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Amritsar Attractions

Tourist Attractions in Amritsar

The main tourist attraction in Amristar is the Golden Temple. Besides, the Golden Temple, the Ram Bagh Gardens, Jallianwala Bagh, Durgiana Temple and Baba Atal Rai Tower are the various places which can be visited in Amristar.


The Golden Temple
The Golden Temple, the most important and holy Sikh shrine, is located in the old part of the town of Amritsar. The Golden Temple is also known as Hari Mandir (Temple of the Lord). The temple is surrounded by a pool, which gives the city its name ‘Amritsar’, the pool of nectar. The glittering golden domes of the temple are reflected in the pool, and a marble pathway leads to the temple. The temple domes are covered with 400 kilograms of gold. The gold was donated by Maharaja

Golden Temple Amritsar

Ranjit Singh. This holy shrine is the spiritual nerve centre of the Sikh faith and every Sikh tries to make a visit here and bath in the holy water. The site has been sacred to the Sikhs since the time of the fourth guru, Ram Das. In 1577, he heard that a cripple had been miraculously cured while bathing in the pool here. This pool was later enlarged and named Amrit Sovar, the pool of the Nectar of immortality. Guru Arjun Das enlarged the tank further and built the original temple at its centre in 1601. After building the temple, Arjun Das compiled a collection of hymns of the great medieval saints and this became the Adi Granth (Holy book). It was installed in the temple as the focus of devotion and teaching. Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and last guru revised the book and also refused to name a successor saying that the book itself would be the Sikh guru. It thus came to be known as the Granth Sahib. The Golden Temple suffered twice at the hands of the Afghan Ahmad Shah Durrani, who invaded northern India in 1747. After his departure, the Sikhs reconquered the Punjab and restored the temple and tank, under their greatest secular leader, Maharaja Ranjit Singh. In 1830, he donated 100 kgs (220 lbs) of gold which was applied to the copper sheets on the roof and in the exterior of the building. The temple has three floors. The ground floor with its fine silver doors contains the Holy Book which has been placed on a platform under a jewel encrusted canopy. Professional singers and musicians perform verses from the book and sing the hymns continuously. On the first floor is a balcony on which three respected Sikhs are always performing the Akhand Path (Unbroken Reading). In order to preserve unity and maintain continuity, there must always be someone who practice devotions. In the top floor, the gurus used to sit and perform the Akhand Path. Throughout the day, pilgrims place their offerings of flowers or money around the book. The marble walls are decorated with mirror work, gold leaf and designs of birds, animals and flowers in semiprecious stones in the Mughal style. The rest of the temple is covered with gilt copper inscribed with quotations from the Granth.

Inside the temple compound, there is a tree shrine, along the pathway. This gnarled jubi tree is 450 years old and is reputed to be the favourite resting place of the first chief priest of the temple, Baba Gujhaji. Although he was chief priest, he would still do voluntary and building work. Now, the women tie strings to branches hoping to be blessed with a son by the primeval fertility spirits that choose such places as their home. It is also a favourite spot to arrange and sanctify marriages, despite the protests of the temple authorities. Inside the shrine, there are also the flagstaffs, the shrine of Guru Gobind Singh and the Akhal Takht. Further round on the eastern side are the Sixty Eight Holy Places which comprises a number of shrines and booths. This place takes its name from the 68 Hindu pilgrimage spots. When the tank was built Arjun Singh told his followers that rather than visiting all the Hindu places, they should just bathe here. The merit that they would acquire would be equivalent to visiting all 68 places. There is also a dining hall, kitchen, assembly hall and Dharamshala in the premises.


Jallianwala Bagh
Jallianwala Bagh is situated just a five minutes walk from Golden Temple. It is the place where the British General Dyer, massacred 300 innocent people who had gathered there for a meeting on April 13, 1919. The mass massacre took lives of over 2000 unarmed people, who gathered there for meeting. The tragic even later led to the strengthening of the movement for total independence. This garden commemorates the martyrs, keeping the tragic episode in its historical context. Today, this site of brutal massacre, encloses a memorial with an eternal flame, dedicated to the martyrs. The walls are pockmarked with bullets and the well which some tried to hide in can be seen.

Ram Bagh Gardens
The Ram Bagh Gardens contains a museum that houses weapons dating from the Mughal times and

Jallianwala Bagh Amritsar

some portraits of rulers of Punjab. The building is a small palace built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Baba Atal Rai Tower
Baba Atal Rai Tower is built in the memory of the 9 years old son of Guru Hargobind, who martyred himself.

Durgiana Temple
Durgiana Temple is located outside the Lohagarh gate of the old city. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga and is a centre of pilgrimage for devout Hindus.


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