. Amritsar city is one of the cities of the Punjab state in India. This city was founded by the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das in 1574 on land bought by him for 700 rupees from the owners of the village of Tung. Earlier Guru Ram Das had begun building Santokhsar Sarovar, near the village of Sultanwind in 1564. It could not be completed before 1588. In 1574, Guru Ram Das built his residence and moved to this place. At that time, it was known as Guru Ki Nagri. (Later, it came to be known as Ramdaspur) Amritsar is dominated by the history of Sikhs and many of their sacred shrines are found in and around the city. It was established by Guru Ramdas. The city has one of the most prominent Shrine of Sikhs 'The Harimandir Sahib' popularly known as Golden Temple. Amritsar's central walled city has narrow zig zag streets mostly developed in the 17th and 18th century. The city is a peculiar example of an introverted planning system with unique areas called Katras. The Katras are self styled residential units that provided unique defence system during attacks on the city. The city was attacked numerous times during the 18th century mainly by Afghan invaders as it was considered the spiritual centre of Sikhs.
The city lies on the main Grand Trunk Road, a well laid medieval Highway that runs through the whole of the northern half of the Indian subcontinentfrom Bangladesh to Delhi then passing through Amritsar connecting it to Lahore in Pakistan and kabul in Afghanistan. The city is also connected to most other major cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta by an extensive network of rail system. The city also provides air connectivity to major Indian cities, as well as international cities such as Toronto, Dubai, Singapore, London from its airport, Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport. The airport is being developed for increasing demand in future; a new International inbound & outbound terminal is operational and cargo terminal is also under construction. The city is the administrative center for the Amritsar District. Amritsar was developed from a small pool in a dense forest to the largest commercial center in the northwestern indian subcontinent, a position it retained till the partition of indian in 1947. However, it did grew much afterwards to become the industrial center of india owing to its proximity to the volatile Indo-Pak border.
. Jallianwala Bagh is a public garden in Amritsar famous for one of the most tragic yet landmark events in the history of India. This is where the Amritsar Massacre of 1919 took place.
Around 10,000 people gathered at the Jallianwala Bagh to peacefully protest against the Rowlatt Act, on 13th April 1919. Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer with his army of 150 troops ordered open fire at the crowd. 400 people were killed on the spot and 1500 wounded people were left to die in the well within the garden.There is a well inside Jallianwala Bagh into which many people including children jumped to save themselves from the firing.
The garden also houses a memorial built in honour of the massacre victims. The portion of the wall with bullet marks along with the well is preserved as a memorial. A light and sound show is hosted here every evening. The act, narrated using actor Amitabh Bachhan's voice, recreates the events of 1919 that took place at Jallianwala Bagh and is quite an interesting and stirring experience.Jallianwala Bagh is situated close to the Golden Temple and is a must visit when in Amritsar.
Gobind Garh Fort
. Gobindgarh Fort was built by the army of Gujjar Singh Bhangi of Sikh Misls. This fort was reconstructed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh between 1805 and 1809. During the British rule, this fort was in the army's possession for nearly 150 years. The Darbar Hall, Hawa Mahal and the Phansi Ghar were added to the fort during British rule only. This fort holds a special significance in the freedom struggle. It has been a witness to many nameless freedom fighters who kissed the gallows willingly. Gen O Dyer's office-cum-residence was located just opposite the Phansi Ghar. It is said that he got sadistic pleasure watching the hanging of the patriots in the Phansi Ghar. After the Indian Independence, Indian army took control over the fort and till date it is under the administration of Indian Defence Force.
At the time of India-Pakistan partition, this fort served as the camp for immigrants from Pakistan. This fort was open for public in December 2006 by then Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh. Architecturally, this fort is constructed with brick and lime in a square pattern. The fort features two gates, four bastions and rampart along with the main entrance called as Nalwa Gate.This fort has another entrance called Keelar Gate, which is believed to be connected with the tunnel of Lahore. Originally, there were 25 cannons on the ramparts of this fort that are now replaced with modern weaponry. In the heart of the fort, lies a Toshakhana, which was constructed to store grains and provisions for the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
. The only road border crossing between India and Pakistan, Wagah lies between Amritsar in India and Lahore in Pakistan, and is located approximately 29 kilometres away from the city.
The international borderline between India and Pakistan, Wagah is always been in the news headlines of both countries. Convoluted buildings, barriers and roads mark both sides of the border. The fencing between the borders is electrified with a high voltage. The Swarna Jayanthi gate, which is the entry gate of the outpost, commands the magnificient scenery of verdant landscapes.
