Amritsar

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Sikh pilgrim at the Golden Temple

Amritsar (ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ) is a holy city in the state of Punjab, India.

Understand[edit]

The name of the city derives from the name of the pool around the Golden Temple (aka Harmandir Sahib) and means "holy pool of nectar" (Amrit: elixir; Sar: (short for sarovar) lake). It is the spiritual and cultural center of the Sikh religion, and they are rightfully very proud of the city and their very beautiful and unique Gurdwara (place of worship). The Golden Temple was initiated by Guru Ramdaas Ji, the fourth Sikh Guru, and completed in 1601 by his successor Guru Arjan Dev Ji. It is now a major pilgrimage and tourism center.

Get in[edit]

Best time to visit Amritsar is during winter, especially between month of October and March.

By plane[edit]

To/from airport[edit]

Taxi drivers wait outside the arrivals gate for visitors. For a trip into town, even the prepaid taxi can be bargained down with the drivers to ₹300 from initially ridiculous prices of ₹550 a person (as of March 2014) before you pay, but there is a significant dearth of official taxis or even auto-rickshaws, so prepare for a hard time. Also, be aware that if you are staying near the Golden Temple, there is a zone around it which prohibits automotive vehicles. Though not stringently applied, the streets do get very narrow, and you will probably end up making the last ten minutes of the trip on foot.

By train[edit]

  •    Amritsar Junction‎ Railway Station (IR station code : ASR) (North of Golen Temple Complex). is an important railway station and is well connected to major cities in India through daily trains.- Trains can be booked online, at the train station.
  •    Train Booking Office, Golden Temple UnitBaba Attal Road (In the Golden Temple Complex). Most conveniently place to book a ticket. It's advisable to book your return train ticket as soon as you arrive in Amritsar, or before if you know the exact date, as trains are often heavily booked.

Here are some useful trains to get to Amritsar:

Train Number Train Name You may board at You may alight at
12013 Shatabdi Express New Delhi, Ludhiana, Jalandha Amritsar (449 km)
12029 Shatabdi Express New Delhi, Ludhiana, Jalandha Amritsar
12497 Shan-e-Punjab Express New Delhi Amritsar (448 km in 7 hours 40 mins)
12903 Golden Temple Mail Mumbai Central, Kota, Nizamuddin (Delhi) Amritsar (1891 km in 32 hours 15 mins)
12925 Paschim Express Bandra Terminus (Mumbai), Vadodara, New Delhi Amritsar (32 hours)
12317 Akal Takht Express Howrah (Kolkata), Varanasi, Patna Amritsar
13005 Howrah-Amritsar Mail Howrah (Kolkata), Varanasi, Lucknow, Patna Amritsar
12053 Jan Shatabdi Express Haridwar, Saharanpur Junction, Ambala Cantonment Junction, Ludhiana Amritsar (407 km, seven and half hours)
18102 Muri Express Jammu, Pathankot Junction Amritsar

Also see Rail travel in India

By bus[edit]

  •    Amritsar Bus Terminal (ISBT Amritsar‎), Mehar Pura (East one km from Station). The city is well-connected by bus to most major cities and the northern areas within a days drive. Pathankot (2.5 hours, 100 km), Jalandahar (80 km), Kapurthala, royal city,(65 km) and there are daily direct buses to New Delhi (around 480km), Jammu (north 220km via Pathankot), Katra (north 280km), Chandigarh (230 km), Dharamsala (northeast 200 km, once daily, ~6 hours), etc.

By car[edit]

Long-distance taxis are available from most places. It takes around 6–7 hours from New Delhi via NH-1.

Amritsar is well-connected by bus to most major cities and the northern areas within a days drive. Pathankot is about 2.5 hours away and about 100 km away, JALANDHAR is about 80 km from here, KAPURTHALA (royal city) is about 65 km from here and there are daily direct buses to New Delhi, Jammu, Katra, Chandigarh, Dharamsala (once daily, ~6 hours), etc.You can find Volvo buses from Chandigarh, Delhi and Katra to Amritsar.

From Pakistan[edit]

If coming from Wagah at the Pakistani border, take a cycle-rickshaw (₹15, 3 km) to the Attari station, where you can catch a local bus to Amritsar (₹20, 25 km).

Taxis also use this route and charge around ₹200 for the entire vehicle.

