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Amritsar Travel Blog

Amritsar: A Journey through the Heart of Punjab

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Savouring the Sights and Sounds of Amritsar

I am no preachy traveler, I swear to God! 

I love to read, watch, and write – books, movies, and anything in that order. Hear me out when I say, travelers or tourists most often speak about Himachal or Goa, or Kerala when calling themselves travelers. Why are tier 2 cities never marked on the travel map? It isn’t that these cities aren’t worth visiting, they definitely are. And mind you each one of us has visited one or the other such cities yet they rarely hype about it. All my knowledge about places is either through books or Bollywood movies and most definitely my parents. This blog is hugely about Amritsar, my next stop – but I just wanted to start my blog with a different note. I researched how other writers had written their blogs to find the so-called inspiration alas, this is what they could bring out in me. 

No, I am happy with the start. Sharing my travel journey through these travel stories while I discuss with you the itsy-bitsy things. Amritsar definitely does not come in the bracket of cities I was discussing above, but it most certainly isn’t much talked about, especially apart from the Wagha Border and Golden Temple or Jallianwala Bagh to top the “things to do in Amritsar” list. 

I would like to accept this was my second visit to the city and I wouldn’t have been any exception before this visit of mine. Amritsar was definitely very different this time. I did a lot of touristy things yet nothing touristy at all! You will come across it, all you need is a little scrolling – kyunki patience toh bacha nahi hai humare pass, hain na? 

Let us start by talking about Amritsar in general and all the internet tells us. Amritsar is a city located in the northwestern state of Punjab in India. The city is known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and mouth-watering cuisine.  Well, when I researched the city, I like to go a little too deep where I lose the plot, so, since I did lose it here we go! Amritsar was founded in the 16th century by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru. The city has played a significant role in Sikh history. It is home to several historic gurdwaras and monuments, including the Jallianwala Bagh, a memorial to the victims of a tragic massacre. It is home to the Golden Temple, the most sacred site for the Sikh community and one of the most visited religious sites in the world.

The ongoing journey to Amritsar!

Amritsar was a much-needed layover for this trip. As this city would lead us to Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, Pakistan! Here I am slightly revealing the destination I was hyping about in my past blogs. It was from Amritsar that we would reach Dera Baba Nanak, from here we will be crossing the Indian border and reaching Pakistan. Well, let us leave this for the next blog. 

But to be honest, I was thrilled to visit Amritsar, not just because I needed to but because I love this city. A city that is known for its rich history, culture, and mouth-watering cuisine. I had always been fascinated by the stories of the Golden Temple earlier and I really wanted to taste the langar once again. For the very first time in my life, I had eaten saag and makke ki roti, when I last visited Amritsar in the year 2008 and I couldn’t wait to experience it for myself.

The food in Amritsar is another major draw for me. The city is famous for its street food, such as the iconic Amritsari Kulcha, a type of stuffed bread, and the delicious lassi, a sweet yogurt drink. Amritsar is a city that offers a unique and authentic travel experience. The warmth and hospitality of the people, the rich history and culture, and the delicious food make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to India. And this is something I really am passionate about – hyping things! 

If you want to see how Nostalgic I was while I visited Amritsar, check out this Youtube Video. 

Amritsar, here I come! 

Discovering Amritsar

Golden Temple, Night scene, Amritsar

Day 1 in Amritsar

I told you, in the beginning, I did not have anything on my list apart from the three major places to visit in Amritsar. Little did I know my perspective would change? My journey began with a visit to the Golden Temple. As I approached the temple, I was yet again struck by its grandeur and beauty. The temple’s golden dome glittered in the sunlight, and the sound of the holy hymns filled the air. As I entered the gurdwara, I was overwhelmed by the sense of peace and serenity that enveloped me. I always am, this is within me, there is peace, there is the sound of my own breath that I could hear, there is just a different feeling – a vibe, that’s what you call it. The temple was bathed in a soft glow of lights, and the sound of the hymns filled the air. It was a serene and spiritual experience, and I felt privileged to witness this ancient tradition.

