Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

What To See In Amritsar – Walking Through History In The Punjab


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Lauree Guest



Welcome to Amritsar, a city rich in history and culture, located in the vibrant state of Punjab, India. Known as the spiritual and cultural capital of Sikhism, Amritsar offers a unique blend of religious significance, architectural marvels, and heartfelt hospitality. This fascinating city is steeped in history, with its origins dating back several centuries.


Amritsar is most renowned for its iconic Golden Temple, which stands as a symbol of Sikhism and attracts millions of visitors each year. But beyond this majestic shrine, there is so much more to explore and experience in Amritsar.


Immerse yourself in history as you visit Jallianwala Bagh, a memorial garden that commemorates the tragic massacre of 1919 and stands as a reminder of India’s quest for independence. Witness the awe-inspiring Beating Retreat Ceremony at the Wagah Border, where the Indian and Pakistani soldiers engage in an impressive display of patriotism and camaraderie.


Step into the Partition Museum, which narrates the heart-wrenching stories of the partition of India, a defining moment in the history of the subcontinent. Marvel at the artifacts and exhibits at the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum, dedicated to the life and legacy of the great Sikh ruler.


For a spiritual experience, visit the Durgiana Temple, also known as the Silver Temple, and soak in the peaceful atmosphere. Take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque Ram Bagh Gardens, lush with greenery and adorned with ancient monuments.


Discover the rich military history of Punjab at the Gobindgarh Fort, where you can witness thrilling performances and explore the various museums inside the fort. Explore Pul Kanjari, a historical village with a poignant love story attached to it.


Lastly, don’t miss the chance to visit Khalsa College, an architectural marvel that showcases the fusion of Sikh and Mughal influences.


Amritsar truly offers a mesmerizing blend of spirituality, history, and multiculturalism. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a religious pilgrim, or a curious traveler, Amritsar has something to captivate your senses and leave you with lifelong memories.


So, lace up your walking shoes, dive into the rich history of Punjab, and embark on a journey through Amritsar – a city where every corner is steeped in culture and heritage.


Golden Temple

The Golden Temple, also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib, is the holiest Sikh shrine and one of the most iconic landmarks in Amritsar. This magnificent gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) attracts millions of devotees and tourists from around the world.


As you approach the Golden Temple, you will be mesmerized by its breathtaking beauty. The glistening gold-plated exterior stands tall amidst a serene water tank called the Amrit Sarovar, which means “Pool of Nectar”. The temple is known as the Golden Temple due to its stunning golden façade that reflects in the shimmering water.


Enter through the main entrance, known as the Darshani Deori, and you will be greeted by the divine aura and spiritual ambiance that envelops this sacred place. The temple’s architecture is a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles, symbolizing the harmony and unity of different religions.


Take off your shoes, cover your head, and wash your feet at the provided facilities before stepping inside the inner sanctum. As you walk across the gleaming marble floors, you will be enchanted by the soul-stirring chants of the Sikh scriptures, known as the Guru Granth Sahib.


The Golden Temple is not just a religious center but also a symbol of unity, equality, and community service. The langar (community kitchen) serves free meals to all visitors, regardless of their religion, caste, or social status. Participating in the langar is a humbling experience that highlights the Sikh principle of selfless service.


Witness the breathtaking Palki Sahib ceremony, where the Guru Granth Sahib is ceremoniously carried to the sanctum for the night. The temple also shines brightest during festivals like Guru Nanak Jayanti and Baisakhi, when elaborate processions and performances take place.


Visiting the Golden Temple during the early morning hours or at night, when the temple is beautifully illuminated, adds an extra touch of magic to the experience. As you sit by the sarovar, watching the reflection of the temple in the tranquil water, you will be overwhelmed by a sense of peace and tranquility.


The Golden Temple is not just a religious monument; it is a spiritual haven that offers solace to all who visit. It is a testament to the spiritual essence of Sikhism and the unwavering devotion of its followers.


A visit to the Golden Temple is a must for anyone visiting Amritsar, as it is an opportunity to witness the incredible beauty, architectural marvel, and spiritual aura that make it truly unique.