Get around[edit]

By bus[edit]

  • City public bus system introduced.
  • There is a free bus service from the train station to the golden temple run by Golden Temple trust. It drops you right at the accommodation booking office of the Golden Temple where you can get double bed room for ₹1000 per day.

By auto-rickshaw[edit]

  • An auto-rickshaw from the train station to the temple should cost around ₹20, while a cycle-rickshaw will run about ₹30.

By car[edit]

If you have your own car to get around Amritsar then simply confirm the directions with a local guide. In case you don't have your own car then there are several travel agencies which can offer you car of your choice.

Renting a car is less time consuming and affordable as well. Experience car drivers know all the shortcuts within city and get you to the best hotel or restaurant. Never pay entire money to car agent in advance and don't leave expensive luggage in your car whenever you are visiting any site.

See[edit]

Golden Temple[edit]

The Golden Temple at night
Pilgrims bathing in the Amrit Sarovar
Map of the Golden Temple Complex
Darbar Sahib, Golden Temple Complex
  •    Golden Temple Complex (Harmandir Sahib Complex), Golden Temple Road, Atta Mandi (Center, One km south of Railway Station). The complex is open almost 24 hours (from 6 AM until 2 AM) and is worth visiting twice: once during the day, once at night, when it's beautifully lit up.. This is the main attraction in the city, and the most important religious place to the Sikhs. It's a stunning complex, and always full of thousands of pilgrims from all over India, excited to be at a place that they usually only see on television. The excitement to be here is infectious, and many people will be more than happy to tell you all about their religion and customs, and show you around the temple itself, just wander around one of the most amazing places in India! - As you arrive near the complex, you will more likely than not be accosted by hawkers trying to sell you bandannas to cover your head. It's not a bad souvenir for ₹10, but there's also a big barrel of free ones to choose from at the entrance itself.
  •    Akal Takht (The Timeless) (Opposite the Harmandir Sahib, and the marbled Darshni Deorhi). This is where the highest council of Sikhs sits and deliberates. At night, the Guru Granth Sahib is taken to the Akal Takht.
  •    Amrit Sarovar. The giant pool of water that surrounds and reflects the Golden Temple. Sections (marked off by ropes) are set aside for (male) pilgrims wishing to bathe.
  •    Central Sikh Museum (2nd floor, entrance on the right side of the main side of the main entrance). Devoted to large gallery of paintings, mostly showing the gruesome ways countless Sikhs have been martyred, and various items from the gurus. Free..
  • Ghanta Ghar. This is the main entrance, sporting a distinctly Victorian clock-tower. Wash your feet in the water at the entrance in order to keep the temple clean.
  •    Harmandir Sahib (Sri Darbar Sahib). This is the Golden Temple itself, floating above the Amrit Sarovar, housing the sacred Adi Granth scripture which is recited out loud during the day. This is the most crowded point, accessible by a bridge from the edge of the pool, and entry here is regulated by traditionally dressed Sikh guards. It's a 2 story structure where Sikh saints are seated on each floor.
  •    Kaulsar Sarovar (Kaulsar Sacred PÍools) (SW part of the Complex). This is one of five sarovars in the City. This sarovar is in honor of Mata Kaulan, a Muslim woman, who was taken into care by the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind on instructions of Mian Mir, a close friend of the Sikh Gurus and a pious and wise Muslim pir. - All Sikhs are encouraged in their lives to do volunteer services at any gurdwara or in the greater society, and everyone you see working here is fulfilling that duty. It's likely possible that you can join in if you feel so inclined - you could enquire by asking the people outside peeling vegetables, or those washing dishes.
  •    Gurdwara Mata Kaulan Sahib Ji (On the nort shore of Kaulsar Sarovar).
  •    Manji Sahib Hall (East of Kaulsar Pool, Opposite Sri Guru Ram Das Langar Hall).
  •    Langar Ghar (SE of Amrit Sarovar). Free Communal kitchen, where people of any colour, caste,creed or religion, can eat food (langer) sitting together
  •    Sarai Shri Guru Ramdass Ji (Shri Guru Ram Das Sarai) (S of Amrit Sarovar). Built in 1931. Lodging place for pilgrims in 228 rooms.
  •    Guru Arjun Dev Niwas (East of Sarai Shri Guru Ramdass Ji). Lodging place for pilgrims
  •    Sri Guru Nanak Dev Niwas (West of Guru Arjun Dev Niwas). This building houses sectarian offices of the different departments of SGPC and provide lodging facilities for pilgrims. Twenty rooms for pilgrims
  •    Guru Hargobind Niwas and Sri Guru Ramdas Library (West of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Niwas). Rooms for pilgrims
  •    Gurudwara Santokh SarGolden Temple Out Rd (Near to Subhash Park).

