Golden Temple(Harmandir Sahib) in the Night
Golden Temple(Harmandir Sahib) at Day time
Guru Nanak Dev University
Akal Takht in the Night
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum
Kothe Da Mela
Morning in Winter in Amritsar
Wagah Border - Between India and Pakistan
Welcome to Amritsar,
Amritsar is a district in the Indian state of Punjab. Amritsar means 'The Pool Of Immortality'. The main commercial activities include tourism, carpets and fabrics, farm produce, handicrafts, service trades and light engineering. The city is known for its food and culture. It is considered as the very vibrant and the colorful city. This city is the center for the Sikh religion. The city got its name from the pond Amritsar.
Tourism in Amritsar mainly includes visits to temples and Gurudwaras. One of the most important sites of this district is Golden Temple that attracts people from all parts of the country and abroad. This district of Punjab is considered as a famous tourist spot as it offers several exploring opportunities both historical and religious.
Pilgrimage tourism includes Golden Temple, Durgiana Temple, Jama Masjid Khairuddin, Gurudwaras etc. Historical Tourism includes Jalianwala Bagh, Samadhi of Guru Angad Dev Ji, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum etc.
The Akal Takht literally means The Seat(Throne) of the Timeless One or Seat (Throne) of God. It is one of the five seats of temporal physical religious authority of the Sikhs. Akal means The Timeless One - another term for God. Takht means 'seat' or 'throne' in Persian. Akal Takht is located in the Harmandir Sahib(Golden Temple) complex in Amritsar.
The oldest of the all takhts, Akal Takht stands as an insignia of righteousness. Guru Granth Sahib, which adorns the sanctum of the golden temple, is kept at Akal Takht in the night. Conventionally all Sikh combatants seek blessings here before leaving to the battlefield. The social life of the entire community is hang around Akal Takht where they hold meetings and make decisions.
Situated about 45 kilometers east on the Batala road. Baba Bakale, a gurudwara dedicated to Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Guru of Sikhs. It has a magnificent Gurdwara where people gather in thousands on every amavas (moonless night) and an annual fair is held on Raksha Bandhan day (night of full moon in August) when about one hundred thousand people visit the place.
Beas is a small town situated in the Amritsar District. The town of Beas is positioned between the cities of Jalandhar and Amritsar along the bank of the Beas River. It is on the National Highway 1 of India on the Grand Trunk Road, which runs from the city of Kolkata in India to Afghanistan.
At a distance of five miles on the east, there is a small town called Dera Baba Jaimal Singh, which is the headquarters of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas, a spiritual group with a number of Hindu and Sikh followers. Each year millions of people travel to Beas to attend the satsangs (discourses) at the Dera. Beas is also famed for the Radhasoami Charitable Hospital, which was built in the 80s by the Radhasoami Society.
Sikh religion gave birth to so many pious and saintly people and Baba Buddha was one of such prominent figure, who adorns a remarkable position in the entire history of this sacred faith. It is believed that this sage was authorized with the construction of the Sarovar in the premises of the Golden temple. It is also believed that Baba Buddha used to sit under a tree, which is still preserved in the temple. This tree, which is called beri in the local language is famed as the Ber Baba Buddha, which literally means the Baba Buddha's tree. As per one legend that is prominent among the Sikh community, it was due to the blessings of Baba Buddha that Guru Arjan Dev had got a child. Large number of devotees frequents her with the strong belief that they would be blessed with a child after the holy darshan of Beri Babba Buddha.
Bhangra is a form of dance and music that originated in the Punjab region. Bhangra dance began as a folk dance conducted by Punjabi Sikh farmers to celebrate the coming of the harvest season. The specific moves of Bhangra reflect the manner in which villagers farmed their land. This hybrid dance became Bhangra. The folk dance has been popularised in the western world by Punjabi Sikhs in England and the USA where competitions are held. It is seen in the West as an expression of South Asian culture as a whole. Today, Bhangra dance survives in different forms and styles all over the globe - including pop music, film soundtracks, collegiate competitions and cultural shows.
