“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” –
` Gustav Flaubert
Amritsar historically known as Ramdaspur and colloquially as Ambarsar, is a city in north-western India which is located in the Majha region of Indian state of Punjab. Amritsar is the cultural and spiritual center of Sikhism in the world. It has also been focal point of Indian freedom struggle. Amritsar isn’t just about sacred sites (although there are many to explore) the holy city is also a must-stop street food destination, and home to plenty of museums, forts, and bustling bazaars and markets. Get better acquainted and feel like a local before you complete the tour of Amritsar.
The city of Amritsar is the satin backdrop to India’s cultural diversity, being the home to the Sikh community in India, home to the Harmindar Sahib, popularly called the Golden Temple as well as historically and politically significant, owing to its strategic location. For an awe-inspiring experience, visit Amritsar’s stunning Golden Temple, the holiest place of worship for Sikhs. The temple is a visual treat, as it is actually made of gold and precious stones (the ceiling is a masterpiece). The air around the temple reverberates with a magnetism, and is open to all public, resonating with the ideology of Sikhism. One can also see Sikh men carrying bejeweled swords, with elaborate mustaches, who paint the picture of valor in our minds. Open 24 hours a day, the massive golden palace rising out of a man-made lake is a truly impressive sight to behold and it’ll be tough to stop snapping photos from every angle. Take a dip in the holy Sarovar (holy pond) and explore the site, visited by millions of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. Note that inside the temple, it’s mandatory to cover your head at all times. The temple welcomes everyone, regardless of cast, creed, or race. If you have time and you’re hungry, don’t miss a meal at the langar, the largest free community kitchen in the world, which feeds upwards of 100,000 people a day. The kitchen is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Jallianwala Bagh tragedy
, the most astonishing and horrifying event which occurred during the time of India’s freedom struggle with the British has gone down in history as one of the most brutal massacres where the British troupes closed the gates of the garden and gunned down peaceful civilians who were there celebrating the Punjab National Day. The monument to memorialize the event is a sight to see and the bullet marks left from this tragedy can still be seen. And makes it a must see place of Amritsar. It contains of a well there it is said that more than 160 people jumped in that well as martyr to be saved from the Britishers.
Amritsar is a food lover’s paradise. From the moment you wake up, the amount of food you will manage to eat would be quite a revelation even to your own self. The alu puris (potato curry served with deep fried Indian bread stuffed with cottage cheese) and the chole puri (the same bread served with spicy lentils), are great for breakfast. Kanha sweets or Munim di Hatti at Lawrence Road are probably the best places to try these.
One of the step wells located in India, an architectural masterpiece called Chand Bori, it is one of the deepest step wells in the country, with more than 13 floors under the ground. It has been constructed with astounding symmetry, and it is said that the air in the bottom of the well is a few degrees cooler than that on top.
Visiting the old city is like travelling to a land out of the fairytales. The people of the city possess a wonderful old world charm, and are extremely friendly and approachable. They are full of stories and to hear from them is an enriching experience in itself.
Kothe Da Mela this is a carnival happening on full moon nights during the holy month of Magh (around January and February). It was started in honor of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur, a man of religious prominence in the Sikh community.
No words can really explain the effect this city has on you, it has to be experienced.