Amritsar is the largest and most important city in Punjab. It is considered a holy city, because of the large number of religious centers (temples, gurudwaras, etc.) that are present in it. In fact, it is known to be a major center of Sikhism (a religion predominant in the north Indian states – especially Punjab).
Amritsar’s name is derived from “Amrit Sarovar” which is a religious center built by a saint Guru Ram Das in the village of Tung near it.
Amritsar has many incredible spiritual centers, places of historical significance like Indo-Pak Wagah Border - Jallianwala Bagh. But besides these, the city is a center for the textile and chemical industries, and also has beautiful gardens, parks and great food to savor.
- Jallianwala Bagh - A historic garden and memorial, which was preserved in the memory of people who were shot and killed in the popularly known “Jallianwala Bagh Massacre” when the British Indian army men shot unarmed Indian civilians who had gathered there to celebrate the festival of Baisakhi, while peacefully protesting the arrest of 2 Indian national leaders)
- Wagah Border – A zone that serves as a major transit terminal between India and Pakistan; also, where a ceremony including lowering the flags of both countries has been taking place regularly since 1959, symbolizing the two countries’ rivalry as well as brotherhood – that thousands of people gather around to witness
- Gobindgarh Fort
- Partition Museum
- Punjab State War Heroes' Memorial & Museum
- Pul Kanjri (a historical site)
- Central Sikh Museum
- Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum
- Golden Temple – A popular Sikh temple (Gurudwara) and pilgrimage center; One of India’s most-visited temples and religious centers. Also known as Harmandir Sahib (meaning “abode of the almighty”)
- Akal Takht – A Gurudwara; and one of the 5 Takhts (Seats of power) of the Sikhs.
- Sri Ram Tirath Ashram (religious retreat)
- Durgiana Temple
- Jama Masjid Khairuddin (Mosque/Muslim religious center)
- Tarn Taran Sahib (a Sikh shrine)
- Mukteswar Mahadev Temple
- Mata Lal Devi Temple
- Gurudwara Baba Atal Rai
- Gurudwara Mata Kaulan
PARKS & GARDENS
- Rose Garden
- Gol Bagh
- Guru Nanak Park
- Rambagh Gardens
- Mata Kaulan Botanical Gardens
- Harike Wetland & Sanctuary (Preserved Bird sanctuary)
Amritsar has many colourful, buzzing shopping spots selling traditional handicrafts, funky accessories and jewellery, “Phulkari” clothes (a variety of textile which the place is famous for), lacquered woodwork.
- Lahori Gate Market
- Katra Jaimal Singh Bazaar
- Hall Bazaar
- Guru Bazaar
- Shastri Market
- Lawrence Road
- Kapda Bazaar
- Old City Bazaar
- Trilium Mall
- Mall of Amritsar
- Alpha One
- Celebration Mall
- Soul Space Wagah Plaza
- Omaxe Novelty Mall
Amritsar’s food, like the city, is rich and “desi”, giving out an authentic Indian feel with its spicy, savory and sweet dishes laden with pure ghee (clarified butter) and cream.
Some of Amritsar’s popular foods include:
- Langar Ka Prasad – A soft, velvety and rich halwa (sweet pudding) made with whole wheat flour (atta), sugar and ghee.
- Amritsari Kulcha – Flatbreads stuffed with boiled potato or Indian cottage cheese (Paneer) and cooked on a “tandoor” clay oven, with pure “desi ghee”.
- Chole – A spicy tangy flavorful dish of boiled Chickpeas cooked in onion tomato gravy with lots of ginger, garlic and spices like turmeric, cumin and chilli powder; sometimes boiled potatoes are also added to it.
- Pinni – Sweet balls of cooked lentils and jaggery, flavored with cardamom, saffron, etc.
- Lassi – A thick, creamy and chilled drink which is a blend of curd (yogurt), water, salt and spices lime lemon, ginger, cumin and pepper. Also has a sweet version that includes just yogurt water and sugar. It is usually served/ordered alongside meals in Amritsar.
- Makki di roti (Flatbreads made of unleavened maize flour dough) and Sarson da Saag (A curry made of fresh mustard greens) served with lots of white butter or Ghee – this is a delicacy most enjoyed during winter time in the city.
- Mah ki dal – A rich dish made of whole black gram lentils that are cooked simmered for up to 12 hours, with lots of spices, tomatoes onions and a generous amount of ghee or butter. It is served as a side dish for flatbreads like Roti and Naan.
- Amritsari fish – Amritsar style Fish tikka (grilled fish with spices) and Fish fry are very popular with the non-vegetarians and are a must try for people who love seafood.
- Mutton Chaap – Slow cooked, shallow fried mutton pieces on sticks with a dash of choicest spices.
- Kulfas – A combination of Kulfi (ice cream with heavy cream and saffron flavours) and rice pudding, rose syrup and gond (edible gum). This is a heavy and fulfilling dessert.
Below are some popular restaurants in Amritsar to try the aforementioned dishes and a lot more at:
- Kesar Da Dhaba
- Crystal restaurant
- Beera Chicken House
- Kulcha Land
- Guru Ka Langar at Golden Temple
Amritsar’s night life scene is also quite trippy and enjoyable. The city has some great night clubs that you could check out, such as:
- Underdoggs Bar and Kitchen
- Irish Beach
- Stars N Bars
- The Peg
- The Beer Cafe
- The BrewMaster
Amritsar celebrates some of the most colourful and unique festivals and fairs that attracts visitors from all over the world. Some of the best festivals and fairs that the city celebrates are:
- Ram Tirth Fair
- Basant Panchami
- Hola Mohalla
- Diwali and Bandi Chor Diwas
Amritsar is a beautiful city that was founded by fourth Sikh Guru Ramdas Ji in the year 1577. The city has a number of museums that are worth a visit. Some of them are:
- Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum (The museum consists of old paintings, arms, armor, old coins, etc.)
- Historic museum
- Sikh museum
- Punjab state war hero’s memorial and museum (The museum demonstrates the bravery of Punjabi Martyrs and soldiers)
- Jallianwala Bagh museum
Amritsar is the holiest city for Sikhs around the world and is home to the Golden Temple. If you are planning to visit this city, below listed hotels can be considered for staying:
- Ramada by Wyndham Amritsar (From INR 3000 Onwards)
- Fairfield by Marriott Amritsar (From INR 2500 Onwards)
- Park Inn by Radisson Amritsar Airport (From INR 2000 Onwards)
- The Landmark Amritsar (From INR 2500 Onwards)
- Police - 100
- Fire - 101
- Ambulance - 108
- Power - 1912
- Women - 1091
- Child - 1098
- Flood Control - 0183-2229125
Punjabi is the most spoken language in Amritsar but languages like Urdu, English and Hindi are spoken as well.
- Hello - Sat sri akaal
- How are you? - Tussi kiwen ho?
- I am fine - Main theek haan
- What is your name? - Tuhada naan ki hai?
- My name is - Mera naan haga
- Where are you from? - Tusi kithe dey ho?
- Welcome - Svagat
- How are you? - Aap kaise hai?
- What's your name? - Aapka naam kya hai?
- I don't know - Mujhe nahi pata
- I don't understand - Mein samjha nahi
- Thank you - Dhanyavad
- Hello - Asalam u alaikum
- How are you? - Aap kaise hai?
- Goodbye - Khuda hafiz
- How old are you? – Aap ki umr kya hai?
- Congratulations – Mubarak ho
- What is this? – Yeh kya hai?