A city of culture, colour and conundrum, Amritsar is where history and culture come alive. The city is nothing short of vibrant (sometimes too much) with an air of spirituality. While the city is a wonder for arts and crafts lovers and food enthusiasts, there's history embedded here that one should never forget. If you find yourself in Amritsar sometime, or have a stopover in the city for 24 hours, here's your perfect guide.
WAKE UP BEFORE DAWN TO EXPERIENCE SERENITY
Witnessing the holiness of Amritsar can never get any better than it is at the crack of dawn. We suggest you start your day early on, before sunrise. Situated in the heart of the city, the Golden Temple is what one shouldn’t miss. Head there and experience the air of tranquility. Apart from being a holy shrine, Golden Temple also has one of the biggest kitchens serving thousands of people from all walks of life, every single day. The Gurudwara, always crowded, is the most serene before the sun rises and that is also when the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy Sikh book) is brought back. Apart from just visiting, one should also sit near the sarovar (the holy water body). The whole experience will take about 2-3 hours.
Post the holy experience, we suggest you head for scrumptious breakfast of the very sought after Amritsari kulcha. While you will find many outlets and serving them, we suggest you head to Kulchaland in Ranjit Avenue. The seating is outdoor but nothing beats their taste. After this meal we suggest you head back to your accommodation and grab a quick nap considering the early morning wake-up call and the heavy breakfast.
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EXPLORE AND SOAK IN HISTORY AND CULTURE
Amritsar is where history and culture are its best. Whether a testimony to the British Raj or to the Sikh historical past, Amritsar has witnessed it all. And more so has preserved it well for the world to see. We suggest you begin with the Jallianwala Bagh Museum. The museum has still preserved the bullet marks along with the well that people jumped into during one of the worst atrocities before Independence. The whole tour of red/brown bricked museum will take you about an hour. Post that you should head to Gobindgarh Museum. The museum was initially occupied by the Army and only in 2017 was it opened to the public. The museum now showcases the history of the city. It is being turned into a live museum and a repository of Punjabi culture. The attractions that have been added to the museum include a coin museum, the warfare museum, food shops amongst the others. In case you do not wish to go to either of these one can also head to Pul Kanjari, a historical village, that is an hour’s drive from Amritsar. It is situated 35 km away from Amritsar on the Amritsar-Lahore road. Pul Kanjri was also captured by the Pakistani army during the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971, and was recaptured by the Indian Army later.
STUFF YOURSELF FOR LUNCH WITH THE YUMMIEST DELICACIES
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Amritsar is a foodie’s paradise. Right from quintessential Punjabi food to the savoury street food, Amritsar has it all. For lunch we suggest you go to Lawrence Road and have the fish. One will find the much sought-after Amritsari fish here. You can also head to Makhan Fish Corner which serves equally delectable fish items. (Trust us, it's an experience worth undertaking.) After you gorge on the delectable meal, we suggest a shopping spree. It is a sin if you visit Amritsar and do not take a phulkari embroidered souvenir back home. The markets of Amritsar are vibrant and bursting with colours and will spoil you with choice. The phulkari work on salwar-suits, dupattas and jutis is something you will be able to resist only if you have a heart made of stone! For an exquisite shopping experience we suggest you visit Hall bazaar.
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ENJOY A POWER-PACKED EVENING AT THE BORDER OF THE COUNTRY
You can't visit Amritsar and NOT go to the Attari Border. The parade and flag exchanging ceremony is filled with fun and fervour that makes it memorable. We suggest that you reach a little early and grab seats in the front to enjoy the show. The parade is so power packed with enthusiasm that one can’t help but get completely involved. However, if you wish to enjoy a quiet evening you can also head to Harike Wetlands and enjoy bird watching. The wetlands are more than an hour’s drive away but worth it. However, don’t forget to grab a quick snack at Bansal’s at xx before you head out to either of the places.
TRUE BLUE FLAVOURS
After a power-packed evening or a serene one (your choice), you should definitely head to Kesar da Dhabba for the most Punjabi dinner ever. Don’t let the seating of the place fool you as their flavours and taste are unmatched. Served in thalis and with utmost love and copious amounts of ghee, their food is the best. We suggest that you do not miss the dal makhni at any cost. However, nothing on their menu will disappoint you. In order to satisfy the dessert lover in you, indulge in the kulfi faluda which will be readily available at many places. However, we suggest you try it out at A-One Kulfa in INA colony.