Discover the magic of Indian Cuisine
Discover the Magic of Indian Cuisine
May 2, 2016
Visiting Tadoba with my Wife
May 24, 2016
My Experience - Places to visit in Amritsar, Golden-Temple during day time

I had been visiting Amritsar since my childhood days, here is a gist of the experiences I have had, witnessing the holy city – home to the Golden Temple, evolving with time. I have touched all the possible points your mind bespeaks while you plan your trip for the places to visit in Amritsar, like the Weather in Amritsar, How to Travel to Amritsar, Stay at Amritsar, Shopping in Amritsar. Take a sneak peek into my experiences of the holy city!

Places to visit in Amritsar

Places to Visit in Amritsar - Golden Temple during Day Time

Golden Temple during the afternoon

Weather in Amritsar

Amritsar experiences all four seasons and yet the best time to visit Amritsar might be summers  (April to June) for foreigners, as they love the heat and for some it might be winters (December to Feb). The lowest temperature had been −7.6 °C (18.3 °F) and highest temperature, 48.1 °C (118.6 °F).

One of my recent 1 night/ 2 days trip to Amritsar in April 2016, was full of excitement as I love visiting the Holy city again and again. I was accompanied by my mother and aunt.

Arriving at Amritsar

Day 1 – April 2nd, 2016

My trip had started from Delhi in the morning hours of April 2nd, 2016. I took the very famous Swaran Shatabadi Express (train # 12029), which runs at 07:20 hours in the morning from New Delhi Railway Station. Don’t worry, fresh breakfast is served on board :-). The usual time taken by Shatabadi is 6 hours and 25 minutes but the train was a bit delayed, and after covering a distance of 448 KMs, we arrived at the Amritsar Junction by 14:15 hours, whereas the scheduled arrival was 13:45 hours. For the first time, we had ordered our lunch from IRCTC’s online website, it was neatly packed and must say – was value for money!

Places to Visit in Amritsar - Meal on Wheels

Meal on Wheels

Needless to say, the journey was much comfortable. We checked into the Hyatt Hotel, on the Grand Truck Road, adjoining Alpha One City Center, one of the coolest malls of Amritsar to hang out.

My Experience - Places to Visit in Amritsar - Hyatt Hotel

Hotel Hyatt

Hyatt is just 5-6 KMs from the Railway Station and we took the Ola Cab – which is very much comfortable, even for the pocket (download the free app on your mobile phone and be on the move! – much easy app to make cab bookings). You would love doing the Amritsar sightseeing, while being at your comfort in the cab.

Places to visit in Amritsar – The Golden Temple

I again booked the Ola cab and by 16:30 hours, we left for the Golden Temple, also known as ‘Sri Darbar Sahib’ or ‘Sri Harmandir Sahib’ (The abode of God). It is one of the most important Sikh shrines attracting more than a lakh visitors on weekdays, which increases drastically on weekends. It may surprise you that though the Golden Temple is not one of the 7 wonders of the World, yet it attracts more visitors than the Taj Mahal.

My Experience - Places to Visit in Amritsar - Golden Temple

Golden Temple

And as it was a Saturday, it was all busy and took us almost 2 hours to go inside the mesmerizing hall. Usually, in the Gurudwara’s the Sarovar (holy pond) is built separately in the premises but at the Golden temple, the main building, or the hall is situated within the Sarovar, which itself adds to a magnificent view. You tend to do Parikrama of the Sarovar and then you fall in queue to visit the main hall. Upon returning, you get the Karah Parshad (an offering to the god – later consumed by devotees).

Tip:- Do Cover your head with a scarf or a dupatta as soon as you enter the premises of the Gurudwara as it is followed strictly.

