The city of Amritsar is a colourful inflorescence of culture, history and spirituality. The most vibrant city of Punjab, Amritsar or ‘Ambarsar’ is renowned the world over for bringing people together with its holy temples and lively tourist spots. As modern as this second most populous city of Punjab is, one can still hear the bells of history tolling in the streets enmeshed with the invigorating sounds of Ardaas.
The city is synonymous with peace, togetherness and vibrance. To go around in Amritsar, it is best to get a car subscription service and enjoy the city’s pace along with its many sights! Get self drive cars in Amritsar to go in and around this historical city. .
Here are top 5 places to visit in Amritsar : .
1. The Holy Temple: Harmandir Sahib
Harmandir Sahib, also known as The Golden Temple is synonymous with the city of Amritsar. It is a spiritual site of Sikhism which receives thousands of devotees from every corner of the planet.
The temple is a serene abode of God, covered in real gold built around a man-made pool or ‘sarovar’. The temple’s history is rife with invasions which have led to its destruction. Yet the faith of its devotees ensured that not only was it rebuilt every time but the famous Maharaja Ranjit Singh also overlaid the sanctum in real gold, leading to it being called the Golden Temple. It is a shrine for Sikhs and people from every faith, religion and walk of life are welcome here. .
The temple complex is a lively cluster of activities with the main attraction being the ‘Langar’. Here, you are welcome to volunteer and dine in the world’s largest community kitchen. Tourists and locals alike prepare a meal from scratch to serve over 100,000 people everyday. The Gurudwara is open to anyone looking for a place to stay and you can catch a brilliant view of the Golden shrine at sunrise. Performing ‘Seva’ and the community effort against the backdrop of prayers being read from the Guru Granth Sahib is sure to fill you with a feeling of overwhelming compassion and brotherhood.
2. Remembering India’s struggle for Independence: Jallianwala Bagh
India’s history is incomplete without the mention of the Jallianwala Bagh where in 1919, a British General opened fire on a group of peaceful protesters demanding the release of political prisoners. The massacre took away the lives of thousands of men, women and even children. This gruesome act on the part of the British Government triggered Indian freedom fighters who then fought and won for themselves and their future children, a free country.
The Jallianwala Bagh remains firmly rooted in history even today where one can see walls full of bullet holes and an eternal flame commemorating the lives of those we lost to the British Raj. When in Amritsar, be sure to visit this historical garden and you are sure to be reminded of the greatness of those who fought for an independent and united sovereign of India.
3.Indulge in delicately embroidered Phulkari suits and traditional Jadau Jewellery in Hall Bazaar:
The most vibrant colours of the Holy City are visible in the Bazaars, making them a must visit place in Amritsar. The historic Hall Bazaar has its own entrance marked by a gate also known as ‘Gandhi Gate’. The gate itself is a marvelous structure of Mughal architecture hosting a giant clock at the very top. You can find all sorts of items in Hall Bazaar from trinkets to gadgets yet the most popular and delicate item out there are the Phulkari- a traditional embroidery work- suits and dupattas.
The intricate work will ensure that you do not leave without indulging yourself in the fine fabrics and their eternal grace.
From Hall Bazaar, you can take a quick drive in your self drive car in Amritsar up to Guru Bazaar, where you can feast your eyes on hand crafted diamond studded, 23 carat gold jewellery. The ‘Jadau’ jewellery is a traditional handiwork of Punjabi artisans who use gold as the ‘Meenakari’ which brightens the hues of the studded diamond and the whole ornaments has a luster rarely matched by another.
4. Feast on mouth-watering North Indian street food at the Dhabas :
Besides being a historical city, Amritsar is also home to historic street food Dhabas or eateries. There is a popular saying that Punjabis live to serve & eat and this is exemplified in the fragrant and flavoured streets of Amritsar !
Enjoy traditionally prepared Dal Makhani at Kesar Da Dhaba who have been around since 1916. Grab piping hot Kachoris and tea at Giani Tea Stall which is a favourite hangout spot for film actors like the late Rishi Kapoor and son Ranbir Kapoor and even the current Chief Minister of Punjab pops by for a morning tea & butter toast here! When in Amritsar, you must try the Amritsari style fried fish, prepared best by Makhan Fish whose preparation has been featured by National Geographic and several magazines. Head out to Beera Chicken for the best Tandoori chicken in town and end your food fest with Gurdasram’s Jalebis and a tall glass of Lassi or sweet Phirni in Katra Sher Singh. !
A street food drive around is only possible in your self drive car. Get a car subscription in Amritsar to enjoy the finest street food in Punjab!
5.History is carefully preserved in Amritsar’s many Museums:
Customarily, Amritsar has been a junction where several important historical incidents have taken place. There have been particular junctures of Sikh history, Indian history and the history of the Partition of India. The city of Amritsar has stood the test of time against countless invasions and attacks and has ensured that these incidents and its many lives are never forgotten.
The most regarded historical figure of Amritsar is Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Also known as the Lion of Punjab, his summer palace is a museum dedicated to his life’s work and collectibles and is famously known as the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum. There is a Central Sikh Museum and Sikh War Memorial is a dedication to the history of Sikhism and pays homage to prominent Sikh leaders and Gurus. The most popular museum to visit in Amritsar is the Partition museum which is known to be the best laid out museum in India and is the only museum displaying the terrible effects that Partition had on two countries.
These Museums have kept alive the eternal flame of patriotism and upheld the ideals of Sikhism and it is a privilege to be able to relive history in these preservatories of the past.
Amritsar is best explored in a self drive car. Be sure to book a car subscription in Amritsar and visit the best spots for a great time in this vibrant city!