Amritsar, literally meaning the tank of nectar, is steeped in glorious religious and national traditions. Its temples - Hari Mandir and the Durgiana Mandir are places of pilgrimage for the devout Hindus and the Sikhs, its Jallianwala Bagh is the mecca of freedom-lovers and its busy markets are the haunts of many a trader from India and abroad.
Prior to the partition of the country, Amritsar occupied an unrivalled position in the business and commercial life of the undivided Punjab. Situated as it is on important trade routes, its trade even today extends to Kabul, Kashmir and Tibet, although the Partition left it a border town and did away with much of its erstwhile importance as a trade center.
Amritsar, literally a Pool of Nectar, derives its name from Amrit Sarovar, the holy tank that surrounds the fabulous Golden Temple. First time visitors to Amritsar could be forgiven for the impression that Amritsar is like any other small town in northern India. But Amritsar stands head and shoulders above any other city, its status elevated and sanctified by the presence of the venerable Golden Temple.
Located in the heart of Amritsar, the temple complex is surrounded by a maze of narrow lanes, or katras, that house one of the busiest markets in India. But the Golden Temple is a serene presence, radiating a calm that makes people bow their heads in reverence. The gurudwara, as Sikh temples are called, is the holiest of Sikh shrines. It is not just Sikhs who travel to the Golden Temple to pay homage, the sacred shrine is equally revered by Hindus and people of other faiths who, too, make the pilgrimage to offer prayers at Harmandir Sahib.
There more to Amritsar than that - Amongst other sights is Jallianwala Bagh, site of the gruesome massacre of unarmed Indians by British troops. A major tourist attraction these days is the Indo-Pakistan border crossing at Wagah, just a short distance from Amritsar, with its elaborate change-of-guards drill with a lot of strutting and intimidatory showing off by both sides.
If you are 'doing' north India, Amritsar is a city you should not miss. It's easy to travel there from Delhi by road and by rail. It is easy to navigate through the city; few guides bother you as tourism is not the most important commercial activity here. Ask them in Amritsar, and they will tell you that if for nothing else you must travel here for the roadside chhola-bhaturas.
The Origin of the city of Amritsar lies hidden in the mists of time due to the scanty evidence available in its early history .On the development of the city, the generally accepted view is based on the Amritsar District Gazetteers, the authoritative works of reference on local history.
The various Opinions that the land was granted by emperor Akbar to Guru Amar Das (later on transferred to Guru Ram Das), or was acquired by Guru Ram Das before the grant was actually obtained, or the land was purchased by the Guru on a payment of Rs.700 from the zamindaar of the village at tung at the instance of Emperor Akbar, or presented by the people of village Sultanwind out of regard and reverence for the Guru are all versions based on popular tradition .There are no documentary evidences to support or contradict these views. But the version regarding the purchase of the land by Guru Ram Das is in keeping with the tradition of Sikh Gurus who never took any land grants from the rulers.
It seems that originally the site of Amritsar was a community land lying between the village of Sultanwind, Tung, Gumtala and Gilwali, and later it was acquired by the Sikh Gurus either on payment or was received by them free of cost. Opinions may vary on the question of acquisition of the site, but it is certain that the selection of the site was planned and not accidental. It was the choice of the Gurus themselves, and the site of Amritsar was revenue free land.Even the early name of the city chak Guru,bears testimony to the nature of the settlement as detached or revenue free. Probably, Chak Guru was granted exemption from land revenue by the Mughal government during the reign of Emperor Akbar,Whose policy of religious toleration and religious grants even to non-Muslims centres is a well known fact.
The original plan of the new project was chalked out by Guru Amardas and Conveyed to Ram Das for execution .Guru Ram Das was given guidelines for the location of the site and was instructed to found a village,to build a House for himself, to dig a tank and to develop the centre gradually into a city . Arrangements were made for money and assistance .some intelligent, experienced and elderly Sikhs were instructed to assist Ram Das to implement the project .The project was thus executed by Guru Ram Das.
First of all a boundary line of the settlement was drawn. The foundation was laid by Guru Ram Das and the village was named Ram Das Pura .Opinions vary on the date of the founding of the city. Probably the foundation was laid in 1573 AD but the popular view is that it was done in 1577.
