Akal Takht Literally meaning the "Tribune of the Timeless (God)', the Akal Takht stands
to the West of the Hari Mandir. Guru Hargobind laid the foundation stone of this
three-storeyed building in 1607. The original structure was completed in 1609. It
is said that the Guru used to sit here in public and hear the grievances o the people.
All orders of political nature were issued from this place. The old and historic
weapons, used by the Gurus and other prominent Sikh leaders, have been preserved
at this place and are on display. The upper storey of this building is used as the
'Baptism Place'. There is also an underground chamber in the building of the Akal
Takht. Guru Hargobind as a resting-place used it during summer.
Thara Sahib Quite close to the Akal Takht is situated the Thara Sahib. It is said
that when Guru Tegh Bahadur came to pay homage to the Hari Mandir, the priests closed
the doors and did not allow him to enter. A thara or platform was, therefore, erected.
Standing on it, the Guru paid homage to the Hari Mandir and returned.
Dukh Bhanjan Asthan To the south of the Golden Temple is situated the 'Dukh Bhanjan
Asthan' (the place where all diseases and troubles vanish). It is said that during
the days of Ramayana, nectar was brought from Ram Tirth and kept in the ground here.
It so happened that Guru Arjan Dev was camping near the pond (which later became
the Golden Temple Tank). He noticed that some black crows after a dip into the water
had become white. He at once exclaimed with joy, "Here is the nectar of the Ramayana
period". He asked his followers to dig the place. They instantly carried out his
instructions and the nectar was taken out and put into the pond, thereby turning
the whole of its water into nectar, and named the pond as 'Amrit Sar' (the tank of
Beri Baba Buddha There is a ber-tree on the northern pavement of the holy tank around
the Hari Mandir. Under it, the great devotee Baba Buddha used to sit and supervise
the work of the labour employed for excavating the tank and constructing the temple.
Guru-Ka-Mahal On the way from the Chaurasti Atari to Lohgarh is the Gurdwara Guru-Ka-Mahal.
This was the residence of Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan Dev and Guru Hargobind. The marriage
of Guru Hargobind with Bibi Nanki was also solemnized here.
Kaulsar Kaulsar, i.e. the 'Tank of Kaulan', is quite close to Baba Atal. Kaulan was
the daughter of a Muhammadan Qazi of Lahore. She had a desire to live with Guru Hargobind.
At the time of the Guru's visit to Lahore, she saw him and accompanied him to Amritsar.
Here, she expressed her desire to marry him, but the Guru refused and advised her
to live there as his disciple. She agreed and requested the Guru to keep and memory
alive. Thereupon, the Guru builds a tank and named it Kaulsar after the name of the
lady. There is a small Gurdwara by the side of the tank.
Ramsar This small tank, built Guru Arjan Dev, is the place where he compiled the holy
Granth Sahib. Gurdwara Manji Sahib, situated on the southwest of Baba Atal, stands
by the side of Ramsar. There is a raised white marble platform, known as Manji Sahib,
where Guru Arjan Dev dictated the Adi-Granth, i.e., the first original copy, to Bhai
Bibeksar In front of the Gurdwara Ramsar is this tank, the foundation of which was
laid by Guru Hargobind in 1622. Nearby was also a beautiful garden where the Guru
used to come for recreation. He usually took rest on the edge of the tank where now
stands the Gurdwara Bibeksar. Sometimes, he held his meetings here in the evening.
Here, the Guru organized his followers on military lines.
Santokhsar Santokhsar and the adjoining Gurdwara. Tahli Sahib is situated in the heart
of the city, near the Town Hall. There is a shisham (tahli) -tree under which Guru
Arjan Dev used to sit. Santokhsar is one of the biggest tanks in Amritsar. Its digging
was started by Guru Ram Das in 1570 and was completed by Guru Arjan Dev in 1588.
Baba Atal Baba Atal is nine-storey octagonal building-the highest structure in the
city. It is situated to the southwest of the Hari-Mandir. A very interesting story
is narrated about its construction. Atal Rai was the youngest son of Guru Hargobind.