Other[edit]

Jallianwala Bagh, with bullet holes visible on the walls
  •    Baba Atal Rai TowerBazar Chure Wala, Papraha Wala Bazar, Katra Ahluwalia.
  • Historical Banyan Tree (Shaheedi Bohr), At the northern boundary of Ram Bagh.
  •    Gandhi GateHall Road, Katra Ahluwalia (East half km from R.S.).
  • Statue of general Sham Singh Attariwala and India Gate.
  •    Statue of Netaji. Subhas Chandra Bose (Netaji) was an important leader in the Indian struggle for independence. He led the Indian National Army and formed the Provisional Government of Azad Hind in exile.
  •    Durgiana Temple (Lakshmi Narayan Temple), Basant Avenue, Gole Bagh (Near the Lohgarh Gate). The temple is enshrined with Goddess Durga. Daily rituals devoted to Durga Ma is performed in here. A dome and a tank are the prime possession of Durgiana Temple. Apart from Durga Devi, Durgiana Temple is also famous for Lord Krishna and Lord Vishnu. Believers whom devotees of these God/dess Lakshmi and Narayan also visit the shrine to gather the blessings.
  •    Govind Garh Fort (Gobindgarh Fort, Bhangian Da Quila), Old Cantt Rd, Vijay Chowk, Inside Logarh Chowk (Half km south of Station). Limited access. A historic place. The fort was constructed in 1760. The massive fort was built to safeguard the King's treasures and to protect his subjects. The Toshakhana (Food Storage) was built in the middle of the fort to supply for twelve thousand soldiers. Now is under the control of Indian Army.
  •    Gurdwara Toot SahibSultanvind Area, Jaspal Nagar (Three blocks south from Sultanwind Rd.). Gurdwara Shib of guru Hargobind Sahib Ji
  •    Gurudwara Pipli SahibGuru Arjun Dev Nagar quarter, Merchant Rd. (West one km of R.S.).
  •    Gurudwara Baba Budha Sahib (Gurudwara Sahib - Gobind Nagar), one block north from Sultanwind Rd. (Southeast ~two km of Golden temple).
  • Jama Masjid Khairuddin. It was built in 1976 by freedomfighter Mohammed Khairuddin. This is a mosque where Tootie-e-Hind, Shah Attaullah Bukhari protested against the British Rule.
  •    Jallianwala Bagh (Short 5-minute walk toward east from the Golden Temple,). Daily 6:00-21:00 in the summer and 7:00-20:00 in the winter.. A garden. The site of the 1919 Amritsar massacre. On April 13 of that year, British Indian Army soldiers opened fire on an unarmed gathering of men, women and children. The firing lasted about 10 minutes and 1650 rounds were fired, killing 1579 people. A memorial was built on the site and inaugurated by the then-President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, on 13 April 1961. to this day the bullet holes can be seen on the walls and adjoining buildings. The well into which many people jumped and drowned attempting to save themselves from the hail of bullets is also a protected monument inside the park.
  •    Mata Temple (Lal Mata Mandir), Rani Ka Bagh area (Very close (north) to the Railway Station). This is a labyrinthine like Hindu cave temple devoted to the female saint Lal Devi. Traditionally, women wishing to become pregnant come here to pray. The roundabout path to the main temple passes through low tunnels, caves full of ankle-deep water, inclined walkways, and mirrored hallways that make the experience seem more like a fun house than a place of worship. The colors, wide variety of deities, and elaborate mirrored image make this a psychedelically unique temple. Highly recommended! This is called Sheesh Mahal, and some people also seem to call it "Lal Dev."
  •    Maha Raja Ranjit Singh's Statue (Statue of Maharaja Jassa Singh Ramgarhia).
  •    Sarovar Ramsar SahibMoni Chowk, Katra Ahluwalia (South one km from Center, next to Gurudwara Shahidan). Pool.
  •    Maharaja Ranjith Singh MuseumMaharaja Ranjit Singh Bagh (Ram Bagh), Lawrence road (East of Punjab Lawn Tennis Association (PLTA) Tennis Court).
  •    Ram Bagh (Company Bagh) (Near Lawrence Road). Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. This is a beautiful garden. A tribute to Guru Ram Das, the founder of the city. Famed as the summer palace of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Ranjit Singh Panorama?), it has now been converted into a museum which exhibits weapons from Mughal times to portraits of ruling houses of Punjab and the replica of "Kohinoor" diamond. Cost: INR 10.
  •    Summer Palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh'Maharaja Ranjit Singh Nagar, Hasanpura Chowk (Ram Bagh park.). Now the palace houses a museum, exhibiting oil paintings, miniatures, coins and weapons from the Sikh period. In this park is the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama, so ask, if you are at the right museum.
  •    Tarn Taran Sahib (Tarn Taran Gurudwara) (Twenty two km from the Southeast of the city, 600 m west of the train station). Mughal architectural style. There is a big holy tank and believed that the water of its has magical healing power. Amavas or no moon day is the most popular Fest, also Diwali, Baishakhi and the various Guru Parabs festivavals held here.

