|Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib)||Located in the heart of the city|
|Amrit Sarovar||Located near Golden Temple|
|Akal Takht||Inside the Harmandir Sahib Complex exactly opposite the Darshani Deori|
|Gurudwara Santokhsar Sahib||Situated just 700 meters from Harmandir Sahib|
|Gurudwara Saragrahi Sahib||Located in the Town Hall area opposite the Government Higher Secondary School|
|Gurudwara Beed Baba Budda Sahib||Located on Chaabal Amritsar Road about 20 kilometers to the south of Amritsar|
|Tarn Taran||Located in Amritsar District|
|Durgiana Temple||Located close to the Lohgarh Gate|
|Mata Mandir||Located about 2 kilometers from Amritsar Railway Station|
|Ram Tirath||Located about 11 km to the west of Amritsar city on Amritsar Lopoke road|
|Bathinda Fort||Located in the heart of the city of Bhatinda|
|Summer Palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum)||Located near Amritsar Club at Amritsar|
|Jallianwala Bagh||Located in central Amritsar|
|Ram Bagh||2 km from Darbar Sahib|
|Khair-ud-Din Masjid||Situated in the Hall Bazaar|
|Khalsa College||Located about 8 kilometers from the heart of the city Amritsar|
|Wagah Border||Lies on the Grand Trunk Road between Amritsar and Lahore|
Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib)
The Golden Temple of Amritsar, also known as ‘Harmandir Sahib’ or ‘Darbar Sahib’ is the most popular destination of the city as well as the country. The most sacred and most revered pilgrim destination of Amritsar, the Golden Temple beckons millions of devotees as well as tourists both from India and other countries every week. The Harmandir Sahib Gurudwara was initiated by the 4th Sikh Guru; Guru Ram Das in 1574 AD and completed by the 5th Sikh Guru; Guru Arjan Dev in 1604 AD. The 18th century Amritsar was the battlefield of a number of struggles against Mughals and Pathans when the Harmandir Sahib Gurudwara suffered considerable damage. In 1764 Maharaja Jassa Singh Ahluwalia rebuilt the Gurudwara, added more marble architectures and plated the upper floors of Harmandir Sahib with gold. This is how the Gurudwara derives its name the ‘Suvarna Mandir’ or the ‘Golden Temple’.
In the early 19th century Maharaja Ranjit Singh restored the Punjab Province and also revamped the Gurudwara. He added more gold to the structure and now the entire exterior of the Gurudwara is covered with glimmering gold. The dazzling Golden Temple and its reflection in the surrounding Amrit Sarovar create a really vivid and magnificent vista. The interiors of the Golden Temple are embellished with fresco work and Rubies. The Golden Temple houses the holy Sri Guru Granth Sahib which is revered and exalted a lot by Sikh devotees. Sri Guru Granth Sahib, then known as 'Adi Grantha’ was installed in the Harmandir Sahib Gurudwara by Guru Arjan Dev who appointed Baba Buddha Ji as the first Granthi (reader).
The Golden Temple, encircled by the Amrit Sarovar has four entrances, ‘Darshani Deori’ being the main one. The temple complex houses multiple shrines dedicated to various Sikh Gurus, Saints and Sikh Martyrs and three holy trees of Ber Fruit. As you enter the temple premises, you must remove your footwear and wash your feet. Cover your head and peacefully and devoutly sit on the ground. You cannot indulge in the vices such as drinking, smoking and eating meat in temple premises. The devotees don’t miss the opportunity to receive the holy Prasad at Guru Ka Langar. The Golden Temple celebrates the important festivals of Punjab culture i.e. Baisakhi, the martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur, the birthday of Guru Nanak, and many other religious festivals with complete devotion. At the times of such celebrations, the temple is illuminated with thousands of lights and beautiful fireworks are discharged. The Golden Temple of Amritsar is particularly reckoned for the Operation Blue Star performed here.
