1. The Golden Temple
The definitive top attraction in Amritsar is the Golden Temple, a two-story structure covered in real gold and surrounded by a 5.1-meter-deep manmade lake. But not merely a tourist site, this legendary religious shrine is one of the most sacred places in the world for Sikhs, many of whom make a pilgrimage to the temple at least once in their lifetimes.
2. Wagah Border Ceremony
A 31-kilometer drive west from the city center of Amritsar will take you to the border of Pakistan, where a curious border-closing ceremony takes place at sunset every afternoon. Full of pomp and circumstance, the Beating Retreat Ceremony involves an ostentatious display of goose-stepping guards from the Indian Border Security Force and the Pakistan Rangers saluting each other, lowering and folding their flags, and closing the gates at the border.
3. Partition Museum
Tourists in Amritsar can learn about this defining moment in history at the Partition Museum, the only institution in the world devoted entirely to Partition. It features a haunting collection of newspaper clippings, antique photographs, and oral histories with people who experienced the violence leading up to the separation of the two countries, and the resettling of refugees after the event. The experience will give you a deeper understanding of the source of rivalry between India and Pakistan.
4. Mandir Mata Lal Devi
The Mandir Mata Lal Devi is as bizarre as the Golden Temple is elegant. Legend has it that this Hindu temple, dedicated to the female saint Lal Devi, can boost the fertility of women who visit. But to non-devotees, the labyrinthine attraction resembles a funhouse.
5. Jallianwala Bagh
Tucked behind the Golden Temple, tourists will find another important site in Amritsar: Jallianwala Bagh. The public garden memorializes the estimated 1,500 people who were killed or injured when British soldiers were ordered to fire on peaceful protesters who were demanding the release of imprisoned leaders of the Indian Independence Movement in 1919. You can still see bullet holes in the walls that hundreds of victims hid behind in attempt to dodge the gunfire.
6. Baba Atal Tower
Often overshadowed by the neighboring Golden Temple, Baba Atal Tower is a worthwhile attraction in Amritsar in its own right. The structure is an architectural marvel, with nine octagonal stories stacked 40 meters high, making it one of the tallest structures in Amritsar.
7. Ram Bagh Gardens
Looking for a serene escape from the hectic streets of Amritsar? Head to Ram Bagh Gardens, a sprawling public park. The green space brims with rare plants, flowers, and trees, and features refreshing water features filled with goldfish. You’ll also find statues throughout the gardens, including a memorial for Ranjit Singh, leader of the Sikh Empire in the early 1800s.
8. Gobindgarh Fort
More than 250 years old, the Gobindgarh Fort has become one of the most iconic symbols of Punjab. The heritage site hails from a time when the Indian subcontinent was divided into small principalities and ruled by kings. At one point, some 12,000 soldiers manned the fort to protect Amritsar from potential invaders.
9. Shri Durgiana Mandir
Take one look at Shri Durgiana Mandir (Durgiana Temple), and you might think you’re seeing double. With its half gold, half marble facade, the domed structure looks almost identical to the Golden Temple- it’s even housed in the center of a sacred lake.
10. Goindwal Baoli
Goindwal Baoli is a step-well, constructed in the 16th century by Guru Amar Das. The Baoli (open-well) is located on the banks of the River Beas and is an important Sikh centre, and is one of the first Sikh pilgrimage sites.
Thinks To Do:
- Street Food: Satiate The Foodie In You!
- Shopping: Buy Colorful Souvenirs!
- Golden Temple: ‘Langar Seva’ In Its Massive Kitchen!
- Suncity Amusement & Waterpark: Have Fun!
- Harike Wetlands: Go Birdwatching!