Founded in the 16th century by fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das, Amritsar is one of India’s most holy cities. The city’s name comes from 2 words – Amrit + Sarovar. It is built on land that guru Ji got as a gift from Akbar. Besides being known to be a spiritual and cultural center for Sikhs, it’s also worldwide famous for the Golden Temple. But that’s not all about this holy city. There’s plenty of satiating food, shopping sites, and other best places to visit in Amritsar, witnessing hundreds of pilgrims.
Do you have any plans for a trip to the city with diverse attractions for tourists and residents alike?
Here’s a quick guide to all the famous places to explore in Amritsar:
Golden Temple – One of the Best Places to Visit in Amritsar
‘No one sleeps hungry in Amritsar’ is a well-known saying. And, Golden Temple alone serving langar (free food) daily to almost 50,000 people justifies this. With a capacity of 5000 people, it has the most abundant open kitchen in the world. Wondering who prepares all that food? It is all managed by the volunteers, from cooking to serving and doing dishes.
Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) is one of the major tourist attractions in Amritsar and a world-famous spiritual site. Almost 100,000 people visit this temple daily. It is a two-story building with kilos of gold covering the top. The temple symbolizes equality and brotherhood and is surrounded by Amrit Sarovar (pool of nectar), whose water is considered holy. The sound of Gurbani (spiritual notes) entering your ears surely makes your experience a blissful one. Every visitor must head as a sign of respect before entering the temple.
The temple’s main gates are open day and night. But the central temple where the holy book Guru Granth Sahib is kept closes at night. And if you have enough time, you must visit the temple at night. The beauty of the temple will mesmerize you with dazzling lights and divine aura.
Wagah Border – Another One of Top Places to Visit in Amritsar
Feel the thrill of our nation’s protectors standing at the borders with love for the country flowing down your spine. If you are visiting Amritsar anytime soon, Wagah Border should be on your list of places to see in Amritsar. This is the border that divides India and Pakistan, is 30 km away from Amritsar, and well-connected by taxi or bus. The ceremony at Wagah Border takes place before the sunset, with not less than 15,000 people witnessing every day. The vibe of the site is very patriotic on both sides of the border. There’s no reservation facility, so you need to go early to grab a seat in the front row. However, there are VIP seats available that you can book if you can plan your date of visit well in advance.
A 45-minute long ceremony has been happening here since 1959. During the service, soldiers engage in a beating retreat, followed by the lowering of the flag, and then, quick military exercises. Besides, Bollywood patriotic songs in the background also add up to the experience. The patriotism and enthusiasm during this ceremony will surely give you goosebumps.
Jallianwala Bagh is a well-known memorial where, in 1919, General Dyer brutally fired hundreds of men, women, and kids. Today, this place is converted into a beautiful garden, but the massacre-related structures and reminiscent still exist. You can visit this place to see the gunshot marks on the walls. You can also have a look at the well in which many people jumped to death for escaping those bullets. A memorial called Fame of Liberty is also built inside to honor the martyrs. Located near the Golden Temple, the park closes at7:30 PM. Put this alongside other must visit places in Amritsar like Golden Temple that you can cover on the same day.
Durgiana Mandir (or Sitla Mandir) was built in the third decade of the 20th century. The architecture of this temple resembles closely to that of the Golden Temple with a surrounding sacred lake. And it has a similar dome structure, half of which is covered with gold and the other half with marble. At this Hindu religious temple, devotees offer prayers to Goddess Durga, God Vishnu, and Goddess Lakshmi. There’s a Hanuman Mandir inside where a unique festival is celebrated for ten days. People who are facing difficulties conceiving a boy pray to Lord Hanuman here and observe that festival. When they have a boy, the kid is dressed as a Langoorwala for 10 days for the celebrations.
This one’s among the top places to visit in Amritsar for a large number of tourists. It stays open from 6 AM to 10:30 PM. A visit to this temple during Navratri will surely give you a unique and blissful experience.
