Golden Temple, also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib, is one of the most prominent spots in the country visited by millions of devotees all year round. Located in Amritsar, this holy site was originally built in 16th century by the 5th Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji. In the early 19th century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh covered the upper floors of the gurdwara with 400 kg of gold leaf, which gives it its anglicised name, the Golden Temple.
The two-storeyed marble structure of the gurdwara is surrounded by a large tank of holy water, known as Amrit Sarovar. Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, is kept within its sacred precincts during the day. The Golden Temple has four entrances that signify human brotherhood and equality. Considered sacred by Sikhs, this holy abode is certainly a must-visit for national and international travellers visiting Amritsar.
Wagah Border is an army outpost situated between the cities of Amritsar in Punjab, India and Lahore in Punjab, Pakistan. The only road borderline between the two countries, Wagah Border is marked by elaborate buildings, roads and barriers on its both sides. The entry gate of the outpost, called the Swarna Jayanthi Gate, commands a view of the lush environs.
What makes Wagah Border a must-visit place in Amritsar is the colourful ceremony known as Beating the Retreat. Conducted at the border gate every evening with pomp and pageantry, the ceremonial parade of Indian and Pakistani forces and the Change of Guard grabs a large gathering of locals and tourists. As the sun goes down, the 30-minute ceremony comes to an end with beatings of drums and beguiles and thunderous applause.
Kaiser Bagh is a beautiful garden in Amritsar that boasts of a unique blend of Gothic and Mughal architectural styles. Dating back to the years 1845-50, this quadrangular park has an extensive flight of stairs at its attractive entrance that gives the impression of a bridge. Set in the middle of the bridge is an Indo-Gothic style temple that has a charming appearance.
The main floor of the garden features an alluring pavilion that is bounded on three sides by yellow-coloured buildings. Displaying a cluster of domes and cupolas, Kaiser Bagh is often frequented by travellers who love to capture nature through the lens. The setting of Kaiser Bagh makes it a recommended spot for tourists exploring Amritsar during the daytime.
Sri Akal Takht, literally meaning the eternal throne, is the highest seat of the temporal authority of Khalsa and is the nucleus of all spiritual activities of the Sikhs. Built by the 6th Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, Sri Akal Takht is the oldest and the most supreme of the five Takhts in India. Located in the Harmandir Sahib complex, Sri Akal Takht is strongly recommended for tourists, especially Sikh travellers in Amritsar.
Symbolic of the sovereignty of the Sikh Nation, this five-storey structure is characteristic of inlaid marble, a gold-leafed dome and a semicircular platform that opens into the courtyard. Adi Granth kept within the Golden Temple during the day is transferred to the sacred premises of Sri Akal Takht in the night. It is also the site of ancient weapons that were used by Sikh warriors during the assault on the Golden Temple in 1984.
Gurdwara Damdama Sahib is one of the most recommended places to visit near Amritsar. Located 23 km away from Ludhiana, this historical gurdwara is built to commemorate the memory of the 6th Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, who rested here for sometime in 1705 AD.
During the time he spent here, Guru Hargobind Ji tested the Singhs for their faith in Sikhism. He also baptised Baba Dall and named him Dall Singh and approved the holy Beed of Aad Guru Granth Sahib composed by Martyr Bhai Mani Singh Ji. Guru Hargobind Ji has blessed this site to fulfil the wishes of anyone and everyone who comes here with complete devotion.
Managed by the Nihang Singhs, Gurdwara Damdama Sahib is considered as the 4th holy Takht of the Khalsa Panth. On ever Sankrant, large diwans are organised at this gurdwara.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum is located within the lovely Rambagh Garden in Amritsar. Earlier the summer palace of the erstwhile king, this heritage property of Maharaja Ranjit Singh is now transformed into an exquisite museum. The entry to the beautiful garden housing the museum is marked by a huge fortified gate standing right on its periphery.
Exhibits displayed in the museum include arms and ammunition, coins and manuscripts dating back to the Mughal period. Portraits of the ruling houses of Punjab and other oil paintings of the court and the camp of the king are also exhibited inside the museum. Other major objects showcased within the museum include a replica of Kohinoor diamond and a parwana that holds the seal of the great Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Depicting the history and tradition of the Sikh province, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum is a worthy to visit tourist spot in Amritsar.
ISKCON Temple, also known as Sri Sri Gaur Radha Krishna Temple, is situated at the Chowk Moni Bazar in Amritsar. Founded in the year 2011, this enchanting temple is one of the worldwide established centres of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
Also known as the Hare Krishna movement, ISKCON is an educational non-profit Gaudiya Vaishnava religious organisation that aims to make Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's Sankirtan movement available to every town and village across the globe.
Durgiana Temple, situated near Lohgarh Gate, is a premier Hindu temple in Amritsar dedicated to Goddess Durga. Also known as the Lakshmi Narayan Temple, this religious site was built in the 20th century by Harsai Mal Kapoor as a partial replica of the famous Golden Temple. The foundation stone of this magnificent temple was laid down by one of the greatest reformers and political leaders of the country, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya.
The temple complex houses the statues of several Hindu deities, including Goddess Durga, Sita Mata and Lord Hanuman. Significant features of the temple include the intricate wall carvings of Goddess Durga in her various incarnations and the exquisite collection of Hindu scriptures. Sometimes referred to as the Silver Temple for its carved silver doors, this holy abode of Goddess Durga is certainly a must visit for Hindu pilgrims visiting the town.
