Hello people! Time to welcome our today’s blogger who is an army wife and is here to talk about one of her many travels in India. She is chronicling her top 10 things to do in the holy city of Amritsar.
Shalini is an IT Analyst by profession, avid blogger by passion and a nomad by choice. She is a proud Army Wife and moves about the country almost every two years. Her ardent love for books, food, and travel brought her to the blogging world. She blogs at Something’s Cooking and Kohl Eyed Me. When she is not cooking up a storm or writing her heart out, she can be found with her nose buried in a book and her Golden Retriever Mufasa resting his face on her lap.
There is no dearth of things to do in Amritsar, the spiritual capital of Punjab. From indulging on delicious Kulchas to visiting the world-famous Golden Temple, there is everything for everyone in this beautiful city. Amritsar is a place that is really close to my heart, because it keeps calling me back for a visit. It is one of the few places where I find myself at ease and peace.
Here are the top ten things to do if you are in this beautiful city.
Of course, the very first thing that you do when in Amritsar is visit Golden Temple. It is a sight to behold and you’d feel humbled by its magnanimity. Golden Temple or Harmandir Sahib glistens at night as it is bathed in yellow and golden lights. The Gurudwara is surrounded by the sacred Pool of Nectar and one has to walk around it to reach the Sanctum Santorum. Make sure you visit Golden Temple both at dawn and dusk to appreciate its excellence.
Guru Ka Langar
Volunteer at the world’s largest community kitchen, Guru ka Langar. It serves close to 50,000 people a day – all for free. The kitchen never closes so it makes sure no one goes hungry. You can do your bit by chopping vegetables, making rotis or washing the utensils. Langar meals are 100% vegetarian and consists of roti, dal and kheer. You are to sit down on a mat to eat, ensuring all are equal in the eyes of God.
The Wagah Border Ceremony
The Beating Retreat at the Wagah Border is a daily military exercise followed by the Border Security Force, BSF of India and Pakistan Rangers of Pakistan. The ceremony is conducted in full josh and vigour attracting hundreds of tourists everyday. It is absolute fun to watch the crowd go bonkers at the display of aggression between the two forces.
It is imperative that every Indian should visit the Jallianwala Bagh in his lifetime. The narrow passageway, bullet marks and Martyr’s well will send a shiver down your spine. If this doesn’t make you feel grateful of the freedom that you enjoy today at the sacrifice of lakhs of souls, I don’t know what will.
Kulchas from Kesar da Dabba
Ah, your trip to Amritsar isn’t complete if you haven’t indulged on Amritsari Kulchas. Amongst all the Dhabas, Kesar da Dhaba is quite popular among tourists and though it is a task to find this small food joint, it is worth the effort. Do not be put off by the unbelievable amount of desi ghee on each of these Kulchas and Laccha Parathas, but relish it in all its glory.
I cannot count the number of Lassis I’ve had on my trip to Amritsar. It was winters both the times but I still couldn’t resist myself from this refreshing and sweet Lassi cravings. Amritsari Lassi Wala is the most popular Lassi shop but you can get yourself a tall glass of chill Lassi.
I dare say that you ought to own a pair of Punjabi Juttis to compliment your wardrobe. These are intricately handcrafted footwear that goes well with your salwar suits. These days the traditional juttis have got a modern demeanour and you can flaunt them with your jeans or skirts as well.
The main agenda of my Amritsar trip (after the Golden Temple visit) always is the Phulkari loot. The hand-woven embroidered flower patterns are just what you need to own a desi look. Price can be affordable to expensive based on hand-woven or machine-embroidered and how intricate the weave is.
Take a walk along the Heritage Street that leads to Golden Temple
Five years ago, when I walked towards Golden Temple, it was a busy street with pedestrians, rickshawwalaas, and vendors. A year ago, things changed and you’d now see backdrop of buildings that resemble Mughal and Rajputana architecture. The bylanes are clean and splendid with lampposts, statues and artificial waterfalls. Do not miss the towering statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and ‘Smriti’ monument outside Jallianwala Bagh.
Get hold of Dal Wadiyans, Dry Fruits, Amritasari Pappad and different Pickles. Also, fill your tummy with the popular Amritsari Fish, Chicken Tandoori, Bheja Fry and Jalebis. If you’ve an additional day to spare, visit Gobindgarh Fort and Durgiana Temple.
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If you liked reading this, perhaps you would like to know more about the Kangra Fort in Himachal Pradesh ?