Places to visit in Amritsar – Akal Takhat

As you move out of the Darbar Sahib, you get to see a white coloured building, which is called as the Akal Takhat – the highest seat of earthly authority of the Khalsa, and the Committee responsible for the upkeep of the Gurudwaras. Every morning about 04:00 hours, the Sikh Holy Book – ‘Sri Guru Granth Sahib’ is brought from the Akal Takhat in a gold palanquin (also called as the Palki program), along with the shower of flowers and is placed in the Darbar Hall.

My Experience - Places to Visit in Amritsar - Palki at Golden Temple

The Early Morning Palki Ceremony 

The Holy book is read for the whole day and spiritual chanting is also done. At night, between 22:00 – 23:00 hours, ‘Sri Guru Granth Sahib’ is taken back to the Akal Takhat, then the Darbar Hall is washed with milk. The ambiance of the Golden Temple is fully alive with religious fervor and sacredness all the time.I advise, one must spend some time tasting the yummiest meal of your trip – the ‘Langar’ (Free Kitchen), which is a mouth-watering vegetarian meal, served at the main Langar hall within the Gurudwara premises.
My Experience - Places to Visit in Amritsar - Golden Temple at Late Night

Golden Temple

As it was a 1 night/ 2 days trip, thus, we planned to visit the Golden Temple in the evening but if you have time and going for 2 nights/ 3 days, you must opt for the complimentary shuttle service to the Golden Temple by Hyatt hotel which happens at the time when one could witness the live ‘Palki Ceremony’ taking place.

My Experience - Places to Visit in Amritsar - Devotee at the Golden Temple

No barrier can stop the faith within – Devotee at the Golden Temple

Likewise, you may visit the Golden Temple twice during your trip, once during the dusk or dawn, when you get to see the magnificent view of the temple and second time during the day, when you happen to see the hustle bustle of the busy city. Yet, there is no such specifically, the best time to visit the Golden Temple as it is lovely across the year.

Retiring for the day 1 

Upon our return from the Golden Temple, we planned to visit the Alpha One Mall, which is adjoining the Hyatt Hotel on the Grand Trunk Road, catering to the various leading brands and multiple food joints. There is a cinema hall as well, where you could catch up for a movie. We took our dinner at the Food Court in Alpha One Mall and retired for the day.

Day 2 – April 3rd, 2016

My Experience - Places to Visit in Amritsar - Hyatt Hotel - Pool Side

Pool side at Hyatt

After the complimentary breakfast, leisure time at the pool side at Hyatt; we planned to visit Jallianwala bagh, which is in close proximity to the Golden Temple.My Experience - Places to Visit in Amritsar - Hyatt Hotel

Pool side at Hyatt

Places to visit in Amritsar – Jallianwala Bagh, Hall Gate Bazaar

Jallianwala Bagh can be visited all the year around, yet the best time to visit might be the morning hours or later in the afternoon. Though I always mourned upon the reality which is attached to this sighting in Amritsar, it is associated with the saddest day in the history of the Indian Freedom Movement; as it was on April 13th, 1919 (Vaisakhi Day), that the massacre of Jallianwala Bagh took place, killing many innocent Indians on the orders of a Senior British Military Officer – General Dyer.My Experience - Places to Visit in Amritsar - Jallianwala Bagh Enterance

Jallianwala Bagh Entrance

Source – Google Images

Today this ground has been changed to a beautiful public park. At the entrance there is a memorial tablet which gives an account of the history. There is a well at the site in which many people who tried to escape from the bullets that day were drowned and lost lives.

My Experience - Places to Visit in Amritsar - Well at Jallianwala Bagh

The Well at the Jallianwala Bagh

Source – Google Images

My Experience - Places to Visit in Amritsar - Hall Gate Bazaar

Amritsar City’s Hustle Bustle

 Source – Google Images

Later  around 11:00 hours, we headed to the Hall Gate bazaar for doing some shopping in Amritsar, where I bought my all-time favourite ‘Punjabi Juttis(traditional footwear in Punjab), Parandis, and delicious Aam Papad (mango leather) in sweet and sour flavors.

