Amritsar is a city of many-splendored holy wonders. Not only is Amritsar an iconic city that represents the true essence of Punjab, it is also home to numerous temples and gurudwaras that are grand, eclectic and spiritually uplifting.
Sikh and Hindu pilgrims visit Amritsar for spiritual respite, and regular tourists visit the city for its historical landmarks like Jallianwala Bagh and Wagah Border. Planning a trip to the city? Check out our compilation of the top 10 temples to visit in Amritsar.
Must-visit Temples in Amritsar
1. The Golden Temple
A symbol of Sikhism and universal brotherhood, Sri Harmandir Sahib or ‘The Abode of God’ is constructed in Indo-Islamic style with influences of Rajput architecture. Its gold outer structure is an amazing sight to behold.
The temple looks divine in the evening all lit-up. Pilgrims have described the experience of visiting here as blissful and calm. The prasad is served at the daily langar. Believers bathe in its pool which is said to have curative qualities. The daily chanting of hymns is mesmerising.
- Where: Golden Temple Road, Atta Mandi
2. Akal Takht
A building of spiritual and religious importance, the Akal Takht (the throne of the timeless one) is located right opposite the Golden Temple in the same complex. It is the most important seats in Sikhism with significant religious and political history.
The Akal Takht is constructed to be slightly lower in height than the Golden Temple to show the order of importance. Edicts and guidance on the practice of Sikhism are announced from here.
- Where: Golden Temple Complex
3. Mandir Mata Lal Devi Temple
This is a unique temple with interesting mirror work and chaotic but highly engaging design, including a bespectacled goddess!. It is a place of worship for women who want to have a baby. The temple has a carnival-like, fun house ambience with narrow passages, brightly coloured eclectic deities and stairways leading to psychedelic shrines.
This temple is a major attraction for foreign tourists. Even visitors without a religious inclination find this temple quirky. There are multiple idols, narrow watery caves and large snakeheads and passage doors shaped like lion heads.
- Where: Rani Ka Bagh
4. Shri Durgiana Temple
Shri Durgiana Temple is also known as the Lakshminarayan Temple and is similar to the Golden Temple is its construction and appearance. The temple is chiefly dedicated to Goddess Durga and is an important pilgrimage site for North Indians, visited by Indians as well as devotees residing abroad.
The temple is in the middle of a water body and there is a ghat for pilgrims to take a dip in. It features huge silver doors and marble walls. The temple provides daily langar for devotees and visitors,
- Where: Goal Bagh
5. ISKCON Temple
A small and enchanting ISKCON Temple of Amritsar, with Krishna and Radha idols at the centre, is worth visiting for its disciplined ambience intermingled with beautiful decor and religious artefacts.
Enjoy its daily prayers or Sunday Love Feasts with spirited chantings, meditate in its clean surroundings. The daily langar is quite a delicious treat. The Amritsar ISKCON temple is smaller compared to others in India, but also less crowded on most days.
- Where: Laxmansar
6. Bada Hanuman Mandir
Close to the Durgiana Temple, the Bada Hanuman Mandir has a deity of Lord Hanuman which is reachable via a narrow walk. Inside the temple is a deity of Lord Shiva to worship and a holy banyan tree outside.
Lord Hanuman was a mythical monkey king and at the temple, you will find many monkeys prancing around. There is a room for devotees to chant hymns from the Ramayana, the sound of which is hypnotic.
- Where: Goal Bagh, North of Durgiana Temple
7. Maa Bhadrakali Mandir
An ancient temple dedicated to Goddess Kali, who is the paramour of Lord Shiva, Kali Mata Mandir is frequented by hardcore Kali devotees.
The place is swarming with devotees during Bhadrakali Jayanti celebrated according to Hindu Calendar.
- Where: Khazana Gate Chowk
8. Valmiki Temple or Ram Tirath
Located in the outskirts of Amritsar enroute Wagah Border, this is a prominent pilgrimage place dedicated to Saint Valmiki who supported Sita during her separation from Ram. It is believed that their sons Luv and Kush were born here and the epic fight between Rama’s army and his sons took place here.
The temple premises are huge, which houses the Valmiki ashram, along with a large water tank and a couple of small temples. It is a symmetrical modern construction with the traditional Hindu temple architecture.
- Where: Amritsar-Lopoke Road
9. Gurudwara Baba Atal Rai Sahib Ji
This is an octagonal 9-storeyed gurudwara built in the memory of Baba Atal Rai, who was the son of the sixth Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. It was built in the 18th century.
A legendary story about Baba Atal Rai is that he resurrected his dead companion from a snake bite when they were children. When chided by his father for disturbing the natural order, Baba Atal went into a trance and sacrificed his life.
- Where: Harmandir Sahib Temple Complex
10. Bhaiyan Da Shivala Mandir
A popular Shiva Temple crowded during Shivratri and almost all days, but overflowing with devotees on Mondays, this is a temple worth visiting for its divine energy and ambience.
It is said that it was built by two brothers from Uttar Pradesh, hence the name. It was originally built and maintained by migrant workers of UP (residents of UP are colloquially called Bhaiya), over time the temple came to be known as Bhaiyan Da Shivala Mandir or Shivala Bagh Bhaiyan.
- Where: Tilak Nagar
One way to explore the major temples of Amritsar is by taking a heritage walk across the city. However, if you are planning a special pilgrimage to Amritsar, follow our list of Amritsar temples to cover each one of them individually. Which are your favourite temples in Amritsar? Leave comments below.