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About Amritsar

Amritsar also colloquially known as ambarsar is a city in the northwestern part of India and is the administrative headquarters of Amritsar district Langar in the state of Punjab.

The 2001 Indian census reported the population of the city to be over 1,500,000, with that of the entire district numbering just over 3,695,077. Amritsar is situated 217 kilometres (135 mi) northwest of state capital Chandigarh and is 32 kilometres (20 mi) east of Lahore, Pakistan and therefore, very close to India's western border with Pakistan.


Golden Temple

The Golden Temple is considered holy by Sikhs because the eternal guru of Sikhism, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, is always present inside it and its construction was mainly intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religion to come and worship God equally.

The Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the holiest literature in the Sikh religion, the tenth guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh, on 7 October 1708 at Nanded made it the eternal Sikh Guru and the leader of Sikhism. Anywhere in the world where the Guru Granth Sahib is present is equally holy and precious to Sikhs. Amritsar is the location of Harmandir Sahib.

The temple is surrounded by a large lake, known as the Sarovar, which consists of Amrit ("holy water" or "immortal nectar"). There are four entrances to the temple, signifying the importance of acceptance and openness; ostensibly, this concept is reminiscent of the tent of the Old Testament patriarch Abraham, whose tent was open on all four sides in order to be able to welcome travelers from all directions.

Inside the temple complex there are many shrines to past Sikh gurus, saints and martyrs. There are three holy trees (bers), each signifying a historical event or Sikh saint. Inside the temple there are many memorial plaques that commemorate past Sikh historical events, saints, martyrs and includes commemorative inscriptions of all the Sikh soldiers who died fighting in World Wars I and II.

One of the most important festivals is Vaisakhi, which is celebrated in the second week of April . Sikhs celebrate the founding of the Khalsa on this day and it is celebrated with fervour in the Harmandir Sahib. Other important Sikh religious days such as the martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur, the birthday of Guru Nanak, etc., are also celebrated with religious piety.

Similarly Diwali is one of the festivals which sees the Harmandir Sahib beautifully illuminated with Divas/Diyas (lamps); lights and fireworks are discharged. During these special occasions many thousands of people visit the holy shrine named Harmandir Sahib.

For the global Sikh pilgrim or international, domestic tourist visitor the fastest way to reach the Harmandir Sahib is by air travel or bus. The holy city of Amritsar, where the Harmandir Sahib is located, has a rapidly expanding modern airport called Amritsar International Airport. The airport can be reached directly by the international traveller from most major cities of the world including London and Toronto. Moreover, there is a rapidly expanding array of international hotels in the holy city that can be booked for overnight stays. Lonely Planet Bluelist 2008 has voted the Harmandir Sahib as one of the world's best spiritual sites.