Amritsar: The City of Golden Temple
Know more about the most beautiful city Amritsar (Punjab - India). Golden Temple is regarded as the holy religious place of Sikhs and the glittering golden temple is the crown of Amritsar.
- Golden Temple (Sri Harmandir Sahib)
- Jallianwala Bagh (garden)
- Wagah Border - Indo-Pakistan border check-post
- How to Reach?
Golden Temple (Sri Harmandir Sahib)
Amritsar city is one of the major cities of the Sikh nation (Punjab) . Sri Harmandir Sahib, (meaning: The abode of God) is built on a 67ft. square platform in the centre of the Sarovar (tank). T he Sarovar consists of Amrit (Holy Water or Immortal Nectar). Amristar is an affirmation of Sikh faith. Said to be made of 750 Kg of gold, the Golden Temple in Amritsar is the beating heart of Sikhism.
The main structure of Sri Harmandir Sahib, functionally as well as technically is a three-storied one. Its architecture represents a unique harmony between the Muslims and the Hindus way of construction work and this is considered the best architectural specimens of the world.
There are four entrances to Sri Harmandir Sahib, signifying the importance of acceptance and openness. Inside the temple complex there are many shrines to past Sikh Gurus, Saints and martyrs. There are three holy trees (Bers) each signifiying a historical event or Sikh saint.
The bridge is connected with the 13 feet wide 'Pardakshna' (circumambulatory path). It runs round the main shrine and it leads to the 'Har ki Paure' (steps of God). On the first floor of 'Har ki Paure', there is continuous reading of Guru Granth Sahib. Anyone who wants to enter the Harmandir Sahib may do so, irrespective of religion, colour, creed or sex. The only restrictions are that the person must not drink alcohol, eat meat or smoke cigarettes or other drugs while in the shrine. Visitors are, as well, expected to dress appropriately and everyone must cover their heads as a sign of respect, remove their shoes and wash their feet in the small pool of water as they enter the Harmandir Sahib premises.
We had to take off our chapels and shoes and step through a puddle of streaming clean water and cover our hair before entering. We went inside after waiting in a patient queue and observed the singing and rhythmic beats of prayers.
The Golden temple is considered holy by Sikhs because the 11th Guru of Sikhism, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, is always present inside in it and its construction was mainly intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religion to come and worship God equally. The Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the holiest literature in the Sikh religion, the tenth Guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh on 7th October 1708 made it the eleventh Sikh Guru and the leader of Sikhism. Anywhere in the world where the Guru Granth Sahib is present is equally holy and precious to Sikhs. Amritsar is the location of Harmandir Sahib.
We had a free lunch there too. The dahl & rotti was quite tasty and filled me up.
Jallianwala Bagh (garden)
The Jallianwala Bagh (garden) is a memorial to freedom fighters killed on April 13, 1919 by British Indian Army soldiers under the command of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer. The soldiers opened fire on an unarmed gathering of men, women and children. The historical evidences shown at the memorial says that the firing lasted about 10 minutes and 1650 rounds were fired, or 33 rounds per soldier. Official British Raj sources placed the fatalities at 379. According to private sources there were over 1000 deaths, with more than 2000 wounded.
A memorial, designed by American architect Benjamin Polk, was built on the site. A flame was later added to the site. The bullet holes can be seen on the walls and adjoining buildings to this day. The well into which many people jumped and drowned attempting to save themselves from the hail of bullets is also a protected monument inside the park.
Wagah Border - Indo-Pakistan border check-post
Wagah Border is 32 kilometers from Amritsar. Lahore is 51 km. from Amristar. Wagah is the Indo-Pakistan border check-post. The place, a village is called Attari. The check-post is guarded by the Border Security Force (BSF).
The daily highlight is the evening "Beating the Retreat" ceremony. Jawans from both countries march in perfect drill, going through the steps of bringing down their respective national flags. As the sun goes down, nationalistic fervour rises and lights are switched on marking the end of the day amidst thunderous applause.
How to Reach?
How to reach Amristar: The city is also connected to most other major cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta by an extensive network of rail system. Some of the road distances are as follows:- Jammu 216 km, Ferozepur 120 km, Chandigarh 235 km, Delhi 445 km Wagah 29 km. and Lahore 51 km. The city also provides air connectivity to major Indian cities. Rickshaws, autorickshaws and buses are an easy way of getting around Amritsar.
The main commercial activities include tourism, carpets and fabrics, farm produce, handicrafts, service trades and light engineering. The city is popular and known for its food and culture. It is a paradise for food lovers.
Best Time To Visit October to January is good times to visit, when the temperatures are cooler and more comfortable.