Amritsar – Beyond the Golden Temple
Seemingly sleepy, Amritsar stuns you occasionally with glimpses of a modern city (glass paneled airport!). Translating roughly to “Pool of Immortality”, we”ll take you through a fascinating journey of a city filled with rich history and culture.
If you”re the compromising types and can carry good ear plugs, stay at Hotel City Heart. As the name suggests, it is at the heart of all the action.
Just two minutes away from the Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh and the markets including all the must-eat places, it”s the best location in town. With friendly staff and decent rooms, you”ll love the freedom of being able to walk to almost everywhere.
If you want nothing but the very best, your option is Ista Hotel.
Other than the obvious choice of visiting the Golden Temple, spend an evening watching a patriotic moment – the retreat ceremony involving the ”lowering of the flags” at the Wagah-Attari border in Punjab. With the cheering crowd and patriotic songs booming through the arena, it”s electrifying to be there.
Walk down history to witness Jallianwala Bagh. Though the manicured lawns and landscaped layout may not comprehend the atrocities the site witnessed, it is a must visit. A stone throw away from the temple; it is shocking that a place of tranquillity could have such a bloody history in its backyard.
The Golden temple will take you through quite a spiritual journey, so ensure you keep plenty time to soak it all in! At the temple, do not forget to take the Karah Prasad. It is delicious and very filling!
If you”re on any kind of diet, just forget about it! And that”s the only way you appreciate true Punjabi cuisine. Though this town is filled with many tiny miracles all over, your must try begins at the Golden Temple. At Guru-ka-Langar, join hundreds (the kitchen feeds thousands each day) to break the communal bread. Grab your floor space for a simple delicious meal of Roti, Dal, Sabji and Kheer.
Topping among the local favorites, Kesar ka Dhaba serves some of the most amazing Kala Dal and Palak Paneer. Swing by Brother”s Dhaba, a prominent fixture near Hall Market, another local favorite.
Kick it up with the Chola Kulchas and Pani Puris from the local vendors (be sure you”re ok with the hygiene levels).
And finally, gulp it all down with a tall glass of chilled Lassi. Like we said, a diet here is a strict no no.
If you like shopping and especially if you”re a girl, you may want to carry a lot more than a tiny handbag. With bazaars at every corner and drool worthy rates on handicrafts, fabric and shoes, you can spend hours going from shop to shop.
You won”t be able to resist the range of mouthwatering (and interesting combos) papads and pickles (which weigh quite a bit, so be careful when stocking up). If keen, you can also pick up dry fruits. A famous shop is the Old Dry Fruit Corner.
Girls, when getting fabric, get it stitched there. They do a fabulous job with the Patiala salwar and deliver to your hotel all within an hour! And do not forget to pick up the jutis from the extensive range! If you are there for a limited time, check out Guru’s Bazaar and Hall Bazaar.
With its quaint streets and charming population, the Golden Temple and ghee soaked food and the peacefulness that is rare to find, Amritsar is an experience to be had.
Give your diet a godly break and get ready to get ”gheed”!