District Courts of Punjab

                                                                          Amritsar

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District Profile of Amritsar

-Climate
-Rain Fall
-Temperature
-Humidity
-Cloudiness
-Winds
-Special weather phenomena

TOURIST PLACES
-Golden temple(Harmander Sahib)
-Around the Golden Temple
-Durgiana Temple (Lakshmi Narain Temple)

-Wagah Border
-Jallian Wala Bagh

-Ram Bagh
-Ram Tirath

-Pul Kanjari
-Samadhi of Guru Angad Dev Ji
-Jama Masjid Khairuddin

-Samadh of Shravan
-Khoo Kalyanwala
-The Historical Banyan Tree( Shaheedi Bohr)

-Main Hotels

CITIES AND TOWNS
-Baba Bakala
-Shoping

FAIRS & FESTIVALS
Basant Panchami at Chheharta Sahib

District Administration
-Deputy Commissioner's Role
-List of Deputy Commissioners
-Additional Deputy Commissioner
-Functions of Additional Deputy Commissioner

-Sub Divisional Officers (Civil)
-Tehsildar/ Naib Tehsildar.
-Kanungos
-Patwaris

DISTRICT AT A GLANCE

-Population
HISTORY AND CULTURE
-Brief History
-Origin
-Early Period
-Medieval Period
-Amritsar and the sikh gurus
The Culture Club of Punjab
Other Attractions

CENTRE OF SALACE
-Pingalwara
-Andh Vidyala
-Chief Khalsa Diwan

HOSPITALS
Amritsar Flavours & Aromas

EDUCATION
-GNDU
-Khalsa College, Amritsar

-Other Colleges in the City

AMRITSAR – SIFTI DA GHAR – THE HOLY CITY

Location

Amritsar city situated in northern Punjab state of northwestern India lies about 15 miles (25 km) east of the border with Pakistan. Amritsar is an important city in Punjab and is a major commercial, cultural, and transportation centre. It is also the centre of Sikhism and the site of the Sikh’s principal place of worship.

How to reach Amritsar ?

By Air

The Rajasansi airport, about 11 km. from town, is connected by domestic flights to Delhi, Srinagar and Chandigarh. You can get to town by a pre-booked rented car, taxis or auto-rickshaws.

By Train

Amritsar is connected by direct trains to major Indian cities like Delhi, Jammu, Mumbai, Nagpur, Calcutta and Puri .For more details visit http://www.indianrail.gov.in.

By Road

You can drive into Amritsar from neighboring states. Bus services also connect Amritsar with most north Indian towns, including Chandigarh (235 Kms), Delhi (450 Kms), Shimla, Kulu, Manali, Dharamshala and Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh, Dehradun and Rishikesh in Uttar Pradesh and Jammu. There is also a bus service to Lahore, 35 km away, which is the only overland connection between India and Pakistan.

Languages

Punjabi,Hindi,English & Urdu

Administrative Divisions

District Amritsar is divided into Four Tehsils ,Five Sub-Tehsils ,Eight Blocks ,Eleven Assembly Constituencies & One Lok Sabha constituency.

Tehsils

Sr. No.

Name of Tehsils

1.

Amritsar-I

2.

Amritsar-II

3.

Ajnala

4.

Baba Bakala

Climate

The climate of the district is characterized by general dryness except in the brief south –west monsoon season, a hot summer and bracing winter . The year may be divided in four seasons. The cold season is from November to march. The period from April to June is the hot season. The south-west monsoon season is from about the beginning of July to the first week of September. The succeeding period lasting till the beginning of November is the post-monsoon or transition period .

Rainfall

The average annual rainfall in the district is 541.9mm.The rainfall in the district increases generally from the south-west towards the north-east and varies from 435.5 mm at Khara to 591.7 mm at Rayya. About 74 per cent of the annual normal rainfall in the district is received during the period June to September and as much as about 13 per cent of the annual rainfall occurs during the period December to February .The variation in rainfall from year to year is large .In the 50 year period 1901 to 1950,the highest annual rainfall amounting to 184 per cent of the normal occurred in 1917, while the very next year was one with the lowest annual rainfall which was 54 per cent of the normal. In this 50 year period, the annual rainfall in the district was less than 80 per cent of the normal in 13 years, with two consecutive years of such low rainfall at the individual stations, two consecutive years of such low rainfall occurred 6 times at Khara and 4 times at Amritsar. Three such consecutive years also occurred once each at 4 out of the 7 stations. Even 4 consecutive years of such low rainfall occurred once at Tarn Taran . It will be seen from Table 2 that the annual rainfall in the district was between 401 and 700 mm in 33 years out of 50.

On an average, there are 30 rainy days (i.e. days with rainfall of 2.5mm or more)in a year in the district. This number varies from 24 at Khara to 34 at Rayya.

The heaviest rainfall in 24 hours recorded at any station in the district was 457.2 mm at Khara on 5 October 1955 .The monthly average rainfall in the Amritsar District, during 1968, 1973 to 1986, is given in Table 3.

Temperature

There is a meteorological observatory in the district at Amritsar and the records of this observatory may be taken as representative of the meteorological conditions prevailing in the district in general. From about the end of March, temperatures increase steadily till June which is the hottest month with mean daily minimum at 25.2c.The heat during the summer is intense and the hot dust laden winds which blow during the afternoons add to the discomfort .with the onset of the monsoon in the district by about the end of June or the beginning of July, there is appreciable drop in the day temperature. The nights are, however as warm during the monsoon as in summer and due to the increased moisture in the monsoon air, the weather is often oppressive. After the withdrawal of the monsoon early in September while the day temperatures remain as in the monsoon season, nights become progressively cooler. From October, there is a rapid drop in the temperatures. January is generally the coldest month with the mean daily maximum at 4.5c. During the cold season, the district is affected by cold waves in the rear of passing western disturbances and the minimum temperature occasionally drops down to a degree or two below the freezing point of water. Frosts are common during the cold season.

The highest maximum temperature recorded at Amritsar was 47.7 C on 21 May 1978..The lowest minimum was 3.3 C on 25 December 1984.

Humidity

Relative humidity is generally high in the mornings, exceeding 70 per cent except during the summer season when it is less than 50 per cent. The humidity is comparatively less in the afternoons. The driest part of the year is the summer season when the relative humidity in the afternoons is about 25 per cent or less.

Cloudiness

The skies are generally partly to heavily clouded and occasionally overcast during the monsoon and for brief spells of a day or two in association with passing western disturbances during the cold season .During the rest of the year, the skies are mostly clear or lightly clouded.

Winds

winds are generally light with some strengthening in the summer and early part of the monsoon season. In the post-monsoon and cold season, winds are light and variable in direction in the morning and mostly from the west or north-west in the afternoons. In April and May, winds are mainly from direction between north-west and north-east in the mornings and between west and north-east in the afternoons. By June, easterlies and south –easterlies also blow and in the south-west monsoon season. winds are more commonly from directions between north-east and south-east.

Special weather phenomena

Western disturbances affect the weather over the district during the cold season, causing widespread rain and gusty winds. Dust-storms and thunderstorms occur in the summer season. Occasional fog occurs in the cold season.

District Administration

Deputy Commissioner's Role

The responsibility of General Administration of the District lies with the Deputy Commissioner. He is the Executive Head and has three fold roles as (i) Deputy Commissioner,(ii) District Collector and (iii) District Magistrate.

He is assisted by the following officers for carrying out day to day work in various fields:--

1. Additional Deputy Commissioner

2. Assistant Commissioner (General)

3. Assistant Commissioner (Grievances)

4. Executive Magistrate

5. District Revenue Officer

6. District Transport Officer

7. District Development and Panchayat Officer

8. Civil Defense Officer

9. Urban Ceiling Officer

The Deputy Commissioner is the Chief Revenue Officer as District Collector and is responsible for collection of Revenue and other Govt. dues recoverable as arrears of Land Revenue. He deals with the Natural Calamities like draught, unseasonal rains, hailstorms, floods and fire etc.

