A global tourist destination and a place close to Sikh religion. Amritsar is one of the largest cities in Punjab founded by fourth Sikh Guru Ram Das Ji.
I am a Sikh by religion and I keep visiting Amritsar quite often. Not because my family or relatives stay here but because there is one special thing – Golden Temple (Sri Harimandir Sahib). A place where you can find serenity and peace.
When you enter Golden Temple you will see it is surrounded by Lake known as Sarovar which consists of Amrit (Holy water).
Quick Tips on visiting Golden Temple:
- You must be properly dressed and your head has to be covered which is a part of Sikh religion inside a Gurudwara. If you didn’t bring a carf or a piece of cloth to cover your head you can get that at the entrance which you need to drop it back while leaving.
- Inside the Golden Temple, you have to walk clockwise which is called Parikarma.
- Best time to visit the temple is at 3am to 6am in the morning when the prayer starts known as Amrit Vela (Time of Amrit) which is before the drawing of morning sun which is the best time for meditation of Gurbani hymns.
- Langar: The Golden Temple serves langar (Free meal) 24 hours a day. Simple, wholesome and vegetarian food prepared by volunteers inside the temple. There is no discrimination to religion, caste or creed as all diners share a meal as equals, sitting on the floor in a line. The volunteers here serve the meal to everyone after taking the call “jo bole so nihal… sat sri akal”. After the Langar is over, more volunteers help to collect your plate an dwash them as part of seva.
- Sit and relax at the temple: Many people struggle to find a room/ hotel from their pocket but here at the temple people are assured that they will get a space inside the temple or at the hotels outside the temple which are funded by the Gurudwara. Of course, they are free of cost. Also, one of the surrounding buildings is Guest Quarters available for international Sikh visitors which is again free of cost for them.
- Visit other temples around Golden Temple: There are a lot of temples around the main temple which should be on your wish list when you visit Amritsar.
Quick travel tips around Amritsar:
- The city is crowded. Make sure you take care of your belongings well.
- Rickshaws are easily available at very nominal prices.
- Shop: If you plan to buy stuff from Amritsar. Do not miss the Kapda Bazar which offers a wide range of Phulkari Dupatta and Punjabi suits.
- Shop More: If you wish to buy Juttis in different patterns and designs then opt for Jutti shops near Golden Temple.
- Eat: Food should be your priority, tbh. Amritsar aka Punjabi food is a must! Starting from breakfast which is generally a huge glass of Lassi available at every corner street to Khulche chole which is a breakfast specialty here. At night, do not miss the Jalebi and milk nearby Golden temple.
- Amritsar gets really hot in summers and really cold in winters, too. The best time to visit Amritsar would be November to March.
Until next time,