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Things to Do in Amritsar

Amritsar, a Punjabi city and the capital of the Sikh religion since the late sixteenth century, is home to one of India’s most impressive religious sites, the Golden Temple. Originally built in 1601, Sikhism’s holiest temple, or gurdwara, is named for the gold-plating covering much of its surface that reflects both the sunlight and the surface of the lake upon which it sits.

The city itself is named after this very pool -- the name translates to the “Holy Pool of Nectar.” The old half of the city, where the Golden Temple is, contains narrow lanes and chaotic bazaars you’d expect of India. The modern half is dominated by restaurants, hotels and cafes that would be right at home in the nation’s capital as well.

While the Golden Temple is by far Amritsar’s biggest draw, the city offers several other worthwhile things to see and do during your stay. If you want to learn more about the clashes with the British that took place here in 1919, visit the serene Jallianwala Bagh park. The Ram Bagh Museum details the history of Punjab, while the Sikh Museum offers insight into the religious beliefs and tumultuous history of Sikhism.
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Attari-Wagah Border
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The Attari-Wagah border is a crossing between India and Pakistan that is known for its Beating Retreat ceremony, which is held each evening as the border closes. Visit at the end of the day to see the guards from both sides march in elaborate military costumes and face-off across the border in front of packed crowds.

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Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib)
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Harmandir Sahib, popularly known as the Golden Temple, is among the most sacred of Sikh gurdwaras. It’s surrounded by a large complex with a marble walkway and a pool, known as the amrit sarovar, which holds holy water. As at all Sikh temples, everyone is welcome here, regardless of their background or religion.

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Jallianwala Bagh
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Jallianwala Bagh is a public garden in the northern city of Amritsar. It’s best known as the site of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in 1919 at the hands of the British Indian Army, which claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians celebrating the religious festival of Baisakhi.

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