Under the Registration Act the District Collector exercises the Powers of Registrar of the District and he controls and supervises the work of Registration of deeds. He also function as Marriage Officer under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Further under the Cinematograph Act, the District Magistrate is the Licencing Authority in his jurisdiction. The administration of the Police in a district is vested in the District Superintendent, but under the General direction of the District Magistrate as per provisions of section 4 of the Indian Police Act, 1861.

Rule 1.15 of the Punjab Police Rules, 1934, also provides the powers of District Magistrate as under:--

The District Magistrate is the head of the Criminal Administration of the District and the Police force is the instrument provided by Government to enable him to enforce his authority and fulfill his responsibility for the maintenance of Law & Order. The police force in a District is, therefore, placed by Law under the General control and direction of the District Magistrate, who is responsible and carries out his duties in such a manner that effective protection is afforded to the public and against lawlessness and disorder."

District Magistrate is thus responsible for the maintenance of Law & Order within the limit of his jurisdiction. He is conferred with very wide powers by the law, which if used prudently can be very effective in maintaining peace and tranquility. The police force is mainly an instrument provided by Law for the District Magistrate. He can impose restriction on the movement of unlawful Assembly under Section 144 Cr.P.C. and can also impose curfew keeping in view the situation.

He is authorised to inspect the Offices/Courts of Sub Divisional Officers (Civil), Tehsildars, Naib Tehsildars, Treasuries, Sub Treasuries, Jails, Hospitals, Dispenseries, Schools, Blocks, Police Stations, Second Class Local Bodies, Improvement Trusts and all other offices of Punjab Government, the A.C.Rs of whose Heads of offices he is required to write. In this way, he has effective control over the Administration.

The Deputy Commissioner holds courts and hears appeals under the following Acts against the order of Sub Divisional Officer (Civil), passed as Assistant Collector Ist Grade and Sales Commissioner and Settlement Commissioner:--

1. Under the Land Revenue Act,1887.

2. Under the Punjab Tenancy Act,1887.

3. Displaced Persons (Compensation & Rehabilitation) Act,1954.

4. Punjab Package Deal Properties (Disposal) Act,1976.

5. Urban Land (Ceiling & Regulations) Act, 1976.

Besides it, he decides the lambardari cases

Additional Deputy Commissioner

The post of Additional Deputy Commissioner has been created to assist the Deputy Commissioner in his day-to-day working. The Additional Deputy Commissioner enjoys the same powers as that of Deputy Commissioner under the rules.

Functions of Additional Deputy Commissioner

With a view to lighten the enormously increasing workload of the Deputy Commissioner, the post of Additional Deputy Commissioner was created in the year 1979. He has been vested with the following powers under the various Acts-within the limits of the district:-

As Collector under the following Acts

1. The Punjab Land Revenue Act,1887.

2. The Punjab Occupancy Of Tenants(Vesting of Proprietary Rights)Act,1952.

3. The Punjab Tenancy Act,1887.

4. The Land Acquisition Act,1894.

5. The Punjab Restitution of Mortgage Land Act,1938.

6. The Punjab Village Common Land(Regulation) Act,1961.

7. The Indian Stamp Act,1899.

As Registrar under the Registration Act,1908.

As Deputy Commissioner Under the Punjab Aided School (Security of Services) Act,1969.

As Executive Magistrate , Addl. Deputy Commissioner , D.M under the Criminal Procedure Code,1973.

As Additional District Magistrate under the Arms Act of India and Petroleum Act,1934,

He has been appointed as Chairman of District Consultative Committee under Personal Accident Social Security Scheme vide Punjab Government Notification No 13/434/88-SW /9794 dated 27.9.1988.

Sub Divisional Officers (Civil)

The duties of the Sub Divisional Officer (Civil) within his Sub Division are almost similar to those of the Deputy Commissioner within his district. In all matters of administration , he has to be the Deputy Commissioner's principal agent.

He is also incharge of various development activities going on in the Sub Division and is also responsible for co-ordinating the work of various departments. For that he has to tour the area to keep a watch on the development activities, the revenue administration as also the law & Order situation in his Sub Division. Besides this he has to look after the grievances of the public and to attend to the problems arising out of the natural calamities. He supervises the work of Revenue agency in the Sub Division.

There is no denying the fact that the job of a Sub Divisonal Officer (civil) is independent in character to some extent. He is primarily responsible for everything that happens within his jurisdiction and must accordingly take his decisions to a large extent, independently.

Sub Divisional Officer (civil) is conferred with various powers under the land revenue and tenancy acts.

He also acts as Assistant Collector under the Punjab Land Revenue Act and Punjab Tenancy Act. He is also the appellate authority in cases decided by his subordinate revenue officers.

The Executive Magistrate placed by the State Government as incharge of the Sub Division is termed as the Sub Divisional Magistrate Under section 20(4) Cr.p.c.and under section 23 Cr.P.C. the Sub divisional Officer like other Executive Magistrates of the District is subordinate to the District Magistrate and is responsible for the maintenance of law and order within the limits of his local jurisdiction. He enjoys very wide powers under section 107/151,109,110,133,144,and 145 Cr.P.C. etc. He also hears court cases under these sections.

Tehsildar/ Naib Tehsildar.

Tehsildars are appointed by the Financial Commissioner, Revenue and Naib Tehsildar by the Commissioner of the Division. Their duties within Tehsil /Sub Tehsil are almost similar and manifold (except that partition cases are decided by Tehsildar). They enjoy the powers of Executive Magistrate, Assistant Collector and Sub Registrar/Joint Sub Registrar. Although there has been a recent move to appoint full fledged Sub-registrar for some of the larger Tehsils. The Revenue duties of Tehsildar are important. He is the Incharge of tehsil Revenue Agency and is responsible for proper preparation and maintenance of tehsil Revenue Record and Revenue Accounts. He is also responsible for recovery of government dues under the various Acts. He is supposed to have proper control over the working of Patwaris and Kanungos and for this purpose the Tehsildar and Naib Tehsildars make inspection of patwaris and kanungos working under them.

Tehsildars and Naib Tehsildar in fact are called Revenue officers holding separate circles and it is provided in para 242 of land Administration Manual that such allotted circle should be changed every year on October first, so that the responsibility of the Tehsildar for the whole of his charge may not be impaired. In Tehsil and Sub Tehsil, as and when Treasury Officers are not posted, then the Tehsildar and Naib Tehsildar work as Treasury Officer in addition to their own duties. Tehsildar also registers the marriages solemnized.

Besides enjoying powers under a few other land laws, they also attest uncontested mutations. Tehsildar is further empowered to hear partition cases and to make allotment/transfer and auction of evacuee properties, land under the Displaced Person (Compensation & Rehabilitation) Act,1954 and Punjab Package Deal properties (Disposal Act 1976) as Managing Officer and Tehsildar Sales respectively .

Kanungos

The Kanungo establishment consists of field Kanungo, office Kanungo and the District Kanungos. Its strength in each district can only be altered with the sanction of the government.

The field Kanungo should be constantly moving about his circle supervising the work of Patwari on the spot, except in the month of September when he stays at the Tehsil to check the Jamabandis received from the Patwaris. He also disposes of the demarcation applications marked to him by the Circle Revenue Officer. A field Kanungo is also responsible for the conduct and the work of the Patwari under his charge and it is his duty to report the work or neglect of duty or misconduct on the part of any Patwari.

The office Kanungo is the Tehsildar Revenue clerk and he is the custodian of all the record received from the patwari.

The District Kanungo is responsible for the efficiency of both the office and the field Kanungo and should be in camp inspecting their work for at least 15 days in each month from first October to 30th April. He is the keeper of all record received from Kanungo patwari, at sadar office.

Patwaris

Patwari is an important and effective official of the lowest ebb in the Revenue Agency. No efficient Revenue Administration of a district is possible unless the patwari staff is strong, properly trained and strictly supervised.

A Patwari has three chief duties:-

1. The maintenance of record of the crop grown at every harvest.

2. The keeping of the record of rights uptodate by the punctual record of mutations.

3. The account of preparation of statistical returns embodying the information derived from the harvest inspections, register of mutation and record of rights.

The limits of "Patwar circle" is a matter for the Commissioner to decide under para 238 of Land Administration Manual.

