Best Experiences In Amritsar No Traveller Should Miss!
Amritsar may perhaps not fall into to the usual routes of tourists in India, but it is a city worth visiting for its rich history, cultural resonance and the lovely, warm people. It is the seat of the holiest temple in Sikhism, the Golden Temple, and if not for anything else, one must visit Amritsar to experience the spiritual power of this place. Amritsar tourism is picking up especially after its food and cultural experiences are getting talked about. Some of the most popular things to do in Amritsar are related to food, shopping and visits to the numerous heritage sites.
Here are our recommendations for the some of the best things to do and places to see in Amritsar that you simply cannot miss.
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Amritsar Tourism – Top 6 Experiences You Must Have
1. An Early Morning At The Golden Temple
For those who are completely unfamiliar with the Golden Temple, it is the most holy place of worship for Sikhs, and the most important seat in Sikhism, with both religious and historical relevance. The Golden Temple was actually a name given by the British, as the temple is made of solid gold. The Sikhs refer to it by its original name, the Harmandir Sahib. The holy book of scriptures, the Guru Granth Sahib, lies here.
As you descend the stairs onto the compound of the temple, you are immediately in awe of the structure and ambience that lies ahead of you. Soft vocal music is crooned from loudspeakers, devotees humbly make their way around the place, with their head covered, eyes lowered and hands folded in prayer. There is definitely a hauntingly spiritual energy in the place which engulfs you into a serene silence, as you listen to the harmonious sounds around you.
Many people will tell you that the best time to visit the Golden Temple is early morning – and they are so right! Lesser crowds, better weather, and an untouched peace meets you, as you visit the Golden Temple at the crack of dawn. One of the main ceremonies of the temple is when the holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, is brought from its resting place at the Akal Takht. It is a beautiful ceremony where priests carry the holy scripture to its throne and is a real treat to watch. Experience this unique ceremony and take a tour of the temple complex without battling the crowds – truly memorable!
2. Watch The Moving Stories Of The 1947 Partition At The Partition Museum
The Partition of India and Pakistan has left a deep impact on us all. Residents of Amritsar still recall the horrific period of the partition, as if it happened just yesterday. Visit the Partition Museum with the curator, and go in-depth into the stories from the survivors. Throughout the museum, there are videos from survivors, talking about their accounts of the partition. Learn more about their stories, and stories of countless others, as you interact with the curators and historians at the museum. It really is a gut-wrenching experience, and one that would leave you with a heavy heart and a more empathetic mind.
3. Feel The Electric Energy At The Beating The Retreat Ceremony At Wagah Border
An absolutely electrifying atmosphere surrounds you as you experience the most unique phenomenal of beating of the retreat. Even if you do not belong to India or Pakistan, there is so much effervescence, passion and patriotism in the air at the Wagah Border. You will be drawn into the wave of hysteria, and find yourself chanting slogans and singing patriotic songs. The border services conducts the most beautiful Beating of the Retreat Ceremonies, on both sides of the border, and it is a real treat to watch. This one experience should not be missed!
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4. Immerse Yourself In The Culinary Gems Of Amritsar
Food and Golden Temple are two of the most popular experiences in Amritsar, so a walk around the city to discover the gastronomic flavours of Amritsar is a must do activity! From the piping hot stuffed kulchas, served at a humble food joint, to the finger-licking delicious Amritsari fish at Makhan Fish, from sarson ka saag at Brothers Dhaba to Chicken at Beera Chicken House, a foodie in Amritsar is like a child in a candy store! Take a food walk around the city, exploring the favourites among the locals. Some of the places seem so unassuming, one will never be able to imagine that the food at these places is so, so good. That is the speciality of Amritsar – there is taste in every kitchen, decadent freshness in every dish served. Amritsari people love their food, and love to offer this food to visitors. Explore the city on foot with a food blogger or an expert in the local cuisine. Do try the delicious sarson ka saag, poori aloo, chhole kulche, pindi chhole, and so much more!
5. Experience With Rural Life With A Village Tour
Rural life in Punjab is perhaps different from anywhere else in the country. Punjab is one of the richest agricultural regions in the country, and its rich minerals and fertile land enables it to be one of the largest producer of farm produce in India. Naturally then, the villages are more prosperous and modern than one would expect from a rural setting. Having said that, there is still a strong bond with the land, and the earthiness of the culture is palpable in how people in the villages still live. From having a meal with a local rural family, taking a walk around the fields, pulling water from a hand pump to having hot rotis made from a stove, experience the village life of Punjab to truly understand the depth of India which Amritsar tourism boasts of.
6. Go Shopping For Phulkari In Amritsar
Shopping in Amritsar is a real delight for two reasons – one is that you find such beautiful exquisite stuff, that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. And second, that you get them at such good prices, which you’d not be able to match in bigger cities like Delhi or Mumbai. Amritsar tourism is known for the thriving textile trade, and for the Phulkari work, which is the typical of the place. Also shop for the traditional punjabi jooties or shoes, which are beautifully designed and are unique in their style. Overall, the entire experience of shopping in Amritsar is really satisfying and you’ll surely go back with bags of new clothes and accessories!
Amritsar is a warm place with intense stories. Every little alleyway speaks volumes of all the hidden gems that the city has to offer. And at the heart of it all is the Golden Temple, a spiritual haven. Amritsar is all life, all love, and it will engulf you in its warmth.
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Neha Mathur loves to explore the stories behind places and people. She believes travel is the best form of education, and loses no opportunity to visit a new place. Neha writes to express stories that touch her heart or entice her mind. She’s a foodie and nothing gives her more happiness than delicious local food! She has a deep love for poetry and music, and swears by the artistic genius of Mirza Ghalib and R.D. Burman.