Situated on the banks of Bibeksar Sarovar, this lovely Gurudwara was constructed Maharaja Renjith singh. Bibeksar Sahib presents a picturesque scenery and it lies in between Sultanwind and Chativind. The Sarovar is dug by the 6th Sikh guru, Hargobind for those devotees who wants to be in sheer solitude. He used to sit by the sides of this Sarovar and since the medieval India shown religious nepotism of the Muslim Rulers, the Sikhs were united under Hargobind and used to congregate around this tank.
The day to day affairs of the Gurudwara is now controlled by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. Guru ka Langar and a well were added in 1905-06. This gurudwara houses a lovely garden in its premises. On the last Saturday of every month, the Gurudwara would be crowded with devotees, who gather there to participate in the Rainsbai Keertan programme.
Central Sikh Museum is situated inside the Golden Temple of Amritsar. It was founded on July 11, 1958 and maintained by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee of Punjab.
It is mainly a religious museum. The preserved elements of this museum unfold the Sikh history. The painting gallery of the Museum contains paintings of Sikh Gurus, saints, Sikh warriors and other famous Sikh leaders. Significant religious documents, Old coins, arms of great Sikh warriors and several manuscripts are also found here. It is open on all days from 7 A.M. TO 7 P.M and on Monday from 8 A.M. TO 6 P.M.
The Durgiana Temple, situated at Amritsar in the state of Punjab is a famous temple built after the design of the Golden Temple of Amritsar. This mandir is exactly located outside the Lohgarh Gate. Thus it attracts sages, scholars, historians and general visitors from all over the world. This temple is a valued place for the Hindus.
The Durgiana Mandir is also known as the Lakshmi Narain Temple. It is entirely dedicated to Goddess Durga and dates back to the 16th century. It is considered as one among the holiest temples in the city and it dates back to the 16th century. Intricately carved paintings of goddess Durga in her various incarnations are the significant feature of this marvelous shrine. One among the peculiarity of this temple is that it does not follow the typical temple architecture of ancient times.
It serves as a center of pilgrimage for devout Hindus. The temple in no way echoes the traditional temple architecture of India. Designed same as the Golden Temple, the Durgiana Mandir rises in a similar manner from the midst of a tank and has canopies and a central dome. Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, one of the greatest reformers and political leaders of resurgent India bring into being the foundation stone of the temple.
It is the entrance to the shopping hub of Amritsar - Hall Bazaar, which also popularly known as Hall Gate. It`s a typical maharaja type gate with a clock and a Glow sign which reads "Amritsar - Sifti Da Ghar".
Previously known as Bhangian Da Kila (Bhangis was one of the 12 Sikh misles), the historic Gobindgarh Fort is located in the South-West of Amritsar in Punjab. Built in 1760, the fort occupied a unique place in Indian military history. Gobindgarh Fort was constructed with brick and lime on a square pattern with a parameter of 1500 square meter with two strong gates, four large bastions and well-defined rampart. The magnificent main entrance is called Nalwa Gate , after the great Sikh warrior and the other gate known as Keelar Gate is said to have a connected with the tunnel of Lahore, which is used to escape from the enemies. There were 25 cannons on the ramparts and they are now replaced with modern weaponry. In the center of the fort there is a Toshakhana, which is specially constructed to store the large amount of grains and provisions for the 12,000-strong Maharaja's army.
This fort holds a special significance in the freedom struggle. It has been a witness to many nameless freedom fighters who kissed the gallows willingly. Gen O Dyer's office-cum-residence was located just opposite the Phansi Ghar. It is said that he got sadistic pleasure watching the hanging of the patriots in the Phansi Ghar.
The holiest abode of the Sikhs all over the world, the Golden Temple at Amristar is popularly called as the Sri Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib. It was established by Guru Ram Das, the fourth guru of the Sikhs and is known as "guru di nagri" meaning city of the Sikh Guru. A Muslim saint Hazrat Mian Mir ji of Lahore laid the foundation of Golden Temple on 1st December, 1588.
