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Amritsar: A Vibrant City of Punjab that is Famous for Cultural Ethnicity

The most heartwarming place in India where people love to laugh and live to eat!

The city of Punjab where you can find the mustard fields and narrow lanes, stuffed kulchas and bhangra; Amritsar is rightly known for being every bit vibrant and fun. The warmth of Punjabi culture and the goodness of natives stay in your memory for a long time. You will ask someone for directions, they will drop you to the place, such is the culture of the city. Also known for patriotism and bravery, the people of Amritsar have fought against Mughals, Pathans, and Britishers. Even today the maximum number of soldiers in the Indian Army are from Amritsar. 

The essence of the city is not only found in its Gurdwaras and Temples but also in museums and gardens. A place rich in culture and traditions contributes to folk dances and festivals. Bhangra, Gidda, and folk songs of Punjab are sure to make you groove with the melodies. The bustling markets of Amritsar are a delight for shopaholics and the lip-smacking cuisines satiate the taste buds of foodies. The colors of Phulkari fill the thronging streets and the humor of folks bring broad smiles even to the strangers.  

I am sure by now you want to know everything about Amritsar. So without ado, let's take you on a virtual trip to Amritsar. Take a dekko:

Places to visit in Amritsar

As promised, we will give you a glimpse of all the tourist places, Amristar holds pride in. Right from the quintessential Golden Temple to the iconic shopping places in Amritsar, we will take you around every nook and corner of the city of Amritsar that has so positive and amiable vibes. Here we go. Check out!

Golden Temple. 

The most significant shrine in Sikhism, Golden Temple is also famous by the name Harmandir Sahib and Darbar Sahib which means ‘abode of God.’ The sedating presence and the tranquility of the shrine is the most divine experience for the devotees as well as for the tourists. The two-storied structure, pure gold covering the top storey, showcases the brilliance of architecture and opulence of India. The man-made water body called ‘Amrit Sarovar,’ which means the pool of nectar surrounds the temple, giving it a breathtaking view. It is believed that the water in the pool has healing powers that can cure diseases of the people who take a holy dip in the pool. Also, the temple offers ‘Guru ka Langar’ (meal) that is served 24*7 and is open for all.

Jallianwala Bagh. 

The garden preserved in the memory of people who lost their lives in a massacre that happened in Jallianwala Bagh on 13 April 1919 is a must-visit place in Amritsar for its historical significance. A well inside Jallianwala Bagh is where many people and children jumped to save their lives in the open firing by the Britishers. The brutality of Britishers is registered even today in the bullet marks on the walls of the lane that leads to the well. That certainly shook me from inside and I could feel the enduring pain the city dwellers carry. You can also attend a light and sound show in the evening that depicts the grievest incident in the history of India.

Durgiana Mandir. 

Built-in 1921, the temple of Hindu Goddess Durga is a replica of GoldenTemple when it comes to architecture, hence, making them look alike. Only the religion is distinct, however, the vibe is just the same. The temple has exquisitely carved gates made in pure silver due to which it is famous as Silver Temple. The main shrine as in the Golden temple rises amidst the pool. It is also known as Laxmi Narayan temple as the major section depicts the images of Goddess Laxmi and Lord Vishnu.

Gurudwara Baba Atal Rai Sahib Ji. 

A short walk away from the famous Golden Temple is the tallest building in Amritsar, Gurudwara Baba Atal Rai Sahib Ji. The nine-storey Gurudwara was built in the memory of Baba Atal Rai, who was blessed with extraordinary powers. At the age of nine, he went into a meditative trance to bring back to life his dearest friend Mohan, after his demise. In the process of bringing the dead to life, he lost his own life, hence the nine-storied monument signifies his short span of life which was 9 years precisely. One of the sentimental yet sacred shrines of Sikhism is definitely a must-visit, not only it reflects a poignant past but also the architectural marvel.

Gobindgarh Fort. 