It is home to the Radcliffe Line, which is the demarcation between India and Pakistan and was drawn during the partition of India in 1947. The illustrious lowering of the flags ceremony takes place here at the Wagah Border; a daily military practice followed by the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Pakistan Rangers, since 1959.Wagah Border attracts crowds in large numbers including elderly people, children and foreign nationals. From shouts of patriotism, to the powerful show put up by the BSF and Pakistan Rangers, a visit to Wagah is a gripping experience.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum
. The summer palace of erstwhile king, Maharaga Ranjit Singh is now transformed in to a wonderful Museum. It is surrounded by the lovely garden Ram Bagh. Maharaja Ranjit Singh is a prominent figure, who had carved a niche for himself in the history of India. The Museum displays objects connecting to Maharaja Ranjit Singh such as arms and armour, outstanding paintings and centuries old coins and manuscripts.
Most of the paintings that were put on display showcase the court and camp of the king and among them, the most significant one is the painting of the city of Lahore with all its elegant structures. This legendary king of Punjab had shown a commendable spirit of secularism and it is reflected on the coins that are displayed in the Museum. The manuscripts that were shown in the museum give a clear account of the rich history and tradition of the Sikh province especially of the time of Ranjith Singh.
. It is another heritage sight built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh around which are sewn many tales and legends. Situated near the villages of Daoka and Dhanoa Kalan right on the Wagha border, Pul Kanjari is about 35 kms. Both from Amritsar and Lahore. The Maharaja would often rest and leisure here in the baradari while passing by along with his royal troop.
Despite a ruined fort and a baoli-a bathing pool - this heritage sight has a temple, a Gurudwara and a mosque which bespeak of the secular concerns of the Maharaja. The inside of the dome on the corner of the baoli enshrines a number of scenes and sights from the Hindu scriptures and the Raj Darbar.These frescoes are laced with floral frames.
. Elegant and beautiful, the Rambagh Gardens is situated within the confines of the summer palace of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh which has now been converted into a museum. Formerly known as ???Company Garden', the garden got its present name from Maharaja Ranjiit Singh. The great king of Punjab named the garden after the great sage Guru Ram Das. The garden is intersected by water channels fitted with fountains and golden fish. A great statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh saddled on his horse adorns the Rambagh Garden.
Ram Bagh, famed as the summer palace of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh, it has now been converted into a museum which exhibits weapons from Mughal times to portraits of ruling houses of Punjab and the replica of 'Kohinoor' diamond.
. Kaiser Bagh is a quadrangular park with a lovely pavilion flanked by yellow coloured builds on three sides Kaiser Bagh, holds some of the most important places of interest of the locality. Built in between 1845-1850 it displays a cluster of cupolas and domes. This park is also called as Ceaser's park, a name reminds of the reign of Wajid Ali Shah.
The most alluring characteristic of the park is its entrance itself. A flight of extensive stairs leads to the main floor, which gives the impression of a bridge. A small temple is set in the middle of the so-called bridge presents a charming appearance. This imposing structure boasts of a unique architectural style, which can be considered as a blend of Gothic and Mugal style.
. Khalsa College is a historic educational institution, which was founded in 1892. Covering an area of around 1.2 sq. km, the campus is located 8 km away from the Amritsar city centre on the Amritsar - Lahore highway. This college was designed by Bhai Ram Singh, the principal of the Mayo School of Arts, Lahore, with the assistance of Engineer Dharam Singh Gharjakhia. The main building of the college is designed in Indo-Saracenic style and reflects the Indian and Mughal architecture.
. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga and its structural design resembles the golden temple. The temple dates back to 16th century. Detailed carved paintings of the Goddess in her different incarnations are displayed in this shrine. Various other deities are also found in the interiors of the temple. The temple has a remarkable splendor and elegance of its own.
. The Golden Temple Amritsar India (Sri Harimandir Sahib Amritsar) is not only a central religious place of the Sikhs, but also a symbol of human brotherhood and equality. Everybody, irrespective of cast, creed or race can seek spiritual solace and religious fulfilment without any hindrance. It also represents the distinct identity, glory and heritage of the Sikhs. To pen-down the philosophy, ideology, the inner and outer beauty, as well as the historical legacy of Sri Harimandir Sahib is a momentous task. It is a matter of experience rather than a of description.
As advised by Sri Guru Amar Dass Ji (3rd Sikh Guru), Sri Guru Ram Dass Ji (4th Sikh Guru) started the digging of Amrit Sarovar (Holy Tank) of Sri Harmandir Sahib in 1577 A.D., which was later on brick-lined by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji (5th Sikh Guru) on December 15, 1588 and He also started the construction of Sri Harimandir Sahib. Sri Guru Granth Sahib (scripture of the Sikhs), after its compilation, was first installed at Sri Harimandir Sahib on August 16, 1604 A.D. A devout Sikh, Baba Budha Ji was appointed its first Head Priest.
