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Amritsar


Amritsar (Punjab) is the holiest city for Sikh, home to the Harmandir Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple, the spiritual and cultural center of the Sikh religion. Amritsar was founded by Guru Ram Das in 1574 on land bought by him for 700 rupees from the owners of the village of Tung. The first stone of the foundation of the Darbar Sahib is said to have been laid by Sain Mian Mir Sahib, a Muslim saint from Punjab, at Guru Arjun Dev's request. Masons worked on laying the foundation on January 3, 1588. By 1601, the Darbar Sahib was fully ready and on August 16, 1604 the first volume of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scriptures, was prepared and installed in the Darbar Sahib at Amitsar. Since then several attempts were made by Mughals and Afghans to invade this city to take control of administrative powers and shrine. The city came under siege of British attack in 1919 which saw massacre of Sikhs and Hindus in Jalian wala bagh.

Area  5094 sq.km
Population 3074207 (2001)
Altitude 218 m (715 ft)
Rainfall  540 mm ( July to September )
STD Code  0183
Location 31°38′N 74°52′E / 31.64°N 74.86°E


Climate:

Summer (April to July) highest temperature around 450C; Lowest 270C
Winter (November to February ) highest Temperature 230C; Lowest 40C

Important Tourist and Religious Places :
Golden temple(Harmander Sahib)
This important Sikh shrine attracts more visitors and pilgrims than Taj Mahal in Agra. An unofficial count of 100,000 visitors on week days alone come to this holy place. Approx. 400 kg of Gold was used for construction of its Dome. Thousands of devotees work early morning till late night at this temple each day to facilitate visitors and arrange free meal (langar) offering. The water tank inside the complex is considered ‘Holy’ and a dip in the holy water is like attaining solace.

Durgiana Temple (Lakshmi Narain Temple) built in 20th century; Jama Masjid Khairuddin built by Mohd. Khairuddin in 1876, this masjid is a place of architectural beauty situated in the Hall Bazar are other places of interest. Jallian Wala Bagh, the memorial at this site commemorates the 2000 Indians who were killed or wounded, shot indiscriminately by the British under the command of Gen Michael O"Dyer on April13, 1919 while participating in a peaceful public meeting for freedom.

Wagah Border, the international border between India and Pakistan. The pomp and pageantry of the Beating Retreat and the Change of Guard within handshaking distance of the Indian and Pakistani forces makes for a most charming spectacle, held in the evening at sunset time.

General :
Punjab state, primarily was known as Agricultural state of India. Punjabi is the main language spoken in all cities and towns of Punjab. Hindi is 2nd language. The other main commercial activities include carpet weaving, fabrics, woolen products, handicrafts, light engineering, ancillaries and Tourism.

Travel : By Air : Amritsar is an international airport. A few flights from Far East Countries and UK land here. On domestic route, it is connected with Delhi only.

By Train :
Amritsar has regular trains connecting Delhi, Chandigarh, Jammu, Mumbai, Howrah, Agra, Varanasi and other important cities and states in India.

By Road: Amritsar is on NH 3 – Amritsar to Kolkata. Delhi ( 446 km), Chandigarh (264 km); Jullundhr (83), Pathankot (112 km), Dharamshala (199 km), Dalhousie (225 km), Jammu (200 km); Shimla (340 km)

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