Amrit Sarovar is the huge water tank that lies encompassing the Golden Temple of Amritsar. When Guru Ram Das, the 4th Guru of Sikhism was undertaking the construction of Santokhsar Sarovar, he was commanded by his master Guru Amar Das to dig one more water tank near the ‘under construction’ Santokhsar Sarovar beside a ‘Beri’ tree. Guru Ram Das identified the place and started digging the second tank on 6th November 1573. Numberless Sikh devotees arrived here and contributed in the holy work of digging. Over the years, this tank came to be known by the name ‘Amrit Sarovar’. It is believed that the water of this Sarovar possesses miraculous healing qualities, which is why the water of this tank is compared to Amrit i.e. the Nectar. The city is named after this Amrit Sarovar; the holy pond of nectar. The word ‘Sar’ in Amritsar is the short form for the word Sarovar. Amrit Sarovar is held in much high esteem by the devotees who make it a point to bath in the holy waters and seek the grace of the God.
The term Akal Takht can be explained as ‘the seat of the timeless’, which means the ‘throne of the God’. Akal Takht is positioned inside the Harmandir Sahib Complex exactly opposite the Darshani Deori. The sixth Guru of Sikhism, Guru Hargobind Ji established the Akal Takht on 15th June, 1606 as an icon of political sovereignty of Sikhs. Bhai Gurdas Ji and Baba Buddha Ji had helped him in the construction work. This magnanimous building was used as a kind of parliament from where the spiritual and material concerns of the Sikh community were acted upon. The original Akal Takht was 12 feet tall where Guru Hargobind Ji used to be seated wearing all the ensigns of royalty and impart justice for the disputes of Sikh community. Akal Takht is the supreme of all the five Takhts of Sikh Panth, the other four being; Keshgarh Sahib, Patna Sahib, Hazur Sahib and Damdama Sahib. Akal Takht has stood the taste of time and also the Mughal and Pathan assaults of 17th and 18th century until in 1984 when some part of it was devastated during the Operation Blue Star. Today, the Akal Takht is a lofty edifice built in five stories. It is ornamented with marble work and gold plated dome. Guru Granth Sahib that is placed and worshipped in the Golden Temple is taken to the Akal Takht every night. The old weapons used by Sikh warriors are also preserved in Akal Takht
Gurudwara Santokhsar Sahib
Guru Ram Das, the 4th Guru of Sikhism had started digging a lake alongside a village named Sultanwind in the year 1564 with the help of innumerable Sikh devotees. This lake which was led to its completion by Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the 5th Guru of Sikhism in the year 1588 was named the ‘Santokhsar Sarovar’. This is one of the five legendary Sarovars constructed by Sikh Gurus. While the Santokhsar Sarovar was being dug, the 3rd Guru of Sikhism, Guru Amar Das Ji came across a sage named Santakha who was meditating at the excavation site. The sage Santakha, on being discovered by Guru Amar Das Ji said that he had been waiting for long for a Guru to come and give him salvation, and he passed away. Thus, the Sarovar was named after him as ‘Santokhsar’. The Gurudwara that was established adjacent the Santokhsar Sarovar was named Gurudwara Santokhsar Sahib. This canonic Gurudwara is situated just 700 meters from Harmandir Sahib and one can reach there on foot.
Gurudwara Saragrahi Sahib
Gurudwara Saragrahi Sahib, located in the Town Hall area opposite the Government Higher Secondary School of Amritsar was constructed in the memory of those 21 brave soldiers who attained to the martyrdom in the famous ‘Battle of Saragrahi’ fighting against the overwhelming army of Pathans. The Battle of Saragrahi was fought on 12th September, 1897 in the Tirah region (now in Pakistan) between 21 warriors of 36th Sikh Regiment and about 12,000 Pathans in order to protect the Fort Saragrahi. The gallant Sikh soldiers didn’t surrender but kept fighting till last drop of blood. Three Gurudwaras were constructed to commemorate the bravery and devotion shown by them. The first Gurudwara is at Saragrahi, the venue of the battle, the second at Firozpur and the third at Amritsar.