The Golden Temple Amritsar India (Sri Harmandir Sahib Amritsar) has a unique Sikh architecture. Built at a level lower than the surrounding land level, The Gurudwara teaches the lesson of egalitarianism and humility. The four entrances of this holy shrine from all four directions, signify that people belonging to every walk of life are equally welcome.
Gurudwara Mata Kaulan
. Gurudwaras in this holy city is constructed on the banks of some sacred tanks. These tanks are considered to be as pious as that of the shrines. Gurudwara Mata Kaulan also is located on the pristine banks of a tank by the same name Kaulan. Both the tank and the gurudwara shares remarkable significance in the history of Sikh Religion. History says that, Kaulan was a pious girl who desires to follow the path of religious line to which her family was not amenable. Severe punishments and harsh treatments failed to dissuade her from the chosen path and she left her home to seek out asylum with Guru Hargobind. Gurdwara Mai Kaulan is the same house where the devout girl lived. Now it is a revered place, where large number of pilgrims frequents to pay their respect and offerings.
. It is Situated on the banks of Bibeksar Sarovar, this lovely Gurudwara was constructed Maharaja Renjith singh. Bibeksar Sahib presents a picturesque scenery and it lies in between Sultanwind and Chativind. The Sarovar is dug by the 6th Sikh guru, Hargobind for those devotees who wants to be in sheer solitude. He used to sit by the sides of this Sarovar and since the medieval India shown religious nepotism of the Muslim Rulers, the Sikhs were united under Hargobind and used to congregate around this tank.
The day to day affairs of the Gurudwara is now controlled by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. Guru ka Langar and a well were added in 1905-06. This gurudwara houses a lovely garden in its premises. On the last Saturday of every month, the Gurudwara would be crowded with devotees, who gather there to participate in the Rainsbai Keertan programme.
Gurudwara Baba Atal Sahib
. Gurudwara Baba Atal Sahib is one of the important tourist spots of Amritsar. It was built during 1778-1784 and describes the rich culture and tradition of Punjab. The Gurudwara Baba Atal Sahib is one of the important tourist spots of Amritsar and is in an octagonal shape bearing a height of forty meters approximately.
Gurudwara Guru Ka Mahal
. Gurudwara Guru Ka Mahal was established in 1573 by Guru Ram Das as his residence. This gurudwara is very sacred to the Sikh people as many of the 10 Sikh gurus are associated with the gurudwara. This is the birthplace of Baba Atal Rai and Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji. It also served as the residence of Sri Guru Hargobind Singh Ji. It was converted into a holy shrine by Guru Arjan Dev and his son, Guru Hargobind Singh Ji.
Gurudwara Saragrahi Sahib
. Gurudwara Saragrahi Sahib stands as a protected monument, which has been built to pay homage to those Sikh soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the flight against Pathans. This gurudwara is often called as Saragarhi memorial, as it narrates the story of Sikh bravery in the battle of Saragrahi. The gurudwara is surrounded by several small and big cannons, which have names of 21 brave soldiers inscribed on its walls. Army built this wall using the stones from the Saragarhi post and the memorial was declared open in 1904 by Sir Charles Revz.
. Akal Takht is one of the five seats of Sikh religious authority. It also serves as the central altar for Sikh political assembly. Literally, Akal Takht means 'Throne of the Immortal', in which 'Akal' refers to the Timeless One and 'Takht' means the throne. The stone of this building was laid down by Guru Hargobind Sahib on June 15, 1606. Located in the Harmandir Sahib complex, this building faces the Darshini Deorhi which leads to the Golden Temple.
Of all the five takhts established by the panth (community), Akal Takht is the supreme. It is followed by Keshgarh Sahib (Anandpur), Patna Sahib, Hazur Sahib and Damdama Sahib. Original structure of Akal Takht was built by Guru Hargobind Sahib, Bhai Gurdas Ji and Baba Budha Ji. In order to imply the order of importance, they constructed the Akal Takht lower than the Harmandir Sahib.
The original Takht of Guru was a simple platform, which was raised 3.5 metres high. Guru Hargobind Ji used to sit on this raised platform with all marks of royalty and from here dispensed justice for all the disputes of Sikh community. Presently, Akal Takht is a 5-storey modern structure, adorned with marble and a gold-leafed dome.
