The Golden City, Amritsar is renowned for the famous Sikh religious site, Golden Temple. This is a famous attraction in Amritsar and in Punjab and lures millions of pilgrims and tourists alike. Not just this, Amritsar is also known as a major commercial hub in India. The architecture, the food, the people, the temples, and other tourist attractions make Amritsar a must-visit destination in India.
Looking at its geography, Amritsar in Punjab is located in the northwestern part of the state. The city’s history can be traced back to the 16th century when Guru Ram Das Ji, the fourth Sikh Guru established the city under the instructions from the second Sikh Guru, Guru Amar Das Ji. It is important to note that Amritsar was also a major military establishment during the British Raj and gradually flourished into an important trading hub and religious site after independence. From Operation Blue Star in the Golden Temple to the tragedy of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the city of Amritsar has gone through the worst situations yet have emerged as a shining star.
If you want to know more about this heroic city, then keep reading this Amritsar travel guide to find out the best time to visit, how to reach, places to eat and stay, places to visit, and more.
Why visit Amritsar?
If you want to witness and seek blessings from the almighty at the glorious Golden Temple, Amritsar is a must-visit place for you. Its architecture and serene vibes are what you need to find inner peace. Listen to the prayers chanted by the ragis and feel at peace. Amritsar is also a foodie’s paradise and Amritsari Kulche is one of the things you should definitely not miss. Its rich history, vibrant culture, lip-smacking cuisine, and bustling markets are the main reasons you should visit Amritsar in Punjab. Also, for Hindu pilgrims. There are many revered temples where you can offer your prayers.
How to Reach Amritsar
Amritsar is a major transport hub in Punjab and is easily accessible. The city is served by the Amritsar Airport. It operates plenty of domestic and international flights. Amritsar is also an important railway station and is connected with important cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Varanasi, and Wagah. Bus services are available between the city and other places like Chandigarh, Jammu, Ferozepur, and Ambala.
How to get around Amritsar
The most convenient way to commute in Amritsar is by bus services. There are state transport buses available throughout the city. Also, auto and cycle rickshaws are also a great way to travel to famous tourist attractions. You can hire both self and chauffeur-driven car rentals too.
Best time to visit Amritsar
Like most places in Punjab, Amritsar experiences a semi-tropical climate. The summer season is hot while the winter season is very cold. The weather mostly remains dry all around the year. The best time for Amritsar travel is between the months of November to March when the weather is pleasant.
Places to visit in Amritsar
Amritsar, Punjab ranks among the major tourist destinations in the state and is a major spot in the itinerary of Punjab travel. It consists of plenty of historical and religious sites. The city is home to the famous Harmandir Sahib, popularly known as the Golden Temple. Thousands of pilgrims come to the temple all-round the year.
The other attraction in Amritsar is the Jallianwala Bagh, a place that witnessed one of the most gruesome episodes in India’s fight for Independence. The bullet holes in the walls of the well are still visible today and stand as a grim reminder of one of the most brutal episodes in history. In Amritsar, one can also see the lowering of the flags ceremony at the Wagah border. The ceremony is characterized by dancelike manoeuvres and movements which are a treat to watch. The occasion is marked by vigorous nationalistic sloganeering.
Things to do in Amritsar
From visiting historical monuments like Wagah Border and Jallianwala Bagh to shopping in the vibrant markets like Hall Bazaar, there is so much to do in Amritsar. You can visit Wagah Border to see the Indian and Pakistani soldiers’ ceremony of lowering the flags. Pay your respects at the Golden Temple, listen to the kirtan, and sit to savour langar or free food for all. Visit the Museum of Sikh Empire’s first ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh or brush up your Sikh history and Central Sikh Museum. Akal Takht, Gobindgarh Fort, Harike Wetlands, Shri Durgiana Temple, and Mata Lal Devi are also worth a visit. And most importantly, do not forget to indulge in mouth-watering dishes like Amritsari kulcha, chole puri, lassi, and more.
How many days are enough to visit Amritsar?
2 days will be sufficient to explore the best of Amritsar.
Average Amritsar Trip Cost
The average cost of Amritsar is INR 13,000 per person. However, this pricing depends on factors like the type of accommodation, flight/train tickets, etc.
Accommodation in Amritsar
Being a popular tourist destination, Amritsar offers a wide range of hotels. From five-star properties to budget-friendly hotels, you can find the type of accommodation that suits your budget and preference. Some popular hotels in Amritsar that offer comfortable stays are Fairfield by Marriott Amritsar, Courtyard Amritsar, Ramada by Wyndham Amritsar, WelcomHotel Amritsar, and Hyatt Regency Amritsar.
What to eat in Amritsar
For a foodie, Amritsar offers a variety of culinary delights that continuously excite the taste buds of the visitors. From the famous Amritsari naan to the lassi, the large-heartedness of the city is reflected in its cuisine too. Some famous places to eat in Amritsar for a delectable meal are Kesar Da Dhaba, Bharawan Da Dhaba, Jalebi from Gurudas Ram, Lassi from Ahuja Milk Bhandar, and All India famous Kulcha/ Maqbool Kulcha Shop. Apart from this, you can savour guru ka langar at Golden Temple along with thousands of visitors.
Shopping in Amritsar
Tourists can buy a range of handloom products and local artefacts from the shopping markets. Hall Bazaar, Guru Bazaar, Katra Jaimal Singh Bazaar, Lahori Gate Market, Shastri Market, Alpha One Mall, Lawrence Road, and Kapda Bazaar are some of the famous shopping markets in Amritsar. You can get your hands on traditional handicrafts, and jewellery and ornaments made out of precious and semi-precious stones. Also, Pashminas, lacquered woodwork, bridal dresses, designer shirts, traditional Phulkari textiles, and hand-woven carpets are really famous things to buy in Amritsar.
Useful Tips for Amritsar Trip
- Do not wear revealing clothes while visiting a religious site.
- Cover your heads while in a gurdwara.
- Respect the local culture.
- Learn some local phrases to interact with the locals better.
- People are very friendly in Amritsar, so if you are lost or want some help, feel free to ask politely.
- To experience the serenity of Golden Temple at its best, visit during sunrise.