Mandir Mata Lal Devi, situated within Rani Ka Bagh in Amritsar, is dedicated to the 20th-century female saint, Mata Lal Devi, popularly referred to as Pujya Mata Ji by her devotees. One of the most prominent Hindu pilgrimage spots in the city, Mandir Mata Lal Devi bears an architectural resemblance to the remarkable temple of Mata Vaishno Devi at Katra. Of immense religious significance, this temple is visited by people from far and near.
The entrance to the temple is marked by ankle-deep waterways, low tunnels, mirrored hallways and twisted pathways. Inside the temple, visitors can find numerous Hindu deities, including Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma, Goddess Kali and Goddess Saraswathi. A series of shrines and grottoes, this temple is believed to grant the wishes of women who want to have children. Also known as Mother India Temple, it is a recommended spot for tourists.
Gurdwara Bibeksar Sahib, as the name suggests, stands on the banks of Bibeksar Sarovar that was built by the 6th Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, in 1628. The beautiful gurdwara was constructed alongside the holy tank by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, marking the spot where Guru Hargobind Ji used to take rest after hunting.
It is also the same spot where he used to hold his evening meetings and discussed religious ideas with wise people. Amidst picturesque environs, the gurdwara features a lovely garden where Guru Hargobind Ji supposedly spent his recreational time.
The kareer tree on the edge of the tank, where Guru Hargobind Ji used to tie his horse, also exists till date within the premises of the gurdwara. Now controlled by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Gurdwara Bibeksar Sahib is worth a visit on the last Saturday of every month.
Rambagh is the alluring garden in Amritsar that is famed to hold the summer palace of the erstwhile ruler of Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and is now converted into a museum. Formerly known as the Company Garden, this picturesque spot was renamed by the king as a tribute to the great sage and the founder of the city, Guru Ram Das Ji. A replica of the Shalimar Gardens at Lahore, Rambagh is one of the must-visit places in Amritsar.
Coniferous trees, herbal plants and water channels fitted with fountains and golden fish are scattered across the garden. Amidst the greenery, Rambagh holds the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama that depicts the life events of the great ruler though 3D montages.
The entrance to the garden is marked by a huge fortified gate at the periphery while the far end boasts a lively statue of the king saddled on a horse in a winsome posture.
Khair-ud-Din Masjid, situated near Gandhi Gate in the Hall Bazar of Amritsar, is a shrine that holds immense importance in the history of India’s freedom movement. Built by Muhammad Khairuddin in 1876, this grand edifice marks the site where the great call of waging war was raised against the British rule by none other than the Tootie-e-Hind, Shah Attaullah Bukhari.
Characteristic of unparalleled architectural elegance, Khair-ud-Din Masjid is one of the most revered religious centres in Amritsar for Muslims. During the time of Namaaz, the large courtyard of this mosque is crowded with hundreds of men who want to pray to Allah. The strategic position of this imposing mosque makes it a recommended tourist spot.
Tarn Taran is a district in Punjab that is situated about 22 km away from the city of Amritsar. The district has its headquarters at Tarn Taran Sahib, a city that was founded by the 5th Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji.
One of the holiest places for Sikhs, Tarn Taran Sahib houses several historical gurdwaras, the most prominent being the Darbar Sahib Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji. Its holy tank, which gives the city its name Tarn Taran, is the largest in the world.
Founded by Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Gurdwara Darbar Sahib is a three-storeyed structure standing at the south-eastern corner of the Tarn Taran Sarovar. The elegant architecture of this gurdwara is characteristic of gold-plated upper edifice, lotus dome with umbrella-shaped gold finial and exquisite stucco interiors.
Approached through an arched gateway, this gurdwara standing on a marble platform is certainly a must visit for Amritsar travellers.
Hanuman Mandir, situated on the north-western corner of Durgiana Temple, is a must-visit Hindu temple in Amritsar. Dedicated to Lord Hanuman, this beautiful temple is believed to be the site where Lord Rama performed his Ashwamedha ceremony. The temple is most acclaimed for the langoor dance performed by the devotees at Langoorwala Mela.
Popularly known as Bara Hanuman Mandir, this ancient shrine houses a magnificent idol of Lord Hanuman in a sitting posture. It is a local belief that a daily visit to this temple can fulfil every wish of the devotees. The couples seeking for a male child tie a thread to the ancient banyan tree standing in the courtyard of the temple and untie the same during Navratri after their wishes are fulfilled. As a custom, the male child dresses as langoor for nine days and on the conclusion of Navratri takes off his outfit near the same banyan tree.
Gurdwara Pipli Sahib is located about 1.5 km west from the main terminal station at Amritsar in the Putlighar area. The name of this Sikh shrine is derived from the big peepal tree that once stood on the site of the gurdwara. Constructed in the early 20th century, Gurdwara Pipli Sahib is associated with the memory of three prominent Sikh gurus, Guru Ram Das Ji, Guru Arjan Dev Ji and Guru Hargobind Ji. This gurdwara is a recommended place to visit in Amritsar, particularly during Basant Panchmi, which is the main festival of the region.