Placed on the lake, Amrit Sarovar, the Golden Temple, is bounded by a corridor of glittering white marble. Made up of the yellow metal, gold, this grand edifice of the Sikh religion is the pride of not only the Sikhs but also the entire nation. This stunning shrine houses numerous other small temples inside its premises. The Adigrantha, the sacred book of the Sikhs, adorns the sanctum of the shrine.
From early morning to the dawn the temple premises is echoed with the chanting of hymns, prayers, and other devotional songs, which makes an ethereal ambiance. One among the conspicuous feature of this temple is the Jubi tree, which is believed to have extraordinary powers. Vast dining halls and dormitories in the shrine offer free food and accommodation to all persons irrespective of caste, creed, or gender.
Much of the present decorative gilding and marblework dates from the early 1800s. All the gold and exquisite marble work were conducted under the patronage of Hukam Singh Chimni and Emperor Ranjit Singh, Maharaja of the Sikh Empire of the Punjab.
One of the most important festivals is Vaisakhi, which is celebrated in the second week of April (13th usually). Sikhs celebrate the founding of the Khalsa on this day and it is celebrated with fervour in the Harmandir Sahib. Other important Sikh religious days such as the martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur, birthday of Guru Nanak etc, are also celebrated with religious piety. Similarly Diwali is one of the festivals which sees the Harmandir Sahib beautifully illuminated with Divas/Diyas (lamps),lights and fireworks are discharged. During these special occasions 1-2 million pilgrims visit the Holy shrine named Harmandir Sahib.
The core of the Sikh religion is the sacred book Granth Sahib and their gurus. Guru ke Mahal, as the name denotes, is the dwelling places of these great gurus of the Sikhs. Originally raised as a humble hut by Guru Ram Das in 1573, it was modified and redecorated by Guru Hargobind and Arjun Dev.
Now this residential building has been shaped in the form of a shrine, with the Guru Granth Sahib placed in a hefty rectangular foyer. In addition to the every day services, Guru ka Langar and special divan are held on the first Sunday of a Bikrami month.
An octagonal tower with nine stories Gurudwara Baba Atal Sahib is a lofty structure with a height of 45 meters. This is believed to be the cremation ground of Baba Atal, who died at the tender age of nine. The nine floors of the building stand representing the short span of life of Baba Atal. A simple monument earlier, the present structure was the contribution of Maharaja Renjith Singh.
The small inner room of the gurudwara holds the Grantha Sahib. The doors on the ground floor, four in number, are ornamented with imprinted designs, on silver and brass sheets. Internal walls and the ceiling are enclosed with murals portraying incidents from the lives of Guru Nanak, his nine successors, Baba Buddha and Guru Gobind Singh's four sons.
Almost all gurudwaras in the holy city is constructed on the banks of some sacred tanks. These tanks are considered to be as pious as that of the shrines. Gurudwara Mata Kaulan also is located on the pristine banks of a tank by the same name Kaulan. Both the tank and the gurudwara shares remarkable significance in the history of Sikh Religion.
History says that, Kaulan was a pious girl who desires to follow the path of religious line to which her family was not amenable. Severe punishments and harsh treatments failed to dissuade her from the chosen path and she left her home to seek out asylum with Guru Hargobind. Gurdwara Mai Kaulan is the same house where the devout girl lived. Now it is a revered place, where large number of pilgrims frequents to pay their respect and offerings.
Gurdwara Saragrahi, in Amritsar is a glittering reminiscent of a spurious skirmish. The battle of Saragrahi narrates the implausible story of the brave Sikh soldiers who had lost their lives in the war against the mighty pathans. To immortalize their bravery a gurudwara has been constructed at the venue of the war and as a everlasting testimony of valor, the names of the valiant soldiers were inscribed on the walls of the Gurudwara.
