5 Things that Makes Amritsar a Cultural Hub
September 25, 2018
by Himali Gupta
Amritsar with its vibrant charm and extravaganza of rich heritage will make a classic connection the very moment you step out to explore. Every street here has a story, all you need to do is delve deeper and you will find something extraordinary in every ordinary. This iconic city holds the real essence of Punjab and tends to awaken your curious soul. Boasting the broad spectrum of ethnicity, spirituality, peace, and values, Amritsar has a lot to offer especially if you’re into real stories, photography, sightseeing and of course food! Amritsar has evolved over the years while keeping the prominent historical places and marvel of architecture intact. The classic ruins and the tales associated with it attract a lot of attention of tourist from all around the world.
I visited Amritsar for the coolest internship ever which was organized by goStops-a chain of traveler’s hostel across India! 15 interns from different parts of India explored Amritsar to get a real perspective and CoCreate the hostel in a most amazing manner. This is how I got an opportunity to explore Amritsar not just from a tourist point of view but from the perspective of people living there. Amritsar is a lot more than what we heard and thought! We explored the streets and witnessed the charm not only of the same old buildings but also of the people. Here is a list of exceptional things that makes Amritsar a cultural hub:
Rich Indian History
Amritsar literally known as a pool of nectar, this name is derived from the sacred pool around the Golden Temple. Depicting the rich cultural heritage of bygone times, this place gives you a vivid image of classic ethnicity with glorious past and promising future. The place opens up to awaken your soul by the inspiring survival stories. If your curious mind wants to know it all, you must visit the partition museum – its 5-minute walk from Golden Temple. With all the historical records and real stories, the museum will answer many of your questions related to that era. Amritsar with its charm tends to entice a lot of tourist from all over the world.
Feel the Pain and Sacrifice at Jallianwala Bagh
The moment you step into the place and move your head around, you can feel it all! The pain, sacrifice and the unity! This incident gave a fillip to India’s freedom struggle and made an impact on the mindset and gave a boost to the actions! The bullet marks in there tend to give you goosebumps, you can actually imagine the traumatic state of people who were in there struggling to escape and how the fusillades didn’t stop until the Dyer’s ammunition ran out!
Patriotic Vibes at Wagah Border
This must be lined up in your bucket list already and you must be all set to stand there amidst the crowd and get into that patriotic fervor! The soldiers kicking high in the air and representing their respective countries with all the strength and respect, it’s all electrifying! The retreat ceremony begins with the parade that will give you an adrenaline patriotic rush in your nerves.
Lip-Smacking Indian Food
First, we eat, then we do everything else. – M.F.K. Fisher
Definitely not wrong in case of Punjabis! Did you ever taste ‘sarso da saag’ and ‘makki di roti’? Not in Amritsar? Well, you just can’t miss this if you’re here in Amritsar! Popularly known as the food capital of Punjab, Amritsar gives you that authentic flavor of Punjabi food you’ve been looking for so long! You can try the food at different places and experience the taste that tends to satisfy your food buds. Have butter chicken at Popluar Chicken Corner- walking distance from Sultan wind gate and yes, makke di roti and sarso da saag at Kesar da dhaba! Just what your taste buds are seeking out for! Here, you get a chance to turn your food fantasies into reality. Here is a list of delicacies that you can’t afford to miss!
Kulcha: Celebrating Butter
Ah! You just can’t deny the fact that you will get the best Kulchas in Amritsar! Explore the streets and you’ll find it in every other food outlet or small dhabas. Spread the extra butter and you are all set to taste the delicacy.
Aam Papad: Tangy and Sweet
Don’t miss this! Try those soft perfect strips of Aam Papad and experience the sense of contentment. These are made of dry mango and come in two flavors: tangy and sweet. You can get it from small stalls in Amritsar, they perfectly sprinkle the spices that will make you blink with joy! It is also available in small packets that you can carry while travelling or take it for your loved ones.
Langar: Spiritual Delight
It’s rightly said nobody sleeps empty stomach in Amritsar! Langar in Golden Temple (you can call it World’s largest free kitchen) here the food is served with devotion, love, passion. The food is made to serve at least 50,000 people a day! On holidays/religious occasions, the number often goes up to 100,000! Everybody, no matter your color, caste or creed, you can eat there without any restriction.
Colors of Festival
Baisakhi is one of the main festivals of Punjab and people on this day express their gratitude to the almighty for the productive agricultural year and pray for a bountiful harvest in the coming year. During the festival, the city Amritsar looks more vibrant and full of energy—the major attractions of Baisakhi fairs are bhangra and gidda performances besides wrestling bouts, singing, and acrobatics. Performance of folk instruments – vanjli and algoza are also quite popular. Another interesting aspect of this festival is Nagar Kirtan which takes place under the guidance of Panj Piaras or five beloved ones. The various other festivals that are celebrated with love and joy are Hola Mohalla, Ram Tirath Fair, and Guru Purab.
The Faith and Religion
Before offering prayers in the golden temple, the people here believe in taking a dip in the sanctified pond and calm their soul with the spiritual vibes. It is also said that taking this dip not only washes away the sins but also keeps you away from all the bad energies. This city following the cosmopolitan culture belongs to different caste, community, creed, and religion and believes in living amicably respecting the beliefs of each other. There are three widely followed religions namely Sikhism, Hinduism and Islam but the major portion of the population follow Sikhism.
Humans of Amritsar
Once you step out to explore Amritsar, you will get to meet some amazing people, amazing not just in terms of having that care-free and fun-loving nature but also their welcoming nature will make you feel like home. When you enter the small restaurants, local shops, the people there will make sure that you find what you’re looking for and much more than that. The humans of Amritsar, no matter which street you explore or which shop you enter in, you will find people that would ensure you get those cultural vibes. You will leave the place all contented and with all the answers to your questions.
There is no dearth of cultural ethnicity in this region. The place always shines up with its spectacular and enchanting. Amritsar offers many fascinating tourist spots for its visitors, from classic heritage to traditional phulkari markets to the stunning food spots; you will find it all here!