Gurudwara Saragrahi Sahib of Amritsar was inaugurated on 14th February, 1902 by the then Lt-Governor of Punjab; Sir Charles Revz. The names of all 21 Sikh martyrs are engraved on a marble stone which is fixed on the walls of the Gurudwara. As the Gurudwara Saragrahi Sahib is the perpetual memento of the heroism shown by the Sikh warriors, it is also referred to as the ‘Saragrahi Memorial’. Several cannons are placed surrounding the Gurudwara and the wall of this memorial is built using the stones recovered from the Fort Saragrahi. The Battle of Saragrahi has been listed amongst the eight stories of collective bravery published by UNESCO. It has also been acknowledged as one of the 5 most significant events of fortitude in the world along with the ‘Battle of Thermopylae’.
Gurudwara Beed Baba Budda Sahib
Gurudwara Beed Baba Budda Sahib, located on Chaabal Amritsar Road about 20 kilometers to the south of Amritsar and 2 km from Thatta is built in the honor of Beed Baba Budda. He was a reverent Sikh who lived during the time of Guru Nanak and lived long enough to witness the five successive Gurus of Sikhism. It is said that Mata Ganga and Guru Arjan Dev Ji were blessed by Beed Baba Budda with a son who later became Guru Har Gobind Sahib Ji. This Gurudwara erected commemorating the memory of Beed Baba Budda is also known as ‘Bir Sahib’, as Baba Budda looked after a ‘Bir’ i.e. a grazing land for cattle gifted by Chaudhari Langah of Patti to Guru Arjan Dev Ji.
The present Gurudwara Complex was constructed by Baba Kharak Singh, a devotee of Sant Gurmukh Singh Sevavale. The Guru Granth Sahib is placed on a meter high square platform made of marble in the sanctum of this Gurudwara. A 70 meter square Sarovar is positioned to the north of the Gurudwara. A two storied residential building is built for the pilgrims and the ‘Guru ka Langar’ provides them food in a large dining hall. Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee manages the administrative work here. Gurudwara Beed Baba Budda Sahib is famous for its biggest annual religious fair which is held on 21st of Assu or 6th of October according to English Calendar. This is the most important function of this Sikh Temple when millions of devotees from every corner of the country throng the Gurudwara premises.
Tarn Taran is a city and the district headquarters of the Tarn Taran District in the state of Punjab. This city was founded by the 5th Sikh Guru; Guru Arjan Dev Ji who also laid the foundation stone of the famous Gurudwara ‘Sri Tarn Taran Sahib’. This city accommodates a number of historic Gurudwaras including ‘Darbar Sahib Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji’, Gurdwara Bibi Bhani Da Khuh, Gurdwara Guru Ka Khuh, Gurdwara Takkar Sahib, Gurudwara Baba Garja Singh Baba Bota Singh, Gurdwara Lakeer Sahib, Thatti Khara and Gurdwara Jhulna Mahal. ‘Sri Darbar Sahib Tarn Taran’ is the foremost religious hub of Sikhism at Tarn Taran.
This Gurudwara is also exalted for having the largest Gurudwara Sarovar in the whole world. ‘Gurudwara Lakeer Sahib’ is erected at a locus where Baba Deep Singh Ji marked a line on the ground in the year 1757 before entering into the war against the Mughal Empire. Gurudwara Bibi Bhani da Khuh, positioned close to the Sri Darbar Sahib Tarn Taran is named after the well (Khuh) dug by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in the memory of his mother Bibi Bhani Ji. She was the daughter of Guru Amar Das, the wife of Guru Ram Das and the mother of Guru Arjan Dev Ji. The well was dig at the place where Bibi Bhani Ji used to serve food, water, and medicine to the pilgrims.
Durgiana Temple, popularly known as Lakshmi Narayan Temple is a noteworthy Hindu shrine built in the predominantly Sikh civic of Amritsar. Located close to the Lohgarh Gate, this temple is regarded to be one of the most auspicious Hindu places of worship in the city. The remarkable feature of this temple is that it is not constructed in the traditional temple style, but it is fashioned after the Sikh Gurudwaras of the city. The architecture of Durgiana Temple resembles that of the Golden Temple of Amritsar.
