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What is the History of Amritsar?

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What is the History of Amritsar?

Amritsar is one of the holiest cities in India, located in the state of Punjab. Located on the west side of the Indian sub-continent, it is home to millions of pilgrims who come to visit the Golden Temple on a daily basis. Established in 1577 by the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das, it has been a major centre of Sikhism throughout its history. Amritsar has an ancient spiritual history and a vibrant culture, and is known for its holy sites, rich cuisine, and beautiful architecture.

The city’s foundation began in 1574, when Guru Ram Das chose the site at which he wanted to build the fourth Sikh holy city. The name “Amritsar” is derived from the Sikh scripture known as “Amrit Vani” meaning the “nectar of immortality”. Construction of the city began with the construction of the Golden Temple complex, which included a large pool of sweetened water (amrit).

Today, Amritsar is well known for being home to the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple), one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Sikhs. The temple was constructed in the 16th century and has since become one of the most famous temples in India. The temple itself is surrounded by a pool of sweetened water, adding to its spiritual significance.

The Harmandir Sahib is often referred to as the “spiritual centre” of Sikhism and its four doors stand as a symbol of acceptance and equality among all people, regardless of faith or background. Apart from the Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar is home to a number of significant Sikh historical and religious sites such as Takht Sri Guru Har Gobind Sahib, Akal Takht and Baba Atal Rai Tower.

The city also serves as a major economic and military centre for India, being one of the largest cities in Punjab. It has also become popular among foreign tourists who come to explore its historic monuments and traditional markets. In 2021, Amritsar was declared India’s first Heritage City by UNESCO.

Beyond its spiritual significance, Amritsar is also known for its diverse culture and cuisine. One of its most popular dishes is the Amritsari Kulcha, an oven-baked flatbread typically filled with potatoes, peas, onions, and spices. Other specialties include sarso da saag (a type of spinach curry) and aloo paratha (potato-stuffed flatbread).

In addition to its religious significance and cuisine, Amritsar also has a reputation for being a cultural hub. The city’s vibrant nightlife includes traditional Bhangra music and folk dance performances. It is also home to many cinemas, shopping malls, and open-air music concerts.

In short, Amritsar is a city full of history, culture, and spirituality. Its rich heritage and religious importance make it an ideal destination for both pilgrims and tourists alike. Whether you are looking for an exciting night out or a spiritual pilgrimage, Amritsar should be on your travel list for its unique culture and heritage. This tour guide by ToursbyLocals provides a great overview of the history, culture, religious significance, and attractions that can be found in Amritsar.

Insider’s Guide to Amritsar: A City of Rich History and Culture

Amritsar, located in the northwest Indian state of Punjab, is a city of vibrant culture, delicious food, and rich history. Home to the famous Golden Temple, Amritsar has a lot to offer for travelers seeking a taste of authentic Indian culture. This insider’s guide will take you through the city’s must-see attractions, culinary delights, cultural experiences, local history, and off-the-beaten-path suggestions.

Must-See Attractions

Without question, the Golden Temple is Amritsar’s most iconic attraction and the holiest shrine of Sikhism. The temple complex is always bustling with devotees and tourists alike, and it’s easy to feel the spiritual energy that permeates the entire site. Another beautiful historical site to visit is Jallianwala Bagh, a public garden that commemorates the tragic Amritsar Massacre of 1919. A trip to the Partition Museum is also a must-visit, as it tells the emotional stories of the millions of people affected by the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.

Dining Spots

Amritsar is known for its delicious Punjabi cuisine, especially for its buttery and creamy dal makhani, paneer tikka, and fiery tandoori chicken. Kesar Da Dhaba is a legendary restaurant serving traditional Punjabi food, and it has been a favorite of locals and celebrities alike since 1916. Another must-try is the iconic Amritsari Kulcha, a type of bread stuffed with mashed potatoes. Gurdas Ram Jalebi Wale is a popular spot for a sweet treat, and their crispy and juicy jalebis are a must-try when in Amritsar.

Cultural Experiences

In addition to exploring the Golden Temple and learning about Sikhism, there are many other cultural experiences that Amritsar has to offer. Wagah Border, the only open land border between India and Pakistan, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Amritsar. You can witness the border ceremony that takes place daily at sunset, where soldiers from both countries partake in a show of military bravado. Another cultural experience is the Punjabi Village, which offers insights into traditional Punjabi life and crafts.

Local History

Amritsar has a rich history that is multifaceted and fascinating. A visit to the Partition Museum can provide valuable insights into the history of the partition of India and Pakistan. You can also visit the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum to learn about the life of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the famous Sikh ruler who established the first Sikh Empire. Another historical site is the Ram Bagh Palace, which was built by the Maharaja of Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and is now home to the Sikh Museum.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions

If you’re looking for something different to do, Amritsar has several off-the-beaten-path suggestions that are worth exploring. The Pul Kanjari is a unique 200-year-old complex that is believed to have been built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh for the comfort of his queen. The complex includes a temple, a mosque, and a marketplace, and it’s a fascinating place to explore. Another interesting site to visit is the Gobindgarh Fort, an ancient fortress that has been transformed into a cultural hub with museums, art galleries, and restaurants.


Amritsar is a city that truly has something for everyone. From exploring the Golden Temple and savoring the delicious food to learning about local history and experiencing Punjabi culture, this insider’s guide has provided you with all the must-see attractions, dining spots, cultural experiences, local history, and off-the-beaten-path suggestions that Amritsar has to offer. So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Amritsar today and experience the rich history and culture of this vibrant city.

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What is the History of Amritsar?

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!