It is the responsibility of Patwari to report at once all serious calamities affecting the land or the crops and all severe outbreaks of diseases amongst men and beasts. He must aid the headman in revenue collection. He keeps up a diary and a work book. The entries should be made on the day on which the events come to the notice of the patwari.

The Patwari is responsible for the safe custody of all the records, maps and equipments of his circle that are in his charge. In the work book the Patwari will enter the work done by him on each day. His work is supervised by the field Kanungo, Sadar Kanungo & Circle Revenue Officer.

Tourist Places

Golden temple(Harmander Sahib)

The Golden temple is located in the holy city of the Sikhs, Amritsar. The Golden temple is famous for its full golden dome, it is one of the most sacred pilgrim spots for Sikhs. The Mandir is built on a 67-ft square of marble and is a two storied structure. Maharaja Ranjit Singh had the upper half of the building built with approximately 400 kg of gold leaf. The Golden Temple is surrounded by a number of other famous temples like the Durgiana Temple. The fourth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Ram Das, who had initially constructed a pool here, founded Amritsar, which houses the Golden Temple or Harmandir Sahib. It is here that Sage Valmiki wrote the epic, Ramayana. Rama and Sita are believed to have spent their fourteen-year exile in Amritsar, the epicenter of Sikhism. To the south of the temple is a garden, and the tower of Baba Atal. The Central Sikh Museum is atop the Clock Tower. The 'Guru Ka Langar' offers free food to around 20,000 people everyday. The number shoots up to 100,000 on special occasions. A visitor must cover his / her head before entering the temple premises. The Granth Sahib is kept in the Temple during the day and is kept in the Akal Takht or Eternal Throne in the night. The Akal Takht also houses the ancient weapons used by the Sikh warriors. Guru Hargobind established it. The rugged old Jubi Tree in the north west corner of the compound is believed to possess special powers. It was planted 450 years ago, by the Golden Temple's first high priest, Baba Buddha. Guru-ka-Langar or the communal canteen is towards the eastern entrance of the temple complex, and it provides free food to all visitors, regardless of colour, creed, caste or gender. Visitors to the Golden Temple must remove their shoes and cover their heads before entering the temple. The temple is less crowded in the early mornings on weekends.

Around the Golden Temple

Within the sacred precincts of the Golden Temple, a devotee can seek blessing at:

1. The Akal Takht

2. Har Ki Pauri

3. Dukh Bhanjani Ber (Jujube Tree)

4. Thara Sahib

5. Ber Baba Budha Ji

6. Gurudwara Ilachi Ber

7. Ath Sath Tirath

8. Bunga Baba Deep Singh

URL's

http://www.harmandirsahib.com,http://www.sgpc.net

Durgiana Temple (Lakshmi Narain Temple)

Built in the third decade of the 20th Century it echoes, not the traditional Hindu temple architecture, but that of the Golden Temple and, in a similar manner rises from the midst of a tank and has canopies and the central dome in the style of the Sikh temple. One of the greatest reformers and political leaders of resurgent India, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, laid its foundation stone. It is a well-known repository of Hindu scriptures

Wagah Border

The international border between India and Pakistan. The pomp and pageantry of the Beating Retreat and the Change of Guard within handshaking distance of the Indian and Pakistani forces makes for a most charming spectacle.

Wagah, an army outpost on Indo-Pak border - between Amritsar and Lahore, is an elaborate complex of buildings, roads and barriers on both sides. The daily highlight is the evening "Beating the Retreat" ceremony. Soldiers from both countries march in perfect drill, going through the steps of bringing down their respective national flags. As the sun goes down, nationalistic fervour rises and lights are switched on marking the end of the day amidst thunderous applause.

Jallian Wala Bagh

The memorial at this site commemorates the 2000 Indians who were killed or wounded, shot indiscriminately by the British under the command of Gen Michael O"Dyer on April13, 1919 while participating in a peaceful public meeting. This was one of the major incidents of India's freedom struggle.The story of this appaling massacre is told in the Martyr's Gallery at the site. A section of wall with bullet marks still visible is preserved along with the memorial well, in which some people jumped to escape. "The impossible men of India shall rise and liberate their mother land", declared Mahatma Gandhi, after the Jallian Wala massacre. "This disproportionate severity of punishment inflicted upon the unfortunate people and method of carrying it out is without parallel in the history of civilized govt." wrote Rabindra Nath Tagore the noble laureate while returning knighthood.

Ram Bagh

Ram Bagh a beautiful garden ,an accustomed listener to the Neighs of thousand horses, announcing the arrival of the statesman of the century Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) the Lion of Punjab, has in its heart the summer Palace of this great ruler. Maintenance free inbuilt cooling system designed in the Palace exhibits the architectural excellence and invokes a keen interest.The king of his time brought local chieftains under his control and virtually finished any eventuality of possible attacks on the kingdom raised by him. To commemorate the memory of his velour Ram Bagh on its one end has a lively statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh saddled on a horse in a winsome posture.

The garden was named by the ruler himself as a tribute to Guru Ram Das, the founder of the city. Now the summer palace of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh has been converted into a museum which speaks volumes on his times.On display are weapons dating back to Mughal times, portraits of ruling houses of Punjab and a replica of diamond "Kohinoor". In those days the garden was approached by a huge fortified gate which still exists in its original form and is just on the periphery of the garden.

Ram Tirath

Located 11 Km West of Amritsar on Chogawan road, dates back to the period of Ramayana, Rishi Valmiki's hermitage. The place has an ancient tank and many temples. A hut marks the site where Mata Sita gave birth to Luv & Kush and also, still extant are Rishi Valmiki's hut and the well with stairs where Mata Sita used to take her bath. The Bedis of Punjab (Guru Nanak Dev , the founder Prophet of Sikhism was a Bedi) trace their descent from Kush and Sodhis (the 10th Prophet of Sikhism, Guru Gibind Singh was a Sodhi) from Luv. A four day fair, since times immemorial is held here starting on the full moon night in November. 16 Kilometres west on Choganwan road is Ram Tirath, commemorating Maharishi Balmik Ji´s heritage.

Pul Kanjari

It is another heritage sight built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh around which are sewn many tales and legends. Situated near the villages of Daoka and Dhanoa Kalan right on the Wagha border, Pul Kanjari is about 35 kms. Both from Amritsar & Lahore. The Maharaja would often rest and leisure here in the baradari while passing by along with his royal troop and retinues. Despite a ruined fort and a baoli-a bathing pool - this heritage sight has a temple, a Gurudwara and a mosque which bespeak of the secular concerns of the Maharaja. The inside of the dome on the corner of the baoli enshrines a number of scenes and sights from the Hindu scriptures and the Raj Darbar.These frescoes are laced with floral frames.

Samadhi of Guru Angad Dev Ji

About 30 km south east from Amritsar, and within easy reach from Goindwal Sahib is a Samadhi of the second Guru. It was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1815 A.D.

Jama Masjid Khairuddin:

Built by Mohd. Khairuddin in 1876, this masjid is a place of architectural beauty situated in the Hall Bazar. This is the holy place from where a call against the British rule was given by Tootie-e-Hind, Shah Attaullah Bukhari.

Samadh of Shravan

About 6 Kilometres from Ajnala near Jastarwal (earlier known as Dashrathwal) is located one of the oldest heritage spots in Amritsar. It belongs to the Ramayana period a legend has it that Shravan lies buried here after the fell from the arrow of King Dashrath, the Lord of Ayodhya. The Samadh is situated on the banks of an old rivulet (Purani Dhab ).Shravan had taken his blind parents on a wide-ranging pilgrimage by cradling them on his shoulder in a wooden device.

Khoo Kalyanwala

The city has played a stellar role in the liberation of India from the British clutches. Freedom fighters like Madan Lal Dhingra, Ras Bihari Bose, S.Kartar Singh Sarabha, Dr. Satya Pal and Dr. Saif-ud-din Kitchlu are house-hold names in Amritsar.

