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The Road to Amritsar

by Madhav Srinivasan 1861 days ago

An ancient city, a visit to Amritsar can be awe-inspiring. The carefully maintained traditions and culture of a rich heritage is juxtaposed beautifully against the vibrancy of the modern day Amritsar.



Amritsar is regarded as a holy and sacred city by most Indians, especially the followers of Sikhism. Located in Punjab, the city was a gateway for travelers coming in from Central Asia during ancient times. Perhaps, it is this influx of visitors from times immemorial that has made the people of Amritsar so hospitable. Indeed one of the enduring memories of your visit to Amritsar will be the warmth shown by the people of the city.

The word Amritsar means “Holy pool of Nectar”. This refers to the pure water that surrounds the stunning Golden Temple, the holy Sikh shrine and Amritsar’s major tourist and religious attraction for those planning Punjab tours.


What to See and Do in Amritsar

The Golden Temple tends to overshadow Amristar’s other attractions. Founded by Guru Ramdas, the fourth guru of the Sikhs, the temple is a huge complex. Some of the important areas of the temple include the Central Sikh Museum, Amrit Sarovar and the Akal Takht. The golden visage to the temple was the contribution of King Ranjit Singh. He ensured that the complex was plated in gold, while the interiors were decorated with wonderful frescoes and gemstones. A trip to Amritsar is inconceivable without a visit to the Golden Temple.


Visitors to the city also often pay tribute at the Jallianwalla Bagh, the scene of one of the most horrific episodes in India’s freedom struggle. The 5.6-acre garden is located close to the Golden Temple. A national monument built inside the garden premises pays tribute to the innocent people who were massacred by the British during a peaceful protest.


The summer palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh is yet another historic monument in Amritsar that attracts huge crowds. The palace is simply majestic with the sprawling 84 acres of estate around it housing beautiful gardens. The palace gardens are also a delight for those with an interest in botany as they have several rare plants.


You cannot visit Amritsar and not go to the Wagah border. The village was divided into two during the partition and today, the demarcating line is the border crossing between India and Pakistan. The retreat ceremony that takes place every evening is certainly worth seeing. When in Amritsar, tourists can also include Chandigarh holiday tours, which is another popular holiday destination close to Amritsar. 


Amritsar is also known for its fabulous cuisine. Eating in the various food joints is one of the most enjoyable experiences that the city has to offer. The city is also a good place to base yourself as you visit the beautiful and lush Punjab countryside. As one of the more prosperous states in the country, the Punjab countryside has a hustle and bustle that is simply charming. The green fields heavy with crops is one of the enduring images of the state.


When to Visit Amritsar

Summers in Amritsar can be truly ferocious. Temperatures can shoot up to 49 degree Celsius and more. The heat is dry and can sap you of your energy. Winters are much more pleasant though temperatures can drop to -4 degrees Celsius. The best time to take up holiday or honeymoon tours of Amritsar, would be from October to March. However, a trip in January – the coldest month – should be avoided.


How to Reach Amritsar

Amritsar has a domestic airport with regular flights to major cities across the country. The Amritsar railway station is also a busy place with plenty of trains halting here. The city is well connected by road to New Delhi and variety of Amritsar tours from Delhi. Luxury buses run along the Grand Trunk Road from Delhi to Amritsar.

 

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