Amritsar is both the centre of the Sikh religion and the major city of Punjab state. Amritsar, or Pool of Nectar, is the name of the sacred pool by which the Sikhs' Golden Temple is built. Golden Temple : The holiest shrine of the Sikh religion, also known as the Hari Mandir, is in the centre of the old part of the town. It is a beautiful place, especially early in the morning. Hari Mandir : Standing in the middle of the sacred pool, the Golden Temple is a two storey marble structure reached by a causeway known as the Gurus' Bridge. The lower parts of the marble walls are decorated with inlaid flower and animal motifs in the pietra dura style of the Taj Mahal. The golden dome is supposed to represent an inverted lotus flower. Granth Sahib : The original copy of the Granth Sahib is kept under a pink shroud in the Golden Temple. It is the Sikhs' holy book. Sikh Museum : The Central Sikh Museum is upstairs in the clock tower and comprises a gallery of paintings. Akal Takhat : The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, or Sikh Parliament, tradionally meets in this building. Guru Ka Langar and Gurdwaras : All Sikh temples have a community kitchen and in this one volunteers prepare free meals for 1000's of people every day. Nearby are the gurdwaras, offering free accommodation to all. Pilgrims are well provided for and there is a good library, a post office, bank and railway booking agent. Other Buildings : To the south of the temple enclosure is a garden in which stands the Baba Atal Tower. The Ramgarhia Minars are outside the temple.



The Old City : A 15-minute walk from the Golden Temple through the narrow alleys of the old city brings you to the Hindu Durgiana Temple. This is a small temple, dedicated to the goddess Durga. A larger temple, built like the Golden Temple in the centre of a lake, is dedicated to the Hindu deities, Laxmi and Narayan. There are a number of mosques in the old city, including the mosque of Mohammed Jan with 3 wide domes and slender minarets. Jallianwala Bagh : This park is just five minutes walk from the Golden Temple and commemorates the 2000 Indians who were killed or wounded at this site, shot indiscriminately by the British. Ram Bagh : This beautiful garden is in the new part of town and has a museum in the small palace built by the Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The museum contains weapons dating back to Moghul times and some portraits of the ruling houses of the Punjab. Other Attractions : In the south-west of the city is the Fort, Gobind Garh. Tarn Taran is an important Sikh tank about 25 km. south of Amritsar. There is a temple and a tower on the east side of the tank.



Woollen blankets and sweaters are supposed to be cheaper in Amritsar than in other places in India, as they are locally manufactured. Katra Jaimal Singh, near the telephone exchange in the old city, is a good shopping area.



AIR The Indian Airlines office is in the centre of town at 48 The Mall. Amritsar is linked by a daily IA flight to Delhi. There is also a daily flight to Srinagar. There is the twice-weekly flight to Kabul on Ariana Afghan Airlines.

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