When Mangal Pande blew the bugle of rebellion against the British in 1857, its echoes and shock-waves were felt in Amritsar also. A platoon of 400 soldier stationed at Lahore rebelled against the British Government by fleeing their barracks. The deserted soldiers bravely swam across the flooded Ravi and reached Ajnala.The information was received by Mr.Fredric Cooper, the then Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar.On his order, all of them were put in a coop-like room where almost 200 soldiers died of asphyxia. The rest of them were brutally shot dead the next morning and their dead bodies thrown in the well which is known as the Kalianwala Khoo in Tehsil Ajnala.

The Historical Banyan Tree( Shaheedi Bohr)

This historical tree with massive girth and lushgreen canopy stands majestically in the Namdhari Shaheedi Samark against the majestic back drop of the northern boundary of Ram Bagh.Four Kookas were hanged from this tree by the British Government in 1871.The Kookas were hanged from this tree by the British Government in 1871 The Kookas were hanged because they had reacted violently against the hawking of beef around the Golden Temple.

Hotels

S. No.

Name of Hotel

Telephone Number

Distance from Airport

 

Hotel Amritsar International

91-183-555991 91-183-556234

13 Kms

 

Hotel Azaad

91-183-548171 91-183-559045

13 Kms.

 

Hotel Blue Moon

91-183-220416 91-183-220759

12 Kms

 

Hotel Mohan International

91-183-566589

11 Kms.

 

Hotel Oberoi Castle

91-183-224462 91-183-224463

11 Kms.

 

Hotel Ritz Plaza

91-183-562836 91-183-562837

12 Kms

 

Hotel Rosh

91-183-565420

11 Kms

 

Hotel Sanjay International

91-183-213817 91-183-212555

11 Kms

 

Hotel Shraj Continental

91-183-565167 91-183-563237

11 Kms

 

Hotel M K International

91-183-504610 91-183-504611

10 Kms

 

Hotel CJ Intenational

www.cjhotel.net

10 Kms

Cities & Towns

Baba Bakala

Situated about 45 kilometers east on the Batala road. Baba Bakala is very closely associated with Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur. It lies on the Jalandhar-Batala Road, 40 km from Amritsar. There is a gurudwara in the sacred memory of the Guru. Guru Tegh Bahadur meditated at Bakala for full 20 years. He got constructed special cell for meditation where he used to sit in contemplation for hours. When Guru Hari Krishan had pointed out before his demise in 1664 that the Baba (Guru) would be found at Bakala, the Sikhs came to this place in large numbers to find their Guru. Seeing a vast opportunity to delude the masses and attain riches and glory, a few other claimants to the throne also set up their gaddis at this place, each with his agent (or Masand) to attract the devotees to his own master. Confusion prevailed for a while till a Sikh merchant, Makhan Shah, on putting each to the test, is said to have found the true Guru in Tegh Bahadur – a decision in which many other devout Sikhs also participated and hailed. He was installed the Guru on 20 March 1665. However, this decision perturbed Dhir Mal, his nephew, so much that he decided to make a murderous assault on him and rob his property. A Masand of Dhir Mal, Sihan by name, aimed with a gun at the Guru one night and though it wounded him, the shot did not prove fatal. The Guru’s movable property was also looted. But, he kept serene and calm at this tragedy. When the Sikhs came to know of it in the morning, in spite of the Guru’s protests, they broke open the door of Dhir Mal, took possession of all the looted property, and binding Sihan hand and foot presented him to the Guru. The Sikhs also looted the original copy of the Granth Sahib, a possession which Dhir Mal always utilised for extorting presents from the devout and proclaiming that it was indeed he who being the custodian of the original Granth deserved to be worshipped as Guru.

Sihan pleaded to the Guru most humbly for a pardon. Seeing his distress, the Guru ordered his release and forgave him for his sins. "The Guru must be compassionate, like the mother, in all circumstances", he said. He also asked the Sikhs to return the copy of the Granth Sahib to Dhir Mal. "I will want my Sikhs to inscribe the instructions of the Granth Sahib in their minds and souls and not permit them to believe a particular copy of the Granth or any other symbol or sacred spot as conferring any special privilege on its custodians. For, once religious institutions are exploited as property, the soul of religion will vanish". The Sikhs had no choice but to return the original Granth to Dhir Mal.People gather in thousands on every amavas (moonless night) and an annual fair is held on Raksha Bandhan day (night of full moon in August) when about one hundred thousand people visit the place.

Fairs & Festivals

The prominent fairs celebrated in the district are described below

Ram Tirath Fair

Ram Tirath is located about 11 km to the west of Amritsar city on Amritsar Lopoke road. It is an ancient pilgrimage centre associated with the period of Ramayana. It is said that Sita spent her period of exile at this place in the cottage of Rishi Balmik.It was here that twins were born to Sita who were named as Lav and Kush. The great epic Ramayana is also said to have been composed here by Rishi Balmik. It is also believed that the fight between Lord Ram Chandra’s forces and Lav and Kush had also taken place at Ram Tirath.

A big fair is held here about a fortnight after Diwali, for a duration of five days.Great Importance is given to the tank which is believed to have been dug by Hanuman. The circumference of the tank is about 3km and there are temples on its sides. A majority of the pilgrims consider it auspicious to have a dip in the sacred tank in the early hours of the Puranmashi ( full moon) night .A thirty feet wide path of circumambulation (Parikarma) runs round the tank .After the holy dip, the pilgrims take a round of the tank while chanting mantars and exchanging salutations,’Ram Ram.

Floating of tullas is a special feature of the fair.On the puranmashi night, women light lamps made out of kneaded flour and fed with pure ghee or mustard oil, place them on leaf plates or boat shaped carriers made of sarkanda reeds, and release them to float in the tank, reciting devotional songs and hymns, This ceremony called tulla toarna (floating of tullas )is believed to wash off the sins and to please Rama.

The General belief among the pilgrims is that their visit to the sacred place would be incomplete if they fail to give something in charity to beggars, lepers and crippled persons.They give alms to such persons in the form of cash, clothes and eatables.

The entertainments include merry go rounds, feats by acrobats, magic shows, exhibition of wild animals, singing minstrels. During the fair, conferences are also organised by various religious and social bodies .

About one lakh pilgrims visit this place during the fair. A large number of jatadhari (long –haired ) sadhus also attend the fair and sit in meditation. A considerable number of Sikhs, mostly from rural areas,also participate and pay homage at the various shrines. Balmikis, from all over the state come to participate in the fair with great enthusiasm and take special interest in the celebrations arranged at the Balmiki temple. They also take out a procession on the concluding day of the fair. Women outnumber men because of the popular belief that issueless women beget children if they take a dip in the baoli known as ‘Mata sita di baoli’ on the full moon night .

The Punjab Roadways ply special buses between Amritsar and Ram Tirath during the days of the fair. A large number of stalls are established by confectioners, dealers in general merchandise, petty shopkeepers and hawkers.

Diwali at Golden Temple, Amritsar.:Diwali is celebrated at Golden Temple with great enthusiasm for three days.The celebrations start a day earlier than the general Diwali and come to a close 3 day after Diwali. This fair generally falls during the second half of october or in early November.

The legend goes that Guru Nanak visited the site of the temple in 1532 AD.Later, Guru Ram das, the fourth Guru acquired the place by a grant from Akbar.the Mughal emperor, and founded a village known as Guru-ka-chak.Gradually the village expanded and came to be known as Guru-ki-nagri (the town of the Guru).The pool from where Guru Nanak used to take water during his stay was converted into a tank by Guru Ram Das between 1581-1606.He named the tank, ‘the tank of Nectar’from which the city was taken its name.

Guru Arjan dev also built a temple (Hari Mandir) in the centre of the tank. Its foundation stone was laid by a renowned Muslim divine mian Mir, on I Magh Sambat 1645 (january 1589).The construction of the temple was completed in 1601 and Granth Sahib was installed therein on 1 Bhadon Sambat 1661 (August 1604).Baba Budha was appointed the first granthi (reader) of the holy scripture. This temple later came to be known as Golden Temple.

Guru Hargobind reached Amritsar on the eve of Diwali, after his release from Gwalior fort, during the reign of Jahangir.The People illuminated the Golden Temple and the city splendidly to celebrate the return of their Guru to the city. Thereafter, Diwali is being celebrated at Amritsar with great pump and show, and also with a lot of religious fervour.

