The Lesser Known Amritsar

Amritsar has been a hot favourite destination of Punjab, quite known for its fabulous food, places and hospitality. Also known as Ambarsar, the city is the home of numerous rich stories which encompasses the chronological narratives for centuries.

Golden Temple at night. Amritsar. India

It is a city where one can still feel the vibes of patriotism and get submerged into it totally. The humbleness and the undying faith can be felt in every corner. It’s much scared shrine Golden Temple attracts people from all across and can be seen serving it without biasness. There is so much to feel in Amritsar and yet the place has been overshadowed to a limited few. Let’s go explore Amritsar in its truest form.

Gobindgarh Fort Amritsar

Pic Credit: @DesiTraveler

Gobingarh Fort: Right at the center of the city stands Gobingarh Fort, the oldest surviving fort of Amritsar. This historical monument was earlier known as Gujar Singh Fort, which was taken over by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the founder of Sikh empire, in the 19th century, during his expansionist mission to keep his treasures safe including the prestigious Kohinoor Diamond. In the years that follow, Gobingarh fort was soon taken over by the Britishers and it was during the signing of the Lahore Pact in 1850 that the Governor General decided to send the Kohinoor to Prince Albert as a gift. The fort soon lost its shine and was left in ruins. The Punjab Tourism board has been working day and night to restore this fort which shall be opened to the public soon.


Ram Tirath: The temple at Ram Tirath holds significant importance for the Hindus as it is believed to be a place where Valmiki sat to write the mythological Ramayana. Though there are no proven facts but the locals believes that it is at Ram Tirath where Sita took the shelter and gave birth to her twins, Luv and Kush, after being abandoned by Lord Ram. The hut is the main attraction of this place which indicates the disputable history as well as the intricate carvings and sculptures which will take you back in time. Another noticeable thing about this place is the lake, which flows through this temple. It is said that this lake never dries up despite other water bodies in the area drying up during peak summers. 11 Kms from Amritsar on Chogawan Road will take you to Ram Tirath


Durgiana Temple: Also known as the Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Durgiana temple is a dedicated Hindu site which is devoted to Maa Durga and modelled on the favourite shrine of Amritsar, Golden Temple. Its main memorial is rising from the midst of a tank, the central dome covered with gold, and the rest of the structure clad in marble. This temple also expresses the aura of Lord Krishna and Vishnu through its magnificent imagery. This temple is also called as Silver Temple sometimes, because of its beautifully engraved silver doors. Located near the Lohgarh gate, the foundation stone was laid by the freedom fighter Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya


Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum and Panorama: This museum is modelled close to Shalimar Gardens of Lahore and is a popular tourist attraction in Amritsar owning to its natural scenic vista. It was named as the company garden earlier but was changed to Rambagh later by the Maharaja Ranjit Singh to mark his devotion to Guru Ram Das, the founder of city of Amritsar. Once the summer Palace of Maharaja, it was converted into a museum in 1977, to preserve and showcase the antiques of that era including the weapons which is as old as Mughal times. A replica of Kohinoor diamond has also been kept here. The statue of the maharaja sitting on a horse is another main attraction of this palace, which seems as lively showcasing the credible work of artisans during that time.


Sarai Amanat Khan: Sarai was the resident of Persian calligrapher Amanat Khan who inscribed the verses from the Koran on the Epitome of Love- Taj Mahal. Sarai Amanat Khan is a well-designed caravan sarai giving a glimpse of Mughal Era, famous for its glazed tile decoration, mosque engraved with Arabic inscriptions and ornamental Mughal gateways. It has two gateways, Lahori Darwaza and Dilli Darwaza- which opens to a large courtyard, a mosque and a well. The horseshoe shaped tomb is surmounted by 4 minarets. Amidst Mughal and floral structural design, the sarai has a faded tile which mentions an inscription from Amanat Khan himself stating that the Sarai has been constructed for the comfort of God’s best creation. It’s around 40 kms from Amritsar.


Pul Kanjari: Pul Kanjari is a bridge over a small canal which was ordered to be built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh after Moran, a dancer who used to perform in the Royal Court of the Maharaja lost her pair of Silver sandals, which was gifted to her by the emperor himself. Since the dancers during those days were addressed as Kanjari, hence the bridge was named as “Pul Kanjari” This bridge was taken over by Pakistani troops during the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971 due to its close proximity with the country. However Indian army took it over later and a memorial was built as a testimony for the supreme sacrifices of the soldiers. It’s situated 5 KMs from Wagah border at village Dhanoe Kalan.


Gurudwara Goindwal Sahib: This pilgrimage site holds immense significance for the Sikh community as it’s here that the third Sikh Guru, Guru Amardas lived and preached for 33 years. The concept of Langar (Free Community Kitchen) was also introduced here, which over the decades has become an important part of Sikhism. An 84 step-well called Baoli has been constructed here and it is believed that those who will climb the stairs reciting ‘Japji’ and will take a bath shall attain salvation.

Panj Sarovar Walk: Panj Sarovar walk is designed to take you through the legends behind the five prominent sacred pools (sarovar) in Amritsar. The walk covers Santokhsar Sarovar which is the first sarovar in the history of Sikhism. Bibeksar Sarovar, Ramsar Sarovar which is the smallest sacred pool amongst the five but signifies the location of the beginning of Sikh scriptures.  Kaulsar Sarovar which is named after a Muslim lady, Bibi Kaulan

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