The construction of the new centre was started with great enthusiasm.Some huts and houses were built and then excavation of the tank was startad . when a portion of the project was completed, Bhai Jetha went to Goindwal to report the progress of the work.This time Guru Amar Das directed Ram Das to dig another tank at the low level area near the site of the tank under construction.On his return, Guru Ram Das selected the site for the second tank surrounded by a large number of Jujube trees.
The construction of the second tank commenced on Nov.6,1573 and Guru Ram Das personally supervised it.Many Sikh devotees came to participate in the Sewa. Simultaneously with the construction of the tank all care was taken to develop the village Chak.52 types of caste groups from Patti,Kasur and Kalanaur were called for ensuring regular supply of essential commodities to the settlers. A market called Guru ka bazar which exists now also was established. Some wells were dug for water supply .A number of rich bankers and traders also settled down in the town.
The construction of the tank and the town was going on smoothly .But Guru Ram Das had to rush back to Goindwal at the call of the dying Guru Amar Das, while the work was in progress.The work was resumed on his return in 1577 and the construction of the tank and town was completed in the same year.
On the completion of the project, the Guru called the local business community and told them to take charge of the holy place but they humbly pleaded their inability to perform religious duties and requested the Guru to engage some Brahmins and mendicants for the job.
The Guru and his disciples were thrilled at the completion of the new pilgrimage centre.Guru Ram Das composed beautiful verses in glorification of the sarowar,making an injunction upon his followers to take bath in the holy tank and meditate the name of God.The tank acquired a reputation fo sanctity and became the head-quarters of the Sikhs.The Amrit Sarowar remained un-bricked till Guru Arjan Dev ascended the Gur Gaddi in 1581.The tank was made pacca and its side stairs were bricked. The tank was named .Amar sarowar or Amritsar .Gradually the fame of the sacred tank led to its identity with the latter appellation and the city got its final name of Amritsar.Guru Arjan Dev also settled in the new city artisans and craftsmen of diverse calling and inculcated in his followers keen interest in horse trade.
It has been established now that the whole of Amritsar district was a part of the vast area covered under Indus valley Civilization during the early period of history. This civilization developed prior to the Aryans civilization in this region. These evidences for the prevalence of this ancient civilization in this district of Punjab have been furnished by the discovery of certain sites by the archaeologist. The important sites pertaining to Indus valley civilization in Amritsar district are as under:-
In addition to above, several sites also lie in a row in the Ravi, Beas , Doab.
Even in ancient times, trade was a primary factor in the urban development of societies. The Indus valley civilization also flourished with the growth of trade by overland and sea routes. It has been proved by the discovery of various seals of the ancient sites.
Ever since the discovery of the Indus Civilization, attempts have made to decipher the Indus script. In this respect, many theories have been propounded about the use of the seals, and the language used therein has been taught to be Sanskrit or Dravadian or an ancestors form thereof, depending largely on the initial approach of the scholars concerned. However, it has been now been established that the direction of writing of Indus script is from right to left. Many effects about Indus civilization will come to light as soon as Indus script is deciphered. During the vedic period, the area now belonging to Amritsar district is believed to be the abode of many Saints and Sages. According to a legend, it was at Ramtirth that Sita took shelter in the Ashram(Cottage) of Rishi(Saint) Balmiki during her exile. Both love and Kush received there education at Ramtirth by the learned Sage Balmiki.
The area of the Amritsar district also came under the Greek influence when in about 326 B.C., the area of Punjab up to the bank of river Beas was conquered by Alexander. Later on, it became part of Maurya and Gupta empire.
After the overthrow of Greeks, the area of Amritsar district became a part of the Mighty mauryan empire which extended up to Afghanistan. The most enlightened ruler of the mauryan was Ashoka, the great, who during the reign of his father Chandergupta Mauyara was the Viceroy of the principality of Taxila which included the area of present Amritsar district. Subsequently from the beginning of the 4th century to the end of the 6th century, it had the privilege of being under Gupta administration, which because of its efficiency is known as the golden age of Hindu period. Chandergupta was the most famous emperor of Gupta dynasty. Later on, it came under Kushan rulers and Kanishka was the most important ruler of this dynasty. With the rise of Rajputs, it began to be ruled by Rajputs till it became a part of the Shahi Kingdom of Punjab. It is believed that brave people of Majha formed a significant part of the armies of mauryan, Gupta, Kushan and Shahi rulers.