During the fair, religious congregations are held at Manji Sahib, Akal Takhat and Baba Atal which continue for three days. A large number of poets and singers also participate. Recitation of Granth Sahib is done at Darbar Sahib, Akal Takhat and various gurudwaras in the vicinity of Golden Tample.

Early in the morning, pilgrims take a holy dip in the scared tank, while reciting Japji Sahib and thereafter, they go to the Golden Temple for paying their obeisance. They make offerings of various kinds both in cash and kind, such as flowers, candy-drops and parched-rice grains, but mostly the offerings are of karah parshad. which is prepared and sold to the pilgrims by the management. Circumambulation of the tank is considered sacred by the pilgrims.

Illuminations and pyrotechnic display are the unique features of the Diwali celebrations. A mammoth gathering in the parikarma and on the adjoining buildings witness to their great delight the multicolored lights thrown up in the sky and their reflections in the water of the tank. Chain of the electric lights hang along the causeway and on the Darshani Deorhi. Small earthen lamps lighted and fed with sarson oil are arranged in lines all around the tank. All buildings in the compound are bedecked with coloured lights. Candles and small earthen lamps fed with pure ghee are floated in the tank.

This fair is attended by people in the large numbers who come from far and near. A large number of visitors take shelter in the verandahs of the various buildings in the premises. All local inns, rest houses and other common places are packed to capacity. The free mess, called Guru Ram Dass Langar, remains open for all. The whole function is organised by Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandhak Committee. During the fair, qualified doctors render free medical service to the pilgrims.

Amritsar has a brisk sale during Diwali days in woolen cloth and cattle, in sweetmeats and brass utensils, and in candles and crackers. A big cattle fair is also held outside the city which lasts for 12 days . The Municipal Corporation, Amritsar earns a big amount every year fro the sale fee on animals.

Basant Panchami at Chheharta Sahib

Basant Panchami is celebrated with great enthusiasm at Gurudwara Chheharta Sahib on fifth day of the bright half of the month of Magh (end of January or beginning of February). People start pouring in a day earlier than the Basant Panchami and participate in the celebrations, which starts the same evening, continue throughout the night, and last till late in the afternoon the next day when the congregation breaks up. Flying of kites is a peculiar feature of the Basant. It is very interesting to watch when two players entangle their kites in the fair with a view to cutting the twines. With a cleaver loosening and jerky pull on the twine, one of the kites gets cut off and there is an uproar of delight and taunts from the winning party. The player whose kite gets cut off, tries to recover as much of the twine as he can without any loss of time. Among the sight-seers, there are some persons who carry poles to catch the falling kites and the twine. It is very exciting and amusing to watch the kites fighting high up in the air.

This fair has also commercial aspect. A large number of big and small shops are set up at the site of the fair. The is visited by a very large number of people , both Hindus and Sikhs. During the festivals days, special buses ply from Amritsar and other important stations to Chheharta from the convince of the visiting pubic.

The fair is organised by the local Gurudwara management with the corporation of the various social service organisations. Free community kitchen(Langar) is arranged by the management on this occasion. Arrangements are also need for medical and first aid services.

Fairs and festivals celebrated here are a wonderful prism of social, moral, religious and patriotic values .Since the days of freedom struggle, there has been a tradition among Hindus and Muslim in Amritsar to drink water from the same vessel on the eve of Ram Navami. Amritsaris jointly celebrate all the Gurpurbs. Diwali, Baisakhi, Holi, Karva Chauth, Teej, Ram Tirath Mela, Basant Panchmi at Chheharta, Langoor Mela at Durgiana and Maghi are celebrated with great gusto and fervour.

Shoping

Shopping in Amritsar is a memorable experience. The market places the lanes, the bazaars, the squares, the plazas-hum with activity. The main shopping areas are the Hall Bazar, Katra Jaimal Singh and Lawrence Road. The city offers traditional souvenirs along with modern brandwear at all locations. The main attraction however is the woolens, carpets and blankets, besides juttis and embroidered stuff. The bazaars of Amritsar offer a colourful range of traditional and modern wares from carpets, durries, kites, fireworks, bangles, shawls to cut-glass and woolen textiles. At Guru bazaar, near the Golden Temple, each lane sells a different commodity.

District At A Glance

Population

According to 2001 Census total population of District Amritsar is 2152182 .Rural population is 1050102 out of which schedule caste population is 358580. Urban population is 1102080 out of which 229418 is schedule caste population.

Blockwise Rural Population

Sr.No

Name of Block

Population

SC Population

1

Ajnala

130890

27166

2

Chogawan

131278

35699

3

Gandiwind(38 Villages)

51733

19733

4

Harsha Chhina

85854

28802

5

Jandiala

124867

53627

6

Majitha

137204

54484

7

Rayya

159877

56380

8

Tarsika

115887

38915

9

Verka

112512

43774

Municipalitywise Urban Population

Sr.No

Name of Municipality

Population

SC Population

1

Ajnala

18589

2869

2

Amritsar

1016079

202875

3

Jandiala

23834

7768

4

Majitha

12992

5637

5

Rajasansi

12176

4558

6

Ramdas

5779

2592

7

Rayya

12631

3119

History & Culture

Brief History

Amritsar, literally a Pool of Nectar, derives its name from Amrit Sarovar, the holy tank that surrounds the fabulous Golden Temple. First time visitors to Amritsar could be forgiven for the impression that Amritsar is like any other small town in northern India. But Amritsar stands head and shoulders above any other city, its status elevated and sanctified by the presence of the venerable Golden Temple.

Located in the heart of Amritsar, the temple complex is surrounded by a maze of narrow lanes, or katras, that house one of the busiest markets in India. But the Golden Temple is a serene presence, radiating a calm that makes people bow their heads in reverence. The gurudwara, as Sikh temples are called, is the holiest of Sikh shrines. It is not just Sikhs who travel to the Golden Temple to pay homage, the sacred shrine is equally revered by Hindus and people of other faiths who, too, make the pilgrimage to offer prayers at Harmandir Sahib.

There more to Amritsar than that - Amongst other sights is Jallianwala Bagh, site of the gruesome massacre of unarmed Indians by British troops. A major tourist attraction these days is the Indo-Pakistan border crossing at Wagah, just a short distance from Amritsar, with its elaborate change-of-guards drill with a lot of strutting and intimidatory showing off by both sides.

If you are 'doing' north India, Amritsar is a city you should not miss. It's easy to travel there from Delhi by road and by rail. It is easy to navigate through the city; few guides bother you as tourism is not the most important commercial activity here. Ask them in Amritsar, and they will tell you that if for nothing else you must travel here for the roadside chhola-bhaturas.

Origin

The Origin of the city of Amritsar lies hidden in the mists of time due to the scanty evidence available in its early history .On the development of the city, the generally accepted view is based on the Amritsar District Gazetteers, the authoritative works of reference on local history.

The various Opinions that the land was granted by emperor Akbar to Guru Amar Das (later on transferred to Guru Ram Das), or was acquired by Guru Ram Das before the grant was actually obtained, or the land was purchased by the Guru on a payment of Rs.700 from the zamindaar of the village at tung at the instance of Emperor Akbar, or presented by the people of village Sultanwind out of regard and reverence for the Guru are all versions based on popular tradition .There are no documentary evidences to support or contradict these views. But the version regarding the purchase of the land by Guru Ram Das is in keeping with the tradition of Sikh Gurus who never took any land grants from the rulers.

It seems that originally the site of Amritsar was a community land lying between the village of Sultanwind, Tung, Gumtala and Gilwali, and later it was acquired by the Sikh Gurus either on payment or was received by them free of cost. Opinions may vary on the question of acquisition of the site, but it is certain that the selection of the site was planned and not accidental. It was the choice of the Gurus themselves, and the site of Amritsar was revenue free land.Even the early name of the city chak Guru,bears testimony to the nature of the settlement as detached or revenue free. Probably, Chak Guru was granted exemption from land revenue by the Mughal government during the reign of Emperor Akbar,Whose policy of religious toleration and religious grants even to non-Muslims centres is a well known fact.

