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Amritsar: Pool of Nectar

Enchanting Amritsar is located in the state of Punjab, the city, established to be a place of pilgrimage, derives its name from sacred tank or pool called the Amrita saras (Pool of Nectar), where the temple was built. Amritsar is known for being the spiritual and cultural center of Sikhism and that’s why it attracts tourist from all over the world.

Amritsar was founded in 1577 by Ram Das, fourth Guru of the Sikhs, on a site granted by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. The city is famous for Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh and Wagah Border and for delicious food. But over the year’s city has also made a name for itself as delightful shopping destination.

Tourist places in and around Amritsar:

Amritsar - Sheeraz Ahmad

Golden temple (Harmandir Saheb/ Darbar Sahib)

If you are in Amritsar then Golden temple is a must visit. The Golden Temple also known as (Harmandir Sahib Meaning abode of God), and it is located in old Amritsar. One should plan at least two visits to this holy site one in morning and one in night to see it lit up. Amritsar got its name from the temple and its holy pool –Amritsar means pool of immortality. The Akal Takht is the seat of authority of Sikh and also where the holy book of Sikhism Guru Granth Sahib is kept. The Akal Takht is also known as Takht Shri Akal Bunga. The Sikh tradition has five Takhts all of which are major pilgrimage sites in Sikhism. It is their sacred place of worship and is decorated with real gold and marble. The man made pool on the site of the temple was completed by the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das in 1577. The Golden Temple has unique architect, built at a lower level then surrounding land level which teaches the lesson of egalitarian and humility. The four entrances to this holy shrine form all four directions; signify that people from all walks of life are equally welcome.

Inside the Golden Temple Complex

Amritsar - Sheeraz Ahmad
The Beri Tree:
When you are in the Golden temple you should visit the holy tree. One of the most revered Sikh Gurus, Baba Budha ji laid the foundation of Golden Temple after sleeping under the tree. The tree is also believed to posses special powers and it was planted 450 years back.
Amritsar - Sheeraz Ahmad
The Holy Tank:
The pool surrounding the Temple is known as Amrit Sarovar which is considered sacred by devotees. Earlier legends use to believe that holy dip in the Amrit Sarovar can cure ailments and disorders. Men bath in open but women have a private where they bathe in private. Once people have bathed, they then walk across the temple, Harmandir Sahib.
Interesting Facts
  1. Lord Buddha mediated at the Sacred Site.
  2. The Golden Temple was founded in 1574 by the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das.
  3. The Golden Temple was completed in 1604.
  4. Baba Deep Singh died inside the Golden Temple.
  5. Stairs to the temple goes downwards which symbolize the humble way of living.
  6. The ceiling of the Temple is made of real gold and precious stones.
  7. The Largest free kitchen in the world.
  8. The Temple organizes the largest Langar Sewa in the world and serves around 100,000 devotes daily.
  9. The Temple is located on a level below the ground level.
  10. The Temple is open to all Religions, Caste and Creed.
  11. The Golden Temple is surrounded by a Sacred Pond which is believed to have medicinal properties.
  12. The exquisite Golden Temple is a unique blend of the Hindu as well as the Islamic architecture. The shrine is decorated with marble sculptures and paintings that look similar to Taj Mahal.
Amritsar - Sheeraz Ahmad

Jallian Wala Bagh: Massacre of Amritsar

Jallianwala Bagh is a historic garden and memorial of national importance close to Golden temple, in Amritsar. On 13th April 1919 a large peaceful crowd had gathered at the Jallian wala Bagh to protest the Rowlatt Act and arrest of pro – independence activist. In response to the public gathering British troops open fired on the large crowd of unarmed Indians, killing several hundred people and wounding many hundreds more. As per British Government 379 people were killed and around 1200 were wounded badly. It marked a turning point in India’s modern history which also left a permanent scar on Indo- British relations and was a prelude to Mahatma Gandhi’s full commitment to the cause of Indian nationalism and independence from British.
Amritsar - Sheeraz Ahmad

Attari-Wagah Border Flag Ceremony

The lowering of the flags ceremony at the Attari- Wagah Border is a daily practice that the security forces of India and Pakistan have jointly followed since 1959. The pomp and pageantry of the Beating Retreat and Change of Guard within Handshaking distance of the Indian and Pakistani forces makes for a most charming display. The ceremony takes place at the Attri- Wagah Border which is part of the Grand Trunk Road. The ceremony is known as Beating Retreat border ceremony on international level. The border is located 24 km from Lahore, Pakistan and 32 km from Amritsar, India. The ceremony is fully conducted BSF on Indian side and Rangers on Pakistani side. Before the event, women and kids from the crowd join the soldiers to dance on the patriotic songs increasing the intensity among the spectators. Soldiers from both the countries march in the perfect drill, going through the steps of bringing down their respective flags. The ceremony indicates the rivalry between the two countries and also shows the brotherhood and love shared. As the sun goes down the nationalist fervor rises leaving everyone high on emotions. Thousands of people including foreign nationals, line up at Wagah Border to watch the show. It’s a show of national pride.

Quick Facts:

  1. There are no fees for attending the Wagah border ceremony.
  2. Seats are available on first come first serve basis.
  3. The retreat ceremony starts at 5:15 Pm in summers and 4:15 Pm in winters.
  4. Ideal time to reach Wagah Border is an hour before the ceremony.
  5. You can use phone and capture pictures and videos of the ceremony.