Further afield[edit]

Wagah Border, Checkpoint of India-Pakistan
  •    Bathinda Fort and Qila Mubaraq (Hindi: ਬਠਿੰਡਾ), Near Fort street, Old City quarter, Bathinda (Half km east of Bathinda Junction Railway Station. About 180 km south of Amritsar). The Qila is one of the oldest and highest small brick monument. It also contains two gurudwaras as the tenth Sikh guru Gobind Singh visited the place. The Fort was built in 1930. It was as official residence of armed forces of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala State. - Now it has been converted into a Four Star Hotel. - Other sights in/around the town: Rose Garden on four hectares (close to Thermal Plant), Zoological garden (10 km away), Chetak Park with a lake, Mazaar of Peer Haji Rattan a worship place including a mosque and a Sikh gurudwara.- Further afield: Lakhi Jungle (15 km away toward Muktsar). A forest having old Gurudwara enjoyed the touches of Shri Guru Nanak Dev.
  •    Faridkot Fort (Quilla Mubarrak, Punjabi: ਫ਼ਰੀਦਕੋਟ), Sarafa Bazar Rd, Ajit Nagar (Thirty km awayfrom Ferozepur). The Fort is closed under renovation. http://www.babafaridji.com/ Faridkot Fort more than 700 years old. The main attraction of Faridkot Fort lies in its extraordinary interiors. Among other prime captivating features, Faridkot Fort boasts of its Sheesh Mahals which are embellished with incredibly beautifully mirror works and wall paintings. Also there can be see motifs on the interior ceilings and walls of Faridkot Fort which show the rich Rajasthani traditions of craftsmanship. - More sights in/around the town: - Raj Mahal the Royal Palace of Maharaja Bikrama Singh on Area 61,000 sqm2 - Darbar Ganj bungalow with a garden place, now been converted into Circuit House. - Fairy Cottage (seven km on Chahal Road). This beautiful cottage is constructed by Maharaja Brijinder Singh in 1910–11. - Check Tower (at the entrance of the Fairy cottage), - Shaheed Bhagat Singh Park (in the city center) in a beautiful scenery of the sunset in the evening. - To Do: Sheikh Farid Agman Purab festival (15-23 Sept).; Bhatinda Virasat Mela and Heritage Fesivals
  •    Gurudwara Goindwal & Baoli Sahib (Samadhi of Guru Angad Dev Ji), Goindwal Sahib (About 45 km southeast from Amritsar). Located on western shore of Beas River, Northeast 30km. It was the first center of Sikhism, holds immense significance in reference to the Sikh pilgrimage sites. A popular pilgrimage destination for both Sikhs and Hindus. The entrance of place is well decorated with murals describing significant scenes of the Sikh history. The massive langar of the community kitchen provides food to the large number of visitors every day. Guru Amar Das Ji (the third Guru) established this place. There is a Baoli (well) with 84 steps leading down to it. The devout believe that by reciting Japji Sahib, the divine Word revealed to Guru Nanak Dev at each step after taking a bath in the Baoli.
  •    Harike Bird Sanctuary (Hari-ke-Pattan), Harike village (South 54 km). Daily 09-17. The second largest bird sanctuary of India. Also a National Wetland & Wildlife Sanctuary. Hari-ke-Pattan is one of India's leading in-land sweet water fish market and home of varied wild life.
  •    Mandir Mata Salani JiKhiranwali (SE 60 km away from Amritsar, north half km from Kapurthala - Khanpur Rd).
  •    Pul Kanjari village (W 35 km away from Amritsar, North six km from Wagah Border). Maharaja Ranjit Singh had been staying here in a Baradari as and when he passed by with his troops. It has been declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. It is said that once when a young dancer was going to Maharaja's Baradari for a dance performance, her shoe slipped into the water channel. A bridge (pul) was especially constructed to take her shoe out and hence this place got its name. Here is also a temple, a mosque and a Gurudwara. Popular shopping place for locals.