During the last quarter of 10th century, Raja Jaipal of Shahi Dynasty ruled over Punjab including the present area of Amritsar district. His son and successor, Anangpal was finally defeated by Sultan Mahmmod of Ghazni in A.D. 1008. From that time, until the final overthrow of the Muhammdan Supremacy, The Amritsar district was attached to the Suba or Province of Lahor. The Important Muhammdan dynasties were the slave dynasty, the Lodhi dynasty and the Mughal dynasty. During the medieval period, the people of Amritsar district were influenced much by the teachings of the Sikh Gurus who were contemporaries of the Mughal rulers. Before the people of Amritsar district came under the benign influence of the Sikh Gurus, there were not big cities or towns in this district. However, Fatehabad( in Tarn Taran Tahsil) was an important town which lay on the old Delhi and Lahore road. It had an imperial serai for the halting of armies and carvanas. As most of the Mughal rulers were fanatics, the Sikh Gurus and their disciples were bound to come in conflict with them. The impact of the Sikh Gurus on the people of Amritsar district and their conflicts with the Mughals are briefly given as under:
Amritsar and the sikh gurus
The People of Amritsar District came under the influence of teachings of Guru Nanak in the beginning of 16th century, Bhai Lehna (later known as Guru Angad Dev), a residence of Khadur Sahib became a devoted follower of Guru Nanak.He preached people on the lines of Guru Nanak.He preached people on the lines of his Guru.He converted Takhat Mal, the headman of the village, and many others to his faith. A community kitchen (langer) was also initiated and men from far and near started pouring in to receive spiritual instruction from him. Even Guru Nanak visited him at khadur Sahib twice and on his second visit, seeing his never-failing devotion to god and man took him back to Kartarpur and appointed him as his successor on 14 July 1539 and called him Angad.
Guru Angad Dev settled at Khadur Sahib, his native village and made it his headquarters. He began to preach and spread gospels of Guru Nanak with great devotion.
He allowed one of his disciples-Gobind to build a township on the bank of the river Beas, but refused to call the new settlement after his own name and called it Gobindwal (now Goindwal) to commemorate the memory of the disciple.It was on 29 March 1552 Amar Das Ji, the most devoted follower of Guru Angad Dev, was appointed by Baba Buddha as the third Guru of the Sikhs in the benign presence of the Guru. It may be stated here that Humayun also visited Khadur Sahib and received the blessings of Guru Angad Dev.
Guru Amar Das guided the Sikhs from Goindwal from 1552-1574.In the year 1567, when Akbar visited Lahore, he made a call on the Guru at Goindwal.On being told that the Guru would see no one, high or low, till one had partaken of the food from the langar (community Kitchen), Akbar, a man of broad sympathies and high culture, welcomed the Idea and partook of the food distributed there, sitting in a row with his subjects of humble origin.
Guru Amar Das established 22manjis (dioceses) in many parts of the country to popularise Guru Nanak’s message.Many people came to the Guru to listen to his precepts.The Guru also got constructed a baoli at Goindwal and fixed the first of Baisakh as the day of the annual gathering of the Sikhs.He introduced several new ceremonies on occasions of birth and death,replacing the chanting of Sanskrit Shiolokas by the recitation of Gurbani.He preached against the purdah system, the seclusion of women, encouraged inter-caste alliances and remarriage of widows.The Guru condemned the practice of sati (burning of widow on the pyre of her husband’s dead body).