Jallianwala Bagh

Jallianwala Bagh holds great historical significance and stands as a sobering reminder of a tragic event that unfolded on April 13, 1919. Located near the Golden Temple, this enclosed public garden serves as a poignant memorial to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.


The massacre occurred when a peaceful gathering of thousands of men, women, and children had gathered at Jallianwala Bagh to protest the repressive Rowlatt Act imposed by the British colonial government. The British military officer, Brigadier General Reginald Dyer, ordered his troops to open fire on the unarmed crowd, resulting in the loss of hundreds of lives.


As you enter Jallianwala Bagh, you can still see the bullet marks on the walls and the well where many people jumped to escape the gunfire. The narrow entrance leading into the garden serves as a haunting reminder of the fateful day.


Today, Jallianwala Bagh is a serene and solemn place, where visitors pay their respects to the innocent victims who lost their lives fighting for freedom. The Martyrs’ Memorial and Flame of Liberty, erected within the garden, stand as symbols of remembrance and honor.


It is recommended to join a guided tour or hire an audio guide to fully understand the historical significance and context of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. The guides share heart-wrenching stories and anecdotes, transporting visitors back to that tragic day.


Every evening, a sound and light show is held at Jallianwala Bagh, where a vividly narrated documentary recreates the events leading up to the massacre. The show provides a deeper understanding of the struggles faced by the Indian freedom fighters and the resilience of the nation in the face of adversity.


Visiting Jallianwala Bagh is a profound experience that allows you to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who fought for India’s independence. It serves as a reminder of the importance of freedom, justice, and the power of unity.


Ensure that you approach Jallianwala Bagh with a sense of reverence, as it is a place of immense historical and emotional significance. Take a moment to pay tribute to those who lost their lives and honor their memory within these hallowed grounds.


Wagah Border

Situated approximately 28 kilometers from the heart of Amritsar, Wagah Border is a renowned international border that separates India and Pakistan. This iconic border crossing is not just a place of geographical significance but also a site of immense patriotism, as it hosts the famous Beating Retreat Ceremony.


The Beating Retreat Ceremony, held every evening before sunset, is a spectacle to behold. Visitors gather in large numbers to witness the elaborate and synchronized drill performance conducted by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and the Pakistan Rangers.


As the sun sets, the atmosphere becomes charged with excitement and nationalistic fervor. Flags are lowered in a synchronized manner, and the gates are opened to exchange a ceremonial handshake between soldiers from both sides. The highlight of the ceremony is the perfectly coordinated high-kicking parade, as soldiers from both nations demonstrate their patriotism and pride.


The electric energy, patriotic fervor, and enthusiastic cheers from the crowd create a truly unforgettable experience. The ceremony not only showcases the military prowess of both nations but also symbolizes the hope for peace and unity amidst the complex history and relations between India and Pakistan.


To secure the best view for the Beating Retreat Ceremony, it is recommended to arrive early, as the seating fills up quickly. The experience is heightened by engaging with fellow spectators, cheering along with the crowd, and joining in on the spirited chants of “Vande Mataram” and “Pakistan Zindabad”.


While the Beating Retreat Ceremony is the main attraction, the Wagah Border area also houses a 300-foot flag pole with the Indian flag proudly flying high. Watching the flag unfurl during the flag-hoisting ceremony is a moment that fills visitors with a sense of pride and patriotism.


Visiting the Wagah Border is a unique opportunity to witness the fervor and emotions that surround the relationship between India and Pakistan. It serves as a reminder of the shared cultural heritage and the hope for peaceful coexistence between the two neighboring nations.


Remember to carry your identification documents, as security checks are conducted before entering the Wagah Border area. It is advisable to follow the instructions of security personnel and maintain decorum during the ceremony.


A trip to Amritsar is incomplete without experiencing the grandeur and excitement of the Beating Retreat Ceremony at Wagah Border. Witnessing this extraordinary display of patriotism will leave you with an indelible memory of the unity and pride that binds the people of both nations.


