Amritsar, the holy city in the state of Punjab derives its name from the Golden Temple, as the Golden Temple is located inside holy tank of water which is Amrit Sarovar or pool of nectar. Amritsar is just like any other small North Indian town with busy markets, heavy traffics and the street food stalls all over the city the thing which makes it different is the golden temple. This place is as pure as the heart of people in Amritsar. It is the most pious city for Sikh people.
Best time to visit Amritsar:
Amritsar has a semi-arid climate with extremely cold winters and very hot summers. The lowest temperature in winters reaches freezing point and in summers the temperature is above 40 degrees on most days. Best time to visit is October-November or February-April when the humidity is not quite high.
Ways to reach Amritsar:
- By air - The international airport is around 15 km away from the heart of the city. There are frequent flights to all major cities of India and also other international cities like Doha, Dubai, Melbourne, Sydney, and London. Delhi is an hour’s journey by air.
- By train – Railway station in Amritsar is quite busy with the daily influx of passengers every day. There are cabs and autos easily available on either side of the station (a foot-over bridge connects both the sides).
- By bus – Buses are plying frequently within the city. There is a free bus service from the railway station to the Golden Temple.
- By road – If you are coming from Wagah border, then you have to take a cycle rickshaw till Attari station which is 3 km away and you will get a bus easily from here to Amritsar.
Places to stay in Amritsar:
The cheapest stay is at the Golden Temple itself where you will get rooms for INR 1000 per day for a double bedroom, but it is mostly suggested to be occupied by people who cannot afford private hotels.
Some of the famous hotels in Amritsar are-
- Hotel Heritage Inn
- Hotel City Heart
- Hotel CJ International
- Hotel le Golden
- Hyatt Amritsar
- Country Inn and Suites
- Green Acres Haveli
Places to visit in Amritsar:
- The Golden Temple: The Golden Temple is the holiest place for the Sikh community. It is beautifully lit at night and its reflection in the waters that adjoin it is even more beautiful. There is a separate bathing area for men and women in the holy water and there is a bridge across the water as well. There is also a small museum inside which tells us about Sikhism and their culture.
- Jallianwala Bagh Museum: Built to honour the lives of the 1500 men, women and children who died in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on 13th April 1919, this museum tells every detail that you need to know about the gruesome event. The walls have bullet holes still etched on them.
- Other historic places to visit are-
- Gobindgarh Fort
- Coin Museum
- Partition Museum
- Whispering Walls
- Summer Palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh
- Mata Temple
Festivals in Amritsar:
- Basant Panchami is celebrated in the month of January.
- Baisakhi is celebrated with great fervour in the month of April
- Guru Ramdas Jayanti is celebrated in the month of October
Must eat foods in Amritsar:
There are food joints and stalls everywhere on the road. You get lip-smacking food almost wherever you go. A few items that you should try for sure are-
- Chola kulcha (Bhai Kulwant Singh Kulcha Wala is the best)
- Jalebi at Gurdas Ram Jalebi wale
- Thali at Brother’s Dhaba
- Fish at Makhan Fish and Chicken Corner
- Chicken chilli at Beera Chicken corner
- Gajar ka halwa at Kanha Sweets
Shopping and local markets in Amritsar:
Some famous bazaars to shop at are-
- Hall Baazar
- Katra Jaimal Singh Baazar
- Guru Baazar
- Lohri Market
Must buy items are phoolkari dresses, Patiala suits, juttis, swords (if you are into them), traditional jewellery, shawls, blankets, sweaters and photos of the Sikh Gurus.
Tips for travelling in Amritsar:
- Langar is served 24 hours at the Golden Temple. Eat there at least once.
- Enjoy as much of lassi as you possibly can. You won’t get lassi better than this anywhere in India.
- Be sure to visit Wagah Border, which is only an hour’s bus ride away from Amritsar.
- Beas River also flows nearby. You can sit alongside the river and enjoy nature at its true beauty.
Festival Calendar of Amritsar
|Jan||Basant Panchami at Gurudwara Chheharta Sahib|
|Feb||Kila Raipur Sports|
|Oct||Celebration of Guru Ram Das Jayanti|
|Nov||Ram Tirth Fair |
|Dec||Jor Mela in Rauza Sharif|