The Battle at Saragrahi has acquired a remarkable recognition world wide and it found a place in UNESCO's coverage on stories of collective bravery, where it shares its accolades with the great Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC.
Shopping in Amritsar proffers tremendous and multi hued of bazaars. The leading shopping complex in Amritsar, Hall Bazaar presents a wide range of products from electronics items, ornaments, best quality books, handicrafts and ready-made garments. Most import place in this Bazaar is the Gandhi Gate, which serves as the entry point to the Bazaar. This gate is also called as Hall Gate.
The signboard and the giant clock in the gate are having a caption "Amritsar - Sifti Da Ghar". The structural elegance of this gate take one back to the Mughal era. Reasonably priced Chinese lights in various models are available which seems to be worthy for the money one is paying.
Dedicated to the Monkey god, Lord Hanuman, this pretty shrine depicts the main deity in a sitting posture. Holding great religious significance, it is believed that it was here Lord Ram performed his Ashwamedha ceremony. The local belief is that, a daily darshan in this temple fulfills every wish of the devotee. The huge idol of lord Hanuman makes a mesmerizing impact.
Since this temple has a close connection with the great epic Ramayana, the temple premises is echoed with the chanting of hymns from Ramayana all the time, which provides a soothing feeling to every visitor. The couples who are bestowed with a male child with the blessings of Hanuman offer their children to Langoor Sena are regular scenery of the temple. Other fascinating attraction of this holy shrine is the languor dance of the devotees.
The Indian Academy of Fine Arts Amritsar is one of the oldest institution set up for the promotion of art and culture in this part of India. S. Hari Singh was one of the few artists who have given immense contribution to the field of painting but preferred to remain elusive and unknown, always avoiding publicity and personal glorification. He was founder member of Indian Academy of Fine Arts in Amritsar and remained its Vice President until the end of his life. His contribution to the art is immense and unique.
The various activities like Annual Exhibition of Paintings, Sculptures, Graphics, Drawings, Photographs, Artists Camps/ Workshops and seminars are being held here. All India Exhibition are being held since 1928.
Evening Hobby Classes of Arts to teach painting to all age groups are being held since 1928. Cultural activities (Dance, Drama, Singing Programme) every month in its auditorium. Permanent Art Gallery having many rare paintings of master artists open daily for the visitors.
IAFA have six exhibition halls for visiting artists from all places of India and abroad to Exhibit then art productions. It has a unique library which has rare collection of books on Art and also has Guest rooms for the comfortable stay of visiting artists.
Jallianwala Bagh is a public garden in Amritsar in the Punjab province of India, and houses a memorial of national importance, established in 1951 to commemorate the murder of peaceful celebrators on the occasion of the Punjabi New Year on April 13, 1919 in the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.
The 6.5-acre (26,000 m2) garden site of the massacre is located in the vicinity of Golden Temple complex, the holiest shrine of Sikhism. The memorial is managed by the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust, which was established as per the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act passed by the Government of India in 1951.
Built by Mohd. Khairuddin in 1876, this masjid is a place of architectural beauty situated in the Hall Bazar. This is the holy place from where a call against the British rule was given by Tootie-e-Hind, Shah Attaullah Bukhari.
A quadrangular park with a lovely pavilion flanked by yellow coloured builds on three sides Kaiser Bagh, holds some of the most important places of interest of the locality. Built in between 1845-1850 it displays a cluster of cupolas and domes. This park is also called as Ceaser's park, a name reminds of the reign of Wajid Ali Shah, a former king of Oudh.
The most alluring characteristic of the park is its entrance itself. A flight of extensive stairs leads to the main floor, which gives the impression of a bridge. A small temple is set in the middle of the so-called bridge presents a charming appearance. This imposing structure boasts of a unique architectural style, which can be considered as a blend of Gothic and Mugal style.