Partition Museum

The Partition Museum in Amritsar is a powerful institution that chronicles the heart-wrenching stories and experiences of millions of people affected by the partition of India in 1947. This museum stands as a tribute to the resilience, courage, and sacrifices of those who lived through one of the most challenging periods in Indian history.


The Partition of India resulted in the division of the country into India and Pakistan, and it led to the mass migration of millions of people, communal violence, and immense loss of life and property. The museum aims to shed light on this significant event through its extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, personal stories, and documents.


As you enter the Partition Museum, the first gallery transports you back in time, recreating the chaos and upheaval that ensued during the partition. The galleries that follow vividly depict the human stories of separation, loss, and the struggle to rebuild lives amidst the turmoil.


Through personal narratives, the museum provides a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people from both India and Pakistan, who experienced displacement, violence, and the loss of loved ones. The exhibits showcase the trauma and emotional toll of the partition, highlighting the resilience and determination of those affected.


The museum also offers interactive exhibits, which allow visitors to engage with the history and emotions surrounding the partition. Oral histories, audiovisual presentations, and interactive zones create an immersive experience, helping visitors comprehend the magnitude of the partition’s impact on individuals and communities.


Aside from its permanent galleries, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, film screenings, and educational programs to deepen understanding and facilitate dialogue about the partition.


Visiting the Partition Museum is a deeply moving experience that forces reflection on the consequences of communal division and the importance of unity. It serves as a reminder of the need for religious and cultural harmony, and the shared responsibility to ensure such events are not repeated in the future.


Plan your visit to the Partition Museum and allow yourself ample time to explore and absorb the stories presented within its walls. It is a somber yet essential destination that pays homage to the countless individuals affected by the partition and preserves their memories for generations to come.


Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum

Dedicated to the illustrious Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum in Amritsar offers a captivating journey through the life and achievements of this legendary leader. The museum is housed in the summer palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, known as the Ram Bagh Palace, adding to its historical charm.


Maharaja Ranjit Singh, often referred to as the “Lion of Punjab,” played a crucial role in shaping the Sikh Empire in the early 19th century. The museum provides a comprehensive insight into his life, military campaigns, administration, and cultural contributions.


As you explore the museum, you will encounter an extensive collection of artifacts, artworks, weaponry, and manuscripts that provide a glimpse into the opulence and grandeur of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s reign. The exhibits showcase his personal belongings, including his weapons, attire, and jewelry, allowing visitors to get a closer look at his regal lifestyle.


One of the highlights of the museum is the grand statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh on horseback, capturing his majestic presence. The statue serves as a reminder of his prowess as a warrior and his significant contributions to Sikhism.


The museum also houses a gallery dedicated to Sikh art, displaying exquisite paintings, manuscripts, and intricate artwork from the Sikh Empire. Visitors can admire the artistic expressions that flourished under Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s patronage, exemplifying the rich cultural heritage of the region.


For history enthusiasts, the museum offers a treasure trove of information about the turbulent times during which Maharaja Ranjit Singh ruled. Exhibits shed light on the military campaigns, diplomatic alliances, and the consolidation of the Sikh Empire under his visionary leadership.


Surrounded by lush gardens and situated in the tranquil ambiance of the Ram Bagh Palace, the museum provides a serene setting for visitors to delve into the history and legacy of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The picturesque surroundings also make it an ideal place for a leisurely stroll and to appreciate the beauty of the palace complex.


Visiting the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum allows you to step back in time and gain a deeper understanding of the cultural, military, and political achievements of this iconic Sikh ruler. It is a must-visit for history buffs, admirers of Sikh heritage, and anyone interested in learning about the remarkable legacy of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.


Durgiana Temple

The Durgiana Temple, also known as the Durga Devi Temple, is a revered Hindu shrine located in the city of Amritsar. Often referred to as the “Silver Temple” due to its silver-plated exterior, this temple holds immense religious significance and attracts devotees from far and wide.


