Golden Temple, the pride and soul of the Sikhs has been a centre of attraction among Indians as well as foreign travellers since ages. The golden body, mystic pond, mouth-watering halwa (desert) and overall myths make this religious site a delight of religious populace. Believers irrespective of their religion, caste and gender throng Amritsar in search of eternal bliss and get amazed seeing the humble nature and deep rooted beliefs of the Sikhs towards their religion. The city of Amritsar also encloses Akal Takht, Sikh Parliament, Durgiyana Temple and a number of other eye-catching tourist attractions which every enthusiastic traveller would love to explore along with visiting Golden Temple. However, tourist places like Harike Wetland, Bathinda Fort or Pul Kajari are located within close proximity of Amritsar and give the travellers enough of options to choose from for a day trip from Golden Temple. So, let us tell you in details what all you can see while spending your vacation in Amritsar.
Located within a distance of one kilometre from the Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh is the famous public ground where the heinous act of public massacre was done by the British Army. The incident took place on 13th April, 1919 which was the Punjabi New Year Day. It is on this auspicious day that British occupying forces brutally opened fire on a peaceful mass and as a result around 379 people were left dead and around 1100 people wounded. In 1951 a memorial was established on this ground to commemorate the massacre. Today a huge memorial stone is found in Jallianwala Bagh where every traveller in Punjab pays his/herhomage.
Wagah Border is one of the must visit places of tourist interest around Golden Temple in Amritsar and has established itself as a firm favourite among the Indian tourists. It is the only road border crossing between India and Pakistan and located at a distance of around 30 km from the Golden Temple. The ceremony of Beating Retreat and Change of Guard make this place highly valued. The soldiers of both the countries demonstrate their heartfelt enthusiasm for own country and the nationalistic feel reaches its peak among the viewers present there in the afternoon. This entertainment ceremony involves display of intense patriotic feel of the armies for their respective states and people assemble here every day to witness this exciting activity in either side of the border.
A Significant Hindu Temple in Amritsar, Durgiana is around one and half kilometre from the Golden Temple and looks like a replica of the same. Dedicated to Goddess Durga, the temple was built in 1908 by Harsai Mal Kapoor. The temple complex encloses the seats of Lord Hanuman, Mata Shitla, along with Lakshmi Narain.
Photo Credit: Kunal Dikshit
It is a Sikh temple built at the premise of the Golden Temple by Guru Hargobind Sahib as a place of justice and for resolving temporal issues. It is considered to be the highest seat of earthly authority of Khalsa. The literal meaning of Akal Takht is throne of the timeless one and it is a symbolic representation of the political sovereignty of the Sikhs.
Photo: Dron Aggarwal
Located at a distance of around 22 km from the Golden Temple, Tarn Taran is a Sikh pilgrimage site in the Tarn Taran District of Punjab. The Gurudwara was constructed by the fifth Sikh Guru, Arjan Dev. It is believed that the Sarovar (pond) located in this Gurudwara is the largest among all the Sikh Shrines. Tarn Taran is counted among the most popular Sikh pilgrimage sites in India and thronged by the devotees every month on the day of Amavas (New-Moon Day).
Hari Ke Pattan or Harike Wetland is claimed to be the largest wetland in northern India. It is a man-made riverine, lacustrine wetland which spreads across the three district of Punjab namely Amritsar, Ferozepur and Kapurthala. It is one of the Ramsar Sites in India. The wetland gives shelter to several species of snakes, turtles, amphibians and fishes. The wetland is located in Tarn Taran district of Punjab.
Dedicated to Maharaja Ranjit Singh, ‘the Lion of Punjab’, who freed a major part of Punjab from the shackles of the Mughals, the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum is located in Lawrence Road, Company Bagh of Amritsar. The museum displays the chivalric activities of the Maharaja along with artefacts associated with the greatest battles he fought with his enemies. The light and sound show creates the feel of a real war situation with the booming sound-effects taking you to the past.
A historical fort in Bathinda District of Punjab, Bathinda Fort is around 160km from the Golden Temple and known for its intense association with the history of Sultana Razia’s imprisonment. The fort is located in the Malwa Region of Punjab. It looks like a sheep in the sea of sand and looks impressive for its architecture. The bricks used to build this fort date back to Kushana Period. The fort premise encloses a Gurudwara which was built in the memory of Guru Gobind Singh.
A village called Dhanoe Kalan, at a distance of around 34 km from Amritsar is the spot where Pul Kanjari or Pul Moran is found. It is the same place where Maharaja Ranjit Singh used to take rest while travelling to distant lands with his officials and army. This heritage site is associated with an interesting story. It is said that once a dancer was passing through the pool located in Pul Kanjri to perform at the king’s palace. Suddenly her shoes slipped into the pool and she declared that unless she gets back her shoes she is not going to perform. Seeing this, the royal servants built a small bridge (Pul) then and there and took out her shoes. There is a temple, a mosque and a gurudwara in Pul Kajari.
Located in Hall Bazar, Amritsar, Jama Masjid Khairuddin is an artistically enriched religious site. It is the same place where Tootie-e-Hind Shah Attaullah Bukhari protested against the British rule. The mosque was built by Mohammad Khairuddin in 1876.
Located at Amritsar-Chogawan Road, the Ram Tirath Temple is a must see Hindu religious site in Amritsar known for its spiritual and religious significance. Associated with many undeniable myths of the Ramayana, this hallowed spot is claimed to be the site where Lord Rama’s sons Lav and Kush were born. It is also said that sage Valmiki, the writer of the Ramayana started writing the great Epic here.
Known to be the axis of Sikhism, Gurudwara Goindwal Sahib is located in Tarn Taran District of Punjab and believed to be very divine among the followers of Sikhism. It is believed that Guru Amar Das met Guru Ram Das in Goindwal. There is a Baoli (stepwell) in the premises of this Gurudwara which is paved with 84 steps. It is believed that people who take bath in this baoli and walk over this 84 steps reciting Japji Sahib get liberation from the bondage of rebirth. The Gurudwara is located on the bank of the river Beas.
Located in Faridkot District of Punjab, Faridkot Fort is a unique historical structure built completely with Nanakshahi bricks and lime motor. A must visit tourist spot near Amritsar; this fort reflects exclusive touch of European architecture and looks impressive for Rajasthani Look in its interior. The fort encloses an exclusive Sheesh Mahal which displays excellent glass works. The Darbar Hall is another yet worth-exploring part of this fort.
After the Golden Temple, if there is one place where you can expect an utterly peaceful sojourn in Amritsar, it is at the ISCKON Temple. It is located in Moni Chowk of Katra Ahluwalia in Amritsar. Be there in the evening and attend the evening prayer. I am sure you would love it.
Herein comes the most interesting part of your exciting Amritsar tour and it is having the most delicious laccha paranathas in one of the most authentic restaurants of Amritsar. This century old dhaba lets you taste the most delicious Punjabi cuisines dipped in Desi Ghee and rich in delicacy. You are advised to end your lunch or dinner session with the mouth-watering phirni served here in earthen bowls. The restaurant is located in Chowk Passian, Shastri Market.
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