Built in the year 1876, this pretty shrine has got tremendous impact in the freedom movement of India. This Masjid was built by Mohd. Khairuddin and it was from here the great call for waging war against the looting British were put forward by Tootie-e-Hind, Shah Attaullah Bukhari.
This grand edifice of the freedom struggle displays architectural elegance, which lures not only the tourists but also the locals. Besides its structural beauty, this lovely mosque is a most revered religious and pilgrimage place in Amritsar. This mosque is placed in the Hall Bazaar. Its strategic position on the imposing ambiance of a busiest market makes it a crowded shrine all around the year.
The summer palace of erstwhile king, Maharaga 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 centuries 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 Ranjith 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 Ranjith 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.
It is another heritage sight built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh around which are sewn many tales and legends. Situated near the villages of Daoka and Dhanoa Kalan right on the Wagha border, Pul Kanjari is about 35 kms. Both from Amritsar and Lahore. The Maharaja would often rest and leisure here in the baradari while passing by along with his royal troop and retinues.
Despite a ruined fort and a baoli-a bathing pool - this heritage sight has a temple, a Gurudwara and a mosque which bespeak of the secular concerns of the Maharaja. The inside of the dome on the corner of the baoli enshrines a number of scenes and sights from the Hindu scriptures and the Raj Darbar.These frescoes are laced with floral frames.
Located 11 Km West of Amritsar on Chogawan road, dates back to the period of Ramayana, Rishi Valmiki's hermitage. The place has an ancient tank and many temples. A hut marks the site where Mata Sita gave birth to Luv and Kush and also, still extant are Rishi Valmiki's hut and the well with stairs where Mata Sita used to take her bath.
The Bedis of Punjab (Guru Nanak Dev , the founder Prophet of Sikhism was a Bedi) trace their descent from Kush and Sodhis (the 10th Prophet of Sikhism, Guru Gibind Singh was a Sodhi) from Luv. A four day fair, since times immemorial is held here starting on the full moon night in November. 16 Kilometres west on Choganwan road is Ram Tirath, commemorating Maharishi Balmik Ji?s heritage.
A big fair(Name : Ram Teerth Fair) is held here about a fortnight after Diwali, for a duration of five days.Great Importance is given to the tank which is believed to have been dug by Hanuman. The circumference of the tank is about 3km and there are temples on its sides. A majority of the pilgrims consider it auspicious to have a dip in the sacred tank in the early hours of the Puranmashi ( full moon) night .A thirty feet wide path of circumambulation (Parikarma) runs round the tank .After the holy dip, the pilgrims take a round of the tank while chanting mantars and exchanging salutations,'Ram Ram.
This beautiful garden is named as a tribute to Guru Ram Das, the founder of the city. It is situated in the new part of town and has a museum in the summer palace built by the Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) the Lion of Punjab. The museum contains weapons dating back to Mughal times and some portraits of the ruling houses of the Punjab and a replica of the diamond ?Kohinoor?. To commemorate the memory of his valour Ram Bagh has a lively statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh saddled on a horse.
An attractive garden, Ram Bagh is famed as the summer palace of the erstwhile Raja of Punjab, Ranjith Singh. This picturesque garden was formerly known as the Company garden and its name was changed as Rambagh by Ranjith Singh to commemorate his faith and devotion to the great sage, Guru Ram Das. This garden is a prototype of Shalimar Gardens at Lahore.
Rambagh garden boasts a statue of the legendary king with his horse and now the garden and the palace situated in the middle, is a national museum. This garden holds a panorama of the great King, which is a joint venture of The National Council of Science and Museums and the State Government of Punjab. The Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama, which is the second of its type in India, tries to depict the important events in the life of Maharaja Ranjit Singh through three-dimensional montages. The access to the garden is through a hefty gate from where one will get the entry tickets.
All most all Gurudwaras in Punjab houses a pool around the holy shrine to take a bath. Santhoshkar Sahib is such a pool, which adjoins the Harminder Sahib. These pools are popularly called as sarovar. These sacred pool is constructed by Guru Ramdas, as per the directives of guru Amar Das. While searching for the perfect site to dig the Sarovar, Guru Ram Das come across with a sage by name Santakha.
