An Overview :
Amritsar, literally meaning the ‘Pool of the Nectar of Immortality’, is one of the major cities of the Punjab state. The administrative headquarters of the Amritsar District, it is the major spiritual and cultural centre of Sikhs. The city, founded in 1577 by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru, is mostly inhabited by the Sikhs. Amritsar has grown from a sacred village pool into a spiritual centre of Sikh culture. The original pool site by which the Golden Temple is built was granted by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. In 1761 Ahmad Shah Durrani sacked the town and destroyed the temple, which was rebuilt in 1764. One of the ancient and charming cities of India, Amritsar is an important distribution centre of dry-fruits in the country. Apart from an important pilgrimage centre, the city is also famous for producing some exquiste items like carpets, fabrics, handicrafts etc.
Climate of Amritsar :
Amritsar has an extreme type of climate with very hot summers and chilly winters. The region has four distinct seasons- the winter season (November to March), the summer season (April to June), monsoon season ( July to September) and post- monsoon season (September to November). Summers can be as hot as 46 degrees. During winters, temperature may drop down to a minimum of – 3 degrees centigrade. The ideal time to visit Amritsar is between the months of October and March.
Tourist Attractions of Amritsar :
» Golden Temple – The Golden Temple or Har Mandir Saheb is the holiest shrine for the people of Sikh religion. The temple was the main centre of the old Amritsar city, which is visited by the Sikh devotees from all parts of the world. Built between 1588 and 1601, the temple architecture is a combination of Hindu and Muslim styles.
» Jallianwala Bagh – The park is situated close to the Golden Temple. It commemorates 2,000 Indians, who were killed or wounded by the British soldiers during a meeting.
» Mata Mandir Temple – Located at Rani Ka Bagh, this temple was developed by a grand old pious woman. Built on the lines of holy shrine of Mata Vasihno Devi in Jammu, the temple is thronged by a large number of devotees.
» Ram Tirath Temple – Situated on the outskirts of Amritsar, the temple is the birthplace of Lav and Kush. The sacred place for the Hindus, is visited by a large number of people to get a glimpse of statues illustrating scenes from the mythological Ramayana.
» Lalbagh Garden – Covering an area of 240 km, this beautifully laid out garden is a popular picnic spot in the city. The garden is home to many tropical and subtropical plants, a deer park, fountains and pond that attract the visitors.
» Mata Temple – This Hindu temple, was built to commemorate a bespectacled 20th century female Saint Lal Devi. Mata Temple is mostly visited by women wishing to have children.
» Tarn Taran – Located about 25 kms south of Amritsar, this is an important Sikh tank. It is said that the tank has healing properties and corrects minor skin ailments.
» Wagah Border – Wagah Border, the final frontier is located about 47 kms from Amritsar. This is the only border crossing between India and neighbour country Pakistan. Every evening at sunset the parade takes place between the soldiers of India and Pakistan. It is a great moment to see the soldiers of both the countries in high enthusiasm and respect for each other.
Getting to Amritsar :
» By Air –Raja Sansi International Airport is the main airport, which is located 11 kms from the city centre. The airport is connected with Delhi, Srinagar, Singapore, London, Birmingham and Toronto etc.
» By Rail – Amritsar railway station is well-connected to major cities of India. Trains are available from Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Varanasi, Wagah and other places of India.
» By Road – Good network of roads connect Amritsar with important places of Punjab as well as rest of the country. Regular bus services are available to Amritsar from Punjab and nearby states.