Amritsar, the Golden City, inextricably linked to the history of Sikhism and historical narratives of the epic Ramayana is a place of rich culture and absolute heaven for travel freaks. Amritsar is popular for its Golden Temple, the atrocious act of Jallianwala Bagh and Wagah border parade, but this beautiful city is not just limited to this. Here I am going to list top 10 tourist places in Amritsar
All the attributes that go into the making of an ideal tourist destination can be found in Amritsar that makes it one of the most revered sites of the world. The city’s inexhaustible list of historical monuments, temples and shrines, old bazaars, and colourful festivals will take you to its robust past. As you dig more and more into this soulful city, you will experience tons of fascinating places that will make you fall in love with this beauty.
The fourth guru of the Sikhs, Sri Guru Ramdas Ji founded Amritsar in 1547 A.D. He started the construction of Amrit Sarovar, which means “Pond of Elixir”, due to which the city is named as Amritsar.
A city of heritage and temples, one can experience the real fragrance of sand, grass, and food. One can adventure to the Wagah Border, tour the magnificent Golden Temple and relish some good Punjabi Cuisine. All of this will leave you in absolute awe. A plus point, Amritsar is a brilliant spot to shop for Indian textiles too.
From temples, gurudwaras, Wagha border timing to Amritsar sightseeing, this article will tell you everything. So if you are wondering where to plan your next trip, I say make it to Amritsar. These are some of the best tourist places to visit in Amritsar.
1. The Golden Temple
You haven’t seen the soul of Amritsar until you have visited Golden Temple, an epitome of harmony, glory and equality. Built-in the middle of a pool it looks as if the temple is floating in the water. It has two stories and is covered in real 24-karat gold. Yes, you heard it right. The Golden temple’s magnificent dome is covered with 750 kgs of pure gold.
The golden temple attracts an enormous amount of tourists from not only India but from all over the world who seek spiritual solace. According to the World Book Records, the Golden Temple is the most visited place in the world. More than one lakh people visit the golden temple every day.
The temple is surrounded by “Amrit Sarovar”, a 5.1-meter-deep pool of water from which the city has derived its name. There is Akal Takht inside the Golden Temple Complex. Akal Takht is a seat of power and has a collection of Sikh weapons.
The Golden Temple also has the world’s largest kitchen where anyone can enjoy free vegetarian meals also known as langars. It feeds up to 1,00,000 people every day and night. The sight of volunteers chopping vegetables, cooking lentils and making Rotis is truly mesmerizing. One can also sleep in pilgrim hostels of the Golden temple for up to three nights…and that too free.
There are many tourist places near Golden Temple in Amritsar which I am going to mention further.
2. Jallianwala bagh
In the vicinity of the Golden Temple Complex lies a 7-acre public garden called Jallianwala Bagh famous for the tragic Jallianwala Bagh massacre. This incident took place on 13 April 1919 when huge no. of Indian civilians gathered here to celebrate the Indian Baisakhi festival. The crowd was peacefully protesting the arrest of two national leaders. Then, acting Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer ordered the British Indian Army troops to fire into the crowd of unarmed civilians. Around 379 people were killed and 1200 people were injured which included children and pregnant women too.
Many jumped into the well now known as Martyr’s Well in panic in order to save themselves from the bloodbath. So in 1951, a memorial was constructed after the independence in the memory of the innocents who lost their lives. The place has now been turned into a beautiful park and one can still see bullet marks on the walls behind which people hid them.
3. Wagah Border
Situated on the Grand Trunk Road, Wagha Border is the borderline between Amritsar, Punjab in India and Punjab, Lahore in Pakistan. The famous Wagha border parade popularly known as the Beating Retreat Ceremony is conducted before sunset every day since 1959.
The Wagha Border parade involves the closing of the international gates and lowering of the flags by the military forces of both the countries. As the sun sets, this 45 minutes long ceremony will give you goose-bumps. One can feel that patriotic fervour while at Wagah border.
Full of pomp and show, the ceremony might be a surprise for you if you expect tension and hostility between the two nations. This environment is full of positivity and is an expression of love for one’s country without hating the other. The ceremony has a massive following and hundreds of people come to watch it every day to celebrate the patriotic vibe. The sight is an ostentatious display of enthusiasm and patriotic feelings which one has for his country.
Wagha Border is the only road border between Pakistan and India and is also known as the Berlin Wall of Asia. It is one of the most visited tourist places in Amritsar.
