In and Around Amritsar (°C - °C)
Amritsar was founded by Ram Das, the fourth Sikh guru, in 1577. Apart from the picturesque and serene sights, the city is home to Sikhism’s holiest shrine – the awe-inspiring Golden Temple. It is not every day that one gets to set sights on an architectural marvel. However, the area surrounding the temple is always buzzing with activity. A tangle of railway lines divides the city into two distinct parts. The old city, which is home to the Golden Temple and other places of historical relevance, is on the southeast part. This area is quite fascinating to explore. One will be introduced to a network of narrow bazaars that seem to defy time. The other half of the city is located towards the northern part of the railway lines. It is the ‘modern’ half of the city. However, this part has come up in a haphazard fashion around colonial-era boulevards. It is here that one can find malls and upmarket hotels. The city shines through in this half, but the traffic makes it difficult to appreciate the city. One can journey from the old part of town to the new city by cycle-rickshaw. But, touring the old city is best done on foot. A visit to Amritsar is never complete without taking a tour of the complex that houses the Golden Temple. The focus of tourists’ attention is the tank that forms a moat around the gleaming Amrit Sarovar. It is from here that Amritsar derives its name. The tank, which is ringed by a marble walkway, is supposed to have healing powers. Devotees from across the globe visit the shrine to bathe in its sacred water. Apart from the temple, one can also visit the other monuments and shrines that dot the edge of the compound. The Sikh Museum depicts the persecution suffered by the Sikhs over the course of history. Another historical site worth visiting is Jallianwala Bagh. It can be reached through the gatehouse on the same road that leads to the Golden Temple. The park commemorates the 1500 Indians killed or injured when a British officer ordered his soldiers to open fire on protesters in 1919. If one looks closely, the bullet holes are still visible on the walls. There is so much to see here. A trip to Amritsar should always be planned between November and March. During this period, the weather is quite pleasant and ideal for sightseeing. However, the temperature could drop to -4 degrees Celsius. The summer months may not be a suitable time to visit the city. Finding accommodation in Amritsar will never be a problem when you a slew of budget and premium OYO rooms at your disposal. The hotels come with all basic amenities and are proximate to the important hubs in the city. One can find hotels near the Golden Temple. However, this area could be quite congested, albeit well-connected. There are OYO rooms available near Hall Gate, Amritsar Junction and Gurunanak Dev University.