The City of the Golden Temple
The city of Amritsar, or Ambarsar as the locals call it, is an important religious center for the Sikhs. It is famous for the beautiful Golden Temple, and its proximity to the international borders. Part of the HRIDAY - Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana project, a flagship program launched by the government of India, Amritsar has an intricate connection with the history of India and its freedom struggle.
At Amritsar, the climate is semiarid and enjoys cold winters and hot Indian summers. The city is well-known for its shopping districts selling clothes, carpets, religious items significant to Sikhism and the delicious Amritsari food.
Amritsar is a dynamic city representing the diverse cultural heritage of the country. This major city in Punjab, this place is well-known for its old markets and bazaars selling different items. Amritsar has been an important religious center of Sikhs. Apart from the highly revered Golden Temple, the town also known for its connection with the ‘Khalsa Panth’, the warrior community within Sikhism founded by Guru Gobind Singh.
Amritsar finds its mention in the Indian epic, Ramayana. According to legends, the city was founded by Lava and Kusha, sons of Lord Ram. According to Gazette Records, Guru Ram Das is accredited with founding the city of Amritsar according to Sikh traditions. The name ‘Amritsar’ comes from the lake ‘Amrit Sarovar’ built by Guru Ram Das near a village called Tung. With donation made by the Sikh patrons, a small land was bought by him and the temple complex was built. Gradually, people came in and a village was established. It was named as Amritsar, meaning nectar’s pool.
The city has been an important center of historical as well as political upheaval. During, India’s freedom struggle, Amritsar once again came into the limelight. On 13th April 1919, several Sikhs meet at Jallianwala Bagh to celebrate the holy festival of Baishakhi. Anticipating anti-social activities, British General Henry Dyer opens fire on the group, including women and children. The incident caused massive civil unrest within the country and incidentally inspired people to participate in the country’s freedom struggle.