Street food Amritsar:

Amritsar - Sheeraz Ahmad
Amritsar is home to the iconic Golden Temple and is also famous for best food in the world. There is saying, You can take a foodie out of Amritsar, but you can’t take Amritsar out of foodie. Everything in this city revolves around food be it socializing, festivals, prayers etc. Kulchas, Lassi, Jalebi, and fish you name it and it will be found in Amritsar. Amritsar is also known as Kulcha Land. Amritsar kulcha flat bread stuffed with potato, cottage cheese and baked to golden crisp in the tandoor, the hot kulchas are crumbled by hand until flaky and topped with generous amount of butter. Served with chole( Chickpeas) and spicy chutney, kulchas are must have.
Amritsar - Sheeraz Ahmad
The best thirst quenching drink of Amritsar is Lassi From mango to kesar, the lassi in Amritsar is available in a variety of flavors. Added with various nuts like cashews and almond is a treat in itself. The Lassi here are so creamy and thick in texture that you often need a spoon to scoop it out. It gives a completely different refreshing feeling that keeps you energetic to enjoy the tradition and culture of the city throughout the day.
Amritsar - Sheeraz Ahmad
Gulab Jamum:
If you have a sweet tooth then Amritsar is the place for you. One of the most famous is Gulab Jamun which is an all time favorite dessert found there. Made with milk and khoya these small round balls are dipped in sugar syrup. It is easily available at many food places in Amritsar.
Location: Amritsar India Population: 15000
Amritsar - Sheeraz Ahmad
21°C Feels like 20°C
1013hPa 56% 18% 2m/s 260deg

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Things to Remember in Golden Temple Amritsar

  • On arrival at the Golden Temple, both men and women are required to wear a scarf over their head (don’t worry if you forget to bring a scarf as headscarves are sold outside at a very cheap price).
  • All visitors must remove their shoes and wash their feet by walking through pools before entering the temple, as there is a cloakroom in the Golden Temple for shoes.
  • At every entrance to Sri Harmandir Sahib, there is provision for keeping shoes, and luggage of the devotees, free of cost. One must get a token after depositing one’s shoes/belongings.
  • Please switch-off your mobiles before entering into the Sanctum Sanctorum.
  • Wash your feet/hands, and cover your head properly before entering the holy complex.
  • Cigarette, Biri, Tobacco or other intoxicants are strictly prohibited inside the holy premises.
  • Inside the Golden Temple chewing gum, sun glasses and photography are prohibited.
  • Anyone can take a dip in the holy sarovar (pool of nectar) but use of soap or shampoo is not allowed.
  • The wet clothes may kindly be deposited in a Wet-Clothes-Room.
  • If you so desire, you can wash yourself with soap at the washrooms provided in the parikarma (periphery).
  • Swimming is strictly prohibited in the sarovar.
  • Do not accept eatables from strangers.
    These instructions are only precautionary, which are similar to any other religious/tourists place.
  • Photography is allowed only in the outer Parikarma. For special reasons permission for photography inside of The Golden Temple may be sought from the President/Sec. (SGPC) or Manager (Golden Temple).
  • Offerings in cash and kind are accepted in the Golden Temple.
  • Please get a receipt on offering donations for langar (community kitchen), building.
  • It is strictly prohibited to serve or eat any eatables in the Parikarma, or to loiter about with uncovered head.
  • It is not allowed to read or sell newspapers or play cards in the Parikarma.
  • Nobody can hold a religious congregation or deliver a lecture inside the Parikarma, unless permitted by SGPC.
  • Devotees should not pay any money to Sewadars on duty.
  • Please deposit your valuables including jewelry and cash at the counters provided for the same in the Sri Darbar Sahib complex.
  • Any complaint regarding any staff member / Sewadar / Management should be lodged at the office of Sri Harmandir Sahib located in the Parikarma near Darshni Deori and Ber Baba Budha Ji.
  • Karah-Prasad (holy offering) should be distributed only after one’s exit from the Sanctum Sanctorum. Its distribution on the bridge creates congestion which hampers the smooth movement of devotees.
  • Please do not take bath at Har Ki Paori.
  • If any infant happens to urinate in the Parikarma, please clean it immediately or inform the duty Sewadars about it.
  • Walk clockwise around the pool and temple on the wide marble walkway

FAQs on Amritsar

When is the Best Time to Visit Amritsar?

Amritsar has an extreme climate for India, with cold winters and very hot summers. If visiting during winter months you’ll want to wrap up warm. I visited in August which was almost unbearably hot and humid – if you’re looking for a milder climate, March and October are good months to visit.

What can I do in 2 Days in Amritsar?

Start with the Golden Temple on the morning of Day 1, followed by a street walk of the old city and some great Amritsari street food. Head to the Attari-Wagah border ceremony in the afternoon. On Day 2 spend your time visiting the Partition museum and Jallianwala Bagh, followed by a return to the Golden Temple to see it at dusk if you have time.

What is the Best Food to Eat in Amritsar?

Amritsar has many tasty treats but you won’t want to miss the delicious Lassi and Amritsari Kulcha. See our top tips for where to have them in this guide!

Is Amritsar Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

I found Amritsar to be one of the safer cities I visited in north India as a solo woman, with friendly and welcoming locals. I would definitely recommend it to solo female travellers (do exercise usual caution as when travelling in India).

Is jeans allowed in golden temple amritsar?

Ans: Although there is no particular rule about the dress code to enter a Gurudwara. but, don't forget to cover your head with a scarf and taking off your shoes before going there.

Is there a dress code at the Golden Temple?

Is photography allowed inside the Golden Temple?

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