The heritage site in the heart of Amritsar city, Gobindgarh Fort is also famous by the name Bhangian Da Quila. The fort made of bricks and lime was earlier occupied by the Army but after 2017 it was refurbished and made open for the public. Fort turned museum displays the history and culture of Punjab. Many attractions have been added to the fort by Amritsar Tourism Department like a 7D show to display the life of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Coin Museum where the rarest of rare coins can be spotted, Ancient Warfare Museum, Spirit of Punjab-a stage where you can see live performances by the artists of Punjab, Whispering Walls- a laser light show, Haat Bazar- a market and Amritsari Zaika for your famished stomach. I can say, it is Amritsar under one roof.

Partition Museum. 

The tragic partition that divided India from Pakistan in the year 1947 has been the most heartbreaking separation of friends and families who lived coherently in one boundary. Partition Museum is the world’s first-ever museum that is a repository of documents, artifacts, archives and albums, stories and tales, leftovers of the families who were separated without their will. It is also known as the People’s museum as it is built with personal belongings and donations by the people and artists who have witnessed the partition. For history buffs, this museum is definitely a delight.

Wagah - Attari Border. 

One of the geographical boundaries that separate India and Pakistan lies in the district of Punjab, India and Lahore, Pakistan. The Indian border is Attari while the Pakistan Border lies in Wagah, hence, the name Wagah-Attari Border. If you visit Amritsar, you must make prior arrangements to visit Wagah-Attari Border which is 28kms away from Amritsar and takes almost half an hour to reach. You can witness the true spirit of people from both sides of the border who look forward to shaking a friendly hand. Every evening around sunset, the outstanding tradition of Flag Down ceremony and The Guard Changing ceremony is held with the synchronized marching of the guards from both the sides of India and Pakistan. The tradition followed since 1959 is attended by thousands of citizens from both the countries and even by the foreigners.

Things to do in Amritsar

One of the best things you can indulge in Amritsar is shopping other than taking a city tour. Shop till you drop in a paradise for shopaholics, shopping in Amritsar is incomplete without a traditional Phulkari dupatta and Punjabi juttis. Also famous for handwoven carpets and woolen clothes this place is a hub of many things that are nice and pretty. Fill your wardrobe with a few of these vibrant colors from Amritsar. Be it Amritsari papad or mouthwatering pickle or spicy Amritsari wadiyan, you are sure to carry the taste of India in the small packets from here. You will find the best of these with local vendors outside the Golden Temple.

Kapda Market for Punjabi suits, Guru Bazar for gold and silver jewelry, Hall Bazar for woolens are famous wholesale markets in Amritsar where you can find the finest of things at a reasonable price. Apart from these markets, there are plenty of Malls in Amritsar where one can enjoy shopping.

What to eat in Amritsar

Punjabi people are big-time foodies, they live to eat and not eat to live. Rich and desi ghee laden food of Amritsar can make you drool for sure. The famous Karah prasad, Amritsari kulcha, Fish Tikkas, Pinnis, Lucchi, Lassi are indispensable when it comes to taste. Kesar Dhaba, Bharawn Da Dhaba, Makhan Fish & Chicken Corner, Bhai Kulwant Singh Kulchawala, Kanha sweets, Gian Di Lassi are some of the renowned eating joints in Amritsar. When in Amritsar eat your heart out and don’t bother about calorie count because a few kilos that you might put on will all be worth as you may never find these delicacies tasting better in any part of the world.

Amritsar is a city with a plush and pompous lifestyle, people from a humble background also live life king size. Punjabi's are the most fun-loving people and Amritsar apparently flaunts it. There are plenty of hotels with all type of star ratings where you can stay according to your budget. Being the largest wholesale market of Punjab and neighboring states, Amritsar is well connected with roads, railways, and airways. From a budget trip to a luxury holiday, Amritsar extends a warm welcome to all. 

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--- Published By  Shradha Mehra