Amritsar Places of Interest
- The city of Amritsar with its rich Sikh and Punjabi heritage has a lot to offer to a tourist. The by lanes of the walled city has the antediluvian charm of an era gone by. The sparkling Gurudwaras or the Sikh shrines are paved with the finest marble from Makran and Rajasthan. The walls of all the Gurudwaras are adorned with murals depicting the sacrifices made by the Sikh Gurus and their families. Amritsar is the Mecca of Sikhs.
- The Golden Temple
- Also known as Harminder Sahib, it is the most revered shrine of the Sikhs. The name Golden Temple originated as the sanctum sanctorum Akal Takht has its roof covered with pure gold plates. The Sikhs from all over the world come to visit the shrine at least once in their lifetime. The four gates in four cardinal directions are an open invitation to all to visit the shrine. The Central Sikh Museum is atop the Clock Tower. The 'Guru Ka Langar' offers free food to around 20,000 people everyday. The number shoots up to 100,000 on special occasions. A visitor must cover his / her head before entering the temple premises. The Granth Sahib is kept in the Temple during the day and is kept in the Akal Takht or Eternal Throne in the night. The Akal Takht also houses the ancient weapons used by the Sikh warriors. Guru Hargobind established it. The rugged old Jubi Tree in the north west corner of the compound is believed to possess special powers. It was planted 450 years ago, by the Golden Temple's first high priest, Baba Buddha. Guru-ka-Langar or the communal canteen is towards the eastern entrance of the temple complex, and it provides free food to all visitors, regardless of colour, creed, caste or gender. Visitors to the Golden Temple must remove their shoes and cover their heads before entering the temple. The temple is less crowded in the early mornings on weekend
- Jallian Wala Bagh
- It gained its place in the annals of the Indian freedom struggle when British General Reginald Dyer mercilessly gunned down hundreds of innocent men, women and children who had gathered in the park on the day of Baisakhi in 1919. The park symbolizes the atrocities committed by the British on the Indian soil.
- Khalsa College
- Khalsa College, Amritsar. The oldest college of Amritsar was established in distinctive mix of Mughal and Sikh architecture in the year 1892 by the Singh Sabha Movement. The college campus is spread over more that 300 acres and has that distinctive charm with red minarets and domes against the lush green backdrop.
- Fort Gobind Garh
- The fort was constructed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the early 18th century. The construction and design of the fort was to defend against the attacks of the Afghans. The fort is not open to public now. It has been taken over by the Indian security forces.
- Durgiana Temple
- Built in the third decade of the 20th Century it echoes, not the traditional Hindu temple architecture, but that of the Golden Temple and, in a similar manner rises from the midst of a tank and has canopies and the central dome in the style of the Sikh temple. One of the greatest reformers and political leaders of resurgent India, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, laid its foundation stone. It is a well-known repository of Hindu scriptures. The complex houses Shree Laxmi Narayan Mandir with a huge pond on its periphery. The water of River Ravi was diverted to fill it up. In the night the Temple lights shimmering in the water present a heavenly sight.
- Ram Bagh
- The landscaped garden with Summer palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the center. The Maharaja later named it Ram Bagh. It has a museum with relics of Mughal era and hand drawn sketches and portraits of the ruling Sikhs.
- Mata Mandir
- This is the temple built by a devotee of Mata Vaishno Devi. The temple is must visit shrine for all the Hindus visiting Amritsar.
- Ram Tirath Temple
- Ram Tirath Temple is located at a distance of 11 KM from Amritsar. The temple dates back top the period of Ramayana. There is an ancient tank at this place. At the site there is a hut where Mata sita gave birth to Luv and Kush. The site also has Maharishi Valmiki's hermitage and a well with stairs where Mata Sita used to take her bath. The Temples exhibit scenes from Ramayana.
- Attari Wagah Border
- Attari Border about 28 kms. from Amritsar is the oldest border crossing between India and Pakistan. It's an interesting experience especially at sunset when the 'Retreat' ceremony takes place with the BSF on the Indian Side of the Border. 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 fervors rises and lights are switched on marking the end of the day amidst thunderous applause.
- Harike Pattan Bird Sanctuary
In 1982, Harike Pattan was officially declared a bird sanctuary.
In 1992 It has been identified as one of the sites for conservation under the Indian National Wetland Programme.
Harike Pattan is today a vital staging post and winter home to waterfowl, including some globally threatened species.
Spread over 93 square miles, Harike wetland in Punjab's Taran Taran District is the second largest bird sanctuary of India. It's home to rare varieties of avifauna arriving here from different parts of Europe and northern Asia for stay during a major part of the year.
Throughout the year, autumn, spring and winter, Harike Pattan becomes a refuge to over 361 species of birds, 140 of who believed to breed here. Some of the birds that can be spotted are the Cotton Pygmy Goose, Tifted Duck, Yellow crowned Woodpecker, Yellow eyed Pigeon, Watercock, Pallas's Gull, Brown headed Gull , Black headed Gull, Yellow legged Gull, Indian Skimmer, White winged Tern, White rumped Vulture, Hen Harrier, Eurasian Sparrow hawk, Eurasian Hobby, Horned Grebe, Black necked Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, White browed Fantail, Brown Shrike, Common Wood shrike, White tailed Stonechat, White crowned Penduline Tit, Rufous vented Prinia, Striated Grass bird, Cetti's Bush Warbler , the Sulphur bellied Warbler and Diving duck etc .
The sanctuary is home to the endangered Testudine Turtle and Smooth Indian Otter listed in the IUCN ( The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) Red list of Threatened Animals. Harike is also well known for its market for sweet water fish.
The sanctuary came into existence with the construction of a barrage at the confluence of the river Beas and Satluj for water storage and providing irrigation and drinking water.