lunch. Amritsar also has a procession that travels across
Amritsar was once the gateway for people who travelled to India through
overland route from Central Asia. But nowadays, the ancient city of
Amritsar is remembered mostly by its grim political history. The tragic
episode of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre that took place on April 13,
1919, when India was under British Rule, changed the destiny of India.
Amritsar also witnessed Operation Blue Star in the year 1984 under the
late Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi.
With rise in tourism and development of the hospitality industry,
Amritsar witnessed rapid urban growth. It became a prominent hub for
commercial activities and medicare for North India.
Hari Mandir, or the Darbar Sahib, or the Golden Temple, is the chief
tourist attraction of Amritsar. The Golden Temple was founded by Guru
Ramdas, who was the fourth Guru of the Sikhs. The construction of the
Golden Temple, however, was completed under the supervision of Guru
Arjan Dev, the successor of Guru Ramdas.
The Golden Temple is a large complex with many sections in it like
Darshani Deori, Amrit Sarovar, Harmandir Sahib, Akal Takht and Central
Sikh Museum. The Central Sikh Museum houses a huge collection of
paintings that depicts the history and culture of the Sikhs.
Jallianwala Bagh Garden near the Golden Temple, which is the silent
monument of the massacre of 1919, is also a tourist spot. Other popular
attractions of Amritsar are the Mata Temple and the Summer Palace of
Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Various historical and religious sites in Amritsar make it a prime
travel destination. There are many popular Gurudwaras near Amritsar,
which are Baba Bakala, Goindwal Sahib, Tarn Taran and Baba Sahib. An
outing to the Wagah checkpost on the Indo-Pakistan border has also
become a popular tourist place in Amritsar. A trip to the lush green
countryside of Punjab can also be taken from Amritsar.