  •    Ram Tirth (Ram Tirath Temple), Chogawan Road , Kaler (West 11 km outside the city. - Half km north of the main road). 05:00-09:00?. Consecrated by the appearance of Devi Sita, Ram Tirth had been a witness to the birth of the sons of King Rama. Making a special place in the holy scripts of ancient religions, the place was once the ashrama of saint Balmiki. The saint is believed to have scripted many of his sacred manuscripts at this place. A hut of Rishi Balmiki is still found at Ram Tirth where he once lived. After giving birth to Luv and Kush, Devi Sita used to stay at this place for a considerable period of time. The evidence of her stay still exists in the form a well which, it is believed, was dug by Hanuman. Devotees of King Rama and Devi Sita flock to this place every year to offer their prayers to the respected deities. As the locational position of the Ram Tirth is facilitated by easy accessibility, hence, the visitors conveniently reach this place of worship without any extra hassles.
  •    Wagah BorderAttari, Punjab (28 km away from Amritsar, around 25 km from Lahore, Pakistan. - From Amritsar get into a bus to here. - Taxis leave from the backside of the Golden Temple. It's a 45 minute ride, and you should leave Amritsar by around 3:30PM. There are basically two options for getting there one is to hire a taxi/autorikshaw or go in a pool in taxi, charges would be a minimum ₹350 for hiring an auto, the cheaper option would be to go for a shared taxi costs about ₹80-100 per person. Make sure you check the vehicle before paying, offer a deposit and ask if you can pay the rest on your return.). The ceremony lasts for 45 minutes and is carried out before sunset. 16:15 is the time during winter and 16:45 during summer. The border gate is open from 10:00 to 16:00. However, the ceremony starts only after 16:00. So if you want to watch the ceremony, you have to reach the place not later than 15:00.. The Wagah international border is a post between India and Pakistan. The border place comprises of a huge arch and has gates of both the countries. Since 1959, it has become famous for the beating the retreat ceremony which includes the closing of international gates and the lowering of the flags of both the countries. The flag code of India mandates that the national flag shall be flown only from sunrise to sunset. The guards who perform are chosen carefully among those who have great height, ability to perform and imposing stature. The crowd on weekends is heavy. No mobile phone service is available here. No covered bags are allowed, including ladies handbags or purses. - There are stalls nearby,to buy food and bottled water. Seats are packed on weekends and public holidays.- Once you reach there around 4:00 PM, you will join a crowd of thousands of people who have also come for a glimpse of the ceremony. Before the actual event, you need to stand in a not so organized crowd (don't bother queuing) in the heat and dust for around 2 hours and then one hour before the ceremony, get let in to fight your way from one checkpost to another. Keep to the left side and follow the signs to the VIP area once you see the grandstands. There are no sheds, so it gets pretty hot and sweaty unless you go in the winters. Be prepared for that. Not everyone can manage it. - If you have a small baby with you, please think twice before visiting. Security at the border is very high - you'll be searched twice and water and cigarettes confiscated. When you're let in, there are separate queues for men and women, and Indian women are kept separate for the women section. Foreigners of both sexes are kept together in the same area after going through the separated security lines. They now have a reserved section for foreign tourists so make sure you bring your passport with you so that you can skip the line and get the best seats available. Also remember not to bring any bags with you because you will not be allowed in with them. Cameras are allowed. No tickets are needed for the event..

Do[edit]

  • Amritsar Heritage Walk. Despite visiting Amritsar and Golden temple several times, visitors find Heritage Walk experience extremely enjoyable and informative.
  • Old City Shopping. As you move through narrow path of old city and some other heritage buildings, you can see stalls selling everything from jootis to roasted sweet potatoes.

Learn[edit]

  • The Golden Temple has a massive library where tourists/visitors can get books on Sikhism for free or at very little cost.
  • Almost every Sikh at the temple will be willing to talk to you about the temple and their religion and culture. Go there with an open mind and you'll leave with a smiling heart.

