For any traveller visiting an Indian state from outside can explore a plethora of exciting locations. North Indian state of Punjab is one such culturally, linguistically, religiously and visually beautiful state to visit. Sikh religion originated in Punjab and it is only obvious that the Golden Temple is a supremely sacred place of Sikhs and is considered one of the best places to visit in Amritsar.
Since the top 3 places to visit in Amritsar are located in close proximity, it is best to stay at the accommodation provided at the Golden Temple complex. Due to confusion upon arrival in Amritsar, I had to stay in a hotel elsewhere though.
A detour during a tour can be a pleasant experience too to explore more options. I had listed Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh and Wagah Border as the top 3 places to visit in Amritsar among other places.
The Golden Temple
The history of the Temple dates back to early 1800s and it is built-in marble and copper overlaid with gold foil. Being a top tourist attraction in Amritsar, the location is mostly crowded with domestic and international travellers and devotees.
Not everyone who visits the Golden Temple is a Sikh. Irrespective of your religious background you can visit this most sacred shrine of Sikhs. However, make sure to cover your head and you have to be barefoot to enter the Golden Temple premises. The hustle and bustles of the city will make way for a serene atmosphere once you enter the premises.
The temple is surrounded by water in the pool called the Amrita Saras except for the west side pathway leading to it. If you have decided to visit the inner sanctum of the temple, be prepared to spend at least an hour in the queue. Or else, you can walk around the pool in which the Harmandir Sahib or Golden Temple is situated.
Also, make sure to visit Akal Takhat and Golden Temple Kitchen. You wouldn't regret to spend at least five hours in and around the premises.
More than anywhere else I was so eager to visit this place due to the sentiments attached to it. Maybe I did have an excellent history lecturer who'd given glimpses of Jallianwalla Bagh and the incident happened there.
The historical location is a national monument and has tremendous importance in the freedom struggle of Indian independence. Unlike other places in Amritsar, Jallianwalla Bagh is a less glamorous and less crowded location. Huge memorial stone and a lamp called the Eternal Flame of Liberty can be seen at the garden to pay homage to those who were martyred there.
Bullet marks can still be seen in the adjoining building which has been converted to a gallery displaying documentaries, pictures and historical artefacts.
This is certainly one of the top 3 places to visit in Amritsar. Being the only road-border crossing location between India and Pakistan, and also a place where the routine ceremony of Beating Retreat, Change of Guard and Lowering of the National Flag take place on either side of the border, the location is internationally famous. Hundreds throng to the spot daily to witness this event conducted by the soldiers of India and Pakistan representing their respective countries.
If you are staying in and around the Golden Temple area, you can easily reach the Attari-Wagah border by hiring an auto. Nearly 30-minutes' ride and you can be there, and it takes nearly as much time from Lahore, Pakistan to reach the border.
The ceremony usually commences at 5.15 PM. However, accommodation is based on a first-come-first-serve basis. I didn't want to take a chance and made myself available in the queue by 4.00 PM.
In a couple of hours, the place was crowded and only by 6.00 PM did they start the ceremony that day. Make sure not to carry any hazardous items in any way – it is a heavily guarded area by the BSF. But you can carry your mobile phones, water bottles, small wallets and digital cameras. There are food booths just outside the gallery in case you need something.
Once the BSF compere takes over the mike, it is showtime. The patriotic vigour of the Indian Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers is on display. While slogans of patriotism and National Anthem make you pride, the entertainment involving the spectators irrespective of your nationality to sing and dance keep you enthralled.
List of top 3 places to visit in Amritsar can be expanded to Durgiana, a temple dedicated to Goddess Durga, Bathinda Fort, Pul Kajaraj, Tarn Taran which is a pilgrimage centre for Sikhs, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum, Ram Tirath Temple, Baba Atal Tower and Isckon Temple. In about four days, you can cover all the spots.
Punjabi cuisine is something every foodie can indulge in. Do taste Makki di roti and sarso da saag, kulche, carrot halwa and lassi among others.
How to reach Amritsar?
Amritsar has an international airport which is just 10 kilometres away from the city.
The city is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular trains and by road. You can hire a cab or auto to travel around the town once you are there.
Best Time to visit the place
October to March could be the best time to visit Amritsar, though the winter can be a bit harsh on certain days.
A Travel enthusiast and Foodie, craving to explore the intricate beauty of nature and its gift of delectable treats. Pens down his thoughts and experiences to present a delightful journey for his readers