It is a difficult task to say when I started admiring Amritsar. I had read about the Golden Temple and the Jallianwalla Bagh in school. Since my childhood, it was my dream to visit Amritsar. Hence I started on my adventurous trip to Amritsar also known as “pool of nectar”. We travelled from Vadodara to Amritsar by rail in a train named Golden Temple Mail. It is almost a twenty seven hour journey. There are many other trains available to reach Amritsar.
The transit of train was very exciting; it travelled through Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. As we know Rajasthan is the one of the best places in India with many mouth watering dishes to eat like Rabdi, Kachori, Rasogulla, Mirchi Vada. While passing through Mathura we had famous “Mathura ke Pede”. The food of the train’s pantry is sufficient enough to satisfy one’s appetite. The weather in Amritsar is always warm and acceptable to most travellers who come here. However, the best months to travel to this place is between the months of October and April. Climate of Amritsar is generally warm with daytime temperatures fluctuating around 30’C mark and temperature in the summer rising up to 40’C.The night-time temperature is around 25’C in the summer and goes down to as low as 3’C in winter. The rainfall also peaks in July and August and so these months may not prove suitable for the travellers. The roads of Amritsar are well built with little garbage on the side of the roads. One thing that I liked the most is the tone of the people of Amritsar, their accent, the respect they give to eachother and to the travellers and their way to interact.
Guru Nank Dev University is one of the oldest colleges of Amritsar established on November 24, 1969. Through the main entrance gate, one has to walk about one kilometer to enter the main premises of the college.
Then we went to Jallianwala Bagh by auto which charged us Rs. 60 from the university. Jallianwala Bagh is a historic place where on April 13, 1919, while holding a peaceful demonstration on the occasion of Punjabi New Year, British Indian Army soldiers under the command of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer opened fire on an unarmed gathering of men, women and children. The firing lasted for about 10 minutes. According to private sources there were over 1000 deaths, with more than 2000 wounded, and Civil Surgeon Dr. Smith indicated that there were 1,526 casualties .
Inside the Bagh there is a martyrs’ well where the guide said that to survive from the open firing, the people jumped into it. There are photographs also of the 200 soldiers who jumped into the well.
After visitng the Jallianwala Bagh, we went to the world famous Golden Temple which is at five minutes walking distance. Everybody is required to cover their heads while entering the Golden Temple. There is a pond where visitors wash their feet before entering inside. I was truly delighted after seeing the Golden Temple, it is a masterpiece of art and a sparkling monument made of gold. It stands amidst water with shadow of temple reflecting in water.
There was a very big line to go inside to worship Shri Harminder Sahib. The path to go inside is divided in two, one is for going in and one returning from inside. There are stairs from where one can go up and see the upper view of the place.
Outside the Temple there are very shops selling souvenirs.
The next day we went to the famous “Wagah Border”. The auto fare was Rs. 20 per head. The Wagah Border is 30 kms away from the city, and is worth a visit. It is open to the public, and can be visited at sundown, when flags on both sides of the border are lowered. On the way to the border, there were many farms, small industries, and small shops.
The two gates there bear the flags and the emblems of India and Pakistan. The Pakistani and Indian Flags are lowered as dusk settles. This Attari Check Post built for security reason. This is No Man’s Land between India and Pakistan.
Amritsar, certainly a town worth visiting and a witness to many significant and bloody events that have occurred in the history of the Sikhs, and the Indian nation.