The original plan of the new project was chalked out by Guru Amardas and Conveyed to Ram Das for execution .Guru Ram Das was given guidelines for the location of the site and was instructed to found a village,to build a House for himself, to dig a tank and to develop the centre gradually into a city . Arrangements were made for money and assistance .some intelligent, experienced and elderly Sikhs were instructed to assist Ram Das to implement the project .The project was thus executed by Guru Ram Das.

First of all a boundary line of the settlement was drawn. The foundation was laid by Guru Ram Das and the village was named Ram Das Pura .Opinions vary on the date of the founding of the city. Probably the foundation was laid in 1573 AD but the popular view is that it was done in 1577.

The construction of the new centre was started with great enthusiasm.Some huts and houses were built and then excavation of the tank was startad . when a portion of the project was completed, Bhai Jetha went to Goindwal to report the progress of the work.This time Guru Amar Das directed Ram Das to dig another tank at the low level area near the site of the tank under construction.On his return, Guru Ram Das selected the site for the second tank surrounded by a large number of Jujube trees.

The construction of the second tank commenced on Nov.6,1573 and Guru Ram Das personally supervised it.Many Sikh devotees came to participate in the Sewa. Simultaneously with the construction of the tank all care was taken to develop the village Chak.52 types of caste groups from Patti,Kasur and Kalanaur were called for ensuring regular supply of essential commodities to the settlers. A market called Guru ka bazar which exists now also was established. Some wells were dug for water supply .A number of rich bankers and traders also settled down in the town.

The construction of the tank and the town was going on smoothly .But Guru Ram Das had to rush back to Goindwal at the call of the dying Guru Amar Das, while the work was in progress.The work was resumed on his return in 1577 and the construction of the tank and town was completed in the same year.

On the completion of the project, the Guru called the local business community and told them to take charge of the holy place but they humbly pleaded their inability to perform religious duties and requested the Guru to engage some Brahmins and mendicants for the job.

The Guru and his disciples were thrilled at the completion of the new pilgrimage centre.Guru Ram Das composed beautiful verses in glorification of the sarowar,making an injunction upon his followers to take bath in the holy tank and meditate the name of God.The tank acquired a reputation fo sanctity and became the head-quarters of the Sikhs.The Amrit Sarowar remained un-bricked till Guru Arjan Dev ascended the Gur Gaddi in 1581.The tank was made pacca and its side stairs were bricked. The tank was named .Amar sarowar or Amritsar .Gradually the fame of the sacred tank led to its identity with the latter appellation and the city got its final name of Amritsar.Guru Arjan Dev also settled in the new city artisans and craftsmen of diverse calling and inculcated in his followers keen interest in horse trade.

Early Period

It has been established now that the whole of Amritsar district was a part of the vast area covered under Indus valley Civilization during the early period of history. This civilization developed prior to the Aryans civilization in this region. These evidences for the prevalence of this ancient civilization in this district of Punjab have been furnished by the discovery of certain sites by the archaeologist. The important sites pertaining to Indus valley civilization in Amritsar district are as under:-

1. Vadalol

2. Chhina

3. Gharinda

4. Har

In addition to above, several sites also lie in a row in the Ravi, Beas , Doab.

Even in ancient times, trade was a primary factor in the urban development of societies. The Indus valley civilization also flourished with the growth of trade by overland and sea routes. It has been proved by the discovery of various seals of the ancient sites.

Ever since the discovery of the Indus Civilization, attempts have made to decipher the Indus script. In this respect, many theories have been propounded about the use of the seals, and the language used therein has been taught to be Sanskrit or Dravadian or an ancestors form thereof, depending largely on the initial approach of the scholars concerned. However, it has been now been established that the direction of writing of Indus script is from right to left. Many effects about Indus civilization will come to light as soon as Indus script is deciphered. During the vedic period, the area now belonging to Amritsar district is believed to be the abode of many Saints and Sages. According to a legend, it was at Ramtirth that Sita took shelter in the Ashram(Cottage) of Rishi(Saint) Balmiki during her exile. Both love and Kush received there education at Ramtirth by the learned Sage Balmiki.

The area of the Amritsar district also came under the Greek influence when in about 326 B.C., the area of Punjab up to the bank of river Beas was conquered by Alexander. Later on, it became part of Maurya and Gupta empire.

After the overthrow of Greeks, the area of Amritsar district became a part of the Mighty mauryan empire which extended up to Afghanistan. The most enlightened ruler of the mauryan was Ashoka, the great, who during the reign of his father Chandergupta Mauyara was the Viceroy of the principality of Taxila which included the area of present Amritsar district. Subsequently from the beginning of the 4th century to the end of the 6th century, it had the privilege of being under Gupta administration, which because of its efficiency is known as the golden age of Hindu period. Chandergupta was the most famous emperor of Gupta dynasty. Later on, it came under Kushan rulers and Kanishka was the most important ruler of this dynasty. With the rise of Rajputs, it began to be ruled by Rajputs till it became a part of the Shahi Kingdom of Punjab. It is believed that brave people of Majha formed a significant part of the armies of mauryan, Gupta, Kushan and Shahi rulers.

Medieval Period

During the last quarter of 10th century, Raja Jaipal of Shahi Dynasty ruled over Punjab including the present area of Amritsar district. His son and successor, Anangpal was finally defeated by Sultan Mahmmod of Ghazni in A.D. 1008. From that time, until the final overthrow of the Muhammdan Supremacy, The Amritsar district was attached to the Suba or Province of Lahor. The Important Muhammdan dynasties were the slave dynasty, the Lodhi dynasty and the Mughal dynasty. During the medieval period, the people of Amritsar district were influenced much by the teachings of the Sikh Gurus who were contemporaries of the Mughal rulers. Before the people of Amritsar district came under the benign influence of the Sikh Gurus, there were not big cities or towns in this district. However, Fatehabad( in Tarn Taran Tahsil) was an important town which lay on the old Delhi and Lahore road. It had an imperial serai for the halting of armies and carvanas. As most of the Mughal rulers were fanatics, the Sikh Gurus and their disciples were bound to come in conflict with them. The impact of the Sikh Gurus on the people of Amritsar district and their conflicts with the Mughals are briefly given as under:

Amritsar and the sikh gurus

The People of Amritsar District came under the influence of teachings of Guru Nanak in the beginning of 16th century, Bhai Lehna (later known as Guru Angad Dev), a residence of Khadur Sahib became a devoted follower of Guru Nanak.He preached people on the lines of Guru Nanak.He preached people on the lines of his Guru.He converted Takhat Mal, the headman of the village, and many others to his faith. A community kitchen (langer) was also initiated and men from far and near started pouring in to receive spiritual instruction from him. Even Guru Nanak visited him at khadur Sahib twice and on his second visit, seeing his never-failing devotion to god and man took him back to Kartarpur and appointed him as his successor on 14 July 1539 and called him Angad.

Guru Angad Dev settled at Khadur Sahib, his native village and made it his headquarters. He began to preach and spread gospels of Guru Nanak with great devotion.

He allowed one of his disciples-Gobind to build a township on the bank of the river Beas, but refused to call the new settlement after his own name and called it Gobindwal (now Goindwal) to commemorate the memory of the disciple.It was on 29 March 1552 Amar Das Ji, the most devoted follower of Guru Angad Dev, was appointed by Baba Buddha as the third Guru of the Sikhs in the benign presence of the Guru. It may be stated here that Humayun also visited Khadur Sahib and received the blessings of Guru Angad Dev.

Guru Amar Das guided the Sikhs from Goindwal from 1552-1574.In the year 1567, when Akbar visited Lahore, he made a call on the Guru at Goindwal.On being told that the Guru would see no one, high or low, till one had partaken of the food from the langar (community Kitchen), Akbar, a man of broad sympathies and high culture, welcomed the Idea and partook of the food distributed there, sitting in a row with his subjects of humble origin.

