The heart and soul of Amritsar is the famous Golden Temple, the most sacred place of pilgrimage for Sikhs. Amritsar, literally meaning Pool of Nectar, derives its name from the Amrit Sarovar that surrounds the Golden Temple. Enter this Gurudwara and you will experience the serenity and calmness born of spirituality despite being situated amidst a maze of narrow lanes and bustling markets. The Akal Takht, next to the Golden Temple, is the seat of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, the religious governing body of the Sikhs. The Guru-ka-langar or community canteen is a Sikh institution started by Guru Amar Das in the 16th century. The practice of eating together encouraged the shedding of inhibitions and the principle of equality. The community kitchen feeds up to 10,000 people in a day, free of charge.
Amritsar holds a very significant role in the history and culture of Sikhism in the world. The Jallianwala Bagh, is a small stretch of plain ground now converted into a park. A memorial plaque at the entrance recounts the history of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Inside, a martyrs memorial stands on the eastern end, while the well and bullet-ridden walls remain testimonials to the bloodbath.
Other places of interest in Amritsar are the Gurudwara Baba Atal Sahib, Durgiana Temple, the Ram Bagh Gardens with a museum housed in the palace built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Flag lowering ceremony at Wagah Border. The city is well connected by air, road and railways.
Best time to visit: November to March
Languages spoken: Punjabi
Climate: Hot and dry summers and a cold sometimes freezing winter.
Holy Places: Golden Temple, Gurudwara Baba Atal Sahib, Dhan Dhan Khalsa, Durgiana Temple
Historical Sites: Jallianwala Bagh
Places of Interest: Ram Bagh Gardens with a museum in Maharaja Ranjit Singhs Palace, Wagah Border