The sacred city Amritsar
Amritsar is a city near the Indian border with Pakistan. The old, walled town at the city centre has a rich history. The gilded Golden Temple at its heart is considered the holiest religious complex of the Sikh religion. Pilgrims bathe in the Amrit Sarovar lake and the river.
Amritsar travel, attractions and tips
The best time to visit is in winter, which is from October to March. Summers are hot with temperatures reaching up to 42°C. Visit during holidays and festivals to experience local culture. All major Hindu and Sikh festivals are celebrated. The Festival of Vaisakhi, a Harvest and New Year festival takes place in April. Guru Nanak Gurpurab is celebrated in November and Deepavali usually happens at the end of October to the beginning of November. The Spring Festival, Holi, is celebrated at the full moon of Phalgun month.
Amritsar pre-travel information
Visas may be required for visitors to Amritsar who are in possession of a British passport. These are available from the Indian High Commission. Passports must be valid for 180 days or more and have two blank pages.
Vaccines and boosters need to be up to date, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, and Typhoid are recommended. Travellers may also need Cholera, Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis and Rabies vaccinations especially if travelling elsewhere in India. Malaria is prevalent in some parts of India.
In and around the Golden Temple, men and women visitors should respect the Sikh religion by covering their heads. Do not take photos inside the temple, or smoke and drink alcohol inside the complex.
Prices are much lower than those in the UK. A basic meal costs about 200 rupees.
Amritsar accommodation and transport details
Amritsar's Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport is located 11 km from central Amritsar. A city bus travels to the central bus station and takes approximately 24 minutes. A taxi will cost about 300 rupees. Haggling is acceptable, agree on a price before travelling.
Budget accommodation in shared rooms will cost from about 200 rupees per night. The range of hotels is wide with luxury hotels costing from Rs 2000 per night.
There is a public transport system of cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws, buses and taxis. No motorised vehicles are allowed in the area around Golden Temple.
The Golden Temple is a small part of the large Gurdwara complex, known to Sikhs as Harmandir Sahib (or Darbar Sahib).