Amritsar is a city in the northwestern Indian state of Punjab, 28 kilometres from the border with Pakistan. At the center of its walled old town, the gilded Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) is the holiest gurdwara (religious complex) of the Sikh religion. It’s at the end of a causeway, surrounded by the sacred Amrit Sarovar tank (lake), where pilgrims bathe.
Tangibly the most spiritual place in India, Golden Temple, also known as Sri Harmindar Sahib, is the holiest shrine in Sikhism which is alive with religious fervour and sacredness. It is a place that can only be experienced and not described. Serving as a symbol of brotherhood and equality, Golden Temple is visited by people from all over the globe who come here to seek spiritual solace and religious fulfilment. Although the Golden Temple itself is of great historical and architectural interest, it is the view of the resplendent shrine, glistening in the centre of the tank, bringing an infinite calmness that is most memorable to a visitor.
Located near the famous Golden Temple of Amritsar, the Jallianwala Bagh is a public garden which houses a memorial to commemorate the massacre of peaceful celebrators by the British forces. The tragic incident had left a deep scar on the country, and a memorial was constructed post the independence for the innocents who lost their lives in this devastating incident. Established by the government of India in 1951, the massacre memorial was inaugurated by Dr Rajendra Prasad on 13th April 1961. The place has been turned into a beautiful park and is managed by the Jallianwala Bagh National memorial trust.
Wagah Border is the borderline running along the Grand Trunk Road between Amritsar in Punjab, India, and Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan. People from all across the country visit this place to witness the Beating Retreat Ceremony that is held every day before sunset. This ceremony includes the closing of the international gates and lowering the flags of both the countries. The flag ceremony is conducted by the Indian Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers since 1959.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum
Summer palace turned into the museum, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum is a lovely building which archives the Royal Heritage of Maharaja Ranjit Singh such as arms and armour, outstanding paintings and century old coins and manuscripts. The palace is surrounded by the famous Rambagh Gardens popular for its statue of the legendary king with his horse.
Akal Takht (Throne of the Immortal) is the highest political institution of the Sikhs, founded by the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind in 1606. Located in the famous Golden Temple complex of Amritsar, the Akal Takht is one of the five Takhts of the Sikhs. These Takhts are seats of power and authority among the Sikh community, and the place of the Jathedar, the highest spokesmen among them. The Akal Takht is meant to be a symbol of political sovereignty and justice, where the spiritual and earthly concerns of the Sikh people could be addressed and examined.
Durgiana Temple, also known as Lakshmi Narayan Temple, is a Hindu temple located in the city of Amritsar. It bears a stark resemblance to the famous Golden Temple while also carrying the same sense of peace, tranquillity and spirituality. Within this historic temple lies a beautiful Sarovar where one can find idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu floating. These idols are greatly revered and worshipped by pilgrims, making this temple a famous Hindu pilgrimage spot. Gur Shai Mal Kapoor, whose statue can be found at the main entrance of the temple, laid the foundation for this architectural wonder. The rare sculpture of the sitting Hanuman, considered one of a kind, is found in Durgiana Temple. One of the main highlights at this serene location is the fountain show which takes place in front of the main temple every evening.
Gobindgarh Fort echoes the grand stories of Punjab’s past. The historic fort represents the glorious past of 257 years, starting with the Bhangi Misl era and ending with the Indian Army after The British East India Company. Gobindgarh Fort was first known as ‘Bhagian da Qilla’ built by Gujar Singh in 1760’s. Visitors can tour the area which has now been extraordinarily developed into a live museum, acting as a repository of Punjab’s History. The Tokshakhana which is now a museum in the fort was used to store the famous Kohinoor diamond.
Harike Wetland and Bird Sanctuary
Harike Wetland & Bird Sanctuary is the largest wetland in North India. This man-made wetland spreads into Tarn Taran Sahib, Ferozepur and Kapurthala in Punjab, making it a famous destination for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts. Tourists can spot up to 7 species of turtles including the endangered Testudines turtle. The previously extinct Indus dolphin was recently seen at Harike Wetland, giving visitors a rare opportunity to catch a sight of these beautiful creatures. Mongoose, WIld boar, common jackal and jungle cat are easy to spot in the area. The Wildlife Department has constructed earthen mounds with trees in order to increase nesting sites for birds. 45,000 ducks have been recorded to have migrated here during the peak season. Winter season is a treat for bird watcher as 200 species of birds including the cotton pygmy, goose, tufted duck, yellow-crowned woodpecker and yellow-eyed pigeon visit the wetland.
Shri Ram Tirth Temple
The Shri Ram Tirth Temple, located near Amritsar city, was built to honour the birthplace of Luva – Kusha, twins of Rama and Sita. Constructed in lime yellow stone, the temple dates back to the epic of Ramayana where Sita was given in the Ashram of Balamiki after being abandoned by Rama. The battle of Ram’s Ashwamedha force with Luv-Kush is said to have taken place here. The gurukul of the twins, situated in the temple compound, is regarded as an architectural wonder by pilgrims.