Amritsar Sightseeing Golden Temple
My parents visit The Golden Temple every year, infact I after marriage The Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) for 3 years regularly, however things changed a bit after my daughter’s birth and we couldn’t visit Amritsar for good 3 years. So this time we decided to plan a family trip, since everyone was quite ecstatic about my daughter’s first visit to the Gurudwara.
I enjoy travelling by Swarna Shatabdi, so we booked our tickets for Saturday morning. Swarna Shatabdi Express departs at 7:15 am and reaches Amritsar at around 1:30 pm. Its the most convenient way to travel from Delhi, as the whole journey is comfortable and food is served on the train. I generally avoid travelling by trains due to hygiene issues, however this one managed to impress me. In fact the service/ catering staff was very humble and quite hospitable. Passengers are served welcome drink (lemonade) and after a while tea & biscuits. Around 8;30 breakfast was served and both veg& non-veg choices were available.
My in-laws always prefer to stay near the golden temple, however this time we decided to explore the options and zeroed on Ramada Amritsar, where we had a bitter sweet experience.
After chucking our luggage in to the room and freshening up, we left for “Katra Jaimal Singh Market” because all the markets stay closed on sunday and we had to do some serious shopping for an upcoming wedding in the family. The market is full of shops selling suits, dress materials, wedding & designer dresses, in a nutshell shopper’s-paradise. We wandered from shops to shops and bought a few dress materials. The variety and quality is amazing and you will get a good deal if your bargaining skills are impressive. We ended up with heavy bags filled with 8 suits. Calling it a night we stayed in our rooms planning next day’s shop-hopping and sight seeing. We had lunch at Brothers Dhaba, food was ok, nothing much to talk about, the place is famous though.
Due to not-so-pleasant stay at Ramada Amritsar, we checked out next day itself and shifted to Hyatt Amritsar, that threw all the plans off the track and we were able to visit Harmandir Sahib in the afternoon only. I can’t tell you how majestic is the gurudwara and how peaceful my mind feels everytime I am there. Here are some pictures that I captured, of the gurudwara. This place offers free food to all those who visit The Golden Temple to offer prayers. I never miss langar whenever I am there.
There is a small market outside the golden temple and I tried to buy me a pair of Mojaris but in the end got confused and didn’t pick any. This is something that happens with me most of the times. The same market has lots of eating joints available like McDonalds, Pizza hut and some restaurants. Surprisingly the McDonalds there only serves vegetarian options.
Jallianwala Bagh, is just few minutes away from The Golden Temple and we went there on foot. Its a garden and holds a historical value, known mostly because of the dark historical event attached to it, The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.
We have been to Wagah Border couple of times before so decided not to revisit it this time because of the time and travel involved in it. One can easily book taxi/cab from the hotel’s travel desk. It takes 45 minutes to 1 hours to reach. People generally go there to witness the Wagah Border Ceremony. Its a “Lowering of The Flags” ceremony carried out by both Indian & Pakistan Military, before the sunset everyday. Hundreds of enthusiasts gather on both the sides and its surely a must – watch/visit place/ceremony at amritsar.
Alpha One Mall is one of the biggest malls in Amritsar. It has most of the major brands available along with a food court along with theater. However if you are staying near The Golden Temple, the auto-rickshaw will take 20 minutes to take you there.
Durgiana Mandir is another famous Hindu Temple that you can visit. We couldn’t visit it due to time constraints, but I will surely visit it next time.
So if you are planning your trip around shopping and Amritsar sightseeing stay near The Golden Temple or Hall Bazaar. There are numerous budget to 4 star hotels available around that area. Being an avid traveller I love to stay in the heart of the city where I can visit the markets and food joints.
Have you ever been to Amritsar? How was your experience ?