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The Harmandir Sahib of Amritsar
|Founded by||Guru Ram Das|
|• Body||Municipal Corporation Amritsar|
|• Commissioner of Police||Sh. S S srivastava|
|• Deputy commissioner||Kamaldeep Singh sangha|
|• Metropolis||170 km2 (70 sq mi)|
|• Density||6,700/km2 (17,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Telephone code||91 183 XXX XXXX|
|Vehicle registration||PB01(Commercial), PB-02, PB-89|
Amritsar ( pronunciation (help·info);Punjabi pronunciation: [əmːɾɪtsəɾ]), historically also known as Rāmdāspur and colloquially as Ambarsar, is a city in north-western India which is the administrative headquarters of the Amritsar district - located in the Majha region of the Indian state of Punjab.
According to the 2011 census, the population of Amritsar was 1,132,761 and it is the second most populous city of Punjab. It is one of ten Municipal Corporations in the state and Karamjit Singh Rintu is the current mayor of the city. The city is situated 217 km (135 mi) northwest of state capital Chandigarh and 455 km (283 miles) northwest of New Delhi, the national capital. It is near Pakistan, with the Wagah Border being only 28 km (17.4 mi) away. The closest major city is Lahore, the second largest city in Pakistan, located 50 km (31.1 mi) to the west.
Amritsar (literally, the tank of nectar of immortality) was founded in 1577 by the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das.
Sri Harmandir Sahib ("The abode of God"), also known as Darbar Sahib, (Punjabi pronunciation: [dəɾbɑɾ sɑhɪb]), informally referred to as the Golden Temple, is a Gurdwara located in Amritsar. It is one of the most revered spiritual sites of Sikhism. The construction of Harmandir Sahib is intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religions to worship God equally. The four entrances (representing the four directions) to get into the Harmandir Sahib also symbolise the openness of the Sikhs towards all people and religions. Over 100,000 people visit the shrine daily for worship, and also partake jointly in the free community kitchen and meal (Langar) regardless of any distinctions, a tradition that is a hallmark of all Sikh Gurdwaras.
The Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Sthal situated at Amritsar is believed to be the Ashram site of Maharishi Valmiki, the writer of Ramayana. As per the Ramayana, Sita gave birth to Lava and Kusha, sons of lord Rama at Ramtirth ashram. Large number of people visit Ramtirth Temple at annual fair. Nearby cities to Amritsar, Lahore and Kasur were said to be founded by Lava and Kusha, respectively. During Ashvamedha Yagna by Lord Rama, Lava and Kush captured the ritual horse and tied Lord Hanuman to a tree near to today's Durgiana Temple. During Navratra festivities it is considered to be auspicious by Hindu population of the city to visit that temple.
Amritsar has been chosen as one of the heritage cities for HRIDAY - Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana scheme of Government of India.
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, involving the killings of hundreds of Indian civilians on the orders of a senior British military officer, Reginald Edward Harry Dyer, took place on 13 April 1919 in the heart of Amritsar, the holiest city of the Sikhs, on a day sacred to them as the birth anniversary of the Khalsa (Vaisakhi day).
In the Punjab, during World War I (1914–18), there was considerable unrest particularly among the Sikhs, first on account of the demolition of a boundary wall of Gurdwara Rakab Ganj at New Delhi and later because of the activities and trials of the Ghadarites, almost all of whom were Sikhs. In India as a whole, too, there had been a spurt in political activity mainly owing to the emergence of two leaders: Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948) who after a period of struggle against the British in South Africa, had returned to India in January 1915, and Annie Besant (1847–1933), head of the Theosophical Society of India, who on 11 April 1916 established the Home Rule League with autonomy for India as its goal. In December 1916, the Indian National Congress, at its annual session held at Lucknow, passed a resolution asking the king to issue a proclamation announcing that it is the "aim and intention of British policy to confer self-government on India at an early date".
On 10 April 1919, Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlew, two popular proponents of the Satyagraha movement led by Gandhi, were called to the deputy commissioner's residence, arrested and sent off by car to Dharamsetla, a hill town, now in Himachal Pradesh. This led to a general strike in Amritsar. Excited groups of citizens soon merged into a crowd of about 50,000 marching on to protest to the deputy commissioner against the arrest of the two leaders. The crowd, however, was stopped and fired upon near the railway foot-bridge. According to the official version, the number of those killed was 12 and of those wounded between 20 and 30. Evidence before an inquiry of the Indian National Congress put the number of the dead between 20 and 30.
Three days later, on 13 April, the traditional festival of BISAKHI, thousands of Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus gathered in the Jallianwala Bagh. An hour after the meeting began as scheduled at 16:30, Dyer arrived with a group of sixty-five Gurkha and twenty-five Baluchi soldiers. Without warning the crowd to disperse, Dyer blocked the main exits and ordered his troops to begin shooting toward the densest sections of the crowd. Firing continued for approximately ten minutes. A British inquiry into the massacre placed the death toll at 379. The Indian National Congress determined that approximately 1,000 people were killed.