This temple also has a dome and a surrounding tank. Dedicated to the Goddess Durga, the Durgiana Temple was set up by Guru Harsai Mal Kapoor in 16th century. The Temple houses intricately carved images of Goddess Durga in several of her incarnations. Apart from Goddess Durga; the patron Goddess of the temple, the idols of Lord Krishna as well as Lord Vishnu are also enshrined here. The doors of the temple gilded with carved silver plates give it a grand and elegant demeanor. Due to the ornate ness of the silver gates, the Durgiana Temple is sometimes also referred to as ‘the Silver Temple’.
Mata Mandir or Lal Devi Mata Mandir of Amritsar is dedicated to a 20th century female saint named Lal Devi. Stationed in the midst of Rani Ka Bagh, this temple is located about 2 kilometers from Amritsar Railway Station. This Hindu shrine is fashioned after the well known Hindu temple of Vaishnodevi of Jammu (Katra). The Mata Mandir consists of an array of vivid grottoes and shrines. It is believed that if you pray to Lal Devi Mata, she will fulfill your wish of having kids. So those women who wish to bear children come here and pray at the feet of Lal Devi. Devotees particularly flock the temple at the times of its yearly festivals and celebrations.
Ram Tirath is a locale in Amritsar that boasts of an interesting mythological background. The legendary Ram Tirath is dated back to the Ramayana Epoch when Sage Valmiki used to reside here in his ashram. This is the very place where Goddess Sita was given shelter by Sage Valmiki and the twin children of Lord Ram i.e. Luv and Kush were born to her. Moreover, the battle between Lord Ram and Luv & Kush also took place at Ram Tirath at the time of the great Ashvamedha Yagna performed by Lord Ram.
Goddess Sita is believed to have disappeared into the gorge that was created here by the Goddess Earth at her appeal. Furthermore, Ram Tirath is also the very place where Sage Valmiki composed the classical Indian epic ‘the Ramayana’. Today, a temple dedicated to Lord Ram is established at the Ram Tirath. It is located about 11 km to the west of Amritsar on Amritsar - Lopoke Road. The temple complex accommodates a hut where Goddess Sita gave birth to Luv and Kush and a water tank which is said to have dug by Lord Hanuman. The Ram Tirath Temple organizes a four day long annual fair in the month of November on the day of Poornima i.e. the full moon day.
Bathinda Fort of Amritsar was set up by Bhatti Reo, approximately 1800 years back. In the year 1754, Maharaja Ala Singh, the ruler of Patiala captured the fort. Bathinda Fort is built in a shape of schooner and it is believed that the 10th Guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh Ji had paid a visit to this fort. A Gurudwara that is erected near the Bathinda Fort was established to commemorate the visit of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Summer Palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum)
The Summer Palace of the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire; Maharaja Ranjit Singh, located near Amritsar Club at Amritsar is now converted to a heritage museum known by the name, ‘Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum’. Set amidst the beautiful surroundings of Ram Bagh, this museum houses the exhibits related to the erstwhile Maharaja. Arms, weapons, amours used by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, life size paintings of Maharajas, archaic coins and ancient manuscripts are preserved in this museum. Most of the paintings showcased in this museum portray the court scenes and the camps of the Maharajas. The most noteworthy amongst the paintings displayed here is the one that presents the city of Lahore with all its elegant structures. The coins displayed in the Museum reveal the commendable spirit of secularism shown by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The manuscripts conserved in the museum provide a clear record of the rich history and tradition of the Sikh Empire, particularly during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. One of the most important exhibits of the museum is a parwana from Maharaja Ranjit Singh to Raja of Kapurthala, which holds the seal of Ranjit Singh. This Museum is an authentic exercise to delineate the life of the great hero of bygone era in its wholeness and is a must visit destination of Amritsar. The museum is open from 10 in the morning to 5 in the evening and there is no entry fee.
