- The ‘Spiritual Capital of Punjab’ is one of the most important Sikh pilgrim centres in the country.
- It was founded in 1577, by Guru Ram Das and was later named as Amritsar, after the sacred pond – Amrit Sarovar or the ‘Pool of Nectar’.
MODE OF COMMUNICATION:
- Airport: Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport (ATQ), Amritsar, 12 kms away from Amritsar city centre.
- Rail: Amritsar Railway Station, Amritsar, 2 kms away from Amritsar city centre.
- Road: Well connected by road.
SIGHTSEEING AT A GLANCE:
- Golden Temple Complex
- Durgiana Mandir or Lakshmi Narain Temple
- Ram Tirth
- Tarn Taran
|PARK & GARDEN
- Jallianwala Bagh
- Ram Bagh Garden
ATTRACTIONS OF AMRITSAR
Golden Temple Complex:
- Magnificent temple complex set in the ‘heart’ of Amritsar is the holiest shrine of the Sikhs.
- Its foundation was laid in 1588, by the fifth Sikh Guru Arjun Dev ji on a small island in the waters of Amrit Sarovar and was consecrated on August 16, 1604.
- Temple was virtually destroyed in 1761, by Ahmad Shah Abdali, an Afghan invader.
- It was restored between 1803 and 1830 by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, a great Sikh ruler.
- Gurudwara complex is a fine blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture and is regarded as one of the most tastefully decorated shrines of the world.
- Darshani Deori, the northern gateway with two splendidly carved silver doors is the main entrance.
- It also houses the central Sikh Museum.
- Main shrine called as Harmandar or Darbar Sahib is set in the middle of sacred Amrit Sarovar pond.
- Original copy of Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs is kept covered under a jewelled canopy at the Darbar Sahib during the day and is returned ceremoniously to the Akal Takht at night.
- Maharaja Ranjit Singh covered the dome of the shrine in gold and embellished the interiors with lavish decorations.
- Guru-ka-Langar, the massive community kitchen overlooking the eastern entrance of the temple complex is a must visit site.
- Beautiful walled garden near the Golden Temple complex is a major landmark in the history of India’s struggle for independence.
- Martyr’s Memorial built in the shape of an eternal flame of liberty has become a pilgrim site for every Indian.
- On April 13, 1919, Gen. R. Dyer ordered firing on a peaceful gathering here.
- A section of wall with bullet marks is still preserved.
- The exact number of deaths is still unclear, but the official figure show only 379 people killed and 1,200 injured.
- The small Martyr’s Gallery exhibits the pictures and newspaper reports as well as other first-hand accounts of this ghastly event.
Durgiana Mandir or Lakshmi Narain Temple:
- This important shrine dedicated to Goddess Durga resembles the famous Golden Temple.
Ram Bagh Garden:
- Small palace surrounded by a beautiful garden was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
- It houses a museum displaying weapons dating back to Mughals and portraits of various dynasties of Punjab.
ATTRACTIONS AROUND AMRITSAR
- 11 kms away from Amritsar city.
- It is believed to be the site of the Ashram of Maharishi Balmiki, the legendary sage who composed the great epic Ramayana.
- Sita, the consort of Lord Rama is said to have stayed here and gave birth to the sons, Luv and Kush.
- The pilgrim centre has an ancient tank and many temples.
- 22 kms away from Amritsar city.
- Famous golden domed Gurudwara at Tarn Taran was built by Sri Arjan Dev ji, the fifth Sikh Guru.
- The water of the holy pool is said to possess miraculous powers, especially for those suffering from leprosy.
- 28 kms away from Amritsar city.
- Spectacular ceremony of “Beating the Retreat” held every evening at Wagah border near Attari has become an important tourist attraction on both sides of the Indo-Pak border.