In the 16th century CE, in the northern Indian state of Punjab, the fourth Sikh guru Ram Dass established a temple on a vast area surrounding an ancient pool. The result was a stunningly unique monument that today draws legions of visitors and pilgrims from all over the world to India – the famed Golden Temple (also called the Sri Darbar Sahib or Harmandir Sahib). Amritsar grew around the Golden Temple and derives its name from the Amrit Sarovar (pool of nectar) on which the sacred shrine stands.
To experience Amritsar’s rich history, visit the Old City – a walled complex with 12 gates. The streets here brim with gurudwaras (Sikh houses of worship), Hindu temples, and spots of historical interest, prime among them being the Jallianwala Bagh, one of the most evocative reminders of India’s freedom struggle.
Amritsar’s great charm though, lies in its maze of narrow, winding lanes, which when explored, reveal the true heart of the city. Take a heritage walk to discover rare architectural treasures, watch traditional artisans working their craft, shop in exotic old bazaars, and see iconic sights. The city’s glorious past is also brought alive by its renowned traditions of theatre and colourful festivals. Amritsar is famed for its textiles, carpets, silver, mojris and jooties (centuries-old exquisitely handcrafted footwear), metal works, and delightful gourmet traditions – especially its street food. Drive 29 km out of Amritsar and visit Wagah at the India-Pakistan border to see the poignant Retreat Parade held every day at sunset.
Holxo Tours in Amritsar