Dedicated to Goddess Durga, the Durgiana Temple is a stunning architectural masterpiece that blends elements of Hindu and Sikh styles of architecture. As you enter the temple complex, you are greeted by a serene and peaceful atmosphere.


The main deity of the temple is Goddess Durga, who is believed to be a manifestation of Shakti, the divine feminine energy. The beautiful idol of the goddess, adorned with vibrant clothes and jewelry, is the focal point of devotion and worship.


As you explore the temple grounds, you will come across various other shrines dedicated to Hindu deities such as Lord Rama, Lord Shiva, Goddess Lakshmi, and Lord Hanuman. These shrines provide devotees with the opportunity to offer prayers and seek blessings from their chosen deities.


One of the highlights of the Durgiana Temple is its picturesque surroundings. The temple is situated near a sacred pool known as the “Amrit Sarovar,” which adds to the serene ambiance. Visitors can take a peaceful stroll around the sarovar and soak in the spiritual vibes of the place.


During Hindu festivals, the Durgiana Temple comes alive with fervor and festivity. Diwali, Navratri, and Durga Puja are celebrated with great enthusiasm, attracting a large number of devotees who come to seek the blessings of the goddess. The temple is beautifully decorated with lights and flowers, creating a divine atmosphere.


One of the highlights of a visit to the Durgiana Temple is participating in the aarti ceremony, a ritual of offering prayers to the deities accompanied by devotional songs and hymns. The aarti creates a sense of unity and devotion among the worshippers and is a beautiful sight to behold.


Whether you are a spiritual seeker, a devotee, or simply interested in exploring the cultural and religious heritage of Amritsar, the Durgiana Temple is a must-visit destination. It offers a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life and provides a glimpse into the rich Hindu traditions and beliefs.


Remember to dress modestly and remove your footwear before entering the temple premises. The Durgiana Temple welcomes visitors of all faiths, promoting the values of harmony and inclusivity. So, immerse yourself in the divine aura of the Durgiana Temple and experience a sense of inner peace and spiritual rejuvenation.


Ram Bagh Gardens

The Ram Bagh Gardens, also known as the Company Bagh, is a serene and picturesque park located in the heart of Amritsar. Named after the legendary Hindu god Lord Rama, these gardens offer a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.


The Ram Bagh Gardens are not just a beautiful green oasis, but also hold historical significance. The gardens were originally laid out by the fourth Sikh ruler, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, as a summer palace complex and a place for leisurely walks.


As you enter the Ram Bagh Gardens, you are greeted by lush green lawns, vibrant flower beds, and towering shady trees. The well-manicured gardens provide a tranquil setting for visitors to relax, unwind, and enjoy nature’s beauty.


Strolling through the gardens, you will come across several ancient monuments and structures that add to the charm and historical appeal of the place. The most prominent among them is the summer palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, which has now been converted into the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum.


In addition to the museum, there is a statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh on horseback, paying homage to his legacy. The statue stands tall as a reminder of his contributions to the Sikh Empire and his profound impact on the region’s history.


While exploring the Ram Bagh Gardens, you may also come across a small memorial dedicated to the famous Punjabi poet, Bhai Vir Singh, commemorating his literary contributions to Punjabi literature.


The gardens are an ideal spot for a leisurely picnic, a morning jog, or simply enjoying a book under the shade of a tree. Families and friends gather here to relax, have a picnic, and spend quality time together amidst the tranquil surroundings.


Photography enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to capture the beauty of the gardens, with its well-maintained lawns, architectural marvels, and natural landscapes. The picturesque setting makes it a favorite spot for pre-wedding photoshoots as well.


Whether you want to escape the city noise, enjoy a peaceful walk, or simply connect with nature, the Ram Bagh Gardens offer a refreshing retreat. So, pack a picnic basket, grab a book, or take a leisurely stroll and experience the serene beauty of this historic and well-maintained park.


Gobindgarh Fort

The Gobindgarh Fort, located in Amritsar, is a historic fort that has witnessed centuries of rich history, battles, and cultural transformations. Built in the 18th century by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, this imposing fortress stands as a symbol of Punjab’s vibrant past and its resolute spirit.


