Amritsar – More than just a holy cityAsia, Features, India — By Neha K. Kulkarni on May 18, 2012 at 12:00 AM
“Waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguruji ki fateh.” The minute you hear this you are transported up north to the city of Amritsar. It is a city that glows during the day as well as the night, where millions on worshippers come just so that their wishes come true. But how many of you know that there is much more to this city than the famous shrine – the golden temple?
Located in the heart of Punjab, the city of Amritsar has some magnificent sights to offer. From the famous Jallianwala bagh to the Wagah border which is the only road border that divides India and Pakistan, there is a list of 5 such fascinating must see location in this city. Let’s take a look!
Jallianwala Bagh – Flashback
Ever since we’ve read about it in our history book, the incident that took place in1919 on the cold blooded orders of the British had been etched in our mind. Visting this place is like a flashback as one can find traces of the event even today. It is merely 5 minutes walk from the golden temple where a memorial has been built here to pay homage to all those men, women and children who lost their lives in this brutal incident. Even today as you walk in you would see bullet holes on walls as well as the adjoining buildings. The well in which people jumped and drowned in an attempt to protect them from the shower of bullets in another site that had been preserved.
Wagah Border – Only road boarder
Located just 28 km from the city of Amritsar, wagah border is the only road border between India and Pakistan. Close to sundown hundreds of locals as well as tourist flock this place to witness the changing of guards’ ceremony as well as hoisting and retreating of their respective national flags. Soldiers of both the countries march in what is known as ‘Beating the retreat’ ceremony. Special buses have been organized from Amritsar to Wagah border and the ceremony takes place at a given time every evening. It lasts for thirty minutes ends with a handshake of guards of both the countries and the closing of the huge iron gates that divide the countries. This short excursion will revive a feeling of patriotism and should definitely be added to your itinerary while visiting Amritsar.
Mata Temple – Adventurous shrine
This is an elaborate Hindu cave temple which is devoted to the female saint Lal Devi. Initially only women who wished to get pregnant would visit this temple with the belief that Lal Devi would grant them an offspring. The path around the temple passes through tunnels and the caves are filled with ankle length water. Inclined pathways, mirrored hallways, variety of deities and the colours used, makes this more like an adventurous ride than a visit to a shrine. This place is also called Sheesh Mahal and Lal Dev and is highly recommended for all those adventure driven travellers.
Summer palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh – Walk through Sikh history
Located in Ram Bagh Park, this palace is now converted into a museum that houses oil paintings, coins and weapons that date back to the earlier Sikh period.
The Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama is also located here, so if you are in doubt, ask around so that you know you are in the right place.
Ram Tirth – Birth place of Love and Kush
Known as the birth place of Love and Kush, the children of Ram and Sita, this place also has a hut where Saint Balmiki resided. The hut that he stayed in and wrote numerous holy scripts is still present here. Sita resided here for a long time after the birth of her children. The site also includes a well which is said to be dug by Hanuman. Devotes from all over visit this place to offer prayers to the deties.