It is believed that Santokhsar Sahib situates at the same place where the sage was found meditating. Though the construction of the tank was begun in the tenure of Guru Ram Das, it was completed by Guru Arjan. Baba Buddha was chosen to manage the work, and during 1587-89 the digging of the pool was completed.
This historical tree with massive girth and lushgreen canopy stands majestically in the Namdhari Shaheedi Samark against the majestic back drop of the northern boundary of Ram Bagh.Four Kookas were hanged from this tree by the British Government in 1871.The Kookas were hanged from this tree by the British Government in 1871 The Kookas were hanged because they had reacted violently against the hawking of beef around the Golden Temple.
About 30 km south east from Amritsar, and within easy reach from Goindwal Sahib is a Samadhi of the second Guru. It was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1815 A.D.
Tomb of Jagdev Kalan and Serai Amanat Khan are a very charming and elegant structure situated in a small village south west of Amritsar. The Serai has a beautiful gate constructed in a Mughal style of architecture. The tomb of Amanat Khan is surrounded by four minarets. The mosque near the tomb is decorated with Persian verses.
About 6 Kilometres from Ajnala near Jastarwal (earlier known as Dashrathwal) is located one of the oldest heritage spots in Amritsar. It belongs to the Ramayana period a legend has it that Shravan lies buried here after the fell from the arrow of King Dashrath, the Lord of Ayodhya. The Samadh is situated on the banks of an old rivulet (Purani Dhab ).Shravan had taken his blind parents on a wide-ranging pilgrimage by cradling them on his shoulder in a wooden device.
The international borderline between India and Pakistan, Wagah is always been in the news headlines of both countries. Convoluted buildings, barriers and roads mark both sides of the border. The fencing between the borders is electrified with a high voltage. The Swarna Jayanthi gate, which is the entry gate of the outpost, commands the magnificient scenery of verdant landscapes. Wagah is just 28 km from the main town of Amritsar.
Situates in between Lahore and Amritsar, evenings in this army out post is very charming and colourful with the "Beating the Retreat" ceremony. The pageantry and pomp, and the change of guard with in a short expanse make an appealing spectacle, which grabs large gathering. The most important segment of the ceremonial parade is the bringing down of the respective flags of both countries. Tourists and the locals throng near the border to witness the ceremonial parade of the Soldiers of the two countries. When the sun sets in the horizon, the soldiers take their departure amidst the beatings of the drums and beguiles. The entire ceremony nearly takes thirty minutes.
- Gurudwaras In Amritsar : Dhan Dhan Khalsa, Manji Sahib in Devan Asthan, Atari Sahib, Patshahi Shevi Dand, Shaheed Ganj Sahib Ji, Ramsar Sahib, Baba Deep Singh, Bebaaksar Sahib, Janam Asthan Shri Guru Hargobind Sahib, Janam Asthan Shri Guru Amar Das Sahib, Baba Budha Sahib Janam Asthan, Guru da Bagh in Kokawali, Bowli Sahib, Goindwal Sahib, Bir Baba Budha in Thattah-Chabhal etc.
- Some More Gurudwaras : Darbar Sahib, Khadur Sahib, Chheharta Sahib, Guru Hargobind Ji, Beed Baba Buddha Sahib, Kaulsar Sahib, Tala Sahib, Bhai Manjh Sahib Ji, Pau Wind Sahib Ji, Guru Ki Wadali, Chola Sahib, Guru Ki Kothri, Gurusar Satlani Sahib, Pipli Sahib, Dera Sahib, San Sahib, Baba Adali Sahib, Jassa Singh Ahluvalia, Santokhsar Sahib, Shaheed Ganj Baba Gurbaksh Singh, Sardar Natha Singh Shaheed, Tahli Sahib(Baba Shri Chand Ji) etc.