Amritsar Travel Guide, IndiaAmritsar
Amritsar is perhaps the most opulent city of Punjab. Known for its exquisite Golden Temple, it is the seat of the Sikh history and culture. Not only is the city important because of its religious significance but because it is a gateway of sorts to the country.
Founded by the Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das in 1574 under instruction of Guru Amar Das, it is the most important city for the Sikh faith. The name of the city literally translates as ‘The Ocean of the Nectar of Immortality’.
Located 51km away fro Lahore in Pakistan, it is an important commercial town as well. The main industries of the area include tourism, carpets, fabric, handicrafts and light engineering. It is the largest exporter of dry fruits and tea and condiments to the Middle East. It is well connected by rail, road and air. Essentially an agricultural city, like the rest of Punjab, it is important for the cultivation of wheat, rice and sugarcane. The continental climate suits the growth perfectly. The population of over a million speaks Punjabi, English and Hindi.
The most significant part of the city is the Golden Temple or the Harimandir Sahib. Founded by Guru Ramdas it attracts more visitors than even the Taj Mahal. It is the most important place of worship for the Sikhs and the lake next to it is significant for its healing qualities. The myth says that even crows are resolved of their sins and they become white after a dip in the water of this ‘sarovar’. The entire Gurudwara is plated with gold, which is from where it derives its name. The food of this temple is extremely popular for it distinct Punjabi touch.
Due to its proximity to the Pakistan border it is often in the news. The Wagah Border, famous for its spectacular Beating Retreat at dusk is now a popular tourist site. The other tourist attractions include the Ram Bagh, the summer place of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Harike Wetland, the Khadur Sahib and the Mosque at Fatehabad. The Kartika Puran-mashi festival also attracts a large number of pilgrims.
History mentions the city in context to the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in 1919 and Operation Bluestar in 1984 under the late Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi- which took place here.
Amritsar is also an important center for education as it is home to the Guru Nanak Dev University and other colleges like BBK DAV College for Women and Khalsa College.
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