Amritsar is the spiritual centre for the Sikh religion and was founded in 1577 by the fourth guru Ram Das. Sikhism’s holiest shrine, Harmandir Sahib or The Golden Temple, lies at the heart of the walled city. Rising out of the centre of a holy pool, the copper-plated gurdwara glitters golden; a sight so awesome it attracts more tourists than the Taj Mahal.
The city of Amritsar also houses the Sikh temporal and political authority, Akal Takht, and the Sikh Parliament. The old city, with its narrow streets and hidden alcoves, was developed during the 17th and 18th century. It is unique for its Katras, which are self-styled residential units that were part of the defense system against attacks on the city.
Today the city has a wonderful reputation for its rich cuisine and culture. Local handicrafts, carpets and fabrics are on sale in the city’s many curio shops, boutiques and bazaars. The new parts of the city are contemporary and filed with dynamic internet cafes, fine hotels and excellent restaurants.
Sunrise as it catches the Golden Temple | The Jallianwalla Bagh memorial | Dining at one of the swanky restaurants in the new part of the city
− The Golden Temple was rebuilt in 1761 after being invaded and destroyed
− In 1802 it was roofed with gilded copper plates by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and become known as the Golden Temple