In 1573, Guru Amar Das deputed Ram Das ji to start excavation of the tank later known as Santokhsar and to found a new town later known as Amritsar.Arrangements and control of funds for the purpose were entrusted to Baba Buddha.A number of intelligent, experienced, devoted and elderly Sikhs were instructed to join Ram Das in accomplishing the task. The inauguration of the work was made in the traditional Indian style.Paid labourers were engaged. The visiting Sikh devotees were exhorted to lend a helping hand. Before regular excavation work of the tank (later on named ‘Santokhsar’),started, the boundary line of the new settlement was marked and it was named chak Guru or simply the chak. Later on it began to be called, variously, as Guru ka Chak, Chak Guru Ram Das, or Ram Das Pura. Kilns were laid and a number of hutments were built. The Guru also took abode in a hut near the site (later named Guru ke Mehal)
After the portion of the project was completed, Ram Das went to Goindwal to pay his homage to Guru Amar Das and report the progress to him. This time, Guru Amar Das instructed Ram Das to dig another tank at a lower level near the site of the tank that was already under construction. On his return to the Chak, Ram Das made a search for the beri, the covered site for the second tank as instructed by Guru Amar Das .The site having been selected, the construction of the second tank (later on named Amrit sarowar ) commenced under the personal supervision of Ram Das assisted by Baba Buddha. According to Gian Singh Giani (Tawarikh Guru Khalsa, p.344), the digging of the tank commenced on 7 Kartika 1630 BK (6 November 1573).A large number of labourers were engaged . Many Sikh devotees came to the chak to participate in the work of the digging of the tank.The digging continued for many months.Simultaneously with the construction of the tank, every care was taken to develop the chak also .A large number of traders and businessmen from the neighbouring areas were induced to settle in the new township. In due course a market, called Guru ka Bazar, also sprang up there. Some wells were dug for supplying drinking water. A number of rich sarafs (bankers) and banjaras (traders) found their way to the town. A considerable number of the disciples of the Guru shifted to the town.
In 1574, when Guru Amar Das saw his end approaching, he summoned Ram Das to Goindwal and made him his successor on 1 september 1574.Guru Ram Das ascended the spiritual throne of Guru Nanak at the age of about forty years in 1574.During his brief period of seven years, he achieved considerable progress in expanding the activities of the Sikh religion. He sent out many of his disciples called Masands even to neighbouring countries like Afganistan to spread the gospel and also to collect offerings of the devotees which he needed more than ever not only to run the community kitchen, but also to complete the excavation of the sacred tank later called Amritsar and to expand the activities of the city of Ramdaspur he had founded in the life time of Guru Amar Das .
Amritsar - The Cultural Hub of Punjab
The city of Amritsar a dazzling showcase of composite culture and secular heritage .It has a proud past .a glorious present and a promising future .This most important city of Majha has rightly been called the mukut-mani (Jewel of the crown)of the Punjab. A rich repository of spiritual and national heritage, It has been hailed as the home of all virtues’(sifti da ghar) .while praying, every devout Sikh longs to be blessed with a pilgrimage to Amritsar and a holy bath at the Golden Temple (Amritsar ke darsan isnan).A visit to Amritsar is believed to wash off all the sins.
A focal point of Sikh faith, a pivot of Punjab politics, a gateway to the Middle-East, a nursery of defence pool, an alert sentinel at the Indo-Pak border, Amritsar is the place where the first Sikh Army was raised by the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind. The city saw the fierce onslaughts of the invading armies of Ahmad Shah Abdali and a reckless carnage at the Jallianwala Bagh. An epicenter of Kooka and Akali movements and a symbol of resistance against the British tyranny, Amritsar had been a favourite place of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It was in Amritsar that the clarion-call for the liberation of India sounded louder and clearer. In the recent times, the has at regular intervals borne the brunt of Indo-Pak conflicts.
Amritsar is like a diamond with many facets. The essential spirit of the city is found not only in its gurudwaras & temples, mosques & churches, takias & khankahs but also in its theatres & galleries, parks & gardens, archives & libraries, art & architecture, museums & memorials, havelis & forts, fairs & festivals, vibrant folk dances & scintillating taans, narrow lanes & winding alleys, parlours & boutiques, clubs & pubs, traditional bustling markets & lip-smacking cuisine.
The most dominating asset, however, is its people who are friendly, God-fearing, hospitable, hard working informal, robust and with a tremendous zest for living. They are fond of good food, good dress and all the external symbols of life.
Amritsar is the heart-beat of the Majha region which has provided Punjabi literature with its standard language. A launching pad of several renowned artists, authors and poets, the city has been a home of handloom and carpet industry for more than a century. The city is proud to have the second largest Milk plant in the country.
Amritsar is not just bhangra or giddha, sarson ka saag and makki ki roti, it is an attitude and a way of life, despite the modern winds blowing, the city still enshrines and exudes its essential cultural identity. Being the only land-route opening to Pakistan the city has become a favourite rendezvous of Track-II diplomacy.