4. Durgiana Mandir
The next tourist place to visit in Amritsar is the Durgiana Temple. This temple resembles the Golden Temple a lot, but it has a completely different religious significance. This temple, dedicated to the Goddess Durga was built in 1908 by Guru Harsai Mal Kapoor.
The Temple Complex includes the seats of Mata Shitla, Lord Hanuman, and Sri Lakshmi Narayan. Don’t forget to notice the fine silver doors with holy figures on it due to which it is also named as the Silver Temple.
5. Ram Tirath
Located about 11km to the west of Amritsar city, this place is associated with the time of Ramayana. It is believed that Lord Ram’s sons Lav and Kush were born here. A four days fair is organized here on a full moon night in November.
The place also commemorates Maharishi Valmiki’s heritage. On December 1, 2016, 8 feet tall idol of lord Valmiki with 800kg gold on it was installed in the main section. It is also believed that Valmiki started writing the Ramayana here.
6. Partition Museum
Not only religious sites but the city also has some exquisite museums that tourists can visit in Amritsar. This place has its significance of being the only establishment in the world that is dedicated to Partition, the partition of India into two countries, India and Pakistan, in 1947.
The museum is a must-visit to understand the devastation caused by the largest migration in human history. The museum explains the cause of partition and rivalry between the two countries through photographs, newspaper clippings, artefacts, and documents. There are TV screens on the floors of the museum where you can put on headphones and listen to the historic speeches and interviews of the Partition survivors. The minute details like a replica of a burnt-down house explain the horrors of partition. This Museum will take you back in time to the days of India’s freedom struggle.
7. Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum
This place was originally the summer palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the founder of the Sikh Empire. Now it has been converted into a museum which gives an insight into the history and life events of those living in it.
You can see a collection of arms, old coins, paintings, and manuscripts which personally belonged to Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The palace is surrounded by a beautiful garden, Ram Bagh Garden, which is also one of the best places to see in Amritsar.
8. Gobindgarh Fort
Another tourist place in Amritsar which has become the very symbol of Punjab is Gobindgarh Fort. This place has a history of over 300 years old, belonging to the time of Sikh Misls. The Maharaja Ranjit Singh had kept his treasures in this mud fort which also included the Kohinoor Diamond. In 1850, during the signing of the Lahore Pact, this Kohinoor Diamond was sent to Prince Albert as a gift.
Now, the fort has been four museums that are Warfare Museum, Turban Museum, Sikh Art Museum, and Colonial Bungalow.
You can visit the museum between 10 am to 6 pm. At 6 pm, the charismatic light and sound show is displayed on the Colonial Bungalow. They also have a 7D show, Punjabi folk dance and music, camel and horse riding. There is also a wax museum which will enlighten you on the history and heroism of Punjab.
9. Amritsar Heritage Walk
One can also enjoy sightseeing in Amritsar. Also called Heritage Street, it is a heritage trail that includes many historic sites and museums beginning from the Golden Temple and ending at the Town Hall. Besides Golden Temple, it also includes the Central Sikh Museum, Punjab State War Heroes’ Memorial, and many more memorials.
It is a perfect place for sightseeing in Amritsar where tourists can walk leisurely. The pavement is laden with restaurants, shops, and statutes of historic significance. The bright lampposts, LED lights illuminating the facades, buildings with Mughal architectural domes and just the right amount of horde is bound to give you one of the best sightseeing experience. So if you are the one who takes the time to wander around a little, the rewards would be great for you.
10. Khalsa College
No, it’s not just a regular college. Despite being an educational institution this place is known for its architecture. Belonging to the period of the 19th century, the building is a mix of Western European art with the touch of Persian and Indian styles.
The serene campus including the elegant domes is a treat to watch and this place has served as the location of many Bollywood films too.
This is our list of top tourist places to visit in Amritsar. Wrapped up with great history and culture, the place attracts millions of tourists from all the corners of the world. The city is a seamless blend of warm hospitality, jaw-dropping architecture and captivating peace. From strolling around the glossy architectures and enjoying communal meals to touring around the Summer Palace, Amritsar will leave you completely enthralled.
So if you are a person with a big appetite for tradition and culture you cannot afford to miss this place. With all these amazing places to explore and learn from, I say go and experience the magic of Amritsar. The more I say, the less it will be.
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