Buy[edit]

Sikh khandas displayed prominently on an exaggerated turban
  •    Alpha One MallMain GT Road, MBM Farms, Sultan Wind Sub Urban (Next to Hyatt Hotel),  +91183 5031500, +91183 5031599, +91183 5093600fax: +91183 5031515. Shops of leading national, international and regional brands, five-screen cinema, hypermarket and one of Asia’s largest food courts. - Services: Customer Relation desks, Wheelchairs, Kids play area, Ambulance and first aid, Hi-tech security with CCTV, Gift wrapping- at Hypercity hypermarket (Upper basement) , Lost and found announcement services

There are bustling bazaars with a huge variety from embriodried phulkari dupattas to famous papad wariyan. The markets offer a wide range of products like carpets, bangles, shawls and wollen textiles and punjabi juttis (traditional footwear).

  • Sikh symbols and religious paraphernalia like khandas, Karas (Sikh religious bangle), swords, daggers etc. from the shops close to the Golden Temple.
  • CDs of temple recordings, chants, and Punjabi music in the shops along the front of the temple.
  • Punjabi Juttis (shoes) from the tiny shops near the Hall Bazaar flyover.
  • Warian (spicy pulses ground with spices) from Hall Bazaar
  • Phulkaari is a form of embroidery from the state of Punjab in India and certain parts of Pakistan which literally means “flower making”. Brightly colored shawls to sarees to head scarves to salwar-kameez of phulkaari can be found in Hall Bazar and Kapra market. Hand-embroidered ones would be more expensive and are still very much in demand for festivals and other joyous occasions. Bargain your heart out, especially in Kapra market as it’s a whole-sale market for clothes.
  • Clock tower (since 1930) (Balmukand Kailash nath), new misri bazar, near golden temple (2-3 mins walk from golden temple),  +91 9988367620.

Eat[edit]

Amritsar, Shopping street
  • The Brothers or Bharavan the Dhaba (near the Golden Temple). Serves traditional food or Chinese, continental at affordable prices. However, the food and service takes a plunge during peak times like weekends.
  • Bubby Dhabaopposite Golden Temple (Just opposite the main entrance of Golden Temple). serves authentic Punjabi food at a very reasonable cost and ideally located, just few metres from the main entrance of the Holy Golden Temple
  •    Charming ChickenOpp. Nari Niketan, Majitha Road (From bus stand direct auto service available),  +91 9814096207. 17:00-23:00. Established in 1958. Very popular family restaurant, particularly for butter chicken with naan. No alcohol is permitted. .
  • Country Inn & Suites, around the corner of Bhandari Bridge serves up great Indian, Italian, Continental and Chinese food.
  • The Golden Temple has a dining hall (langar) serving free basic meals to all... A definite must for visitors. Plates and spoons are handed out near the entrance, then follow the crowds inside and take the next vacant spot in one of the rows on the floor. Servers come by with large buckets of dal, chapatis and rice. Make sure to finish everything on your plate (wasting food isn't an option here!) then take it outside to volunteers at the washing area. It's inside the complex which means no shoes and cover your head. At the exit, there is a donation box, in case you want to voluntarily donate for the cause of free meals.
  • Kesar da Dhaba (Located near the Golden Temple). It offers good Punjabi food made in pure ghee. Daal Makhni is worth trying. Don't forget to try a glass of Lassi after a heavy meal.
  • Moolchand Fish ShopOff of GT Road near Tourist Guesthouse. (Find the Christchurch Cathedral (large red-and-green church, pretty conspicuous!) and keep walking, away from GT road. In about 2 minutes, you'll see a little shop selling fish.). Open 08.00-23.00. This tiny place is the definition of hole-in-the wall. If it looks like it has been there for 50 years, it's because it has! They'll weigh out your fish based on how much you want to pay, fry it, put some delicious spices on it, and serve it with spicy green chutney and raw onions. A little hard to find, but worth it. About ₹50 for a good-sized piece of fish, ₹70 for a serving of chicken..
  • My Kind of Place. Offers fast food such as pizza, burgers, and chips. It offers Chinese & Continental food also.
  • Neelam's (A few doors down from New Punjabi Rasoi). Offers pizza and other basics. Meals from ₹30..
  • New Punjabi Rasoi (Around the corner from the temple). It's one of the most popular restaurants in town and serves up great Indian food including tasty masala dosas. Meals ~ ₹40-60..
  • Pizza Hut (About a ₹30 - 50 Auto-Rickshaw ride from the golden temple). Yes, the American chain. Good if your stomach needs a western meal for a change. Comes with customer service that one would expect in a four-star restaurant in the west.

