Amritsar, located in the Northern Part of India, is one of the largest cities of Punjab State. Amritsar is the spiritual centre of Sikhism in the world as it is home to Harmandir Sahib, popularly known as "the Golden Temple," Sikhism's most spiritually significant and most-visited gurudwara.
Amritsar is very famous across the world for its cultural heritage, religion, historical places, street shopping and lip-smacking Punjabi delicacies. The 'old Amritsar' still has the walled city architecture and has many historically significant places.
We reached Amritsar at around 1 AM in the night. Most of the restaurants were shut and we didn't had anything to eat. We headed to the Golden Temple which has a 24 hour langar (community kitchen) that serves free food to everyone who comes, regardless of their race, religion, status. I was told that thousands are fed every day. The food there is probably my most satisfactory meal that I have ever had.
We stayed in a Hotel close to the Golden Temple. We started the day with a visit to the most iconic attraction in the city – the Golden Temple also known as Harmandir Sahib. One of the most celebrated gurudwaras in the world and the holiest shrine for the Sikhs, the temple stands amidst a tranquil water body, offering a spellbinding sight to visitors. While the sanctum exterior is adorned with gold foil, the inner walls feature exquisite meenakari work, glasswork, and semi-precious stones. I have never felt more divine, more spiritual ever in my life and the experience cannot be put in words. The Golden Temple is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever visited.
The area in and around the Golden Temple complex is dotted with many other attractions including historical sites and religious spots.
We then headed to Jallianwala Bagh which is at a walking distance from The Golden Temple. Jallianwala Bagh (garden) is a natioanl monument in India made in remembrance of the martyrs of the Amritsar massacre that took place after the orders of acting Brigadier of 1919 – General Reginald Dyer – to the troops of the British Indian Army to fire a crowd of unarmed civilians on the day of Baisakhi 13th April 1919. According to one official report, an estimated 379 people were killed, and about 1,200 more were wounded. The 7-acres of historical garden depicts the predicament of all those people and houses a museum, gallery and a number of memorial structures.
From Jallianwala Bagh, we went to Durgiana Temple, one of the top Hindu shrines in Amritsar that offer a glimpse into the city’s religious heritage. Located in the middle of a lake, the temple’s stunning architecture bears a striking resemblance to the Golden Temple.
On the way, we had local delicacies like chhole kulchas and lassi.
Lastly, we went to see the Change of Guard ceremony at Wagah Border. The Wagah Border or Attari-Wagah serves as a border crossing and a transit point between India and Pakistan. The Beating Retreat and Change of Guard ceremony held here every evening offers a visual treat and draws hundreds of visitors. We make sure to reach the border an hour before the ceremony to get a seat.
For dinner, we went the very famous Kesar Da Dhaba for which it is said that any visit to Amritsar is incomplete if you don't eat at Kesar Da Dhaba. The food was outstanding.
We kept the Day 2 was mostly local shopping, relaxation & less travel. We went to Partition Musuem (which is close to The Golden Temple) and this museum is one of a kind. It documents the gestures, emotions, and the plight of people during the partition of India of India and Pakistan in 1947. The state of Punjab was divided into two during that partition and lakhs of people migrated from & to both the sides. Being the largest mass migration in history, apart from losing their wealth and homes, many lost their families and separated from them.
We then explored the famous Bazaars – Markets – of Amritsar, and did some shopping of clothes, sandals, utensils, and spices. Our main area of visit was the Hall Bazaar. One of the oldest and liveliest markets in Amritsar, it is a shopper’s paradise and offers an amazing variety of dress materials and designer dresses with intricate Phulkari work.
During the day, we had local delicacies like paneer bhurji, nutri kulche etc. For dinner, we went to Brother's Amritsari Dhaba, again a famous place for food.
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