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The temple complex is a city within a city. The main entrance to the complex is through the northern gate Darshan Darwaza. On its territory you can also find the Central Sikh Museum. There are exhibited collections of paintings, coins, manuscripts, weapons, that reflect the history of the Sikhs. A staircase leads to a marble Parikrama path that surrounds the lake ‘Amrit Sarovar’ (lake of nectar of immortality), which gave the name of the city itself, and the main shrine of Hari Mandir (temple of God). Along Parikrama is located the sacred tree Dukkha Bhandzhani Bir, which has a miraculous healing powers.
The spiritual center of Sikh religion, the Golden Temple was built in 1589-1601 and is a magnificent fusion of Hindu and Muslim style of architecture. This three-storey temple is decorated with superb inlay of gold, bronze and marble.
Over the temple rises a very interesting dome, covered by 100 kg of gold, made in the form of an inverted lotus flower. It is here, inside the temple, is the main holy book of the Sikhs. From early morning to late evening the priests read the sayings of this book, to the accompaniment of ritual music.
In 300 meters to the northeast of the Golden Temple, surrounded by a wall and houses spread out its fleet ownership garden Dzhallianvala Bagh. It is a memorial dedicated to the memory of 500 Indians, who died in Dec. 13, 1919 during a peaceful demonstration at the hands of British troops, led by Brigadier-General Dyer. On the walls adjacent to the memorial house, you can still see the marks from the bullets.
It is also need to pay attention to yet another unique medieval Indian architectural structure, which is located in the south-eastern part of the lake Amritsar – octagonal tower Baba Atal. It is dedicated to Atal – the son of the sixth Sikh Guru Har Gobind, who committed suicide at the age of nine. The story tells that one day his friend was fatally bitten by a venomous snake. Atal resurrected dead comrade against the will of God. For this “ill-advised”, but a noble deed father chastened son. So as not to disturb the natural balance boy killed himself voluntarily.
The tower has nine floors, the number of which corresponds to the number of full years of Atal.
Wagah is the last border post in India on the border with Pakistan. Every evening there is a change of guard, more like a show. On both sides of the border gather the locals and with shouts and applause support guards who give the watch. Guards are marching solemnly, with great attention to detail and compliance with numerous rituals.
Installed on both sides of the border stands at this time becomes a place of general rejoicing. On each side from the loud speakers sound popular songs of Indian and Pakistani singers. Show starts jogging representatives of the two sides with national flags, and then begins a general disco, after which comes the official part.
The culmination is the moment when the military on both sides, dressed in full uniform, sent a steady system, clearly beating every step in the direction of the border closer together. Then opened the gate and the two “opposing” sides organize competitions, showing elements of military bearing. During this rostrum are chanting loudly with one hand “Hindustan zindabad!” (“Long live India!”) and “Pakistan Zindabad!” (“Long live Pakistan!”). And Pakistani people, despite the numerical minority, are doing this more energetically. All this action takes about half an hour, after which there is a solemn ceremony of launching national flags of India and Pakistan and the border is closed at night.
In place of the festival on numerous stalls you could buy DVD-discs containing the ceremony, greeting cards, posters and, of course, one of the main attributes of the fans, popcorn. This is a very interesting show, which is worthy of attention of many travelers.
Amritsar is the capital of Punjab district in northern India. Amritsar is located at a distance of 450 km from Delhi, to the west and the north adjacent to the Indo-Pakistan border, in the north-east side by side with the State of Himachal Pradesh, in the south-east and south by Haryana.
Amritsar – the largest Sikh pilgrimage center and location of the Sikh shrine – the Golden Temple.
Amritsar was founded by the fourth Sikh Guru Ram Das in 1577 and got its name from Amrita – nectar and sar – a sacred lake, located near the Golden Temple.
In the center of the city is hidden one of the most beautiful and precious buildings of India-Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple), got its name because of its gold-plated brass cover plate.
Welfare of the city is based on the high-yield agriculture, as well as a thriving trade and a highly developed industry.
Amritsar (“giver of immortality”) – is the biggest and the holy city of Punjab. For arrivals it appears not at its best – noisy, dirty and incredibly overcrowded. However, a visit to Amritsar can be memorable because of the wonderful Golden Temple, which golden dome towering over the living and interesting streets of Old Town, and because of familiarity with the Punjabis, their faith and way of life. The history of the holy city is intertwined with its Golden Temple.
The city was founded in 1577, by the fourth Sikh Guru Ram Das (1574-1581) and got its name from the pond of heavenly nectar (Amrit Sarovar) surrounding the Golden Temple. Land for the construction of the church gave the Emperor Akbar, and while reign of his son and heir of Ram Das Guru Arjan Virgin (1581-1606) local residents completed its construction. The city occupied a strategic position on the trade routes linking India to Western Asia, that’s why it quickly began to develop and expand. In 1761, during marauding expedition of Afghan ruler Ahmad Shah Durrani temple was looted, but was rebuilt three years later. In 1802, Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore (1799-1839) donated gold to cover the domes and the main building of the complex, after which the temple was named the Golden Temple. The rapid and unpredictable twentieth century left in the history of Amritsar black pages marked by violence.
In 1919, the British occupation forces shot peaceful demonstration of Sikhs at the adjoining area Dzhallian Walla Bagh. This atrocity only spurred the determination of Mahatma Gandhi and the movement of freedom fighters in their campaign to free India from the British yoke. After attainment of independence and the partition of the country into India and Pakistan, Amritsar has witnessed some of the bloodiest sectarian clashes, which killed tens of thousands. Golden Temple was turned into a war zone in 1984, when terrorists led by Sant Singh Dzharnayl Bind-ranvale, occupied the Akal Takt, the white tower of the temple complex, symbol of the Sikh religion, the power of God on earth.
At the storming of the temple during the operation Blue Star authorized by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, died Bindranvale himself, his associates, 200 soldiers of the Indian Army and about 2,000 pilgrims caught in the trap of the temple. The destruction of the Akal Takt in ill-prepared spontaneous operations stung deeply religious feelings of Sikhs and prepared a stage for the tragic death of the Prime Minister at the hands of her Sikh bodyguards, and the subsequent riots in the country. Sikhs later rejected the government restored the temple and restored it themselves, and now it is extremely beautiful and peaceful place.