I sought blessings and had the most favorite prasad – took some for my homies and after that, I visited the Jallianwala Bagh, a public garden that is the site of a tragic massacre. In 1919, British troops opened fire on a peaceful gathering of civilians, killing hundreds of people. Visiting Jalianwala bagh is a drastically different feeling. The light and sound show that they have started most recently gives you goosebumps all of a sudden giving you the visuals in the history. A lot has changed in Jallianwala bagh – like crazily a lot has changed, especially after my last visit. And I vlogged about it on my YouTube channel, you can check that out here. 

I then wanted to visit the Partition Museum. Apparently, the museum is closed on Mondays, so if you are planning a visit, just keep that in mind. So, we had lunch and our next visit was to the Wagha Border. On my previous visit, I had the honor to witness the march and ceremony but my mate, Utkarsh did not. Remember the non-local traveler guy? The one that likes cars and all? Yes, he is. But, due to the covid scene, the ceremony wasn’t happening.

Here comes a Bonus Tip for when you are visiting Amritsar!

By the time we reached Wagha Border, as soon as we were out of our car, there were several sellers who would surround you and you might feel no less than a celebrity, ha-ha! But they will try to sell you anything – Indian flag on badges, Indian flag caps, and whatnot. Well, the worst thing is they come with rangeela poster colors and paint the flag on your hand – out of nowhere, you will have to pay for that, right? Additionally, they  won’t charge you like a 10 rupees or a 20 rupees, the price range is directly 50 bucks for three strokes of colors on both your hands – the chotu one – imagine! I could buy a 20 rupees rangeela and paint my complete hand with it! You can think of it in this way. 

However, if you wish to visit Amritsar from now on you must witness the daily flag-lowering ceremony, which is a must-see event, and it is thrilling to witness the fervor and enthusiasm of the crowd. The sight of the Indian and Pakistani soldiers marching toward each other and exchanging a firm handshake before closing the gates is a poignant reminder of the shared history and culture of these two nations.

Wagah Border, Amritsar
Notice the Indian Flag on My Hands?

The New Discovery and a Must Visit in Amritsar

Since my co-traveler wasn’t happy with the notion that we couldn’t witness the Wagah Border, he googled something on his phone and took a particular route. Well, his first question after about 15 minutes was, “Do you know where we are going?” 

“Back to Golden Temple”, I replied.

“No.” He said. 

“Where to, then?”

“You’ll see…”

Well, the full banter we had isn’t worthy enough to be on the blog – so he disclosed there is a place called Pul Kanjari where you can see the border and Pakistan. Like he really wanted to see Pakistan – duh! So, we visited Pul Kanjari, a historic village that was once a favorite hunting spot of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The village is famous for its beautiful mosque and gurdwara, and it was fascinating to learn about the rich history of the place.

You can check out the complete Youtube Video here for all the information and stories with Pul Kanjari. 

Post our return from Pul Kanjari, we explored the streets of Amritsar and discovered the city’s vibrant culture and cuisine. The  bustling markets of the city, where vendors sell everything from colorful textiles to fragrant spices. The narrow alleys were lined with shops selling delicious street food, and I couldn’t resist trying some of the local delicacies.

Amritsar pictures
The Thinker-head, Aanya
Pul Kanjari, Amritsar
Pul Kanjari, Amritsar

As our Amritsar trip came to an end, I realized that there was so much more to explore in this fascinating city. The warmth and hospitality of the people, the rich history and culture, and the delicious food made this trip a truly unforgettable experience.

7 thoughts on “Amritsar: A Journey through the Heart of Punjab”

  1. Oh my goodness, I got chills when you were describing the hush and beauty of the Golden Temple. What a gorgeous experience! The city sounds beautiful, rich and absolutely lovely. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Pingback: Pul Kanjari: A Historic Retreat - girlatthewindowseat

  3. Pingback: The Ultimate Guide to Kartarpur Sahib Corridor in Pakistan

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