The land of Golden Temple, Amritsar, is famous for its heritage and past. Many structures, even many centuries old, stand tall and strong even today. The city is mostly known for the Sikh temple, Wagah border ceremony, and Jallianwala Bagh; but there are many places that highlight the existence of other religions in the city.
Apart from churches in Amritsar, there are many alluring Hindu temples that need mention. Due to their mythological significance and architectural details, these temples in Amritsar make an important part of the city.
Let us go through a quick list of the top 5 temples in Amritsar
The famed Golden Temple was the inspiration for Guru Harsai Mal Kapoor's design of the 1920s reconstruction of 16th-century Durgiana temple. The marble construction and the main dome's gold leaf covering reveal startling similarities. Durgiana Temple, like Shri Harmandir Sahib, is also erected in the centre of a holy lake. It is said that bathing in these sacred waters washes away all of your past-life misdeeds.
The site is devoted to Goddess Durga; but is also known as Lakshmi Narayan Temple and has statues of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. The silver doors are finely carved, giving it the name "Silver Temple”. One of the most sacred places in Amritsar, the temple is also called Sitla Mandir or Durga Tirath and is famous for its magnificent architecture.
The festivals of Dussehra, Janmashtami, Ram Navami and Diwali are celebrated extensively and the temple is decked with lights and flowers. Every day, the temple offers free meals (or langar) to worshippers and guests. It ranks as Amritsar's second-most revered temple, behind the Golden Temple.
Location: Gol Bagh, Amritsar
Mata Lal Devi Temple
The temple is devoted to Mata Lal Devi, a female saint from the 20th century, who is also called “Pujya Mata Ji” (Respected Mother Figure). Since the shrine is renowned for its extraordinary powers to increase female fertility, people who wish to start a family visit the place in faith.
The entire temple is embellished with dazzling mirror pieces illuminating the room with the help of many handmade lights and sunshine reflections, and is also called “Sheesh Mahal” or “Mirror Mahal of Amritsar”. The shrine, built in 1989, is regarded as a tiny counterpart of Jammu and Kashmir's well-known Vaishno Devi Temple.
The architectural features, including stairways leading to little underwater caves and brightly coloured deities, make a trip to the place unquestionably worthwhile. The religious significance as well as the beautiful construction make this holy site one of the most holy places in Amritsar. Visitors to the place are in for a visual feast because of the temple's vibrant colour scheme and intricate mirror work.
Location: Rani ka Bagh, Amritsar
Loved for its orderly atmosphere mixed with lovely furnishings and religious artefacts, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) Temple of Amritsar is worth the visit. This holy site, which is devoted to Lord Krishna, is also known as Sri Sri Gaur Radha Krishna Temple.
This temple of worship instructs followers on how to achieve joy and fulfilment via Krishna Consciousness, where doing devotional service is necessary for real success in life. The centre of attraction being Radha-Krishna, there are beautiful idols of several other Gods and Goddesses as well. You can enjoy the daily prayers or the enthusiastic chanting of the Sunday Love Feasts while meditating in the serene surroundings. The regular langar is a delectable delicacy.
Regular lectures on Vedic literature, including the Bhagwat Gita, are conducted in addition to the typical aarti and kirtan.
Location: Moni Chowk, Amritsar
Bada Hanuman Mandir
Located in the Durgiana Temple's northwest corner, the Bada Hanuman Mandir is accessible via a little path and holds a high rank among the religious places in Amritsar. In order to pray for progeny, especially a boy, childless couples tie a holy scarlet thread (called Mauli) around a large Banyan tree in the temple complex.
A “Langoor Mela” is held every year during Navaratri and enchants thousands of visitors. The idol in this temple is one of the only two sculptures that depicts Lord Hanuman seated, making it a "rare" one.
The temple also houses a Lord Shiva statue. There are numerous monkeys parading around the shrine since Lord Hanuman was a fabled monkey king. The hypnotic chanting of Ramayana lyrics by devotees may be heard in a separate chamber. The thunderous sounds of these heavenly lyrics transform the entire surroundings into something ethereally wonderful.
Location: Gol Bagh, Near Durgiana Temple, Amritsar
Sri Ram Tirath Temple
The Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Sthal, commonly known as the Ram Tirath Ashram, is one of the holiest destinations for Hindus. Luv and Kush, the sons of Lord Ram and Devi Sita, are said to have been born there.
Additionally, it has been said that Maharishi Valmiki created the Ramayana here. While the original ashram is no longer there, his ancient cottage is still visible. There is a lot of quiet and serenity due to the nearby lake. In the main temple, an 8-foot-tall and 800-kilogram statue of Sage Valmiki stands and adds to its splendour.
A four-day event, beginning on the night of the full moon in November, attracts a sizable number of devotees to the location every year and is an event that one must-see in Amritsar.
The Valmiki ashram, a sizable water tank and a few tiny temples are all located on the expansive temple grounds. It is a symmetrical, contemporary building with Hindu temple-style design. The Bedis of Punjab may trace their lineage back to Kush (Guru Nanak Dev was a Bedi) and Sodhis (Gurudee Gobind Singh was a Sodhi) to Luv.
Location: Chogawan Road, 15 kms from Amritsar
Even though it covers the top sites, the above list is not exhaustive and there are many more places to visit. Once you are done with exploring the religious side of the city, you can then move on to knowing more about its history.
Visiting forts near Amritsar will leave you astonished with the beauty and culture of the city even more.