When he was nine years old, he used to play there with other boys. One day, one of
his companions, named Mohan, the son of a widow, suddenly died. Atal Rai went to
his house and knocked at the door. When enquired about the errand of his visit, Baba
Atal said that the deceased boy had to give him in the game to turn which was still
due. He instantly went to the dead body of his friend and, touching it with his stick,
uttered, "Get up, give me my turn first and then depart from this world if you so
like". The dead boy stood up. All were taken aback at this incident. When Guru Hargobind
came to know of it, he got enraged and reprimanded Atal Rai, warning him not to interfere
in the doings of God. Atal Rai took the reprimand to heart so much that he lay down
in his house and never got up. In order to perpetuate his memory, this nine-storey
monument was raised during the period 1778-84. The nine storeys symbolize the 9 years'
age of Atal Rai. It is a common belief that the people who bring cooked food and
distribute it among the poor here get their desires fulfilled. Hence it is said,
"Baba Atal, Pakki Pakai Ghal".
Pipli Sahib Situated near Chowk Putlighar, this Gurdwara stands in a spacious groud.
It is situated at the site where Guru Arjan Dev had welcomed his disciples who had
come from Kabul to help him to construct the Hari Mandir. Later, the Guru used to
hold religious gatherings of his followers here.Guru Hargobind started his first
battle against the Turks from this place. . The Basant fair is celebrated here with
great pomp and show.
Gurdwara Sara Garhi Situated just opposite the Government Higher Secondary School,
Town Hall, Amritsar, it was built in the memory of the non-commissioned officers
officers and men of the 36th Sikhs whose names have been engraved on a marble stone
fixed on the wall of the Gurdwara as a perpetual record of heroism shown by these
gallant soldiers. They died at their posts in the defence of the frontier Fort of
Saragarhi on 12th September 1897, fighting against an overwhelming number of Pathans.
To commemorate their bravery, three Gurdwaras were erected-one at Saragarhi, the
venue of the battle, the second at Firozpur and the third here. The memorial at Amritsar
was unveiled on February 14, 1902.
Gurdwara Shahid Ganj Baba Deep Singh Situated near the Chatiwind Gate, this Gurdwara
was built in the memory of Baba Deep Singh. During his invasion of 1756-57, Ahmad
Shah Abdali had razed the Hari Mandir and had filled the Holi Tank with debris and
all kinds of rubbish. Muslim soldiers heavily guarded the shrine and no Sikh was
allowed to enter it. When Baba Deep Singh came to know of it, he took a solemn vow
to free the Hari Mandir from the Muslims. He prayed that in case he achieved martyrdom
he must fall in the precincts of the Hari Mandir. Along with a few hundred Sikhs,
he started for Amritsar. The Muhammadan authorities also sent a big force to check
their advance. A bloody battle ensued, but the brave Sikhs kept on advancing. They
were yet about 6 km from Amritsar, when Baba Deep Singh got a severe cut with a sword
in the neck and his head was nearly severed. It is said that when the head was about
to fall, his companions reminded the Baba of his vow. On this, he immediately recovered
himself, supported his head with one hand and, wielding his dagger with the other,
pushed through the enemy. On reaching the vicinity of the Hari Mandir, he let his
head drop and breathed his last. A small Gurdwara stands at this place. The dead
body was cremated outside the Chatiwind Gate where stands a big Gurdwara known as
Shahid Ganj Baba Deep Singh. The dagger used by him is still preserved in the Toshakhana
of the Golden Temple.
Durgiana Mandir Shri Lakshami Narain Mandir, popularly known as the Durgiana Mandir,
situated outside the Hathi Gate, Amritsar, is modelled on the pattern of the Golden
Temple. It was founded in 1922 through the joint efforts of Nathu Mal Rangwala and
Gur Sahai Mal. The temple stands in the middle of a tank, about 162 metres long and
130 metres wide. A bridge about 76 metres long and 5.6 metres wide leads to it. The
idols of Lakshami and Narain stand in the central structure along with those of Rama
and Sita and Radha and Krishna, installed on the left and right of it. There also
exist Sant Tulsi Das Mandir, Sat Narain Mandir, Hanuman Mandir, Radhe Shayam Mandir
and a Shivala.