Khalsa College – One of the Famous Places in Amritsar
Have you watched that beautiful building in Veer Zara? It’s been a part of many other Bollywood movies as well. Yes, that’s none other than the Khalsa College of Amritsar. Founded in 1892, it is a 300-acre colossal campus. An architecture that’s so rich and magnificent makes it look like coming straight out of a storybook. This college has been a great contributor to the country’s struggle for freedom. I guess those are enough reasons to make it one of the famous places to visit in Amritsar. Wander around the campus to admire the architectural beauty.
A newly-built tourist place in Amritsar, located in Town Hall, Partition Museum, came into existence in 2017. And, it is the only museum dedicated to the partition of India and Pakistan. If you love to know more about the nations’ history, this is the place for you. The museum has a library with a collection of newspaper clippings and photographs, depicting stories of people who suffered. Warning! Visiting this place might send shivers down your spine by telling the tales of violence during the 1947 partition. This museum is easily approachable and a very informative place to visit.
Best Places to Visit in Amritsar for Food
Food is the second best attraction in this city. Your visit to this city is incomplete if you have not had the famous food here. It seems like ‘we eat to live,’ but here in Punjab, you will feel like ‘we live to eat.’ In no other city in India, you will see such a profound usage of desi ghee. Here is a list of famous places in Amritsar and food items you must not miss:
- Kulchas: Start your day with a hot and crispy Aloo Kulcha topped with a dollop of desi butter. And, there’s not one but many famous places in the city to enjoy this delicious, filling meal. Kulcha Land, Monu Kulcha, and Harbans Kulcha are a few popular ones. After this, a glass of sweet lassi (buttermilk) comes as a perfect finisher. You cannot get these Kulchas elsewhere in the world, so do not miss the chance to have them.
- Chole and Puri: You can also start your day with Puri, available at many places, but the best touted being Kanha sweets. This place serves you the best puris prepared in desi ghee along with Amritsar’s special chole (chickpeas). Once again, you can finish your meal with a glass of sweet lassi.
- Makki di Roti & Sarson Da Saag: Head straight to Bharawan Da Dhaba if you are craving for Punjabi delights. This dhaba (restaurant) serves vegetarian cuisines and is located near the Golden Temple. You can get to eat the best Sarson ka saag/Makki ki roti along with other Punjabi dishes like dal makhni here. So, do not miss visiting this place for any reason.
- Thal: Have you heard about Punjabi Thal (a meal plate)? It is a large size plate that includes Amritsar’s famous Dal Makhni, Chole, and Lachha Parantha. To enjoy the best thal in the city, you must visit Kesar Da Dhaba. Located in the interiors of the town, it could be a little challenging to reach. But, without any doubt, this oldest restaurant serves the best of Punjabi thalis. Though this is also a veg dhaba, you shouldn’t let your kebab craving miss going to this place in Amritsar.
- Beera Chicken: Non-veg lovers, the city, got something for you as well. Craving for the best Tandoori Chicken and Keema Naan? That’s one of the best places to visit in Amritsar for you. It is generally very crowded in the evening. This place serves roasted chicken with a rich fragrance of ghee and a super soft texture. Located near Famous Maharaja Ranjit Singh statue, it is very easily approachable. And the food here is just divine!!
Now that’s something again you can’t and shouldn’t miss. Amritsar is famous for Punjabi Juttis, Papad, Aam Papad, and Vadi. Every day hundreds of tourists visit this holy city and take back along with them the specialties. For buying the best affordable juttis (footwear) in the town, visit the Raunak Jutti store opposite Hall Gate. Here, you will have a wide range of footwear to choose from for men, women, and kids as well.
For Papad and Vadi, there are many shops near the Golden Temple. There is also one famous shop at Lawerence road by the name Ram Lubaya. You can get a variety of papad and vadi. And, from Lawrence Road, you can also get the best Aam Papad.
With so much to visit, a planned trip is what makes you enjoy everything unique and memorable in the city. Don’t forget to carry this list of the best places to visit in Amritsar. Also, let us know which one’s your favorite from the list.