India is a land of culture and heritage and one of the many epitomes of heritage in India is a 400-year-old city of Amritsar in the northwestern Indian state of Punjab. It is 28 kilometers away from the Indo-Pak border. Amritsar tour is a must for every traveler to experience the best of culture, spirituality and patriotism. It is a divine place in the Sikh religion. Besides that, it is famous for the fascinating sights, local food, katras (markets) and the hospitality. There are a number of places to visit and experience the beauty of this iconic city.
The Golden Temple
In the center of the old city, the Golden Temple is the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. Originally it was a lake in a dense forest where Gautama Buddha spent years during his time of musing. After 2 thousand years of Buddha’s time, Guru Nanak (founder of Sikh religion) came to live by the lake.
During the leadership of fourth Sikh Guru, the lake was enlarged and fifth Sikh Guru built the temple around the lake.
The lake is also called as the Pool of Nectar. Local people believe bathing in the sacred lake cleans the inner soul and frees one from all the sins. This is one of the highlights in the Amritsar tour.
The architecture of the temple is the most enthralling sight with the sounds of devotees enchanting poems, prayers, and hymns.
You can admire the beauty and the peaceful environment of the temple for hours. Langar, the free meal is served irrespective of the race, religion or gender. You can also enjoy the adorable little markets outside the temple.
Planning a full-fledged Amritsar tour? Dont miss out on Wagah. Wagah is a border town partitioning India and Pakistan. It is around 22 km away from Lahore on the Pakistan side and 30 km away from Amritsar on the Indian side.
It is a tradition for the locals and the main event for the tourists to gather and cherish the Beating- retreat ceremony held at the Wagah Border every day before sunset by both the army forces of India and Pakistan.
It’s a flag lowering ceremony where soldiers in turbans sing the national anthem and parade to pay respect to their country. Various cultural programs are also held by local folks. This creates a very entertaining environment.
The ceremony starts around 4:30 in winters and 5:30 in the summers. You are advised to reach there 1 hour earlier to secure seats. No entry fees but you can book VIP passes to avoid the crowd. VIP passes are also free of cost but you need to book them in advance.
You can opt for private buses or hire taxis from Amritsar which will drop you at the customs post and further you can walk for a few hundred meters to reach the Wagah Border. Vehicles needed to be parked about 500 meters away from the entry gates in case you are traveling with your own.
Jallianwala Bagh was built to show respect to the victims of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre by British forces on the occasion of the Vaisakhi (Punjabi New Year) on 13 April 1919. It was the saddest event in the Indian history where British forces fired on the crowd peacefully protesting the arrest of their two leaders.
This resulted in the death of around 1000 people. The bullet marks are still visible on the walls, which will terrify you even today. Some people jumped into the wells to protect themselves and later around 120 bodies were recovered from the well.
After independence, it turned into a memorial for the people who sacrificed their lives. People going for an Amritsar tour generally visit this place first as it gives a sense of patriotism to people.
Location: Golden Temple Road, Amritsar
Timings: 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM
No entry fees.
Want to explore Punjab in a day? The answer is Sadda Pind, a perfect destination in Amritsar to experience the authentic culture and flavors of Punjab.
You can buy traditional Punjabi clothes, accessories and also satisfy your taste buds with amazing Chatti di lassi, Makki di Roti, and Sarson da Saag. After the food, entertain yourself with cultural performances by folk dancers and many traditional Punjab activities, wrestling and camel rides.
Cleanliness and quality are at pro level. If you wish to stay, you can also stay there for a day or two.
Location: 8 km from Golden Temple and 7 km from the airport and behind the Guru Nanak Dev University
Entry Fees: Adult – 650/-
Children – 500/-
Room packages need to be booked in advance if you wish you stay.
Timings: 11 AM to 11 PM
HOW TO REACH
Amritsar is a famous travel destination and is well connected to the major cities of India by road, air, and rail.
You can travel either by your own car or by private or governments busses. You can commute through rickshaws, auto rickshaws within the city.
Shri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport of Amritsar located 11 km northwest of the city of Amritsar. You can take a cab or bus to commute from the airport to Amritsar.
Amritsar Junction Railway System located in Amritsar is connected to all the major Indian cities.
Food and accommodation – it will be around 2,000 – 5,000 per night varying with hotels.
And if you want to try street food then it ranges from 50 – 200 per meal.
Travel expenses depend upon the mode of transportation you prefer.
Shopping- depends upon you.
Ridhima Gaba, Travel Blogger.