Shitla Mandir Situated towards the north of the Durgiana Mandir, this old shrine is
held in great veneration by the people. The idol of the goddess Shitla is installed
on a golden throne with a golden canopy over it. Parents with children infected with
measles usually visit the shrine for obtaining the blessings of the goddess. Inside
the temple, are also installed the idols of the goddesses Kali Mata, Lakshami and
Shri Hanuman Ji Mandir
Situated by the side of the Durgiana Mandir, Amritsar, this temple is about 250 years
old. It is said to have been build on the site where Hanuman was tied to a tree after
he had suffered a defeat at the hands of Rama's sons Lav and Kush who held the horse
of the Ashwamedh Yajya in defiance of Lord Ram's orders and fought successfully against
the imperial army. Originally, the shrine was housed in a kachcha hut erected by
an ascetic known as Mauni Baba.
The people who visit it in large numbers on every Tuesday hold the temple in great
Shri Raghunath Ji Mandir Situated close to the Durgiana Mandir, Amritsar, this temple
is said to have been build about three centuries back. Swami Bhagwan Das whose smadh
exists within the premises of the temple founded it. A few old paintings still exist
on the walls of the temple. Besides, there are idols of different gods and goddesses
in the temple.
The Jallianwala Bagh area once belonged to Bhai Hamit Singh Jallawala, a vakil of
Raja Jaswant Singh of Nabha, at the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The massacre
of the innocent people at the Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, perpetrated by General
Dyer on March 13, 1919, has no parallel in history in barbarousness and cruelty.
It forms an important landmark in India's struggle for freedom. The flame of liberty
lighted there set the whole of the country aflame. It gave great impetus to the Satyagrah
movement, which ultimately won freedom for the country on August 15, 1947.
In 1974, the experts of the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, landscaped
the Bagh. Rows of poplars and eucalyptus were planted along the periphery to provide
a green wall for isolating the view of the surrounding unsightly houses. There has
also been set up an art-gallery, named as the Martyrs' Gallery, where paintings of
the massacre, as well as the portraits of the political leaders, etc. of the time
Khalsa College & Guru Nanak Dev University : Khalsa College was founded in 1892 and
built on grand scale in typical Sikh architecture, its distinguished alumni; sportsmen,
servicemen, administrators, professionals, fill up India´s compilations of Who´s
Who. On a part of its land a new University called Guru Nanak Dev University was
established. Soon it has become distinguished for starting modern curricula and has
etched its name on the sports map of India.
Wagha Border The international border between India and Pakistan is called Wagha Border.
The pomp and pageantry of the Beating Retreat and the Change of Guard within handshaking
distance of the Indian and Pakistani forces makes for a most charming spectacle.
Wagha, an army outpost on Indo-Pak border - between Amritsar and Lahore, is an elaborate
complex of buildings, roads and barriers on both sides. The daily highlight is the
evening "Beating the Retreat" ceremony. Soldiers from both countries march in perfect
drill, going through the steps of bringing down their respective national flags.
As the sun goes down, nationalistic fervour rises and lights are switched on marking
the end of the day amidst thunderous applause.
Dera Baba Jaimal Singh It is situated in Amritsar on the western bank of the River
Beas. The nearest railway station is Beas, about 6 km from the Dera (adobe). The
plae is connected with the railway station and the Grand Trunk Road by a pucca approach
road. Baba Jaimal Singh, a disciple of Swami Maharaj of Agra, founded the Dera in
1891. In the beginning, the Dera was a wasteland, but gradually it was transformed
into a township.
Govindwal Sahib Situated at a distance of 24 km from Tarn Taran and 48 km from Amritsar,
Govindwal is connected with the former place by road. One Gonda (Govinda) Marwaha
originally lived there. The village was named Govindwal after him.