. Tarn Taran, which is believed to be one of the most sacred places for Sikhs, is located just 22 km away from the Amritsar city. Founded by Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth Sikh Guru, this city has several historical gurudwaras like Darbar Sahib Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji and Gurudwara Guru Ka Khuh. Sri Darbar Sahib Tarn Taran, which was built by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, is the main gurudwara in the city. This holy shrine is famous for its sarovar, which is largest holy tank in the world. Other major gurudwaras like Gurudwara Bibi Bhani Da Khuh, Gurudwara Takkar Sahib and Gurudwara Lakeer Sahib are also located within the city.
Ber Baba Buddha
. Sikh religion gave birth to so many pious and saintly people and Baba Buddha was one of such prominent figure, who adorns a remarkable position in the entire history of this sacred faith. It is believed that this sage was authorized with the construction of the Sarovar in the premises of the Golden temple. It is also believed that Baba Buddha used to sit under a tree, which is still preserved in the temple. This tree, which is called beri in the local language is famed as the Ber Baba Buddha, which literally means the Baba Buddha's tree. As per one legend that is prominent among the Sikh community, it was due to the blessings of Baba Buddha that Guru Arjan Dev had got a child. Large number of devotees frequents her with the strong belief that they would be blessed with a child after the holy darshan of Beri Babba Buddha.
. Hanuman Mandir is dedicated to Lord Hanuman, who is considered as an ardent devotee of Lord Rama. This temple is enshrined with the deity of Lord Hanuman in a sitting posture. As per the legends, it is believed that Lord Ram performed his Ashwamedha ceremony in this temple. Local people believe that Lord Hanuman fulfils the wishes of devotees, who visit the temple daily.
One of the major attractions of this temple is the langoor dance performed by the devotees. As a usual custom, couples who are bestowed with a male child with the blessings of Lord Hanuman, offer their children to Langoor Sena. Located on the north-western side of Durgiana temple, this temple can be reached by auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws from anywhere in the city.
Sri Ram Tirath Temple
. Sri Ram Tirath Temple is dedicated to the Hindi god ??? Lord Rama. The temple complex contains a hut and a tank. The temple is believed to be at the place where sage Valmiki had his ashram. According to Hindu mythology, Valmiki gave shelter to Goddess Sita in his ashram and she gave birth to her sons, Luv and Kush, in the hut . The tank is believed to have been dug by Lord Hanuman.
Hindu mythology also states that the epic fight between Luv-Kush and their father, Lord Rama, took place at Ram Tirath.
. At a walking distance form the world famous Golden Temple, the ISKCON Amritsar Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda Temple is one of the prime attractions of Amritsar. The temple was founded by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). The temple houses the idols of many Hindu gods and goddesses with Shri Krishna and Goddess Radha's being the most important one. At the temple, you can buy spiritual books, pictures of gods and T-shirts.
Khair ud Din Masjid
. Built in the year 1876, this pretty shrine has got tremendous impact in the freedom movement of India. This Masjid was built by Mohd. Khair-ud-din and it was from here the great call for waging war against the looting British were put forward by Tootie-e-Hind, Shah Attaullah Bukhari.
This grand edifice of the freedom struggle displays architectural elegance, which lures not only the tourists but also the locals. Besides its structural beauty, this lovely mosque is a most revered religious and pilgrimage place in Amritsar. This mosque is placed in the Hall Bazaar. Its strategic position on the imposing ambiance of a busiest market makes it a crowded shrine all around the year.
. Located just outside the Ram Bagh Garden, the Historical Banyan Tree or Shaheedi Bohr is just a few kilometers away from Amritsar. This great historical Banyan tree serves as a reminder of the long British rule in India during which many fought bravely and gave up their lives for freedom of the Nation. The Historical Banyan tree is a huge with lush, green leaves and a widely spread branches. Four Namdharis were hung here to death in 1871 after they had objected against the hawking of beef near the Golden Temple.
Harike Wetland and Bird Sanctuary
. Harike Wetland and Bird Sanctuary is the largest wetland in northern India. Spreading over three districts ??? Kapurthala, Firozepur and Amritsar ??? the Harike Wetland and Bird Sanctuary was formed when when the Harike barrage was constructed on the confluence of Rivers Beas and Sutlej in 1953.
The sanctuary plays host to a wide variety of migratory birds who visit the Harike Lake every winter. Nature and bird lovers would have a gala time clicking pictures. Some of the birds you can spot at the sanctuary include sulphur-bellied warbler, white-browed fantail, yellow-legged gull, brown shrike, common wood shrike and white-tailed stonechat.