There are very few decent non-veg eateries near the temple complex.

Drink[edit]

Lassi is a popular and traditional yogurt-based drink which originates in the Punjab region. It is made by blending yogurt with water and Indian spices. Traditional lassi (also known as salted lassi, or, simply lassi) is a savory drink sometimes flavored with ground roasted cumin while sweet lassi on the other hand is blended with sugar or fruits instead of spices.

Bars & Lounge[edit]

  • Bar OneComfort Inn GSK Hotel Amritsar, 110, Albert Road.
  • Empire LoungeWelcom heritage Ranjits Svaasa, 47a, Mall Road Area.
  • Glassy Junction at Surya ResidencyDist. Shopping Complex Ranjit Avenue.
  • Nimos Restaurant and BarGreen Avenue, Amritsar.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

Global Institutes' Main Building
Khalsa College, Amritsar (1892)
  • The Golden Temple (In Guru Ram Das Niwas, behind the temple). Offers free accommodation to pilgrims and tourists in very basic dorms or 3-bed rooms. You should also remain quiet and respectful of the surroundings, keeping in mind that this is a holy place of pilgrimage more than a tourist attraction. Alcohol and smoking are strictly forbidden, not only within the temple complex but anywhere within sight of the temple complex. If you can handle that, then this is arguably the best place to stay - watching people go about their routine, talking to the pilgrims, and absorbing the gorgeous atmosphere. Put your donations in the donation box near the entrance to Ram Das Niwas, as opposed to the guards who will ask you for it when checking out. While free, donations are expected (₹50-100 minimum per person per night is appropriate).
  • Hotel AstoriaQueens Road (North of the Railway Station),  +91183 2401222. Rooms : 28. Room Rate : INR 500-1500.
  •    Grand HotelQueens Road (Opposite Railway Station. Walk out from platform no. 1 exit, cross the road to your right and you will reach us in 2 mins by walk.),  +91183 2562424, +91183 2562977, e-mail: . Rooms: 33 Standard / Semi-Deluxe / Deluxe Rs. 1350/ 1680/ 1900, all tax incl. (2014) , plus Breakfast Rs. 175.
  •    Hotel Golden HeritageBazar Sarai Guru Ram Dass (Near to Jallianwala Bagh),  +91183 5070628. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. Rooms : 35 Rooms : INR 900-1600.
  •    Hotel Grace35, Braham Buta Market (Near to Jallianwala Bagh),  +91 183 2559355, e-mail: . Check-out: 12:00. Two star hotel. Sixteen Dbl Bed rooms. Room Semi-Deluxe: Ventilated/Airy Rooms. Attached Washroom, Hot/Cold Shower, Color T.V. -Deluxe rooms: More Spacious & Brighter Rooms, Fridge,Relaxed Wooden Chairs & Glass Tables. Semi-Deluxe / Deluxe (Non aircon) Rs 1350/ 1600, Semi-Deluxe / Deluxe (aircon) Rs Rs 1800/2100 all tax incl. Extra Bed Rs. 230 (2014).
  •    Hotel Sita ContinentalSheran Wala Gat (Two and half km from Railway Station, half km from Bus Stand. Ten minutes walk from Golden Temple, Golden Temple Road,and Golden Temple Way corner),  +91 183 5002840, -+91-977 91-09190 (Mobile: S. Surinder Pal Singh), e-mail: . Its basic, new and clean. Standard Double/ Triple with Bathroom Rs. 550/ 650, Semi-Deluxe A/c Double/ Triple with Bathroom and TV Rs. 650/750, Deluxe Room A/c Double/ Triple with Bathroom and TV Rs. 850/1050. (2014).
  •    Hotel Sita Niwas61, Sita Niwas Road, (Right near the eastern corner of the golden temple. There is now a new Hotel Sita Newas next door offering rooms from Rs.1000, so ask where the other one is if the price seems high.),  +91183 2543092, +91183 5064841, +91 98154-83755 (Mobile), e-mail: . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: Midday. Good and relatively cheap ( Rs.80) food in their restaurant. They also organise shared jeeps to the Atari border crossing for ₹250 return. Doubles Standard / Semi-Deluxe / Deluxe Room Rs. 600 / 700 / 900 With Breakfast : Rs. 1000. - Triple Bed Semi-Deluxe / Deluxe / Deluxe Air-con Room Rs. 800 / 900 / 1000. With Breakfast : Rs. 1200. (2014).
  •    Hotel Sukhman InternationalQueen's Road, Hotel Lane +91183 2222077, +91 98 141-07505, +91 94 175-51515 (Mobils), e-mail: . Rooms : 25 Comfort Sgl 1300-1500, Deluxe Dbl 1900-2300, Super Deluxe Dbl 2200-2600 (2014).
  •    Hotel Queensland3, Queens Road, (East of R.S.),  +91 183 2224052, +91 183 5006753, +91 183 5006754, e-mail: . Rooms : 41 Room Rate: INR1500-1800.
  • Hotel Sakhi Inn2845/3-Chowk Pragdass, Galiara Corner (Near Sarai Guru Ramdas),  +91 183 2454394, +91 98 88133989, e-mail: . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. Eleven rooms. Air Conditioner, Room service, Double Deluxe/ Super Deluxe /Family Suite Rs. 1,350/1,650/1,850 (2014).
  •    Tourist Guesthouse1355 GT Road (Near Bhandari Bridge, One km east of Amritsar Junction‎ Station),  +91 183 255 3830, +91 93 56003219 (Mobile). A popular backpackers choice near the railway station. A very nice place with a decent restaurant and friendly owners. About 25 minutes walking distance to the Golden Temple. Rates for double bedroom Rs. 400.?.
  •    Hotel Veenus International3, Queens Road (East of R.S.),  +91 183 2566239, +91 183 2566610, +91 183 5081560, +91 98 55967487, +91 98 55447487, +91 98 14029487 (Mobil)fax: +91 183-2220320, e-mail: . Rooms: 25. Deluxe / Super Deluxe / Family triple / Family four beds Room: INR1000/1100/1500/1700.
  •    Temple ViewGolden Temple Road, Atta Mandi, Katra Ahluwalia (Northwest of Jallianwala Bagh),  +91 183 5014555, +91 183 5014666, e-mail: . A small two star hotel with eight rooms. Services: free parking space, 24-hrs room service, Free Internet access (wi-fi), Travel assistance, Laundry, Doctor on call, Guide Assistance, Payment by all credit/debit card, Hotel transfer Dbl INR1250 (2015).

