Amritsar has many claims to fame. It is the holy city of the Sikhs, intimately linked with the colorful history of this martial race, its agricultural produce, woollens, spices and dry fruits. It is also the showpiece of the prosperity and wealth of Punjab. Amritsar also holds strategic importance due to its proximity to Pakistan, the Attari/Wagah India-Pakistan border just 30 km away. Life in Amritsar is deeply influenced by the Golden Temple and Durgiana Temple, plus the sources of the city's wealth; agriculture, commerce and industry. Although most people are very religious, they are also fun-loving and lively. The best time to visit Amritsar is from September to March, despite the severity of the winter and the need for heavy woollens .Summer is the other extreme.
On the international circuit, Amritsar is linked to sharjah (UAE) by direct flight of Indian Airlines. Air India also operates services from Amritsar to Delhi with connections to destinations in Europe and U.S.A.
Indian Airlines/Alliance Air connects Amritsar to Chandigarh and Delhi on the domestic network.
Raja Sansi airport is 10 km from downtown, Taxis, at negotiable rates, are available at the airport for transfer to the city.
Amritsar is connected with direct trains to Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai, puri and other places. The important ones include the Frontier Mail to Mumbai, Shatabdi Express to Delhi and Utkal Express to Puri.
Amritsar Railway Station provides amenities including retiring rooms and a refreshment room. Taxis and auto-rickshaws are available outside the station.
Taxis are available, but not everywhere. They stand outside the airport stand outside the airport, bus stand and railway station. Rates are negotiable. Some hotels have autorickshaws and cycle rickshaws, the most common form of transport. One has to negotiable the fare.
Amritsar is probably the last bastion of genuine North Indian food. Most eating places feed you well, the helping are extremely generous, the quality boarding on superb and prices are extremely reasonable, even unbelievably low. Milk and milk products are of extremely good quality. Through non-vegetarian dishes are very good and can be had in 'tandoori'(Charcoal-grilled) or curry versions; the real delights are vegetarian preparations like dal, 'Karhi', 'saag', and 'panir' concoctions. Parathas stuffed with potatoes, cauliflower. radish panir or mince are a must for visitors. With a bowl of curd or 'lassi' as accompaniment, it is a memorable meal. Some 'dhabas', serving good vegetarian / non-veg. food have become institutions in their own right.
Hari-ke-Pattan on the outskirts of the city at the confluence of Beas and Sutlej rivers is a scenic spot and bird sanctuary and offers opportunities for angling Amanat Khan, a village south-west of Amritsar has an old 'serai' (inn) with a beautifully tile-decorated Mughal gateway. Nearby is a mosque with Persian inscriptions all over the building and the quaintly shaped tomb of Amanat Khan.
A visit to the Wagah border is an interesting experience, especially at sun set while Retreat takes place when Indian and Pakistan border troops put up a coordinated and spectacular display, comparing favourably with London's changing of the Guard. Taxis must be hired from the city from the return trip also as nothing is available at the border.
Near the Golden temple shawls are available at wholesale rates from sheep reared in Himachal, the wool woven in Ludhiana, embroidered in Kashmir and Kullu and then retailed at Amritsar. They could cost anything from Rs. 100 to Rs. 5,000. There are blankets of every color and price, and dupattas embroidered in traditional phulkari motifs. Handmade embroidered 'jootis' (closed shoes) made from buffalo and goat hide cost roughly Rs.500. Another famous product of Amritsar are the ''wadis (lentil cakes) made with spices. 'Papads' are also famous. Gold-and-silver-thread embroidery is another notable product. Hall Bazaar is the main shopping area. Good shopping is also around Cooper Road , Queen Road and Lawrence Road ( majority of the hotels and resorts in Amritsar are around these areas ) Phulkari, Punjab government handcrafts shop, M.M. Malviya Road.
The important spots are the gurudwaras associated with Sikh history in and around the city Punjab Roadways organize a day trip by bus to cover about 35 gurdwaras, including those at Gobindwal, Taran Taran, Baba Bikala, Buddha Sahib, Kandoor Sahib, Damdama Sahib and Chheharta. The bus leaves from the Clock Tower near the Golden Temple at 8 am and returns around 5 pm.
Anandpur Sahib: The Holy city of Bilss, as the name translates, is the second most important centre of Sikh religion. Its foundation was laid by the ninth Guru, Teg Bahadur Sahib, in 1664 AD. From here eleven years later, he left for Delhi to the court of Mughal emperor Aurangzed to plead for greater religious tolerance and an end to religious persecution. Here his severed head was brought to his son and family. It was here the Khalsa, or the pure, was born under the leadership of the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh Sahib, on 30 March, 1699 . Amongst the important place of interest are:
Gurdwara Sri Sis Ganj built over the site where the severed head of Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib was cremated.
Gurudwara Sri Kesgarh Sahib standing at the place where the five brave followers of Guru Gobind Singh offered their heads and the Khalsa Panth was born (it is also one of the five seats of religious authority).
Gurdwara Damdama Sahib marking the site where Gobind Singh was proclaimed the tenth Guru; various forts and fortresses, and the museum housed in the Gurdwara keshgarh Sahib displaying some of the weapons and arms associated with Guru Gobind Singh and others. Taran Taran 22 km south of Amritsar. Darbar Sahib Sri Guru Arjan Dev, the premier Gudwara is the main attraction. The gilt domed structure faces the holy tank the construction of which was initiated by Guru Arjun Dev.
Gurudwara Sri Fatehgarh Sahib, the historical city of Srihind is indelibly marked in the history of medieval India for the victory of faith over religious tyranny For here, the two teen-aged sons of the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, were interned alive in a brick chamber for refusing to change their religion. The monument build over the site is today called Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib marks the site of martyrdom of the son of Guru Gobind Singh, Burj at Mata Gujri, where the sorrowing grandmother died and Gurudwara Jyoti Swarup, built were they were cremated, are amongst the most important Sikh pilgrimages in Sirhind.
Amritsar has Luxury Hotels and Resorts in all budget categories, Spread out all over the Amritsar city. International Luxury 5 star hotel brands such as Taj, Hyatt, Holiday Inn, Radisson, etc, all have a presence in the city , Besides these hotels there are local , stand alone hotels in and around Amritsar offering local experiences.
Welcome Heritage Ranjit Svaasa Amritsar, Radisson Blu Amritsar, Holiday Inn Amritsar, Ramada Amritsar, Hyatt Amritsar, Country Inn & Suites Amritsar, HK Clarks Inn Amritsar, Taj Amritsar, for more information on Amritsar and other tourist cities in India contact Swan Tours – one of the top leading Travel agents in India.