Guru Angad Dev is said to have started the building of Govindwal in 1546 or thereabout
and to have entrusted its construction to Amar Das. In 1552, when the Guru realized
that his end was drawing near, he installed Amar Das as his successor and asked him
to shift to Govindwal from where he was to guide and direct the activities of the
Govindwal was quite important commercially and otherwise during the Mughal period,
as it was situated on the then highway from Atari to Govindwal. At Govindwal, there
was a very well known ferry on the River Beas and a brisk trade was carried on. With
the opening of railway lines from Amritsar to Kasur (now in Pakistan) and from Amritsar
to Lahore, the town lost its importance as a trading-centre and, with the lapse of
time, became a deserted place. Lofty buildings in a dilapidated and practically deserted
condition are seen even today.
There is a Gurdwara built by Guru Amar Das. The institution of langar, originally
started by him, owes its origin to this Gurdwara. The Guru would not allow any disciple
to see him until he had taken food from the langar. There is a baoli (well with a
flight of stairs), with 84 steps, within the Gurdwara. It is said that a person by
reciting the Japji at each step attains salvation. A considerable portion of the
Adi-Granth-the composition of Guru Amar Das-was composed at Govindwal.
A fair is held at Govindwal in Bhadra (Bhadon) when the place presents a jubilant
look for about a week.
Gurdwara Bir Sahib Baba Buddha Situated in the Tarn Taran District, Bir Sahib is 16
km from Tarn Taran and 24 km from Amritsar (via Chheharta) by road. There is a Gurdwara
built in the memory of Baba Budha who is said to have resided at this place. He had
many cows and used to send butter and milk for the Guru's langar at Amritsar. Baba
Budha is said to have served and first six Gurus. For a long time, the Fifth Guru,
Arjan Dev, had no son. It is said that Mata Ganga came from Amritsar to Bir Sahib
on foot, with loaves, buttermilk and onions on her head. Baba Buddha accepted the
offerings and, through his blessings, Mata Ganga gave birth to a son (Hargobind ji).
In commemoration of the birth of Guru Hargobind, a fair is held there on 21st Asvin.
Gurdwara Jhar Sahib Situated in the Patti, the Gurdwara Jhar Sahib is 2 km from Gajal
which is 8 km from Khem Karan. The Gurdwara is built in the memory of Guru Hargobind,
who, while coming from Kasur, stayed here and hunted a tiger, which had become a
menance to the people of the area. Fifty acres of land is attached to the Gurdwara.
A mela is held here on 31st Asadha.
Adjacent to this Gurdwara is the smadh (tomb) of Baba Harnam Singh, a disciple of
Bhai Vir Singh. At a small distance towards the rohi is another Gurdwara at Muthianwala
built in the memory of Bhai Vir Singh. A mela is also held there on 27th Baisakh.
Gurdwara Sanh Sahib Situated in the Tarn Taran District, this Gurdwara is 14 km from
Amritsar. It was built in the memory of Guru Amar Das. It is said that when the sons
of Guru Angad Dev began to harass Guru Amar Dss, he returned to his native village
of Basarke. At a distance of about two kilometres from this place is situated the
Gurdwara Sanh Sahib. The Guru started meditation there is seclusion and the disciples
did not know his whereabouts. Baba Buddha traced the Guru with the help of his mare.
A notice had been put up outside the Guru's room to the effect that a curse would
befall the intruders. Therefore, Baba Buddha entered the room through the back wall
by breaking it. This annoyed the Guru who told Baba Buddha that he had disobeyed
the injunction. The latter replied that the injunction was for entry from the front
door and not through the back wall. It is held that whosoever enters the Gurdwara
through the hole in the back wall attains salvation. A fair is held at Sanh Sahib
is Bhandra, coinciding with dates of the fair at Govindwal.
Khadur Sahib Situated at a distance of 19 km from Tarn Taran and 43 km from Amritsar,
Khadur Sahib is connected with both the places by road. Khadur Sahib is important
because of its long association with Guru Angad Dev who mostly stayed here and made
it his headquarters. It was at this place that Guru Amar Das served him as a disciple.
The succession of Amar Das as the Third Guru also took place there.