Jallianwala Bagh the living memoir of the great tragedy of Indian History commemorates the Amritsar Massacre of 1919. This was the time when the First World War was just concluded and Mahatma Gandhi was undertaking Satyagraha Movement in India. On 6th April 1919, Amritsar observed a strike in his support and on 9th; the Ram Navami Day, they took out a procession exhibiting Hindu – Muslim unity. British Government, raged at the people of Amritsar arrested two of their leaders Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlu and Dr. Satyapal. On 10th April, people went to meet the Deputy Commissioner to ask for the release of their leaders, but they were fired upon. This made people even angrier and disorder broke out in Amritsar. On 12th, another popular leader Chaudhari Bugga Mal was arrested which created even more resentment.
13th April 1919 was the Baisakhi day when a public meeting was organized at Jallianwala Bagh in the evening. Brigadier General R.E.H. Dyer, who had arrived from Jalandhar Cantonment just two days back, reached Jallianwala Bagh with a troop of 150 men. They acquired position at the narrow lane, the only entrance to the garden. Suddenly, without giving any intimation the fire was opened and they shot about 1600 rounds of bullets on 20,000 innocent people. There was complete chaos and everybody was frantically trying to run for life. Just in 6 minutes 3370 men and women, 410 boys and a baby of seven weeks old had been killed, and 1,500 men and boys wounded. The entire Jallianwala Bagh was filled with the cry of sobbing, moaning, shouting and crying out for help. Today, a memorial is erected at the Jallianwala Bagh and the bullet marks in the wall can still be seen. The memorial, established in the year 1951 is now managed by the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust.
Ram Bagh is the garden that surrounds the Summer Palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, which is now converted to a museum. Acclaimed as one of the finest gardens of the state, Ram Bagh is divided into several sections by water channels topped with beautiful fountains and golden fish. Rare botanical species such as Coniferous trees and other exceptional herbal plants can be found in this garden landscape. A mighty statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh saddled on a horse is established in one corner of the garden. This park was named by Maharaja Ranjit Singh after the forth Guru of Sikhism, Guru Ram Das, who is also the founder of the city Amritsar.
Khair-ud-Din Masjid, apart from being a sacred religious destination of Islam is also a remarkable testament of the Freedom Struggle of India. Constructed by Mohamed Khairuddin in the year 1876, this is the very mosque that served as the venue from where the great call for waging the war against British was put forward by Shah Attaullah Bukhari; the Tootie-e-Hind. The dignified memento of the struggle of Independence is also rich in its architectural grandeur. Positioned in the famous market of Amritsar, the Hall Bazaar, Khair-ud-Din Masjid is held in a high esteem both by patriotic citizens and Muslim devotees. The mosque is thronged by myriads of tourists as well as local devotees all round the year.
Khalsa College is an educational institute of Amritsar which carries a rich historical endowment. Located about 8 kilometers from the heart of the city Amritsar, on the Amritsar Lahore highway, the college campus is spread over the sprawling area of about 1.2 square kilometers. Founded in the year 1892, this college was planned and designed by the principal of the Mayo School of Arts, Lahore; Bhai Ram Singh with the assistance of an Engineer; Dharam Singh Gharjakhia. The central building of the college is built in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture.
Wagah Border that lies on the Grand Trunk Road between Amritsar and Lahore is the only ‘road border crossing’ between the two neighboring countries; India and Pakistan. Wagah is a small border town through which the much controversial Radcliff Line was drawn dividing the village into two. The eastern half belongs to India and the western half belongs to Pakistan. The Wagah border, popularly referred to as the ‘Berlin wall of Asia’ is a venue where a ceremony named ‘lowering of the flags’ is performed every evening since 1959. Border Security Force of India and the Pakistan Rangers soldiers perform an energetic parade in their uniforms. This is a spectacular ceremony to behold. The Wagah Border is open from 10 in the morning to 4 in the evening. At 4:30 am the ceremony begins which lasts for about 40 to 45 minutes. At the time of the ceremony of ‘lowering of the flags’ the flags of both the countries are lowered and folded and the ceremony ends with a handshake between the soldiers of both India and Pakistan and the national anthem. Wagah Border is positioned about 28 km from Amritsar and you can avail bus, taxi or rickshaw to reach there.