When it comes to the magical city of Amritsar, the first few things that come to mind are the magnificent sunrises over the Golden Temple, the solemnity around the Jallianwala Bagh, and of course the sensory overload of odors, flavors, and sights that fill the city’s flamboyant streets.
Whether it is to explore this hub as the cultural center of the Sikh religion, or from a patriotic angle, to watch the armed forces in action at the Wagah Border, or to simply immerse yourself in the vibrant hues of the celebratory culture of the city, there are a variety of options when it comes to places to visit in Amritsar.
Getting to Amritsar has become extremely convenient with connecting flights available from most cities at reasonable prices, besides a wide range of accommodation options that suit every budget; Amritsar is very quickly turning into a hotspot for tourism in North India. Here’s a list of 20 places to visit in Amritsar that will certainly be helpful the next time you visit the city:
List of Tourist Places to Visit in Amritsar
1. The Golden Temple
Perhaps one of the most famous places in Amritsar is the Golden Temple that has been constructed around a man-made waterbody. A place of great beauty and sublime peace, the temple, and its surrounding premises have drawn visitors from far and wide, thanks to the belief that the waters have healing powers.
The building has its roots stuck deep in history; its architecture is a gorgeous blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles, and the collection of sacred Sikh weapons is definitely a sight to behold.
2. Guru Ka Langar
Once you are done with your visit to the Golden temple, you can head over to the south-east end of the complex where an enormous dining hall called the Guru-ka-Langar. It is here that around 10,000 pilgrims have their meals every day after offering prayers at the temple – a tradition that was initiated by the great Guru Nanak himself. The meal courses offered here are free of cost – an excellent demonstration of the modesty displayed by the Sikh community who strictly believe that nobody should ever go to bed on a hungry stomach.
3. Jallianwala Bagh
If the history of our country intrigues you, one of the best places to visit in Amritsar is the Jallianwala Bagh – the park stands as a testimony to the multiple unarmed Indian protesters that were shot by the British forces way back in 1919. You can immerse yourself in the historic event that contributed to the Indian Independence by checking out the exhibition that narrates the stories of all victims of this horrific incident besides the still-visible bullet marks on the walls.
4. Wagah Border
Wagah Border is where tourists can view the ‘Beating Retreat’ ceremony and the ‘Change of Guard’ ceremony. The discipline with which these ceremonies are carried out is definitely something that needs to be seen, to be believed. The armies from both India and Pakistan put on splendid displays, igniting feelings of patriotism in all those who bear witness to the flag ceremony.
5. Hall Bazaar
In case history and culture are not really your cup of tea, head over to Hall Bazaar which is one of the busiest shopping centers in the city.
From clothing options to local delicacies to handicrafts, you can find them all at Hall Bazaar. The bazaar is also easily accessible by (both locals and) tourists as it lies just 1 km away from the railway station and can be reached by foot or auto-rickshaws, which are available in plenty in and around the city of Amritsar.
6. Ram Bagh
Once your shopping expedition is complete, you could proceed to Ram Bagh and bask in the views of one of the bustling spots in Amritsar. The public park/garden that previously used to be part of the palace grounds of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, is also situated very close to Amritsar railway station.
Right in the midst of this extremely well-maintained park is the former Summer Palace of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh, which is worth checking out although not the most grandiose piece of architecture in the city.
7. Harike Wetland and Bird Sanctuary
This well-maintained sanctuary is a temporary residence for several migratory birds that visit during the winter season. Some of the avian species spotted here are the white-browed fantail, great crested grebe, yellow-legged gull, among others.
If you’re lucky, you could also spot some jungle cats, Indian otters, mongooses and wild boars. It’d be useful to know that only way to enter into the Harike wetlands is via the Nanaksar Gurudwara. Once you cross the barrage, entry permits need to be availed from the Harike wildlife office.
8. Gobindgarh Fort
Constructed by the army of Gujjar Singh Bhangi, the fort remained under the supervision of the British for over 150 years. The Hawa Mahal, the Phansi Ghar and the Darbar Hall were all built during the British rule. The fort was opened for public back in the year 2006 and currently sits under the administration of the Indian Defence Force. Built using brick and lime, the fort features two gates and four bastions. The entrances gates are titled ‘Nalwar’ and ‘Keelar’.
9. Akal Takht
One of the five seats of authority for the Sikhs, Akal Takht literally translates to ‘Throne of the Immortal’. The foundation stone was laid by Guru Hargobind Sahib in 1606. The building directly faces Darshini Deori – the lavishly embellished entrance leading to the Golden Temple. The original Takht was about 3.5 meters high and used to be the seat of Guru Hargobind Ji while he listened to the grievances of the Sikh community and came up with resolutions.