My Experience - Places to Visit in Amritsar - Punjabi Jutti

Punjabi Jutti 

 Source – Google Images

My Experience - Places to visit in Amritsar - Parandi

Parandi 

 Source – Google Images

After taking lunch at the famous ‘Bharawan da Dhaba’ (near the Town Hall), we headed to the Hotel for checkout (had placed a request for late checkout at Hyatt as we had to catch train at 15:00 hours for Ludhiana, my home town, yet another lovely city.

My Experience - Places to Visit in Amritsar - Aerial view of the city - Hyatt Hotel

Aerial view of the city from Hyatt Hotel

A few other famous places:-

Places to visit in Amritsar – Wagah Border

This is yet another one of the best places to visit in Amritsar, while you are in the city. – I had visited the patriotic site – ‘The Wagah Border’ during my earlier visit to Amritsar, back in 2011.

My Experience - Places to Visit in Amritsar - Guard at the Wagah Borer

Wagah Border

This ‘India –Pakistan border’ – is one of the tensed border sites, It is about 28 Kms from Amritsar and is best known for the ‘Lowering of the Flags’ of India and Pakistan (conducted by the ‘Border Security Force’ of India and the ‘Pakistan Rangers’) and the ‘Ceremonial Closing of Gates’ which takes place two hours before sunset every day. People gather in large numbers and the display of patriotism leaves you spell bound. Crowd from both the countries gather to witness the event with each side becoming louder and louder as the time approaches to close the gates. The spectacle starts well before the armed forces are involved for the ceremony.My Experience - Places to Visit in Amritsar - Wagah Border

Wagah Border

It seems as if there is a battle between the loudspeakers and music blaring to overwhelm the other side. Yelling, dancing and singing makes for a fun time. You get to feel and live the patriotism people carry in their hearts. – Amazing must say. The best time to visit the Wagah Border would be only at the time when the daily ceremony takes place. This ‘India –Pakistan border’, site is a must to be added in your trip – once in lifetime for sure! En-route to Wagah, you would get to do beautiful Amritsar sightseeing – the lush green fields and the rich culture Punjab offers.My Experience - Places to Visit in Amritsar - At the Wagah Border with Guard

At the Wagah Border

Tip:-  Foreign Nationals must carry their passports and don’t carry bags or much stuff as you lose your time during the security check and you might miss upon the seat at front, which are on first come first serve basis. You could capture amazing photos as cameras are allowed!  A sight for the photographers!

A few other famous and best places to visit in Amritsar which attracts the tourists are:- ‘Maharaja Ranjeet Singh Museum’ (offers insights into the life of the Sikh monarch) ‘Durgiana Temple’, ‘Katra Jaimal Singh Market’ – another famous market for Amritsar sightseeing and for shopping in Amritsar, famous for the ‘Punjabi suits’ it offers for the ladies, ‘Woolens’ are also one of the very famous commodities of Amritsar.

I bet, you would love your visit to Amritsar but keep the plan for at least 3 Days, as you would be able to see the beauty of this holy city. I hope you enjoyed reading the list of the ‘Places to visit in Amritsar’? Drop me an email or mention your queries (if any). I would love to address them, helping you plan your visit… Enjoy!

I suggest, to take a look at a planned itinerary for Amritsar – 2 Days & 3 Days

 

About Taranjot Saini

Just another 'you', trying to make a mark worth living.. Strongly believe in the almighty; though get confused upon his acts and outcomes at times but still I'm bounded with his grace. A food lover who loves to cook and serve!
Taranjot Saini
Taranjot Saini
Just another 'you', trying to make a mark worth living.. Strongly believe in the almighty; though get confused upon his acts and outcomes at times but still I'm bounded with his grace. A food lover who loves to cook and serve!

2 Comments

  1. Jaya Sharma says:

    very well written and elaborate… nice photography too.

  2. Leena Singh says:

    Nice work!! Very informative and brought back memories of my visit to Amritsar. Very informative and just the right information with fantastic images!!

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