There are five Gurdwaras of the time of Guru Angad Dev and Guru Amar Das. One of
these is Gurdwara Angitha Sahib, where Guru Angad Dev was cremated. In this Gurdwara,
there is a small platform, indicating the place where Guru Amar Das, with a gagar
(brass pitcher) of water on his shoulder, fell into the Khaddi (the pit in which
the weaving apparatus is installed). Quite near to it is the 'Thara Sahib', where
Guru Amar Das used to meditate when he would get spare time from the service of Guru
angad Dev. Another Gurdwara is called 'Mal Akhara' where Guru Angad Dev used to deliver
religious discourses, teach boys and girls during the day time and witness wrestling
matches in the evening. At a distance of about 200 metres, there is another Gurdwara,
called Tapiana Sahib. It is said that as many as eight Gurus visited this place on
one occasion or another. A tank has been built at Tapiana Sahib and a fair is held
there is Bhadra, four days after the mela at Govindwal. At Khandur Sahib, there is
also a smadh of Bhai Bala, a close associate and disciple of Guru Nanak Dev.
Khadur Sahib, however, never attained importance as a commercial centre, as it was
too near Govindwal, which eclipsed it as trading centre. At a distance of 6 km from
Khadur Sahib, en route Govindwal, there is the Gurdwara Damdama Sahib. It is said
that Guru Amar Das, while bringing water from the River Beas for the bath of Guru
Angad Dev, used to rest there daily for a while. While coming from Khadur Sahib,
Amar Das would go to the Beas with his face towards Khadur Sahib. From Damdama Sahib,
he would turn his face. This was done to show reverence to Guru Angad Dev.
Ram Tirth Situated 11 km to the west of Amritsar on the Amritsar-Lopoke Road, Ram
Tirth is an ancient pilgrimage centre, the origin of which is obscure. There is a
big tank of peculiar shape, which is said to have been dug by Hanuman-the famous
devotee of Shri Ram Chandra. He is said to have dug it with dhati tap (i.e. with
two and a half cuts), two lengthwise and a half breadthwise. The circumference of
the tank is about three kilometres. There are some small temples on its sides. There
is a baoli after the name of Sita, the wife of Shri Ram Chandra.It is said that Sita
spent her period of exile at this place in the cottage of Rishi Valmik. Lav and Kush
are also said to have been born to Sita at this place and the great epic Ramayana
was composed here. The fight between Shri Ram Chandra's forces and Lav and Kush is
also said to have taken place at Ram Tirth.
Tarn Taran : Tarn-Taran is 24 kilometres south town founded by Sri Guru Arjan
Dev in 1590. The Gurdwara got constructed by the Guru stands on the side of a large
tank. Fairs are held here on every ´Amavas´ dark night of the month, birth anniversaries
of the Gurus, Baisakhi and Diwali.
Harike Pattan(Wetland) : The lake formed at the point of confluence of rivers Beas
and Sutlej at Harika , situated mid way between Amritsar and Ferozepur was declared
a national wildlife sanctuary in 1982. It is a welcome winter home to about 350 odd
species of birds from far flung lands of China, Siberia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Bakala : Situated about 45 kilometers east on the Batala road. Sri Guru Tegh Bahadurji,
revealed himself to Makhan Shah Labana, a Sikh devotee here. It has a magnificent
Gurdwara where people gather in thousands on every amavas (moonless night) and an
annual fair is held on Raksha Bandhan day (night of full moon in August) when about
one hundred thousand people visit the place.
The city of Amritsar is situated in the north west part of the Indian state of Punjab.
Due to its convenient location the city serves as an important access point to various
places of tourist interest. The choice is varied and includes places of historical
and religious significance as well as places of immense natural beauty.
several day trip options that include outing to the Wagah Border to see the changing
of the guards or to Amanat Khan Serai for the old inn. Goindwal Sahib, Tarn Taran,
Baba Bakala and sites of similar importance are easily accessible from the city of
Amritsar and are popular choice as Amritsar getaways. The state of Himachal Pradesh
is also within easy access of Amritsar and so the hill resorts of Dharamshala, Jwalamukhi
and Dalhousie are popular excursions around Amritsar. These places of tourist interest
offer stunning mountain scape with the Dhauladhar mountains making the picturesque
All Amritsar excursions offer proper accommodation and dining facilities
at an affordable price. The city is also well connected with Delhi as also with the
major cities of India by regular flights, railway and buses. No wonder, the city
of Amritsar provides the perfect base for many interesting get aways for its convenient
location, great networking and infrastructure.
