Trip to Amritsar
Amritsar also called “The City of Golden Temple” is one of the ancient cities in India which is known for the famous Harmandir Sahib or The Golden Temple. It is an important pilgrimage site for the Sikhs. It was founded in the 16th century and the name of this city was derived from Amrit Sarovar (pool of nectar). It is believed that the land here was purchased from Emperor Akbar by Guru Amardas, who decided to build a tank at this site. But, after his death, Guru Ram Das is the person who built this pool as he believed that the water in the lake had good healing powers.
Every year, many pilgrims from all over the world visit Amritsar to take a holy dip in the sacred Sarovar and then they visit the temple.
Here, we will discuss on some key points regarding how to plan a trip to Amritsar.
How to reach Amritsar?
Amritsar is easily accessible from all parts of the country and abroad. The city has its own International Airport, where flights from Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, London, Sharjah, etc. lands and takes off. Apart from this, Amritsar has good flight services to other Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Jaipur, etc.
The city has a good network of trains as well. It is very well connected by railways from other cities in India. There are daily 2 Shatabdi Express (Premium Category) train services from Delhi to Amritsar. Apart from this, there are many trains which connect Amritsar from other towns and cities. The normal sleeper train ticket cost from Delhi to Amritsar comes around Rs. 300 per person per way.
The road network in Punjab is very good and since Amritsar is one of the prime cities of the state, it is very well connected by National and State Highways. There are many good bus services from Delhi and Chandigarh to Amritsar. The ordinary bus fare from Delhi to Amritsar is somewhere around.
At the end of this article, I have shared some important links where you can get the details of all available modes of travel from Delhi and other parts of the country.
Highlights of Amritsar
The Golden Temple – The key highlight of this trip. An important pilgrimage site of Sikhs.
Jallianwala Bagh – A historical place, memorial of national importance.
Akal Takht – One of the five Takhts (seats of power) of the Sikhs.
Central Sikh Museum – Museum showcasing history and culture of Sikhs through portraiture, arms & manuscripts.
Durgiana Temple – A Hindu temple also known as Laxmi Narayan Temple, whose architecture is similar to The Golden Temple.
Wagah Border – India-Pakistan border where every evening a beating retreat ceremony happens between both the nations.
How to plan a budget trip to Amritsar?
Planning a trip to Amritsar is very easy as the place has good connectivity from all over the country. Also, there are many hotels available there, that you can easily book in advance or can also choose directly when you reach there.
So, before you start your journey, there are a few tips you should follow before taking off.
- Do check the online availability of trains first as it the most comfortable journey. If you are a working guy and you have time constraints, then try to go for an overnight train journey. On average, it takes around 7-8 hrs from Delhi to Amritsar and 4-5 hrs from Chandigarh to Amritsar by train. You can simply look for sleeper class or 3rd AC tickets, as per your budget. Being a budget traveler, most of the time I go for sleeper class. So, if you find the seats available, just go for it. The average ticket cost for sleeper/second seater comes around Rs. 300 (from Delhi) and Rs. 120 (from Chandigarh) while for third AC/AC Chair Car coach it comes around Rs. 800 (from Delhi) and Rs. 450 (from Chandigarh).
- If you are travelling by bus, you can take it from ISBT Kashmere Gate in Delhi and sector 43 bus stand in Chandigarh. There are many bus options available from both the cities. From Delhi to Amritsar, the distance is 455 km with a travel time of approx. 8 hrs. While from Chandigarh, Amritsar is 225 km with a travel time of approx. 4 hrs. The ordinary bus fare comes around to be Rs. 450-500 (from Delhi) and Rs. 250-300 (from Chandigarh). For ordinary buses, you don’t need to book any advance tickets but if you are travelling by Deluxe or Volvo bus, then it is recommended to book the seats online. I have shared the necessary links below.
- For accommodation, if you are looking for the cheapest options, then you can try Oyo rooms or can even find good options in hostels.com. But, if you are not sure about where to stay, then you can simply look for accommodation on the spot. There are many lodges and guest houses available near The Golden Temple area. You can easily get the one at Rs. 400-500. But, if there is some important Sikh festival during your visit, then I would suggest you book your accommodation in advance.
- For local sightseeing, if your hotel is a bit far from The Golden Temple, then you can use local city buses and rickshaws to commute, which are widely available. From Golden Temple, you can easily cover Jallianwala Bagh, Akal Takht, Museum and Durgiana Temple. For Wagah Border, there are few buses from Amritsar bus stand in which you can travel easily. But, you have to grab a seat in that as the service is limited and there is a huge rush in these buses. You may also find few auto-rickshaws going in that direction so, you can take these also. Within 50-80 Rupees, you will reach Wagah Border.