Mid-range[edit]

Amritsar, Transporting
Amritsar, Roadside market
Statue of general Sham Singh Attariwala
Guru Nanak Dev University, Library building

Splurge[edit]

Festival in Amritsar

Stay safe[edit]

Behave!
  • The sectarian strife of the 1980s is just a bad memory and Amritsar is currently a safe and welcoming city, if a little polluted.
  • Don't leave cash or any valuables in the hotel room. Cross check all hotel, restaurant and lounges bills for errors.
  • Never pay anyone for anything upfront, including taxi drivers.
  • Do not exchange the currency/money in black market. Ask for a receipt when exchanging money at any authorized currency exchange center.

Respect[edit]

  • You should remain aware and respectful of the Sikh religion anywhere near the Golden Temple complex.
  • Inside the complex both men and women are required to cover their heads (scarves are widely available throughout the town for Rs 10, or a box of them are free to use at the entrances to the temple).
  • Every visitor is required to remove shoes and socks and wash his/her feet before entering the temple. You can store your shoes at the subterranean building to the left of the entrance.
  • Smoking and alcohol are forbidden within the complex and anywhere within sight of the temple. Lighting up a cigarette on the busy street out front will definitely attract negative attention, as will spitting near the temple.
  • Photography is allowed on the outside ring of the holy lake, but not inside the actual temple itself.

Connect[edit]

Post Office[edit]

Internet[edit]

There are quite a few good internet surfing facilities in Amritsar. Reliance WebWorld and Sify Internet kiosks are located at strategic locations.

  • Cyber Pub, Opposite District Courts on Airport Road. Scanner and printer available.
  • Cyber Swing, (above New Punjabi Rasoi restaurant), has several machines and a decent connection. Rs 40/hour.

Go next[edit]

  • Lahore – Armed with a visa, take the plunge into this bustling gateway city, one of the cultural hubs of Pakistan.
  • Jammu
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