History of Amritsar
Colloquially known as Ambarsar and historically as Ramdaspur, the city of Amritsar is the largest spiritual and cultural centre for Sikhism. It is said that Guru Das Ram, the fourth Sikh guru is credited with founding the holy city of Amritsar in the Sikh tradition. Historical records suggest that, the site for the city of Amritsar was picked by Guru Amar Das who had asked Ram Das to find land to start a new town with a man made pool as its central point. And the temple complex of the Golden Temple was built with the holy lake called Amrit Sarovar located at the heart of it.
The history of Amritsar has few other important aspects like the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which took place on 13th April, 1919 in the heart of Amritsar. There is a memorial built at the site which commemorates the 2000 Indians who were killed by the British. Then there is the Operation Blue Star, which was conducted in June, 1984 under the orders of Indira Gandhi, the erstwhile Prime Minister of India. This was an Indian military operation to curb and remove Sikh militants from the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
Geography of Amritsar
Standing at an elevation of 234 m, the city of Amritsar spread over an area of 170 sq. km and is known to experience a semiarid climate. The month of June is the warmest month of the year with an average temperature of 33 degree Celsius and the month of January has the lowest average temperature of 12 degree Celsius. The average annual temperature of the city is 23.3 degree Celsius with an average precipitation of 703 mm. On 9th December, 1996, the lowest recorded temperature was -3.6 degree Celsius and the highest temperature of 48 degree Celsius was recorded on 22nd May, 2013.
Demographics of Amritsar
As per the reports of Census India 2011, the total population of the city of Amritsar was 1,132,761 and the urban agglomeration had a population of 1,183,705. The municipality had a sex ratio of 879 females per 1,000 males and children between the ages of 0 to 6 years old were 9.7 percent. The effective literacy rate of the city was 85.27 percent with the male literacy being 88 percent and female literacy being 82 percent. The scheduled caste population is 29 percent. The main religion of the city is Hinduism and Sikhism at 49 percent and 48 percent respectively of the total population.
Tourism in Amritsar
The city of Amritsar is an attractive destination for tourists and listed below are some of the sites:
Golden Temple: Also known as the Harimandir Sahib, the Golden Temple or Darbar Sahib is a living symbol of the spiritual and historical traditions of the Sikhs. It is a source of inspiration for all Sikhs and is a chief place of pilgrimage. The temple with its glistening gold covered exterior stands in the middle of a square tank with each side about 150 m with an 18 m path on all 4 sides. A 60 m causeway traverses the pool to reach the Temple itself which is 12 m square and rests on a 20 m square platform in the middle of The Pool of Nectar or the Amrit Sarovar. It is the most popular tourist site in the city.
Jallianwala Bagh Memorial: The Jallianwala Bagh massacare marked this historical place, which is now a memorial park with a museum. Hundreds of innocent people were killed and thousands injured when General Dyer started firing in a general gathering of Indians. Even today, the bullet marks on walls of the building exists.
Ram Bagh Palace: Situated in the centre of a garden popularly known as Ram Bagh or Barandari, the Ram Bagh Palace was used as summer palace by Ranjit Singh, founder of Sikh Empire in Punjab. The whole Ram Bagh complex including Rambagh Palace is declared as a protected monument.
Durgiana Temple: Also known as the Lakshmi Narayan Temple, the Durgiana Temple is located outside the Lohagarh gate of the old city and is dedicated to Goddess Durga. The temple dates back to the 16th century and is a centre of pilgrimage for devout Hindus. In its present form the temple echoes of not the traditional Hindu temple architecture, but that of the Golden Temple. It rises in a similar manner from the midst of a tank and has canopies and a central dome. The foundation stone was laid by one of the greatest reformers and political leaders of resurgent India, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya. It is a well-known repository of Hindu scriptures.
The other places of attraction in Amritsar are the Patriot Museum, Sadda Pind, Gobindgarh Fort, etc.
Visiting Information on Amritsar
The city of Amritsar hosts the Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport, which is connected to other parts of India and other countries with direct international flights to cities. The main terminus station here is the Amritsar railway station and the city is located on the Grand Trunk Road and is well connected to the rest of the country.