The Gobindgarh Fort was originally constructed for military defense purposes, serving as a stronghold against invading forces. Encircled by high walls and fortified ramparts, the fort boasts a well-planned architecture that showcases the strategic brilliance of its creators.


Today, the Gobindgarh Fort has been transformed into a popular tourist destination that offers a unique blend of history, entertainment, and cultural experiences. The fort complex is divided into various sections, each offering its own set of attractions and activities.


One of the highlights of the fort is the Sher-e-Punjab, a sound and light show that depicts the valor of Sikh warriors and narrates the gripping stories of Punjab’s history. The show takes visitors on a captivating journey, immersing them in the bravery, sacrifices, and legends that define Punjab’s heritage.


Within the fort complex, you will also find various museums that showcase the military history and weapons used during the times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. These museums provide an insight into the weaponry, attire, and warfare techniques of the Sikh warriors, offering a glimpse into their warrior culture.


The fort is also home to a thriving marketplace known as the Bazaar Mai Sewan, where visitors can shop for traditional Punjabi handicrafts, clothes, and accessories. The bazaar is a bustling hub that creates a vibrant atmosphere and offers a chance to explore and experience the local culture.


Visitors can further indulge in the delicacies of Punjab at the various food stalls and restaurants inside the fort. From traditional Punjabi street food to authentic regional dishes, the fort offers a gastronomic delight for food enthusiasts.


The Gobindgarh Fort is not just a tourist attraction but also serves as a cultural center, hosting lively folk dance performances, music concerts, and theater shows that celebrate the rich heritage of Punjab. These performances add an element of entertainment and liveliness to the overall experience at the fort.


Exploring the Gobindgarh Fort is a journey into the glorious past of Punjab, giving visitors a chance to delve into its history, witness its architectural grandeur, and engage with its vibrant culture. The fort represents the resilience, valor, and indomitable spirit of Punjab and is a must-visit destination for those seeking a truly immersive experience in Amritsar.


Pul Kanjari

Nestled in the countryside near Amritsar, Pul Kanjari is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of history, romance, and folklore. This historical site holds great significance as it serves as a reminder of a poignant love story and a testament to the architectural brilliance of the past.


Pul Kanjari was originally built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh as a rest house and a marketplace for travelers and army personnel. However, it gained prominence due to an extraordinary love story associated with it.


Legend has it that Maharaja Ranjit Singh fell in love with a beautiful dancer named Moran, whom he met at Pul Kanjari. Entranced by her charm and magnetic personality, the Maharaja built a baoli (stepwell) and a grand gateway for her, turning Pul Kanjari into a luxurious retreat.


Today, Pul Kanjari stands as a testimony to that epic love story. Visitors can explore the ruins of the palace complex, which includes the baoli, the Darbar Hall, the hammam (bathing area), and the minarets that once adorned the site.


The architectural splendor of Pul Kanjari is evident in its intricate carvings, frescoes, and grandeur. The beauty and elegance of the place transport visitors back in time, allowing them to imagine the romantic tales and royal festivities that once took place within these walls.


Pul Kanjari is enveloped in a tranquil ambiance, with beautiful gardens and a tranquil waterbody nearby. The serene surroundings add to the allure of the place and offer visitors a sense of calm and solace.


Visiting Pul Kanjari provides a unique opportunity to not only delve into the fascinating history and architectural wonders of the past but also to rekindle the emotions and enchantment of an extraordinary love story. The cultural significance and the folklore associated with the site add an element of intrigue and romance.


It is recommended to hire a local guide or join a guided tour to fully appreciate the historical and cultural significance of Pul Kanjari. The guides often narrate the tales and legends associated with the site, bringing the past to life and immersing visitors in the enchanting world of Pul Kanjari.


Exploring Pul Kanjari is like stepping into a fairytale realm, where love, history, and grandeur merge. The site’s hidden charm, its history, and the lore that surrounds it make it an offbeat destination that should not be missed by those seeking a unique and romantic experience in Amritsar.