Some of the famous Tour and Trips
from Amritsar are as follows:
Amritsar to Gurudwara Ber Sahib
Gurudwara Ber Sahib is situated in Sultanpur Lodhi, a Sikh pilgrimage center in
the Kapurthala district of the Indian state of Punjab and can be covered as an religious
tour from Amritsar. Ber Sahib is easily accessible from city of Amritsar as it is
situated at a distance of just 66 km .Guru Nanak Dev ji, the first prophet Sikh Guru,
spent 14 years nine months and 13 days of his life here in Sultanpur Lodhi. The holy
shrine of Gurudwara Ber Sahib is situated on the bank of the river Kaali vein that
flows around half a kilometer away from the old town, in the western direction. The
Gurudwara Ber Sahib is built in the vicinity of a Ber (Zizyphus jujuba) tree, whose
sapling is believed to have been planted by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The Ber tree still
stands in all its glory. The beautiful edifice was originally built by Baba Jassa
Singh Ahluwalia who was also the founder of Kapurthala. Later on, the present building
was built under the supervision and instruction of Maharajah Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala
between the years of 1938 - 1942. The portico of the Gurudwara is beared by octagonal
columns and the plinth inside stands high. An archway adorned by intrinsic floral
patterns leads to the sanctum sanctorum where the Guru Granth Sahib is placed with
due honor on a throne. It is believed, that just near to the site of Gurudwara Ber
Sahib, Guru Nanak attained enlightenment, started preaching Sikhism and created 'Sukhmani
Sahib'. This brings forth thousands of devotees every year from Amritsar to Gurudwara
Ber Sahib .
Amritsar to Anandpur Sahib
Anandpur Sahib is located in the left bank of Sutlej river, on Chandigarh - Nangal
Road at a distance of 41 kms from Ropar. Amidst the serene backdrop of the Naina
Devi mountains, Anandpur Sahib is truly the 'city of divine bliss'. This tour from
Amritsar basically entails a trip to the land of gurudwaras and forts. This is because
Anandpur Sahib was defended by the forts of Keshgarh, Lohgarh Anandgarh, and Fatehgarh
and the picturesque valley has been the site of Sikhism for almost 80 years. There
are around 33 gurudwaras in and around the Anandpur Sahib. The festivals of Holla
Mohalla in March and Baisakhi in April is celebrated with huge pomp and gaiety in
Anandpur Sahib and see lakhs of devotees flocking the holy place.All this makes Anandpur
Sahib an interesting destination near Amritsar. There are several hotels and guest
houses to provide dining and comfortable stays in Anandpur Sahib .
Amritsar to Dharamshala
One of the best tour from Amritsar, an early morning drive would make the journey
more pleasant with the fresh air. The Dhauladhar range makes a stunning mountain
scape with the town of Dharamshala being dotted by the oaks and conifers. For the
trekkers this hill resort of Dharamshala offers comfortable challenges, being situated
at an altitude ranging between 1,250 meters to 1,650 meters. The beautiful town of
Dharamshala is divided into the lower Dharamshala and Upper Dharamshala. The names
like Forsythe Ganj and McLeod Ganj enveloped by Tibetan air, immediately interests
the nature lovers. Attractions in and around Dharamshala are St. John's Church, Bhagsunag
Falls, Triund, Jwalamukhi temple, Dharamkot, Trilokpur, Masroor, Nurpur and various
other places.Renowned as "The Little Lhasa in India" Dharamshala is easily accessible
by a scenic drive of 200 kms that take around 5 hours to reach. The best season to
visit Dharamshala is from march till June and again from September to December, avoiding
the rainy days. Winters in Dharamshala are chilly but certainly more beautiful with
clear blue skies. With a host of good hotels and restaurants accommodation is easily
available in this renowned tourist spot.