A fusion of an ancient city and the new World
Amritsar was founded in 1577, and is the home of Sikhism's most holy shrine. The Golden Temple attracts thousands of tourists on a monthly basis thanks to its rich heritage, stunning architecture and incredibly serene setting.
Tourist's best time to visit Amritsar
Most tourists opt to visit Amritsar between October and March, as this is when the weather is at its most pleasant. The city has a semi-arid climate where the summers tend to be very hot. Summertime is from April-June, and often sees the mercury push into the uncomfortable 42°C/108°F zone. Also keep in mind that monsoon season runs from July to September, making the weather very inhospitable and even dangerous at times. Festivals are a huge part of life in this colourful city. The Festival of Vaisakhi is an impressive sight, and should not be missed if you're in Amritsar during April. Numerous other festivals such as Guru Nanak Gurpurab and the Deepavali festivals in November, to name just two.
Keep in mind before you visit Amritsar:
In the vicinity of the Holy Temple, it is customary in the Sikh religion for men and women to cover their head as a sign of respect. Smoking, drinking and taking photographs inside the temple is strictly prohibited. The prices of groceries are usually lower in Amritsar than in Delhi and Kolkata, although you may find that eating in a restaurant here may cost you more than in the previously mentioned cities; costing about 200 rupees in an inexpensive restaurant.
Handy local information about Amritsar
The Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport is about 11km from central Amritsar. There's a city bus that will take you to the city central, taking about 24 minutes per one-way trip. If you drive a hard bargain, you can expect to pay about 300 rupees for a taxi to take you to the city centre from the airport. You can expect to pay from 200 rupees per night's stay for budget accommodation alternatives. A night's stay in a luxury hotel will cost you about 2000 rupees per night and higher. Public transport includes rickshaws, autos, buses and taxis. Keep in mind that no motorised vehicles are allowed in the Golden Temple.