Operation Blue Star (1 – 6 June 1984) was an Indian military operation ordered by Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India to curb and remove Sikh militants from the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The operation was carried out by Indian army troops with tanks and armoured vehicles. Militarily successful, the operation aroused immense controversy, and the government's justification for the timing and style of the attack are hotly debated. Operation Blue Star was included in the Top 10 Political Disgraces by India Today magazine.
Official reports put the number of deaths among the Indian army at 83, with 493 civilians and Sikh militants killed. In addition, the CBI is considered responsible for seizing historical artefacts and manuscripts in the Sikh Reference Library before burning it down.  Four months after the operation, on 31 October 1984, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards in what is viewed as an act of vengeance. Following her assassination, more than 3,000 Sikhs were killed in anti-Sikh pogroms.
Amritsar is located at  with an average elevation of 234 metres (768 ft).
Amritsar has a semiarid climate, typical of Northwestern India and experiences four seasons primarily: winter season (December to March) with temperature ranges from 0 °C (32 °F) to about 15 °C (59 °F), summer season (April to June) where temperatures can reach 42 °C (108 °F), monsoon season (July to September) and post-monsoon season (October to November). Annual rainfall is about 681 millimetres (26.8 in). The lowest recorded temperature is −3.6 °C (25.5 °F), was recorded on 9 December 1996 and the highest temperature, 48.1 °C (118.6 °F), was recorded on 22 May 2013.
|Climate data for Amritsar|
|Record high °C (°F)||29.0
|Average high °C (°F)||19.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||11.6
|Average low °C (°F)||3.9
|Record low °C (°F)||−3.5
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||24
|Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm)||2.4||2.0||2.6||1.5||1.3||3.1||8.2||8.1||3.6||1.2||0.6||1.2||35.8|
|Average relative humidity (%)||74||70||64||47||38||48||72||77||69||67||73||76||65|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||181.7||192.7||219.4||265.0||294.7||269.0||215.5||227.7||240.8||253.2||220.1||182.2||2,762|
As of the[update] 2011 census, Amritsar municipality had a population of 1,132,761 and the urban agglomeration had a population of 1,183,705. The municipality had a sex ratio of 879 females per 1,000 males and 9.7% of the population were under six years old. Effective literacy was 85.27%; male literacy was 88.09% and female literacy was 82.09%. The scheduled caste population is 28.8%
According to 2011 Census of India, Sikhism was the leading religion in Amritsar city at 70.4% of the population, followed by Hinduism at 28%. Amritsar is the holiest city in Sikhism and millions of people visit it each year for pilgrimage.
In Amritsar city, Christianity was followed by 1.23% and Islam by 0.51%. Around 0.74% of the population of the city stated 'No Particular Religion' or another religion.
Amritsar's Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport is the primary airport of the state of Punjab. It is also the largest and busiest airport of the state, with direct International flights to cities like Birmingham, Singapore, Dubai, Doha, Kuala Lumpur, Ashgabat among others and direct domestic Connectivity to over 12 Indian Cities
Amritsar is connected by rail to almost every major city in India. Amritsar railway station ,the main terminus station is the busiest station of the state in terms of number of originating and terminating trains. The Samjhauta Express runs from Delhi through Amritsar to Lahore in Pakistan.
Indian Railways has proposed a high-speed rail line(Bullet train) to serve Delhi-Amritsar via Panipat-Ambala-Chandigarh-Ludhiana-Jalandhar. The train is to run at high speeds of 160 km/h, second in India to the Ahmedabad - Mumbai bullet train. It will travel the 445 km between the two cities in 2.5 hours (compared to the current time of 5 hours). Companies from Japan, China, UK and Canada have expressed an interest in the project. The contract for building the line were to be awarded at the end of May 2008. Other lines of this kind have proposed in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune, and Kolkata.
Amritsar is located on the historic Grand Trunk Road (G.T Road), also known as NH 1 now renumbered as National Highway 3, and therefore very well connected to the road network. Additionally, NH 54 (Old NH15), NH 354 and NH 503A connect Amritsar to other parts of state and rest of India.Madan Lal Dheengra Interstste Bus Terminal of Amritsar is the busiest and largest bus terminal of state in terms of scheduled bus operations. Daily bus services connect Amritsar to almost every city of North India like Ambala, Patiala, New Delhi, Chandigarh and Jammu, Ludhiana, Manali, Dharamshala, Haridwar, Hisar, Bhatinda, Patiala among others. Rs 450,000,000 is being spent to expand the Amritsar-Jalandhar stretch of G.T. Road to four lanes. In 2010, elevated road with four lanes connected to the National highway for better access to the Golden Temple has been started.
The government of Punjab pledged Rs. 580 crore (100 million dollars) for the Amritsar BRTS for the city. It is hoped that Amritsar BRTS will help relieve traffic congestion and improve air quality. The Amritsar BRTS (or Amritsar Metrobus) has commenced operations and is open to the public in some areas and rest is work in progress.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Amritsar.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Amritsar.|