Once in Amritsar, just walk through the main entrance of the Golden Temple – the holiest temple for the Sikh religion – and try not to be blown away by the structure before you. And try not to be blown away by the beautiful mix of colors all around you as well, by the traditional music being played over the entire complex and by the happy and friendly Indians strolling along the marble walkway that surrounds the main temple, locals who are typically from the countryside and who have rarely, if ever, seen a foreigner. These locals will ask to take photos with you, their children will shake your hand, conversations will be had and smiles will constantly be exchanged. You will feel like a celebrity and you won’t want the experience to come to an end. Luckily, you can spend hours inside the Golden Temple without ever getting bored of the unique atmosphere, the nonstop interactions and the awe-inspiring golden shrine that sticks out into the middle of the man-made lake. You can even eat a free meal at the langar (pilgrimage dining hall) and you can also spend a night or two at one of the temple’s gurdwaras (pilgrim guesthouses). The temple is open twenty-four hours per day and part of the highlight is seeing the complex in different shades of light and with different crowds inside, which range from thousands upon thousands of pilgrims filling up the interior to just a handful of people sitting around enjoying the peace and quiet in the late night and early morning hours.
How to reach golden Temple from Amritsar Airport
Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport (IATA: ATQ) is about 11km and a 15-20 minutes drive from the city centre. It’s one of the modern airports in India and quite adequate if not exactly exciting. Most flights are to Delhi, an hour away, but there are an increasing number of international connections: Air India flies to London, Birmingham, Melbourne and Sydney via Delhi. Air Slovakia used to fly to Bergamo, Barcelona and Birmingham via Bratislava but the flights have been discontinued since the airline ceased operations in 2010. There are also surprising numbers of flights to Central Asia (eg. Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan). Qatar Airways now flies to Doha. Besides, there are daily connections to Mumbai and Srinagar. According to the airport website, both city buses and car rentals are available. Even the prepaid taxi can be bargained down with the drivers to ₹300 from an initially ridiculous price of ₹550 a person (Mar 2014) before you pay, but there is a significant dearth of official taxis or even auto-rickshaws, so prepare for a hard time. Also, be aware that if you are staying near the Golden Temple, there is a zone around it which prohibits motorised vehicles. Though not stringently applied, the streets do get very narrow, and you may have to make the last ten minutes of the trip on foot.
How to reach golden Temple By Train
Amritsar has an extensive rail network, connecting the city to all the major places of the country, like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore etc. If you are traveling from Delhi, Shatabdi Express will be the best option. The journey takes around 6 hours and the train passes via Ambala, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Phagwada and Beas. Amritsar is connected with Lahore (Pakistan) by the Samjhauta Express. The railway station in Amritsar is centrally located; of hardly 15-minutes drive from the Golden Temple. It has the facilities of ATM Centre and tourist information centre. Make sure you book your train tickets well in advance, as the trains to and from Amritsar usually run full, owing to the high tourist traffic. Here are some useful trains to get to Amritsar: (It’s advisable to book your return train ticket as soon as you arrive in Amritsar)
|Train Number||Train Name||You may board at||You may alight at|
|12013||Shatabdi Express||New Delhi||Amritsar|
|12029||Shatabdi Express||New Delhi||Amritsar|
|12497||Shan-e-Punjab Express||New Delhi||Amritsar|
|12903||Golden Temple Mail||Mumbai Central, Nizamuddin (Delhi)||Amritsar|
|12925||Paschim Express||Bandra Terminus (Mumbai), New Delhi||Amritsar|
|12317||Akal Takht Express||Howrah (Kolkata), Varanasi, Patna||Amritsar|
|13005||Howrah-Amritsar Mail||Howrah (Kolkata), Varanasi, Lucknow, Patna||Amritsar|
|12053||Jan Shatabdi Express||Haridwar||Amritsar|
How to reach golden Temple By Bus
A broad network of roads runs through Amritsar, connecting it well to different places. One can reach Amritsar from most of the northern states in just a day’s time. Pathankot is about two and half hours drive from Amritsar. Grand Trunk Karnal Road connects Delhi to Amritsar. Regular buses are available from Delhi I.S.B.T Delhi to Amritsar. There are daily direct buses operating to Jammu, Katra, Chandigarh, and Dharamshala as well, from the city, A number of government and private buses run on regular basis to and from Amritsar. Thus, Amritsar is adequately connected by road to both the places within Punjab as well as outside the state.
How to reach golden Temple By Car
Long-distance taxis are available from most places. It takes around 6-7 hours from New Delhi via NH-1. Amritsar is well-connected by bus to most major cities and the northern areas within a days drive. Pathankot is about 2.5 hours away and about 100km away, Jalandhar is about 80km from here, Kapurthala (royal city) is about 65km from here and there are daily direct buses to New Delhi, Jammu, Katra, Chandigarh, Dharamsala (once daily, c. 6 hours), etc.You can find Volvo buses from Chandigarh , Delhi and Katra to Amritsar.