AMRITSAR

Apart frombeing the home of the world's largest Gurudwara (the Golden Temple), Amritsar is also known for its Sikh history and culture. Amritsar was founded by the 4th Sikh Guru - Guru Ram Das and in the earlier days, it was called as Rāmdāspur. A visit to Amritsar would be incomplete if you don’t stop at the local shops selling hot, fresh and rich versions of some of the mouth wateringcuisines like the famous stuffed paranthas topped with extra butter, popular vegetable cuisine called ‘Sarson da saag’ served with ‘makki di roti’, delicious desserts like Jalebi&Halwa. The food journey in Amritsar is incomplete without the traditional drink called ‘Lassi’. It is made of yogurt, water, sugar and sometimes flavored with saffron or cumin. It is the traditional welcome drink of Punjab. The most popular festival celebrated in Amritsar is Baisakhi which is celebrated on 13th or 14th April every year. This historical festival is celebrated mainly for 2 reasons; first it reminds the people of the devotion &dedication of 10th Sikh Guru - Guru Gobind Singh, who had conferred the title of ‘Singh’ to 5 of his most beloved disciples. The other reason is that the fields are harvested during this month and the farmers celebrates this occasion with ‘Bhangra’ dance and folk music. Other important festivals celebrated in this city are BasantPanchami at Chheharta Sahib, Guru Purab, HolaMohalla& Ram Tirath Fair.

What to See

It is surprisingly odd that people know more about the ‘Golden Temple’ than the city itself. However, besides the Golden Temple, the city also has other historical sites like the JalianwalaBagh. Unlike other famous historic places in India, this site does not portray any pleasant facts but is known for the most brutal death of thousands of Indians that occurred here during the time of India’s struggle for freedom against the British. The city is also known for the Wagah Border which is the sole open border crossing of India and Pakistan. The city also houses a number of Hindu temples, state museum and a fort.

Best Time to visit

The best time to visit Amritsar is indeed during the winter period of October to March. One can also travel during monsoon months when rains are receding during mid September. The summer temperatures touch upto 48 degree Celsius whereas winters are pleasant from late November upto late February.

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