(Last Updated on : 01-02-2014)
History of Amritsar District suggests the origin of the name of this district. It states that Amritsar
, literally a Pool of Nectar, derives its name from Amrit Sarovar, the holy tank that surrounds the Golden Temple
. However, the history of Amritsar District is not very clear and is vague. Thus, on the development of the city, the generally accepted view is based on Amritsar District Gazetteers, the authoritative works of reference on local history.
The various opinions about the origin of this land are all based upon traditions. Legends suggest that the land was granted by Akbar
, Mughal Emperor to Guru Amar Das. Other opinions suggest that it was acquired by Guru Ram Das before the grant was actually obtained. There are no documentary evidences to support or contradict these views. But the version regarding the purchase of the land by Guru Ram Das is in keeping with the tradition of Sikh Gurus who never took any land grants from the rulers. It seems that originally the site of Amritsar was a community land lying between the village of Sultanwind, Tung, Gumtala and Gilwali, and later it was acquired by the Sikh Gurus either on payment or was received by them free of cost. Opinions may vary on the question of acquisition of the site, but it is certain that the selection of the site was planned and not accidental. It was the choice of the Gurus themselves, and the site of Amritsar was revenue free land.
History of Amritsar District comprises talks about the early period of its origin. It has been established that whole of Amritsar District was a part of the vast area covered under Indus valley Civilization during the early period of history. This civilization developed prior to Aryans civilization in this region. These evidences for the prevalence of this ancient civilization in this district of Punjab
have been furnished by the discovery of certain sites by the archaeologist. The important sites pertaining to Indus valley civilization in Amritsar District are Vadalol, Chhina, Gharinda and Har. During the Vedic period, the area now belonging to Amritsar District is believed to be the abode of many Saints and Sages. The area of Amritsar District also came under the Greek influence in around 326 BC, and later on, it became part of Maurya Empire
and Gupta Empire.
Medieval period of the history of Amritsar District states that during the last quarter of 10th century AD, Raja Jaipal of Shahi Dynasty ruled over Punjab including the present area of Amritsar District. During the medieval period, the people of Amritsar District were influenced much by the teachings of the Sikh Gurus who were contemporaries of the Mughal rulers. Before the people of Amritsar district came under the benign influence of the Sikh Gurus, there were no big cities or towns in this district. The impact of the Sikh Gurus on the people of Amritsar District was huge.