The city of Amritsar offers several eye-catching tourist attractions, some of the best places to visit in Amritsar include the pride and soul of the Sikhs – Golden Temple, Wagah Border and more. The city provides a unique blend of tradition, culture, and history that every travel enthusiast would love to explore. No wonder, Amritsar is also popularly known as the Jewel of Punjab.
Here is Neo Travellers’ list of 6 best places to visit in Amritsar while on vacation in this beautiful city.
The Wagah Border, which is along the Grand Trunk Road between Punjab and Lahore, is located 22 km from Lahore and 28 km from Amritsar. It is one of the best places to visit in Amritsar and is visited by people from all over India.
Millions of people visit Wagah Border to witness the Beating Retreat Ceremony, held daily before sunset since 1959. This ceremony entails the closing of the international gates, which is inscribed as “Swarn Jayanti Dwar”, and lowering the flags of both the countries. Indian Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers conduct the 30-minute ceremony, which can be seen by the public free of cost.
Visit the Wagah Border and see the Beating Retreat for an experience that will leave you full of pride and patriotism! The Beating Retreat Ceremony begins at 4:15 PM in winter and 5:15 PM in summer.
Guru Ke Mahal
The Gurdwara Guru Ka Mahal is situated near to Golden Temple. Guru ke Mahal is one of the most popular places to visit in Amritsar for Sikhs as it houses their sacred book, Guru Granth Sahib. It is a popular pilgrimage destination and is located on Cooper Road. The Guru Ke Mahal was the residence of several Sikh gurus, including Guru Ram Das, Guru Tegh Bahadur, Guru Gobind Singh, Baba Atal Rai and Guru Arjan Dev.
The sacred book, Guru Granth Sahib, is on a raised platform inside this three-storied shrine. The shrine’s basement has a meditation room, where the Sikh gurus compose sacred hymns and meditate. Every first Sunday of the month, Guru ka Langar and special prayers are held here. This place is ideal for a family outing. The best time to visit Guru Ke Mahal is during the festival of the birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur.
Undisputedly the world’s most exquisite attractions, Golden Temple is a place of sheer beauty and sublime peacefulness. It was originally a small lake amid a quiet forest and served as a meditation retreat for tramps and sages. It is the best place to visit in Amritsar since it is tangibly the most spiritual place in the entire country.
Also known as Sri Harmindar Sahib, this place can only be experienced and words cannot do justice to its beauty and holiness. Golden Temple serves as a symbol of brotherhood and equality and is frequented by people from all parts of the world. The shrine is surrounded by a water tank called the Amrit Sarovar, which was excavated in 1577 by the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das. The Amrit Sarovar is said to have healing powers that can cure several diseases. It is one of the most famous places to visit in Amritsar and can’t be missed.
Did you know Amritsar gets its name from the Amrit Sarovar in the Golden Temple?
The Palki Sahib Ceremony inside the Golden Temple that takes twice a day is another attraction that should not be missed. During this ceremony, the holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, is carried to a room in a golden palanquin for the night. This ceremony happens amidst chanting and reciting hymns. In the morning, the same ceremony is repeated and the Guru Granth Sahib is taken back to the Temple.
The ceremony takes place at 5:00 AM and 9:40 PM in winters and 4:00 AM and 10:30 PM in winters.
Jallianwala Bagh is near the famous Golden Temple that has a memorial to commemorate the massacre of peaceful celebrators by the British Brigadier General R.E.H Dyer. The massacre left a deep scar on India and independent India built the memorial in 1951. It was inaugurated by Dr. Rajendra Prasad on 13th April 1961.
Jallianwala Bagh is spread over 6.5 acres and a memorial tablet is at the entrance of the park. The tablet narrates how the British Army opened fire on innocent people who had peacefully gathered on the Punjabi New Year Day on 13th April. 1919. More than 350 people were killed while around 1,100 people were wounded. It is a must visit place in Amritsar that serves as a record of history.
Inside the park, there are several structures that are reminiscent of the heinous act. There is a wall that still has the bullet marks that were fired at the innocent people and a well in which many people jumped to save themselves from the indiscriminate firing. Officially, the British Indian sources claimed 379 people died and 1,200 injured. However, the Indian National Congress claimed that around 1,500 people lost their lives while 1,000 people were injured. It is one of the most important places to visit in Amritsar if you have interest in learning about historical events.
The Partition Museum is world’s first-ever museum that highlights the stories and trauma of people who suffer from partition between the countries. The museum is dedicated to the partition of the sub-continent in 1947 and the victims and the survivors of it. The collection at the Partition Museum includes newspaper clippings, photographs along with personal items that were generously given by people who had suffered the consequences of partition.
During the 1947 partition, around twelve million people were displaced and over two million people were dead in the aftermath of this act. The museum is the perfect place to visit in Amritsar for students, historians and families. The main attraction of the museum is the Gallery of Hope here visitors are encouraged to write messages of love and peace on a leaf-shaped paper.
There are also a few sections that are dedicated to selected families who were severely impacted during the partition. The exhibit that dates back to 1947 at the museum beautifully unfolds the story of how partition of India transformed into one of the most violent chapters in history. Being first-of-its-kind, it is a reason enough to go back in history and get a first-hand perspective of people affected by partition.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum
Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a famous ruler in Punjab, whose kingdom extended from the Khyber Pass and China to the Sind and Sutlej. He made Lahore his capital after he acquired the city in 1799. He acquired Amritsar in 1802 and called it the spiritual capital. Maharaja Ranjit Singh used to spend his summer days in Amritsar after he built the beautiful summer palace with red sandstone. The building is now protected under the Punjab Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological sites and remains Act,1964. It was converted into a museum during the 400th year celebrations of Amritsar City.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum is known for its rare collections, including paintings, weapons, armours, valuable antiquities and art objects that date back to 18th and 19th centuries. Surrounding the palace is the famous Rambagh Gardens, which are famous for its statue of the legendary king on his horse.
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