By Sargun Makhni, BBK DAV, Amritsar ,MJMC-1: Punjab is a land of five rivers Jhelum, Chenab,Ravi, Sutlej and Indus. It is known as the land of beauty with a landscape which pulsates with prosperity. It is also known as the land of folk dances and heritage beauty. This glorious land is also a land of rich culture, myriad images of swaying emerald green fields and hearty people whose robust ways of camaraderie and bonhomie are very much part of their culture. Amritsar is the heart and soul of the state as it is the religious capital of Punjab. “Amritsar”, also known as the city of ‘ The Golden temple ‘is famous for its cultural heritage, food, Sikh history and culture. It is one of the most ancient and awe-inspiring cities of India. Not only is it a religious city but historically also it has played a very important role. The people of this city are ever ready to welcome their guests as they are known for their hospitality and warm heartedness. Though Amritsar is a small city, there is much to see from the tourist’s point of view.
Amritsar was founded in 1577 by Guru Ram Das ji, the fourth Guru of the Sikhs. The name Amritsar means the pool of nectar and this name was given to it after the sacred pool around which The Golden temple was built. This pool is basically known as the pool of immorality.It is a city of festivals, all festivals are celebrated by going to the golden temple and by having a dip in the pool of nectar specially Sikhs.
While treasuring its spiritual and national heritage, Amritsar has grown and prospered into a modern and progressive city. It is today an important industrial centre with a flourishing textile industry,with the second largest milk plant in the country and a thriving electric goods, auto parts and carpet weaving industry.
Amritsar is a very lively city with modern hotels, restaurant, clubs, malls and cinema houses. The bazaars of Amritsar offer a colourful range of traditional and modern wears from carpets, durries, shawls, kites, fireworks and bangles, to cut glass and woollen textiles. The city is very famous for its culinary delicacies like pickles, papad’s and aampapar’s its pure ghee paranthas and its excellent milk products like lassis, sharbat and rabri are very famous. Tandoori kulchas and puris of Amritsar are a delicacy to relish.
But the most important asset of the city are the people who make Amtitsar it what it is today, . They are friendly, hospitable and hardworking with a tremendous zest for living. Eating is a way of life here and anytime is eating time, which mostly includes desi ghee preparations. Kesar da dhaba is one such rendezvous for the food lovers famous for its 12 layered parantha and mah ki dal overflowing with desi ghee. Giani di hatti at katra sher singh is famous for lassi. Apart from this, one cannot miss eating sweets from Bansal at Lawrence road. Not to be left behind are the non vegetarian eateries. Most famous are bheera’s chicken and makhan’s fish at Lawrence road.
The Jaliawal Bagh, Waga border, Ram bagh, Durgiana Mandir, and Baba Atal Rai Tower are also famous places to visit. Apart from all this Khalsa College & Guru Nanak Dev University and some Bazaars ( Markets ) around Golden temple are very famous.
Jalliawala bagh is the place which is remembered for a massacre i.e . The Jallian Wala Bagh (Garden) massacre that happened during the british rule in India. On April 13, thousands of people gathered in the Jallianwala Bagh (Garden) near the Golden Temple in Amritsar, on Baisakhi-celebrating both harvest and the Sikh religious new year ,but general Dyer ordered the British forces to open fire on the people and as a result thousands of innocent people lost their lives.
Visitors also like to visit the Wagah Border, the international border between India and Pakistan. The beautiful Ram Bagh is another place that demands a visit, named after the founder of this city, Guru Ram Das Ji. One can find here old weapons of Mughal era and few portraits of the rulers of the Punjab. Other places to see include the Durgiana Mandir, located close to the Golden Temple. This temple is architecturally similar to the Golden Temple and is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga along with Lakshmi and Narayana.
Apart from all this Khalsa college and Guru Nanak Dev university campus are worth a visit and an added attraction is their excellent libraries housed in these institutions. Amritsar is just an idea of the way of life of the state, which is perhaps the most prosperous in India and produces almost half of the countries food grain.Deep Carpets and Apollo shawls are the two finest names in their fields and have their production in Amritsar itself Deep Carpets are well known for the production of carpets and have their showroom at lawrance road with factories a couple of kilom eters away from the city .Apollo shawls are well known for the production of shawls and have their set up at shastri market with large factories near the shastri market itself.
Amritsar’s papads are very famous. There are many shops and bazaars around the Golden Temple but the most famous bazaar is the” papad wadi bazaar” Hall bazaar is the main shopping area. Good shopping may also be done around cooper road, queen’s road, mall road and lawrance road.
Thus Amritsar is a place next to heaven where God resides and as far as accommodations goes, this city has plenty of hotels which cater to the needs of the people very nicely. Some are located very close to Golden temple for the people who just want to live near this religious place. However it won’t be wrong to say Amritsar.Thus Amritsar is a place worth visiting at least once in everyone’s life and especially Golden Temple.