Places to see in Amritsar
Amritsar, home to the Golden Temple is one of the most ancient and fascinating cities of India. It is an important seat of Sikh history and culture. Being the gateway for travellers coming to India on the overland route from central Asia it soon became the center of various commercial activities. There are various historical and religious sites - see Amritsar City Map. The most famous of them all in the Golden Temple which was founded by the fourth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Ramdas and completed by his successor Guru Arjan Dev.
Amritsar, which literally means a pool of nectar, lies twenty kilometres east of the lndo-Pakistan border, is the Punjab state's second largest town. It was founded in 1577 by Ram Das, the fourth guru of the Sikhs. Here a tank was excavated and a temple was got built by the Fifth Guru, Guru ArjanDev in its midst and a new city began to grow up round the sacred pool. The name Amritsar meaning 'Pool of Nectar', is named after the sacred pool around which the Sikh's Golden Temple is built. Sikhs from all over the world come to pay their reverence to Guru Granth Sahib and take a dip in the AmritSarasKund (Pool of Immortality) for spiritual purification is the major landmark of the place. The present city dates back to the 15th century but there are evidence that this city is related to ramayanyug so city's sacred heritage must be measured in terms of millenniums and not in centuries.
Places to Visit
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 AmritSarovar (Holy Tank) in 1577 A.D., which was later on brick-lined by Sri Guru ArjanDev 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.
The Jallianwala Bagh is located about a quarter of a mile from the Golden Temple. It is the Memorial which commemorates the sacrifices of hundreds of men, women and children who were victims of ruthless firing of the British forces. The incident took place on April 13, 1919, when thousands of people had gathered in Jallianwala Bagh to voice their feelings against the repressive policies of the British Government. General Dyer tried to silence the gathered crowd with volleys of bullets which, according to official estimates, took a toll of 397 lives and wounded another 1,200 persons.
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre accentuated political awakening in India and brought Mahatma Gandhi to the forefront of Indian political life. The bullet marks can be seen to this day on the boundary walls of the garden. Jallianwala Bagh has been turned into a spacious and well-laid park where people from all parts of the country come to visit.
The historic Rambagh Garden outside the City is a big attraction in the evenings when people throng its green parks to relax and breathe fresh air. This garden is laid out in the pattern of Shalimar Bagh at Lahore. Several clubs operate in the Garden which also houses the well-known summer Palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Built in the third decade of the 20th Century it echoes, not the traditional Hindu temple architecture, but that of the Golden Temple and, in a similar manner rises from the midst of a tank and has canopies and the central dome in the style of the Sikh temple. One of the greatest reformers and political leaders of resurgent India, PanditMadan Mohan Malviya, laid its foundation stone. It is a well-known repository of Hindu scriptures. The complex houses Shree Laxmi Narayan Mandir with a huge pond on its periphery. The water of River Ravi was diverted to fill it up. In the night the Temple lights shimmering in the water present a heavenly sight.
The summer palace of erstwhile king, Maharaja Ranjit Singh is now transformed in to a wonderful Museum. It is surrounded by the lovely garden Ram Bagh. Maharaja Renjith 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 century’s 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 Ranjit Singh.
One among the major objects on sight is a parwana of Maharaja Ranjit Singh to Raja of Kapurthala, which holds the seal of Ranjit Singh. The Sikhs are considered to be very brave people and the arms and ammunition section of the Museum shows a rich collection of weapons, which were prevalent among the great warriors of that time.
A glorious face of the medieval India, Maharaja Ranjit Singh adorns a noteworthy position in the heart of the people of this region. This Museum is a genuine effort to depict the life of the great hero of yesteryears in its entirety and is a worthy to watch spectacle in Amritsar.
Khalsa College, Amritsar. The oldest college of Amritsar was established in distinctive mix of Mughal and Sikh architecture in the year 1892 by the Singh Sabha Movement. The college campus is spread over more than 300 acres and has that distinctive charm with red minarets and domes against the lush green backdrop.
Ram Tirath Temple is located at a distance of 11 KM from Amritsar. The temple dates back to the period of Ramayana. There is an ancient tank at this place. At the site there is a hut where Mata sita gave birth to Luv and Kush. The site also has Maharishi Valmiki's hermitage and a well with stairs where Mata Sita used to take her bath. The Temples exhibit scenes from Ramayana.
This is the temple built by a devotee of Mata Vaishno Devi. The temple is must visit shrine for all the Hindus visiting Amritsar.
Attari Border about 28 kms. From Amritsar is the oldest border crossing between India and Pakistan. It's an interesting experience especially at sunset when the 'Retreat' ceremony takes place with the BSF on the Indian Side of the Border. The daily highlight is the evening "Beating the Retreat" ceremony. Soldiers from both countries march in perfect drill, going through the steps of bringing down their respective national flags. As the sun goes down, nationalistic fervors rises and lights are switched on marking the end of the day amidst thunderous applause.
In 1982, HarikePattan was officially declared a bird sanctuary.
In 1992 It has been identified as one of the sites for conservation under the Indian National Wetland Programme.
HarikePattan is today a vital staging post and winter home to waterfowl, including some globally threatened species.
Spread over 93 square miles, Harike wetland in Punjab's TaranTaran District is the second largest bird sanctuary of India. It's home to rare varieties of avifauna arriving here from different parts of Europe and northern Asia for stay during a major part of the year.
Throughout the year, autumn, spring and winter, HarikePattan becomes a refuge to over 361 species of birds, 140 of who believed to breed here. Some of the birds that can be spotted are the Cotton Pygmy Goose, Tifted Duck, Yellow crowned Woodpecker, Yellow eyed Pigeon, Watercock, Pallas's Gull, Brown headed Gull , Black headed Gull, Yellow legged Gull, Indian Skimmer, White winged Tern, White rumped Vulture, Hen Harrier, Eurasian Sparrow hawk, Eurasian Hobby, Horned Grebe, Black necked Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, White browed Fantail, Brown Shrike, Common Wood shrike, White tailed Stonechat, White crowned Penduline Tit, Rufous vented Prinia, Striated Grass bird, Cetti's Bush Warbler , the Sulphur bellied Warbler and Diving duck etc .
The sanctuary is home to the endangered Testudine Turtle and Smooth Indian Otter listed in the IUCN ( The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) Red list of Threatened Animals. Harike is also well known for its market for sweet water fish. The sanctuary came into existence with the construction of a barrage at the confluence of the river Beas and Satluj for water storage and providing irrigation and drinking water.
How to Reach
Amritsar is connected by Indian Airlines flights to Delhi and Srinagar. There is a weekly flight to Birmingham and Kabul. Rajasansi airport is not far from the city and taxis are available for the transfers.
Amritsar is connected with direct trains to Delhi,Calcutta,Mumbai,Puri, and other places. The important ones include the Frontier Mail to Mumbai, Shatabdi Express to Delhi and Utkal Express to Puri. There are twice-weekly runs by Lahore Express, the train to Pakistan. Amritsar Railway station provides amenities including Retiring room and refreshment rooms. Taxis are available outside the station.
There is vast network of bus services of Punjab, Himachal,and Delhi. Haryana, PEPSU, Chandigarh, U.P, J&K, Rajasthan state roadways, apart from private operators. Important destinations include Delhi, Shimla, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Kullu, Manali and Jammu. Taxis are also available, but not everywhere. They stand outside the airport and railway station. There are autorickshaws and cycle rickshaws are also very common for local transfers.
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