Christmas was just around the corner, which left me thinking about the holiday destination to explore this winter! There seemed to be a lot of confusion whether to choose an Asian or American destination. In just a few minutes, I got a call from my uncle staying in Amritsar,, Punjab who invited me to enjoy this holiday season with him in his newly opened holiday home!
I was very small, say around eight years, when I last saw my hometown. Therefore, this time, I planned to stay in his holiday home in Amritsar for three days to explore the most attractive jewels famous worldwide but never seen with matured eyes. After all, the hometown always has a special significance in anyone’s life, right?
Respected Guru Ram Dasji, the Sikh Guru, was the founder of Amritsar,, the name that signifies 'a pool of nectar'. Today, this sacred pool is a spiritual centre of the Sikhs. Apart from being the soul of Punjab, the city is one of the vital dry fruit hubs in India. For the tourists, it is certainly one of the most ancient but enthralling Indian cities where old charm lives in harmony with the modern fascination.
The major attraction is truly the Golden Temple, the sacred Har Mandir Saheb that is the holiest place of worship for the Sikhs. Blended in Muslin and Hindu architectural styles, the temple has been named so, as the copper cover in the entire upper half is coated with gold plate. Although worshipped by Sikhs, people of all religions pay their respect and enjoy a healthy meal called Langar.
Just nearby is the worldwide famous memorial called the Jallianwala Bagh where General Dyer commanded gun shooting on innocent people leading to a massacre. This happened during the British rule, specifically on 13th April 1919. Even today, this national monument shows the bullet marks on the walls.
Just outside the Lohgarh Gate, you will be amazed to see the Durgiana Temple constructed to imitate the design of the Golden Temple. This is where several sages and experts in Hindu scriptures pay their respect.
Nestled at 28 km, the final frontier as the only border crossing between Pakistan and India can be explored, which is called the Wagah Border. Come here at sunset to watch the 'Retreat' ceremony occurring with the BSF on the Indian border side wherein the guards get changed and the flags are lowered traditionally with great splendor.Adding one more sight to the historic tour, Kurukshetra is not only an ancient but also a religious place to explore. It is the birthplace of Hinduism, one of the biggest religions on the planet. Historically, Kurukshetra is where sage Manu wrote 'Manusmriti', the auspicious rishis prepared the Rig and Sama Vedas, and the famous sage King Kuru ruled! Further, the land also witnessed the battle of Mahabharata. Last but not the least; the land is blessed with the visits of the Buddha, Lord Krishna, and the Sikh gurus.
Places to Eat
Although I stayed in a holiday home where delicious meals are cooked and served very well, I wanted to taste the restaurant delicacies, as I am an avid gourmet. On the suggestion of my uncle, I stepped inside Kesar da Dhaba close to the Golden Temple, which is known for traditional Punjabi delicacies cooked in pure ghee. For me, the local signature drink called Lassi and Daal Makhani were affordably and deliciously the best!
For enjoying a mild breakfast, I went to Kanha Sweets on the Lawrence Road, which served lip smacking Channa Battura (Spicy chickpeas with fried bread of maida flour). Continental, Italian, or Chinese preparations are best served at Country Inn & Suites at the Bhandari Bridge corner
Overall, my trip was a hassle-free and memorable experience due to my uncle’s guidance!