Guru Ramdas, the fourth Guru of the Sikhs, who decided to build here a magnificent temple to serve as a central place of pilgrimage for the Sikhs, founded Amritsar in the late sixteenth century. The design of the shrine included the construction of a tank round the proposed temple. The site lay in picturesque surroundings where the congregations met for prayer and contributed voluntary labor to build the tank under the personal guidance of the Guru. Later, a sprawling town was to grow round this sacred spot.
It fell to the share of Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth in the apostolic line, to develop the shrine and the town on a larger scale. He built a beautiful temple on the spot, in the middle of the sacred tank, where the famous Golden Temple stands today. Hazrat Sheikh Mian Mir, a Muslim Saint, who was a great friend and admirer of the Guru, laid the foundation stone of this temple. By this time Guru Arjan Dev hand compiled the Sikh scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, which was placed in the temple with great reverence. Devotional hymns from the holy book are recited daily and thousands of people come here for spiritual solace.
Amritsar lied at a distance of about 280 miles from Delhi and is only 16 miles from Wagha, the outpost of the Indo-Pakistan border. With a population of about 4,00,000 and a number of educational institutions, business markets, industrial concerns, banks, hotels parks and restaurants, Amritsar still remains the most important, the largest and, perhaps, the most picturesque city in the Punjab.
The Golden Temple is, by far, the biggest attraction of Amritsar. The Sikhs call it Hari Mandir (The Temple of the Lord) or Darbar Sahib - The Court Divine.
The Temple, surrounded by the sacred tank, presents a lovely sight when its glimmering reflection is caught by the myriad ripples dancing around it. At night the Temple and the causeway leading up to it are brightly lit.
The temple is a three-storied imposing structure, the top being a canopied gilded dome surrounded by golden turrets. The inside of the Temple contains the filigree and enamel work in gold, which is a rare specimen of its kind.
On special occasions such as birthday anniversaries of the Gurus and on the Diwali night, the Golden Temple is attractively illuminated and it presents a feast of color and light. Huge crowds assemble to witness these illuminations.
Among the buildings near the Golden Temple, the Akal Takht or the Immortal Throne and the tower of Baba Atal are of special interest to a visitor. Akal Takhat is the seat of Sikh theocratic authority where all decisions pertaining to the religious and social life of the Sikh are taken. The tower of Baba Atal, an octagonal nine-storied structure, 150 feet high, perpetuates the memory of Baba Atal Rai, son of Guru Hargobind, the sixth Guru.
About a quarter of mile from the Golden Temple is the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial which commemorates the sacrifices of hundreds of men, women and children who were victims of a ruthless firing in the dark days of 1919. The incident took place on April 13, 1919, when thousands of people had gathered in Jallianwala Bagh to voice their feelings against the repressive policy of the British Government. General Dyer tried to silence the freedom-lovers with volleys of bullets which, according to official estimates, took a toll of 397 lives and wounded another 1,200 persons. This accentuated political awakening in Indian and brought Mahatma Gandhi to the forefront of the Indian political life. The bullet marks can be seen to this day on the boundary walls of the garden. Jallianwala Bagh has been turned into a spacious and well-laid park where people from all parts of the country come on a political pilgrimage.
The historic Rambagh Garden outside the City is a big attraction in the evenings when people throng is green parks to relax and breathe fresh air. Several clubs function in the Garden which also houses the well-known Summer Place of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
The historic Rambagh Garden outside the City is a big attraction in the evenings when people throng its green parks to relax and breathe fresh air. This garden is laid out on the pattern of Shalimar Bagh at Lahore.
Only it's architecturally unique 'darshani deorhi' has remained intact. A museum after the name of the Maharaja is set up here displaying oil paintings, miniatures, coins, weapons relating to the Sikh period. Several clubs function in the Garden which also houses the well-known Summer Place of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
A partial replica of the Golden Temple, is situated outside the Lohgarh Gate. It is sacred to the Goddess Durga and is frequented by the devout Hindus. The temple is dedicated to goddess Durga and dates back to 16th century. This Hindu temple also draws its share of visitors. A large temple is dedicated to Hindu deities Laxmi ( The Goddess of wealth) and Narayan. ( The Preserver of Universe ). All dignitaries visiting Golden Temple make it a point to visit Durgiana Temple also.Khalsa College & Guru Nanak Dev University :
Khalsa College, Amritsar 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 at Amritsar. Soon it has become distinguished for starting modern curricula and has etched its name on the sports map of India.
