Amritsar

Amritsar or Ambarsar (known colloquially) in a city in the north-western part of India in the state of Punjab. The city is near Pakistan with the Wagah border at a distance of 28 km. Amritsar is home to the Harmandir Sahib (commonly known as the Golden Temple), the spiritual and cultural centre for the Sikh religion. This important Sikh shrine attracts more visitors than the Taj Mahal with more than 100,000 visitors on week days alone and is the most popular destination for non-resident Indians (NRI) in the whole of India. The city also houses the Akal Takht, the highest seat of earthly authority of the Khalsa, and the committee responsible for the upkeep of Gurdwaras. The Ramtirth temple situated at Amritsar is believed to be Ashram site of Maharishi Valmiki, the writer of Ramayana. According to the Hindu mythology, Goddess Sita gave birth to Luv and Kush, sons of lord Rama at Ramtirth ashram. A large number of people visit Ramtirth temple at annual fair. Nearby cities to Amritsar, Lahore and Kasoor were said to be founded by Luv and Kush, respectively. During Ashvamedha Yagna by Lord Rama, Luv and Kush captured the ritual horse and tied lord Hanuman to a tree near to today’s Durgiana Temple. During Navratra festivities, it is considered to be auspicious by Hindu population of the city to visit that temple.

Tourism, carpets and fabrics, farm produce, handicrafts, service trades, and light engineering forms the base of the economy of the district. Sikhism and Hinduism are the main religion practised while the other religions contribute the minority. Amritsar has a semiarid climate with the winter temperature ranging from 0 °C to about 15 °C while the summer temperature reaches to a high of 42 °C.

History: The city origin lies in the village of Tung, and was named after the lake founded by the fourth Sikh Guru Ram Das in 1574 on land bought by him for 700 rupees from the owners of the village of Tung. In 1578 Guru Ram Das excavated a tank, which subsequently became known as Amritsar (Pool of the Nectar of Immortality), giving its name to the city that grew around it. In due course, the Harmandir Sahib was built in the middle of this tank and became the supreme centre of Sikhism. Its sanctum came to house the Adi Granth comprising compositions of Sikh Gurus and other saints considered to have Sikh values and philosophies, e.g., Baba Farid, and Kabir. The compilation of the Adi Granth was started by the fifth guru of Sikhism, Guru Arjan.

The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, involving the killing of hundreds of Indian civilians on the orders of a senior British military officer, Reginald Edward Harry Dyer, took place on 13 April 1919 in the heart of Amritsar, the holiest city of the Sikhs, on a day sacred to them as the birth anniversary of the Khalsa (Vaisakhi day). A British inquiry into the massacre placed the death toll at 379. The Indian National Congress determined that approximately 1,000 people were killed. Partition of British India into India and Pakistan had a most profound effect on the demographics, economics, culture, political and social structures of Amritsar. The state of Punjab was divided between India and Pakistan and Amritsar became a border city, often on the front lines of India-Pakistan wars. Operation Blue Star (3– 6 June 1984) was an Indian military operation ordered by Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India to curb and remove Sikh militants from the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The operation was carried out by Indian army troops with tanks and armoured vehicles. Militarily successful, the operation aroused immense controversy, and the government’s justification for the timing and style of the attack are hotly debated.

*(All the above information are from Wikipedia.)

Transport:

Airport: Sri Guru Ramdas Jee International Airport in Amritsar is connected to all the major cities across India and many major airports across the world.

Rail: Amritsar is well connected by rail to almost all major cities in India. Amritsar railway station is the main terminal station. There is a special train (Samjhauta Express) that runs west to Wagah (Attari Border), which is the last station on the border in India before continuing on to Pakistan.

Road: Amritsar is located on the historic Grand Trunk Road (G.T Road), also known as National Highway 1, and therefore very well connected to the road network. Daily private and state-run bus services operate to and from Ambala, Patiala, Delhi, Chandigarh and Jammu.

Local: Auto rickshaws, taxis and buses are available for transportation within the city. There are several travel agents and tour operators providing vehicles for sight seeing.

Tourist interest:

Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple): Sri Harmandir Sahib (The abode of God) also Sri Darbar Sahib and informally referred to as the “Golden Temple”, is the holiest Gurdwara of Sikhism, is located in the city of Amritsar. In keeping with the rule observed at all Sikh gurdwaras worldwide, the Harmandir Sahib is open to all persons regardless of their religion, colour, creed or gender. Within the sacred premises of the temple, one can seek blessings at the Akal Takht, Har Ki Pauri, Dukh Bhanjani Ber (Jujube tree), Thara Sahib, Ber Baba Budha Ji, Gurdwara Ilachi Ber, Ath Sath Tirath and Bunga Baba Deep Singh. One can enjoy the sumptuous meal in the ‘Guru Ka Langar’.

Wagah Border: It is the International border between India and Pakistan. The lowering of the flags, or the Beating Retreat ceremony at Wagah border near Hussainiwala National Martyrs Memorial, is a daily military practice that the security forces of India (Border Security Force) and Pakistan(Pakistan Rangers) have jointly followed since 1959. The drill is characterised by elaborate and rapid dance-like manoeuvres, which has been described as “colourful”. It is alternatively a symbol of the two countries’ rivalry, as well as brotherhood and cooperation between the two nations.

Jallianwala Bagh: Jallianwala Bagh is a public garden in Amritsar and houses a memorial of national importance, established in 1951 by the Government of India, to commemorate the massacre of peaceful celebrators including unarmed women and children by British occupying forces, on the occasion of the Punjabi New Year on April 13, 1919 in the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.

The other places of interest are Ram Bagh, Ram Tirath, Pul Kanjari, Samadhi of Guru Angad Dev Ji, Jama Masjid Khairuddin.

Tour Planner:

This tour planner is made on the basis of the location of the destinations. One can make changes as per their interest, convenience and accessibility and duration of the trip.

Day 1: In the morning visit the holy shrine of Sri Harmandir Sahib and in the afternoon visit the Wagah Border. Do not miss the evening light of the Golden Temple.

Day 2: Jallianwala Bagh in the morning and all the other places if interested throughout the rest of the day.

Hotels: Online booking is preferable for discounts in tariff in hotels. There are decent accommodations available within the Golden Temple. There are ample of hotels too. Hotels in Amritsar are Hotel Puri Palace, Hotel City Heart, Hotel Basera, Hotel Ricky International, Golden Tulip, Hotel Ramada, Hotel Orbion and more.

My Journey.

Advertisements