Popular Sights, Amritsar, India: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Lajjianwala Bagh is a public garden in Amritsar and it is famous for one of the most tragic events in the history of India. This is where the Amritsar Massacre of 1919 took place. Upon receiving orders from General Dyer, the British Army soldiers opened fire on a huge, unarmed gathering of men, women and children on April 13, 1919. The firing lasted ten minutes and stopped only when the British ran out of ammunition. Many people jumped into the well in the park to escape the bullets. More than 1000 people were killed. The brutal murder of thousands raised the questions about the British intentions to rule India in a humane way. Nowadays, the park has been converted into a memorial in honor 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. Jallianwala Bagh is located 5 minutes away from the Golden Temple. Opening hours: 7 am – 5 pm. Address: Golden Temple Road, Amritsar, Punjab, India.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum used to be the summer palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh who is the first ruler of the Sikh Empire. The museum displays articles related to Maharaja Ranjit Singh such as old paintings, manuscripts and coins. Opening hours: 10 am – 5 pm. Address: Ram Bagh Park, Lawrence Road, Amritsar, Punjab, India.
The Golden Temple
The Golden Temple is the most famous landmark of Amritsar. It is also known as the Harmandir Sahib. It is Sikhism’s holiest shrine which is visited by millions of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. The temple is a symbol for equality and brotherhood. The temple welcomes everybody, irrespective of race or cast. According to legend, when Guru Ramdas, the third Sikh guru, heard about healing powers of Amrit Sarovar which is the holy tank around the Golden Temple, he asked his son to build a temple at the site. The foundation was laid by Guru Ram Das and completed by Guru Arjan Dev. The first installation at the temple was the Guru Granth Sahib (scripture of the Sikhs= and the first Head Priest was Baba Budha Ji. The present structure of the temple was reconstructed by JAssa Singh Ahluwalia in 1764 and the uppor floor of the Golden Temple was covered in gold by Maharaja Ranjit Singh int eh early nineteenth century. The architecture of the temple is unique. The temple is at a lower level than the surrounding area instead of being a highland. There are four entrances to get in the temple and they represent openness and acceptance. The temple is also home to the Akal Takht, the throne of the timeless one, which was constructed by Guru Hargobindas. Opening hours: 4 am – 11 pm. Address: Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar, Punjab, India.
Akal Takht serves as one of the five seats of Sikh religious authority. Akal means ‘the Timeless One’ while Takht means ‘the throne’. Therefore, Akal Takht means the ‘Throne of the Immortal’. It is also the central altar of the Sikh political assembly. The foundation stone of the Akal Takht was laid by Shri Guru Hargobind Singh in 1605. The building faces the Darshini Derohi, which leads to the Golden Temple. Address: Inside the premises of Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, India.
Wagah Border is the only road border crossing between India and Pakistan. Wagah lies between Amritsar in India and Lahore in Pakistan. Wagah is located about 29 km from Amritsar. It is home to the Radcliffe Line, which is the demarcation between India and Pakistan and drawn during the partition of India in 1947. There is famous ceremonial closing of the gates and lowering of flags of India and Pakistan which is a daily military practice followed by the Border Security Force and the Pakistan Rangers since 1959. It has become a tradition for people from both sides to converge at the border post to watch the ceremony. The crowd on Indian side is heavy on long weekends and public holidays. With the numbers increasing, the plan of the Indian government is to develop Wagah as a tourist destination. The ceremony lasts around 45 minutes and is over just before the sunset. Opening hours: 2 pm – 6 pm. Address: National Highway 1PB, Amritsar, Punjab, India.
Mandir Mata Lal
Mandir Lal Devi Temple was built on the lines of the sacred Vaishnodevi Temple in Jammu. The temple is the shrine of 20th century female saint Mata Lal Devi Ji, also known as Pujya Mata Ji. The temple houses many statues of gods and goddesses with the sacred seat of Pujya Maya Ji in the center. Traditionally, women wishing to become pregnant come here to pray. One of the most exciting aspects of the temple is that one has to walk across caves and little water channels. One of the most popular attractions at the temple is the Gufa Vaishno Devi Ji. Free food is served to visitors at the temple. Opening hours: 5 am – 11 pm. Address: Param Pujya Mata Lal Devi Ji Mandir, Ramtirth, Amritsar, India.
Durgiana Temple is an important Hindu Temple which is decoted to Goddess Durga. It is also known as the Lakshmi Narayan Temple. It was built during the 16th century. Similar to the Golden Temple, there is also a water tank surrounding the main temple construction. Opening hours: 5.30 am – 10 pm. Address: Near Hall Bazaar, Amritsar, India.
The historical Khalsa College was founded in 1892 by the leaders of the Singh Sabha Movement. It is spead across 300 acres of land. Khalsa College is not only known for its history and scholars but also for the architectural grandeur that the building features of. The architecture of the college is considered to be one of the best examples of the Indo-Sarcenic style. The college was designed by Bhai Ram Singh, principal of the Mayo School of Arts, Lahore with the help of engineer Dharam Singh Gharjakhia. Address: NH 1, Grand Trunk Road, Putligarh, Amritsar, India.
Ram Tirth is located 11 km west of Amritsar. It is a temple dedicated to Ram. This is the place where Lord Ram and Sita’s twins, Luv and Kush, were born. It is said that the fight between the army of Ram and Luv and Kusk took place at Ram Tirth. The temple is also popular for Sage Valmiki’s ashram. Valmiki is believed to have scripted the epic Ramayana at this place. A four-day long fair is organized at this place every year during the month of November on the full moon day. People from across the country come here to attend the fair and pay their respects at the temple. The best time to visit the place is between October and March. Opening hours: 5 am – 9 am. Address: Lopoke Road, Amritsar, Punjab, India.