Amritsar is the cultural centre of Sikhism and is synonymous both with the history of Sikhism and of India. There are a number of historical places in Amritsar boasting of the rich history and culture of the country. Some of these historical places in Amritsar like the Jallianwala Bagh played a key role in the freedom movement of the country. While some others like the renowned Golden Temple is known worldwide and is the religious hub of the community. Also it is interesting to note that the land for the temple was donated by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. There are numerous other historical places in Amritsar just like the Khair-ud-din Masjid and Wagah Border synonymous with the glorious past and history of the country. Check out all the historical places in Amritsar given below.
Here is the list of 20 Historical Places in Amritsar for a Peek into the Past
Tangibly the most spiritual place in India, Golden Temple, also known as Sri Harmindar Sahib, is the holiest shrine in Sikhism which is alive with religious fervour and sacredness. It is a place that can only be experienced and not described. Serving as a symbol of brotherhood and equality, Golden Temple is visited by people from all over the globe who come here to seek spiritual solace and religious fulfilment. Although the Golden Temple itself is of great historical and architectural interest, it is the view of the resplendent shrine, glistening in the centre of the tank, bringing an infinite calmness that is most memorable to a visitor.
Located near the famous Golden Temple of Amritsar, the Jallianwala Bagh is a public garden which houses a memorial to commemorate the massacre of peaceful celebrators by the British forces. The tragic incident had left a deep scar on the country, and a memorial was constructed post the independence for the innocents who lost their lives in this devastating incident. Established by the government of India in 1951, the massacre memorial was inaugurated by Dr Rajendra Prasad on 13th April 1961. The place has been turned into a beautiful park and is managed by the Jallianwala Bagh National memorial trust.
Wagah Border is the border line running along the Grand Trunk Road between Amritsar in Punjab, India, and Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan. People from all across the country visit this place to witness the Beating Retreat Ceremony that is held every day before sunset.
The sacred shrine of Mata Kaulan, also known as the Gurudwara Mata Kaulan, is located on the west side of the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The memorial was named after Bibi Kaulan, a holy lady who was raised as a Muslim but then adopted Hinduism later in her life, becoming a faithful disciple of Guru Har Gobind. Bibi Kaulan's father disowned her and pronounced her dead for her devotion towards Guru Hargobind Ji. After she was abandoned, Sant Mian Mir, a resident of the same village, secretly brought her to Amritsar, where she spent the rest of her life devoted to Guru Har Gobind while performing religious duties. She was later laid to rest in the western area of Gurudwara Kaulan.
Found within the famous Golden Temple complex, the Dukh Bhanjani Ber Tree is considered the most sacred tree in Amritsar. The 400-year-old jujube tree, situated on the eastern side of the great Amrit Sarovar, is greatly revered by Sikhs due to the legend and faith of Bibi Rajni, whose leprosy stricken husband was miraculously cured after a dip in the pond close to the tree. It was then named Dukh Bhanjani which means 'eradictator of suffering'. The first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak is said to have rested at this holy spot while singing Gurbani in deep devotion to Waheguru. It is considered greatly instrumental in the founding of Amritsar by Guru Ram Das Ji, the fourth Sikh Guru.
Akal Takht (Throne of the Immortal) is the highest political institution of the Sikhs, founded by the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind in 1606. Located in the famous Golden Temple complex of Amritsar, the Akal Takht is one of the five Takhts of the Sikhs. These Takhts are seats of power and authority among the Sikh community, and the place of the Jathedar, the highest spokesmen among them. The Akal Takht is meant to be a symbol of political sovereignty and justice, where the spiritual and earthly concerns of the Sikh people could be addressed and examined.
Gobindgarh Fort echoes the grand stories of Punjab's past. The historic fort represents the glorious past of 257 years, starting with the Bhangi Misl era and ending with the Indian Army after The British East India Company. Gobindgarh Fort was first known as 'Bhagian da Qilla' built by Gujar Singh in 1760's. Visitors can tour the area which has now been extraordinarily developed into a live museum, acting as a repository of Punjab's History. The Tokshakhana which is now a museum in the fort was used to store the famous Kohinoor diamond.