Khalsa College

Located in the heart of Amritsar, Khalsa College stands as a magnificent example of architectural brilliance and educational excellence. Founded in 1892, the college is not just a prestigious educational institution but also a national monument that showcases the fusion of Sikh and Mughal architectural styles.


Khalsa College was established with the vision of promoting Sikh principles, providing quality education, and instilling a sense of national pride among students. The sprawling campus is adorned with stunning domes, intricate carvings, and vibrant frescoes, reflecting the cultural heritage of Punjab.


As you enter the premises of Khalsa College, you are greeted by towering structures and a serene ambiance. The college’s clock tower, known as the Baba Gurmukh Singh Building, is an iconic landmark that stands tall, symbolizing the importance of education in Sikhism.


The college’s architectural features, such as the red sandstone facade, marble flooring, and intricate detailing, create a regal and majestic atmosphere. The central hall, adorned with beautiful stained glass windows, serves as a visual testament to the fusion of Sikh and Mughal influences in the architectural design.


Khalsa College is not just aesthetically pleasing but also holds a special place in Indian history. The college played a significant role in the freedom struggle of India, with many of its students actively participating in the fight for independence.


The museum within Khalsa College showcases a rich collection of artifacts, documents, and photographs that depict the historical journey of the college. From the freedom struggle to the contributions of its alumni in various fields, the museum offers a glimpse into the college’s illustrious past.


Today, Khalsa College continues to be a renowned educational institution, offering a wide range of academic courses and nurturing the intellectual growth of its students. It is also famous for its vibrant cultural events, which showcase the talents and skills of its student community.


Visiting Khalsa College provides an opportunity to witness the harmony between Sikh and Mughal architectural styles while immersing oneself in the intellectual legacy and patriotic spirit that the college encapsulates. The serene atmosphere and grandeur of the campus make it a perfect spot for a leisurely walk or quiet contemplation.


Ensure you seek permission to explore the campus and follow any regulations or guidelines specified by the college authorities. As you admire the architectural marvels and soak in the rich heritage of Khalsa College, you will gain a deeper appreciation for the blend of cultural influences that make Amritsar a truly remarkable city.



Amritsar, the vibrant city in the state of Punjab, India, offers a remarkable blend of history, culture, and spirituality. From the iconic Golden Temple to the somber Jallianwala Bagh, from the vibrant Wagah Border to the emotional Partition Museum, Amritsar is a city that encapsulates the essence of the Indian subcontinent’s rich and diverse heritage.


Each landmark and attraction in Amritsar tells a story, immersing visitors in the captivating history and traditions of the region. The Golden Temple stands as a beacon of peace and unity, while Jallianwala Bagh serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made during India’s struggle for independence.


The Wagah Border offers a unique glimpse into the relationship between India and Pakistan, showcasing both camaraderie and patriotism. The Partition Museum chronicles the tragic division of India and the personal stories of those affected, promoting understanding and unity.


Additionally, the city boasts several other noteworthy sites, such as the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum and the Durgiana Temple, which offer insights into the lives of historical figures and the deep-rooted spirituality of the region.


Amritsar’s attractions also extend beyond history and religion. The Ram Bagh Gardens provide a tranquil retreat where visitors can connect with nature, while the Gobindgarh Fort showcases both military prowess and vibrant cultural performances.


Lastly, Khalsa College stands as a remarkable architectural marvel, representing the fusion of Sikh and Mughal influences and inviting visitors to delve into the college’s educational legacy and contributions to the nation.


Whether you are a history enthusiast, a religious pilgrim, or a curious traveler, Amritsar offers a multitude of experiences that will captivate your senses and leave you with lifelong memories. As you explore the city’s landmarks, immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Punjab’s culture, spirituality, and deep-rooted traditions.


Bottom line, Amritsar is a city that embodies the captivating charm of India. It is a city where history comes alive, where spirituality finds its purest form, and where cultural treasures are proudly preserved. So, embark on a journey to Amritsar, where every step is a walk through history, and every moment is an opportunity to embrace the vibrant soul of Punjab.