Guru Amar Das established 22manjis (dioceses) in many parts of the country to popularise Guru Nanak’s message.Many people came to the Guru to listen to his precepts.The Guru also got constructed a baoli at Goindwal and fixed the first of Baisakh as the day of the annual gathering of the Sikhs.He introduced several new ceremonies on occasions of birth and death,replacing the chanting of Sanskrit Shiolokas by the recitation of Gurbani.He preached against the purdah system, the seclusion of women, encouraged inter-caste alliances and remarriage of widows.The Guru condemned the practice of sati (burning of widow on the pyre of her husband’s dead body).

In 1573, Guru Amar Das deputed Ram Das ji to start excavation of the tank later known as Santokhsar and to found a new town later known as Amritsar.Arrangements and control of funds for the purpose were entrusted to Baba Buddha.A number of intelligent, experienced, devoted and elderly Sikhs were instructed to join Ram Das in accomplishing the task. The inauguration of the work was made in the traditional Indian style.Paid labourers were engaged. The visiting Sikh devotees were exhorted to lend a helping hand. Before regular excavation work of the tank (later on named ‘Santokhsar’),started, the boundary line of the new settlement was marked and it was named chak Guru or simply the chak. Later on it began to be called, variously, as Guru ka Chak, Chak Guru Ram Das, or Ram Das Pura. Kilns were laid and a number of hutments were built. The Guru also took abode in a hut near the site (later named Guru ke Mehal)

After the portion of the project was completed, Ram Das went to Goindwal to pay his homage to Guru Amar Das and report the progress to him. This time, Guru Amar Das instructed Ram Das to dig another tank at a lower level near the site of the tank that was already under construction. On his return to the Chak, Ram Das made a search for the beri, the covered site for the second tank as instructed by Guru Amar Das .The site having been selected, the construction of the second tank (later on named Amrit sarowar ) commenced under the personal supervision of Ram Das assisted by Baba Buddha. According to Gian Singh Giani (Tawarikh Guru Khalsa, p.344), the digging of the tank commenced on 7 Kartika 1630 BK (6 November 1573).A large number of labourers were engaged . Many Sikh devotees came to the chak to participate in the work of the digging of the tank.The digging continued for many months.Simultaneously with the construction of the tank, every care was taken to develop the chak also .A large number of traders and businessmen from the neighbouring areas were induced to settle in the new township. In due course a market, called Guru ka Bazar, also sprang up there. Some wells were dug for supplying drinking water. A number of rich sarafs (bankers) and banjaras (traders) found their way to the town. A considerable number of the disciples of the Guru shifted to the town.

In 1574, when Guru Amar Das saw his end approaching, he summoned Ram Das to Goindwal and made him his successor on 1 september 1574.Guru Ram Das ascended the spiritual throne of Guru Nanak at the age of about forty years in 1574.During his brief period of seven years, he achieved considerable progress in expanding the activities of the Sikh religion. He sent out many of his disciples called Masands even to neighbouring countries like Afganistan to spread the gospel and also to collect offerings of the devotees which he needed more than ever not only to run the community kitchen, but also to complete the excavation of the sacred tank later called Amritsar and to expand the activities of the city of Ramdaspur he had founded in the life time of Guru Amar Das .

Amritsar - The Cultural Hub of Punjab

The city of Amritsar a dazzling showcase of composite culture and secular heritage .It has a proud past .a glorious present and a promising future .This most important city of Majha has rightly been called the mukut-mani (Jewel of the crown)of the Punjab. A rich repository of spiritual and national heritage, It has been hailed as the home of all virtues’(sifti da ghar) .while praying, every devout Sikh longs to be blessed with a pilgrimage to Amritsar and a holy bath at the Golden Temple (Amritsar ke darsan isnan).A visit to Amritsar is believed to wash off all the sins.

A focal point of Sikh faith, a pivot of Punjab politics, a gateway to the Middle-East, a nursery of defence pool, an alert sentinel at the Indo-Pak border, Amritsar is the place where the first Sikh Army was raised by the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind. The city saw the fierce onslaughts of the invading armies of Ahmad Shah Abdali and a reckless carnage at the Jallianwala Bagh. An epicenter of Kooka and Akali movements and a symbol of resistance against the British tyranny, Amritsar had been a favourite place of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It was in Amritsar that the clarion-call for the liberation of India sounded louder and clearer. In the recent times, the has at regular intervals borne the brunt of Indo-Pak conflicts.

Amritsar is like a diamond with many facets. The essential spirit of the city is found not only in its gurudwaras & temples, mosques & churches, takias & khankahs but also in its theatres & galleries, parks & gardens, archives & libraries, art & architecture, museums & memorials, havelis & forts, fairs & festivals, vibrant folk dances & scintillating taans, narrow lanes & winding alleys, parlours & boutiques, clubs & pubs, traditional bustling markets & lip-smacking cuisine.

The most dominating asset, however, is its people who are friendly, God-fearing, hospitable, hard working informal, robust and with a tremendous zest for living. They are fond of good food, good dress and all the external symbols of life.

Amritsar is the heart-beat of the Majha region which has provided Punjabi literature with its standard language. A launching pad of several renowned artists, authors and poets, the city has been a home of handloom and carpet industry for more than a century. The city is proud to have the second largest Milk plant in the country.

Amritsar is not just bhangra or giddha, sarson ka saag and makki ki roti, it is an attitude and a way of life, despite the modern winds blowing, the city still enshrines and exudes its essential cultural identity. Being the only land-route opening to Pakistan the city has become a favourite rendezvous of Track-II diplomacy.

Amritsar Other Attractions

Jagdev Kalan is related with the name of Muslim poet Hasham Shah, the famous author of Sassi-Punnu. In an era of Indo-Pak bonhomie, this village is a hotspot for mutual meeting-ground of interests, secular thinking and composite

heritage

Kotli Sultan Singh about 32 kilometers from Amritsar, is the native place of Mohammad Rafi, the legendary singer of the celluloid world.

Serai Amanat Khan is a very charming and elegant structure situated in a small village south west of Amritsar. The Serai has a beautiful gate constructed in a Mughal style of architecture. The tomb of Amanat Khan is surrounded by four minarets. The mosque near the tomb is decorated with Persian verses.

EDUCATION

Guru Nanak Dev University ,Amritsar

Guru Nanak Dev University was established in 1969 to commemorate the 500th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev , the first Guru of the Sikhs. The foundation stone of the Guru Nanak Dev Uniersity was laid on 24 November 1969 by the then President of India , Late Shri V.V.Giri The University is catering to the needs of higher education in this border belt.The beautifull sprawling campus over an area of 500 acres has at present colleges under its jurisdiction in the districts of Amritsar,Gurdaspur,Jalandhar & Kapurthala.The university teaching & research departments in arts,social sciences ,laws,pures & applied sciences .Special emphasis is given on teaching & promotion of research in applied sciences & technology .The University library being the nucleus is housed in modern building , which is an architectural landmark in Asia . The University is leading in the field of sports.It won for the 18th time in succession the coveted Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad Trophy which is awarded by the Government of India to the best University in sports.In the cultural field also, the University has achieved a number of distinctions.URL: http://gnduonline.org

Khalsa College, Amritsar

Khalsa College Amritsar which has successfully completed one hundred years of its existence has over this period carved for itself a unique niche on the educational map of the country.The high administrative acumen, unflagging zeal and sincerity of purpose of the teachers has steered the college to attain high academic laurels .

The History of the college is practically the history of renaissance among the Sikhs .There is hardly any eminent educated Sikhs of the other generation who had not at one time or the other been connected with this reputed institution.

The flickering torch of religious, social and political life among the Sikhs that was becoming dimmer and dimmer after the fall of the Sikh empire has not only been kept burring by this college but it has also contributed a lot to spread Knowledge, even to the remotest parts of the country. The Institution has a big hand in elevating the community to its present enviable position in the field of education and social uplift .With the establishment of the college in 1892, began a movement for the education of Sikh boys and girls on an extensive scale .

The main objective of the college was to spread amongst the Sikhs modern education on western lines, so that they were kept abreast of the times. The avowed aim of its founding fathers was the eradication of ignorance, illiteracy and pernicious social evils bedewelling the Indian society through the spread of enlightened, progressive and value-oriented education in the fields of humanities, agriculture and science and technology. Propagation of Sikh cultural heritage and promotion of Punjabi language were its other professed goals.

