Local Tourism

things to do in Amritsar

Things to do in Amritsar

Top attractions in Amritsar

Amritsar, located in the northwestern Indian state of Punjab, is a city rich in history, spirituality, and culture. It is home to the famous Golden Temple, one of the most revered Sikh pilgrimage sites in the world. Here are some of the top attractions in Amritsar:

Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib)

This iconic Sikh shrine is the main attraction of Amritsar. It is a beautiful golden structure surrounded by a sacred lake known as the Amrit Sarovar. Visitors can enter the temple complex, listen to devotional music, witness the religious rituals, and partake in the community kitchen (langar) where free meals are served to all visitors regardless of their religion or background.

Jallianwala Bagh

This historical site is a public garden that commemorates the tragic Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919. It is a memorial to those who lost their lives during the British colonial rule in India. The garden contains a memorial plaque, a well where people jumped to escape the bullets, and a museum that displays photographs and artifacts related to the massacre.

Wagah Border

Located around 30 kilometers from Amritsar, the Wagah Border is the only road border crossing between India and Pakistan. Every evening, a ceremony called the “Wagah Border Retreat Ceremony” takes place, where soldiers from both countries engage in a synchronized display of marching and lowering of flags. It is a popular attraction for tourists to witness this patriotic event.

Partition Museum

Situated in the heart of Amritsar, the Partition Museum is the first museum dedicated to the Partition of India in 1947. It showcases the personal stories, photographs, and artifacts of those affected by the partition. The museum offers a comprehensive understanding of the tragic events and the impact it had on people’s lives.

Ram Bagh

Also known as the Company Bagh, Ram Bagh is a historic garden founded by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru. The garden features lush greenery, a museum dedicated to Maharaja Ranjit Singh (the Sikh ruler of the 19th century), and a summer palace called Ram Bagh Palace.

Durgiana Temple

This Hindu temple, often referred to as the “Silver Temple,” is dedicated to Goddess Durga. It bears resemblance to the Golden Temple in its architecture and attracts devotees and tourists alike. The temple complex also includes other shrines dedicated to deities like Lord Shiva, Lord Hanuman, and Goddess Lakshmi.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum

Located within the Ram Bagh complex, this museum houses a collection of artifacts, weapons, paintings, and manuscripts related to the life and reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It offers insights into the rich Sikh heritage and the history of Punjab.

Apart from these attractions, Amritsar is also known for its vibrant bazaars, delectable Punjabi cuisine, and the warmth of its people. Exploring the local markets and indulging in the famous Amritsari street food is an experience not to be missed.

Things to do in Amritsar

In addition to visiting the top attractions in Amritsar, there are several other things you can do to make the most of your visit. Here are some suggestions for things to do in Amritsar:

Explore the Old City

Take a stroll through the narrow lanes of the Old City to get a feel of the local culture and heritage. You can visit traditional bazaars like Katra Jaimal Singh and Hall Bazaar, where you can shop for textiles, handicrafts, spices, and traditional Punjabi attire.

Taste Amritsari Street Food

Indulge in the mouthwatering street food of Amritsar. Try the world-famous Amritsari kulcha (a stuffed bread), chole bhature (deep-fried bread with spicy chickpeas), lassi (a yogurt-based drink), and various other Punjabi delicacies available in the local markets and food stalls.

Attend the Palki Ceremony

Witness the grand Palki Sahib ceremony at the Golden Temple. This ceremony involves the procession of the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of Sikhism) from the main temple to the Akal Takht, a prominent Sikh institution. The ceremony takes place in the early morning and evening and is a sight to behold.

Take a Heritage Walk

Join a guided heritage walk to learn about the architectural and historical significance of the city. These walks often cover places like the Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh, and the surrounding neighborhoods, providing insights into the rich heritage and cultural fabric of Amritsar.

Visit the Partition Museum

Spend some time exploring the Partition Museum and delve into the history and personal stories of the Partition of India. The museum offers a unique perspective on the events and their impact on the lives of people during that time.

Shop for Traditional Handicrafts

Amritsar is known for its exquisite handcrafted items, including phulkari (embroidered textiles), juttis (traditional Punjabi footwear), and traditional jewelry. Visit local markets and government emporiums to find authentic handicrafts as souvenirs or gifts.

Attend the evening Wagah Border Ceremony

Make a trip to the Wagah Border to witness the evening flag-lowering ceremony. This lively event includes patriotic performances, spirited cheering from the crowd, and an atmosphere charged with nationalistic fervor.

Enjoy a Punjabi Cultural Show

Experience the vibrant Punjabi culture through a cultural show that includes traditional music, dance performances (such as Bhangra and Giddha), and colorful costumes. Several places in Amritsar offer such performances for visitors.

Visit Gobindgarh Fort

Explore the historic Gobindgarh Fort, which played a significant role in the defense of Amritsar. The fort showcases the rich military heritage of Punjab and hosts light and sound shows depicting the region’s history.

Take a Food Tour

Join a food tour to sample a wide range of Punjabi cuisine. These tours often take you to local food joints and restaurants, where you can savor authentic flavors and learn about the culinary traditions of Punjab.

Remember to plan your visit to the Golden Temple and other popular attractions during non-peak hours to avoid large crowds. Amritsar offers a blend of history, spirituality, and culinary delights, ensuring a memorable experience for every visitor.

Explore Amritsar

FAQs on Amritsar Tourism

What is the best time to visit Amritsar?

The best time to visit Amritsar is during the winter season, from October to March, when the weather is pleasant and ideal for sightseeing. The temperatures are relatively cooler, ranging from 5°C to 20°C (41°F to 68°F). However, it’s important to note that the city can get crowded during festivals and holidays, so plan accordingly.

How many days should I spend in Amritsar?

A typical visit to Amritsar can be comfortably done in 2 to 3 days. This allows you enough time to explore the major attractions, experience the local culture, and enjoy the delicious food. However, if you wish to delve deeper into the city’s history and take part in additional activities, you can extend your stay for a few more days.

Are there any dress code requirements for visiting the Golden Temple?

Yes, there are certain dress code requirements to enter the Golden Temple. Visitors are required to cover their heads with a scarf or a head covering, remove their shoes before entering the temple complex, and ensure their shoulders and legs are covered. Scarves are available for rent at the entrance if needed. Modest attire is appreciated out of respect for the religious sanctity of the site.

How can I reach Amritsar?

Amritsar is well-connected by air, rail, and road. The Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport in Amritsar has regular flights connecting it to major cities in India and abroad. Amritsar Junction is the city’s main railway station with regular train services from various parts of the country. The city is also well-connected by road, and buses and taxis are available for travel within Punjab and neighboring states.

Is it safe to visit Amritsar?

Amritsar is generally considered safe for tourists. However, as with any destination, it’s advisable to take necessary precautions. Avoid displaying expensive belongings, be cautious of your surroundings, and keep an eye on your personal belongings. It’s also recommended to follow the guidance of local authorities and be respectful of local customs and traditions.

Can I hire a guide in Amritsar?

Yes, you can hire local guides in Amritsar to enhance your experience and gain insights into the city’s history, culture, and significance of various attractions. Guides are available at major tourist spots, or you can arrange for one through tour agencies or your hotel. Having a guide can provide you with valuable information and make your visit more enriching.

Are there any special customs or etiquettes to keep in mind while visiting Amritsar?

While visiting Amritsar, it is important to respect the local customs and etiquette. Some general guidelines include covering your head when entering religious sites, removing shoes before entering certain places, and refraining from smoking or consuming alcohol in or near sacred areas. It’s also polite to seek permission before taking photographs of people, especially within the Golden Temple complex.