Durgiana Temple, also known as Lakshmi Narayan Temple, is a Hindu temple located in the city of Amritsar. It bears a stark resemblance to the famous Golden Temple while also carrying the same sense of peace, tranquillity and spirituality. Within this historic temple lies a beautiful Sarovar where one can find idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu floating.
Goindwal Baoli is a step-well constructed in the 16th century by Guru Amar Das. The Baoli (open-well) is located on the banks of the River Beas and is an important Sikh centre. It is considered one of the first Sikh pilgrimage sites. Goindwal is said to be the birthplace of Guru Arjan Dev thus granting it great religious significance among the Sikh community. The well was built after the Sikhs were denied access to the River Beas. The stairway leading to the sacred well consists of 84 stairs, with each step symbolizing the 100,000 life forms to represent the 8.4 million different existences of the planet. The stairways have been divided into 2 pathways, one for male and the other for female.
Gurudwara Chheharta Sahib is a Gurudwara in the village Chheharta Sahib, located 7 kms away from Amritsar. It was named after a massive well dug by Guru Arjan Dev to mark the birth of his son and successor Guru Hargobind. Due to the abundance of water, six Persian wheels were installed around the well to draw water at a faster pace, thus giving the name Chehharta. Although the well is now covered up, the water used to be pumped into the main tank of the Gurudwara.
Gurudwara Bir Baba Budha Sahib, also known as Bir Sahib, is where Baba Budha Ji spent most of his life. Baba Buddha, who lived for 125 years, was the first Granthi, blessed by the first Sikh Guru Guru Nanak Dev as a boy, and went on to anoint the five succeeding Gurus. The Gurudwara complex, situated in the village of Thatta 20 km south of Amritsar, was built by Baba Kharak Singh to Honor the great Baba Budha.
Gurudwara Shri Tarn Taran Sahib was built by the fifth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Arjan Dev. It is located 22 kms from Amritsar, in the village of Tarn Taran Sahib. The name 'Tarn Taran' was given to the Sarovar which means 'a boat that takes one across the ocean of existence.' Built in the Mughal style of architecture, the gurudwara is famous for having the largest Sarovar. The lotus dome that covers the three-storeyed building was damaged during the 1905 earthquake.
The Shri Ram Tirth Temple, located near Amritsar city, was built to honour the birthplace of Luva - Kusha, twins of Rama and Sita. Constructed in lime yellow stone, the temple dates back to the epic of Ramayana where Sita was given in the Ashram of Balamiki after being abandoned by Rama. The battle of Ram's Ashwamedha force with Luv-Kush is said to have taken place here. The gurukul of the twins, situated in the temple compound, is regarded as an architectural wonder by pilgrims.
Mata Lal Devi Temple, popularly known as Sheesh Mahal of Amritsar, is famous among the Hindu pilgrims for its miraculous fertility-improving powers. The temple is dedicated to the female saint Lal Devi and is considered a miniature dimension of the popular Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu. The temple is decorated with shining mirrors that light up the area through the reflecting sunlight and numerous diyas.
Pul Kanjari, popularly known as Amritsar's Taj Mahal, is a village based on the vibrant expression of love by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Situated close the Wagah border, this town is historically significant as Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his troops would rest here while travelling between Amritsar and Lahore. An important trading centre during the 18th century, the town was named after a small bridge built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh over the canal between Amritsar and Lahore for his favourite dancer Moran, a Muslim dancer from the nearby village of Makhanpura. The Government of Punjab has recently renovated and opened the gates for tourists to visit Pul Kanjari.
Bathinda Fort or Qila Mubarak is an age old fortress in Bathinda. Built by Raja Dab and King Kushana, the fort is believed to be the exact place where Razia Sultan was confined.and Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh visited this place. Later, Maharaja Karam Singh built a gurudwara here for the pilgrims
Gurudwara Baba Atal Rai is located inside the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar. The historic shrine was built in honour of Baba Atal Rai, son of Guru Har Gobind Singh. The 9 storey octagonal tower represents a year in Atal Rai's life as he passed away at the young age of 9. Originally, a samadhi of Baba Atal Rai the building slowly began transformed into a Gurudwara. It is the tallest tower in Amritsar alongside the Kaulsar Sarovar. This architectural marvel is one of the most visited attractions in Punjab, with millions of pilgrims coming from all around the world.