10. Durgiana Temple
This temple follows the architectural style of the Golden Temple and features a sacred tank and dome. Dedicated to Goddess Durga, the Durgiana Temple was constructed by Guru Harsai Mal Kapoor. Idols of Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna are also enshrined here. Due to doors lined in silver, the temple often gets the name ‘Silver Temple’. Lakshmi Narayan Temple’ is another name this temple is known by.
11. Lal Devi Mata Mandir
Standing as an ode to the female saint Lal Devi, this temple is located only a couple of km away from the Amritsar railway station. Situated inside the premises of the Rani ka Bagh, the temple bears striking resemblance to the Mata Vaishno Devi temple at Katra (in the state of Jammu). Lal Devi Mata Mandir remains open between 5 AM and 9 AM every day.
12. Khalsa College
Founded in 1892, the college features a scintillating blend of British, Indian and Mughal architecture. A historic educational institution spread over 300 acres of land, the campus is situated approximately 8 km away from the center of the city. Positioned next to the Guru Nanak Dev University campus, the college has generated many a renowned freedom fighter, politician, sportsman, scientist, and writer. The college now has faculties in various fields such as Commerce, Sciences, Agriculture, and I.T.
13. Guru Ke Mahal
Initially constructed as a small cottage providing shelter to Sikh Gurus, the structure grew in fame when it houses the sacred book of the Sikhs – Guru Granth Sahib. The scripture is kept on a raised platform inside the three-storeyed shrine. A meditation room, where renowned gurus cogitated and composed hymns, forms part of the basement. The Guru Ke Mahal is a delight to visit during the festival that celebrates the birthday of Guru Tegh Bahadur.
14. Amrit Anand Park
Said to have the state’s tallest tricolor, the park has a serene setting which makes it a perfect spot to unwind after a long day of travels (or work). Apart from being reasonably large in size and having sufficient space for walks and jogs, the park also features laser shows and a day-theatre. There’s ample parking space around the park for those who plan to get here using their own vehicles.
15. Gurudwara Pipli Sahib
Constructed in memory of Guru Arjan Dev Ji the fifth Sikh guru, the place of worship is situated a kilometer and half west of Amritsar railway station and remains conveniently accessible. The gurdwara derives its name from the pipal tree that once used to stand tall in the compound. The place is connected to Sher Shah Suri Marg via a 150 m long roadway. The major festival celebrated here, is the Basant Panchami.
16. Tarn Taran
Founded by Guru Arjan Dev Ji (the fifth Sikh guru), Tarn Taran is a holy city situated 22 km away from Amritsar and has numerous ancient gurdwaras such as Gurudwara Guru Ka Khuh, Gurudwara Lakeer Sahib, Gurudwara Bibi Bhani Da Khuh, and Gurudwara Takkar Sahib. Sri Darbar Sahib Tarn Taran, the main gurdwara in the city, is known for its Sarovar (apparently, the biggest holy tank in the world).
17. Sri Ram Tirath Temple
Considered to be the abode of Valmiki and supposedly where he penned the Hindu epic ‘Ramayana’ (inspired by the events that he witnessed), the Sri Ram Tirath Temple is located 11 km west of Amritsar city and was built as a tribute to Lord Rama. The complex comprises a tank and a hut – both places having been venues to significant events in the epic. A four day long annual fair is held at this temple on the eve of the full moon in the month of November.
18. Hanuman Mandir
The idol of Lord Hanuman in a seated posture is enshrined within the temple. Legends say that Lord Ram conducted the Ashwamedha ritual at the spot where the temple currently stands. Hanuman devotees throng the temple every day, seeking the Lord’s blessings. The langoor dance performed by staunch devotees is a fascinating sight for tourists. The temple is situated on the northwestern end of Durgiana temple and can be accessed easily.
19. Kaiser Bagh
A major point of interest for tourists, Kaiser Bagh is a quadrangular park with a beautiful pavilion bordered by yellow buildings on its three sides. Built sometime between 1845 and 1850, the park features a fusion of Mughal and Gothic architectural styles. The most appealing aspect of the park is its entrance that is comprised of a flight of stairs that lead to the main floor giving the structure the look and feel of a bridge.
20. Gurudwara Santokhsar Sahib
A key historical Sikh shrine in the city, Gurdwara Santokhsar Sahib is located at a distance of 700 m from the Golden Temple. The Sarovar here is one amongst the five built by Guru Arjun Dev. The construction of this gurdwara was completed between 1587 and 1589. The tank (Sarovar) here is beautiful to look at and the ambiance makes you feel completely at ease.
Amritsar has recently evolved into a notable tourist hotspot with its wonderful representation of Sikh culture. With this list of places to visit in Amritsar, you can easily plan your trip to the city. Explore Amritsar and share your travel stories with us by leaving comments in the ‘feedback’ section provided below!