Fort Gobind Garh In the south-west of the city, has been taken over by the Indian army and is now off limits. It was built in 1805-09 by Ranjit Singh, who was also responsible for constructing the city walls.Taran Taran:
24 Kilometers south of Amritsar is Tarn-Taran a town founded by Sri Guru Arjan Dev in 1590.Fairs are held here on every 'Amavas' dark night of the month, birth anniversaries of the Gurus, Baisakhi and Diwali.Goindwal :
A few kilometers away from Tarn Taran is the town of Goindwal, where Guru Amar Das established a new centre for preaching Sikhism. A 'Baoli', well paved with 84 steps was constructed here. The devout believe that by reciting Japji Sahib, the divine 'Word' revealed to Guru Nanak Devji at each step after taking a bath in the Baoli provides 'Moksh', liberation from 84,000 cycles of life of this world. Khadur Sahib is 32 kms. south-east of Amritsar city and close to Goindwal. During the life of the second Sikh Prophet, Guru Angad Dev, it was the center of Sikhism.Ram Tirath:
16 Kilometers west of Amritsar on Choganwan road is Ram Tirath, commemorating Maharishi Balmik Ji's hermitage. A big fair now recognised nationally and lasting for four days is held here since times immemorial on every Kartika Puran-mashi (full moon night in November).Harike Wetland:
The lake formed at the point of confluence of rivers Beas and Sutlej at Harike ford, 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.Baba Bakala:
Situated about 45 kilometers east of Amritsar on the Batala road. Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, revealed himself to Makhan shah labana, a Sikh devotee here. It has a magnificent Gurudwara where people gather in thousands on every amavas (moonless night) annual fair is held on Raksha Bandhan day (night of n August) when about one lakh people visit the place.Dera Baba Jaimal Singh:
About 54 kilometers of Amritsar is Dera Baba Jaimal Singh,a self-sufficient colony near Beas. It is presided over by a living master.
By Air Amritsar is connected by Indian Airlines flights to Delhi. Everyday Wednesday and Friday, Indian Airlines has a flight from Delhi to Amritsar and back. The arrival time is 1.50 p.m. and departure time from Amritsar is 2.20 p.m. There are two connecting flights of Air India from Amritsar to Delhi – London and Delhi – New York sector on every Tuesday and Saturday. Arrival time at Amritsar of Air India flight is 1.05 A.M. and departure is at 1.45 A.M.
Raja Sansi Airport is just 11 kms. from the Golden Temple and taxis are available at negotiable rates. The airport has a Punjab Tourist Information Counter.
By Train Amritsar is well connected by rail to all corners of the country with trains. Important trains include Frontier Mail to Bombay, Shatabdi Express to Delhi and Utkal Express to Puri. There is an Extension Counter of our Information Office near the main entrance of Railway Station.
Amritsar Railway Station is provided with all passenger amenities. Taxis/Auto Rickshaws and Cycle Rickshaws are available outside the station. Free Bus Service (Buses plying by the S.G.P.C. free of cost) is also available at the station. The route of these buses is from Railway Station to Golden Temple (Sri Darbar Sahib) via Bus Stand and vice versa. It takes only 15 minutes to reach Golden Temple (Sri Darbar Sahib) from the Railway Station.
By Bus There is vast network of bus services from Amritsar with services by state transport systems of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, PEPSU, Chandigarh, U.P., J & K, Rajasthan and private operators. From the Bus Stand, there are regular buses plying to and fro all the districts of the state as well as outside the state. A number of Private buses also ply. There are A/c buses running between Amritsar and Chandigarh, Delhi and Jammu. Most of these buses depart from outside Hall Gate or from outside the Railway station. Auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are easily available at the bus stand. Horse-drawn tongas are also available. It takes just 10 minutes to reach Golden Temple from bus stand.
Amritsar at a Glance
AREA : 5,075 sq. kms.
POPULATION : 25,03,165 (District)
LANGUAGES : Punjabi, Hindi and English.
CROPS : Wheat, Rice, cotton, Sugarcane.
ROADS : 3,522 Kms.
AIRPORT : Raja Sansi International Airport.
Summer - 46°C to 35°C
Winter - 16°C to 0°C
Monsoons – July to Sept.