Enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of Amritsar, temples, and historical and cultural attractions.
Amritsar is a unique and welcoming destination, and the spiritual hub of the Sikh religion. The Golden Temple complex is the main attraction surrounded by the Amrit Sarovar, a huge, serene pool of water. The name 'Amritsar' translates as 'holy pool of nectar.'
Amritsar is comfortable for travel especially in the winter months, October to March. Summer temperatures rise to 42 while the winter climate is much milder.
For local colour and celebrations you could consider the major Sikh or Hindu festivals all honoured in Amritsar. The Festival of Vaisakhi in April, a harvest and equinoctial celebration, is accompanied by traditional music and processions. A most sacred festival is Guru Nanak Gurpurab in November. Accompanied by hymns, bands and displays of weaponry, the procession is exciting and impressive. Deepavali/Diwali, the Festival of Lights where darkness is symbolically overcome is in late October or early November as a rule. The wonderful spring festival of Holi, the Festival of colours is usually in February or March.
Ensure your passport is valid for 180 days with at least two blank pages. You need a visa obtainable from the Indian High Commission. Up to date Hepatitis A; Tetanus; Typhoid are recommended vaccines and if travel plans are extended through India, it's useful to get Cholera, Hepatitis B; Japanese Encephalitis and Rabies vaccines also. Malaria is prevalent in some parts of India.
Be respectful of the Sikh religion, with head covering and foot washing before entering temples. In the Golden Temple complex, alcohol and smoking are strictly forbidden. Close to the Golden Temple you can get cheap meals for about 200 rupees. Food prices are much cheaper here than in the UK.
Amritsar's Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport is 11 km from central Amritsar and is served by buses and taxis. Bus to the central station will take around 25 minutes in favourable traffic conditions or you can hire a car or get a taxi. Taxis are hard to find and need to be bargained down, be prepared to pay around 300 rupees. Budget accommodation can be in shared rooms for about 200 rupees. In Amritsar accommodation ranges in price from these simple lodgings to luxury hotels from Rs.2000 per night.
There is good choice of transport with buses, taxis and cycle and auto rickshaws, but be aware that no motorised vehicles are allowed in the Golden Temple area.