Amritsar (218 meters / 715 feet), is situated in the state of Punjab in North India. Amritsar is located on the historical Grand Trunk Road ( G.T Road) or National Highway No.1, and is a border Part between India and Pakistan. Lahore (Pakistan) by road is 35 kms. from Amritsar.
It is an important seat of Sikh history and culture and is famous for The Golden temple, also known as Harimandir Sahib. The city derives its name from Amrit Sarovar (the holy water tank) that surrounds the fabulous GoldenTemple and means “pool of ambrosial nectar”. This important Sikh shrine ( Golden Temple) attracts more visitors than the Taj Mahal in Agra .
Amritsar has a rich and vibrant culture and is famous for its excellent Punjabi cuisine and culture. Arts & Crafts of the area is highly acclaimed the world over. The artisans of the area are skilled and dexterous. The women of the villages are mainly involved in carrying out the Punjab Arts & Crafts. The Mud Works is an ancient practice in Punjab. The Metal Work is also very popular. The Basketry works are done by shaving the thin straws of grass. These straws are used to weave mats, rugs, carpets, curtains and hand fans. The needle work or the weaving and embroidery is very much famous from the area. The Juttis (sandals) made in the whole area are world famous. The motifs of The Juttis are embroidered with threads of silver and gold.
The main commercial activities include tourism, handicrafts, service trades , carpets , fabrics, farm produce including potatoes, chilies, oranges, mangoes, grapes, litchis lemons, sugarcane, maize, cotton , barley, millet, oil-seeds, carrots, peas, beans, onions, turnips, cucumbers, and melons.
The “Punjab Fairs” add to the vibrant and dynamic character of one of the most colorful places of India. The area has a rich culture and tradition which is expressed through the various “fairs” that provides the people a platform to enjoy and indulge in merry making. The colorful fairs of the area attract many tourists, as they can witness the vibrant culture of the area. It is also famous for its energetic dance “The Bhangra” performed solely by men and “The Gidda” performed by women.
The city is often viewed as the best place to start traveling in North India, especially overland route to Himalayas, as it is very close to the gateways of Himalayas- Dharamshala, Manali, and Shimla. Amritsar that greets visitors today is a bustling, busy city with a population of around 1.5 million people. The main language spoken in the area is Punjabi, Hindi and English. A popular outing is to the Wagah check post on the Indo-Pakistan border where crowds throng to see the change of guards ceremony and the flag hoisting and lowering, all done with great skill and precision.
Characterized by colorful dressing features, delicious cuisines, vibrant folklores and traditional handicrafts, Amritsar is glowing with its inherent reserve of human resource which is further enriched by the diligent and sociable nature of the people of Punjab. So come and visit Amritsar to taste the rich culture of North India, it is a city you should not miss..!