Although the stress was laid on moulding and reshaping Punjab Youth according to the Sikh ideals, Khalsa College has always maintained a secular stance and outlook ever since its inception. This is borne out by fact that students of all castes and creeds have always been on the rolls of the college. The secular stance was maintained even at a time when terrorism was at its peak in the State.

The majestic and stately building of the College is a fine specimen of architecture. The layout plan of the splendid building was prepared by S.Ram Singh, Vice- Principal, Mayo School of Arts, Lahore and the construction was carried out under the supervision of a reputed engineer, Dharam Singh, The establishment of the College was a result of joint efforts of various intellectuals and princes of the chief sects of Sikhs, who wanted to give a new direction to education.

Other Colleges in the City

Govt. Polytechnic Chhehrta, Amritsar . Phone: 0183-2258269

Govt. Dental College :Hukam Singh Road, Amritsar .Phone: 0183-2223235

Govt. Medical College :Circular Road, Amritsar .Phone: 0183-2220618

B.B.K. D.A.V.College for women : Lawrence Road, Amritsar. Phone: 0183-2221757

D.A.V.College :Katra Sher Singh, Amritsar .Pone: 0183-2551872

D.A.V.College of Education :Beri Gate, Amritsar.Phone: 0183-2559648

Guru Ram Dass Dental College : Mall Mandi, Amritsar

Guru Ram Dass Institute of Medical Sciences: Mehta Road, Amritsar

Hindu Sabha College :Dhab Khatikan, Amritsar .Phone: 0183-2556824

Khalsa College :G.T.Road, Amritsar Phone: 0183-2258852

Khalsa College for women :G.T.Road, Amritsar Phone: 0183-2258207

Khalse College of Education :G.T.Road, Amritsar Phone: 0183-2258329

L.N.Ayurvedic College :Lohgarh Gate, Amritsar

S.R.Govt. College for women : Near District Courts, Amritsar Phone: 0183-2225818

Shahzada Nand College for women : Green Avenue, Amritsar Phone: 0183-2502690

Sri Guru Teg Bahadur College :Mahna Singh Road, Amritsar Phone: 0183-2551105

Hospitals

Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Amritsar

Previously known as V.J.Hospital, Amritsar, this hospital was opened in 1891. To commemorate the 300 birth anniversary of Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital in November 1975 by the Punjab Government. It is one of the best hospitals in the state. The facilities available in the hospital are: specialized medical consultation and treatment, specialized surgical treatment including heart and lung surgery, abdominal and urological surgery and paediatrics’ and orthopedic surgery, specialized treatment in obstetrics and gynaecology, Including advanced cancer surgery, tubal surgery and research in various aspects of the subject, radiology and routine cataract and glaucoma surgery, E.N.T. E.C.G., etc. It has 951 beds (504 for males and 447 for females).The hospital is manned by 13 doctors, 365 nurses and other class III and class IV staff. A Blood bank is also functioning in this hospital.

The number of outdoor and indoor patients treated in the hospital, during 1986-87 was 2,28,908 and 45,504,respectively.

T.B. Sanatorium (T.B.& Chest Diseases Hospital ) Amritsar

The hospital was started in 1936. It has 255 beds (155 for males and 100 for females). The medical facilities provided in the hospital include treatment of tuberculosis and chest diseases .Facilities for minor surgical operations and routine laboratory investigation are also available in this hospital. In addition to X-ray, facility of tomography and bronchography is also available.

The hospital is manned by 14 Doctors, 5 House Surgeon, 29 Nursues, besides, other class 3rd and 4th class staff. The number of outdoor and indoor patient treated in the hospital, during 1986, 1987 was 16, 906 and 2,239 respectively.

Punjab Government Dental College and Hospital, Amritsar

The hospital was started in 1952. It has ten beds both for males and females. all type of dental medical facilities are available in the hospital. it is manned by 25 Doctors, and 6 Nurses, besides other class 4th staff. The number of both outdoor and indoor patients treated in the hospital, during 1986-87 was 60,338.

The medical facility provided by the hospital are: family care unit, psychotherapy, occupational therapy, child guidance clinic, addiction clinic, and electro convulsive therapy, etc. The hospital is manned by 14 Doctors, 23 Nurses, besides other miscellaneous staff.

The number of indoor and outdoor patients treated in the hospital, during 1986 was 2,480 and 41,140, respectively Amritsar Literature & Music.

Guru Arjun Dev, the 5th Sikh Guru, made this city a centre of spiritual literature .Amritsar has been a home to early Punjabi poetry and exegetical literature on Sikhism. Mention must be made of Mahakavi Santokh Singh, and a Bhai Veer Singh who left behind a vast body of original literature in all genres.

Around 1940, Amritsar had developed a unique confluence of different traditions which got reflected in the works of Dhani Ram ‘Chatrik’, Kirpa Ram ‘Nazim’, Giani Harinder Singh Roop, Maula Bakhsh Kushta, Feroze Din Sharaf, Saadat Hasan Mantoo, Faiz, Girami,Nanak Singh, Gurbax Singh ‘Preetlari’etc.

Amritsar is a centre of raag-based rendering of Shabad (Scriptures of Sri Guru Granth Sahib).The musical instruments are available around Town Hall and Jallianwala Bagh.The city boasts of maximum production of harmoniums.

Amritsar Flavours & Aromas

Cuisine

Amritsar-a traditional vibrant city –is known for warmth & hospitality. Amritsaris are born hosts, and are famous for having a palate for eating. This is perhaps because the Amritsari mind- set was shaped by frequent ravages of war where the dawn of the next day was not sure.

The city is famous for its culinary delicacies like multi-layered prathas, bhatura channa, tandoori kulchas, puris, jam, marmalades, sharbat, rabri & lassi. Other delicacies include satpuras, samosas, fried fish,seekh kabab, mutton tikka, barbecued chicken and spicy pickles.

The celebrated papad and vadian from Amritsar have become the subject of many a rhymes and jingles, Amritsaris have a sweet tooth for pinnis, balushahis and gur ka halwa.The city has many places for traditional cuisines and modern foods.Most of the eating joints of the traditional cuisines and modern foods.Most of the eating joints of the traditional cuisine are within the walled city.

A Centre of Solace

Pingalwara

Bhagat Puran Singh was no ordinary mortal but undoubtedly the most loved and revered man of North of India. The concept of Pingalwara started forming in Bhagatji’s mind when the Almighty entrusted him with the care of an abandoned spastic child in front of Gurdwara Dera Sahib (in Lahore,Pakistan) in 1934. For 14 long years, Bhagatji carried the child on his back as the child was completely helpless and there was no one else to look after the latter.

Pingalwara means a house or asylum for the disabled, handicapped or crippled. But for this Institution, the word has a much wider connotation. The Inmates of Pingalwara in addition to disabled, handicapped and crippled people, also include persons suffering from incurable and terminal diseases, old people, Young and healthy males, females and children.

Almost all the inmates are destitute and most of them are going to spend rest of their life in Pingalwara.

Andh Vidyala

This Vidyala was the brain of Sh.Mangal Dev, who was also blind. He started this Institute on rented accommodation for the rehabilitation for the blind children . Later the building was constructed in 1933. Till then the Institute continuously doing considerable work to rehabilitate the blind.

In this Vidyala the inmates are not merely educated but also trained professionally.

Chief Khalsa Diwan

The chief Khalsa Diwan was founded in 1902.It is a Central Sikh Organization of various Singh Sabhas spread all over Punjab.

It goes to the credit of the Chief Khalsa Diwan that, in the social sphere, the founders of this organization established the Central Khalsa Orphanage at Amritsar where the orphans are admitted without any consideration of caste and creed.

Birdh Ghar a home for the old and destitutes was established at Tarn Taran where all the requisite amenities are made available. It is managed by the local committee of Chief Khalsa Diwan, Tarn Taran, District Amritsar. Besides, a number of free and Charitable educational Institutions, dispensaries, hospitals and training centers have also been.

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