Also known as Gurmukhi, this is a village and also the border where India and Pakistan was once divided to become two different countries. On this side of the border, the region is more popularly known as Attari and falls in Amritsar. On the other side, it falls in the Lahore city of Punjab of Pakistan and is known as Wahgah. On both sides the flags of the respective countries are raised up everyday and again lowered 2 hours before sunset. There is also the famous Wagah Rail line over here which forms a part of the Grand Trunk Road which continues in Pakistan as well. The Wagah Border Ceremony is worth seeing and is carried on by the Indian Army and the Pakistan Rangers on the respective sides of the border gate.
Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib)
The Golden Temple also known as Harmandir Sahib is the holiest Gurdwara situated in Amritsar. A Sikh guru named Guru Arjan designed the golden temple and installed the Adi Granth (Holy Scripture of Sikhism) in the temple. In 19th Century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh took over Punjab and defended it from the attacks of the neighbouring regions. This was when he covered the top floors of the Gurdwara with Gold which helped the temple to make a distinct place in itself, and also it got the English name. The Gurdwara is surrounded by a lake, which consists the Holy Water and three Holy trees. Many memorial slab and plaques are placed inside the Gurdwara, which commemorates the past events.
This is a public Park in Amritsar, Punjab and is a symbol of Independence and tragedies related to it. Once it so happened that a British Lady named Marshella was cornered by an Indian mob and beaten up. She was rescued by a man who was the father of her pupil. Hearing this General Dyer issued an order that every Indian had to cover the distance by crawling and the English officers could shoot and hit any Indian whom they saw. To protest against this, around 15000 men, women and children gathered in the Jallianwala Bagh and were protesting peacefully. After around an hour General Dyer and his army blocked all the exit ways of the park and ordered random shooting resulting which thousands of men and women died. This was one of the most tragic massacres of the Indian History. A memorial to honor those who died in this incident is made over here with a lamp which burns 24 hours. There is lush greenery in this park with a number of flowering plants as well.
Made in the style of the Golden Temple of Amritsar, this is another temple dedicated to Lord Laxmi- Narayan in the same city of Amritsar. One of the main pilgrim places in Punjab, this temple is also known as the Durgiana Tirath or the Sitla Mandir. The construction of the temple was done by Guru Harsai Mal Kapoor and is often known as the Silver Temple. This is mainly due to the beautiful carved silver doors of this temple. Both Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna are worshipped here along with Goddess Durga. This temple houses a number of historical shrines of Sita Mata and The Bara Hanuman. The main festivals celebrated here are the Dusshera, Janmastami, Ram Navami and Diwali. The Temple features include a beautiful dome and pillars and the dome is illuminated with glittering lights during the evenings.
Kesar Da Dhaba
The pride of the Amritsar Cantonment, this small dhaba serves delicious Punjabi food at low costs. The dhaba is inside a small lane and so it is better that you park your vehicle outside the lane. The servings are huge and one plate is enough for two people even if you are starving. Their authentic spicy, Punjabi taste with the sweetness of the thick, creamy lassi is just superb. Their specialties are their stuffed parantha thali and lassi. Desi Ghee is what they put in most of their food and so be prepared to let your diet regime go for a toss and eat here to enjoy real Indian food.
Once known as Shyamala, synonymous with Goddess Kali, Shimla has been a summer retreat long before India even gained independence. This famous hill station similarly has a lot of places and things to see untouched by time. For instance, take a vintage joy ride from Kalka station to Shimla in a charming toy train that will take you through towering Deodars, hills and villages. Shimla truly comes alive during winters when a blanket of snow covers it all over making every nook and corner gleam and glisten. One such place is the ice skating rink (natural ice) near Lakkar Bazaar that opens from November to December. More winter sports include skiing, which can be enjoyed 21 km from Shimla in Kufri. Adventure activities such as rafting at Tattapani or a trek to Shali Tibba and Pabbar Valley are also worthwhile experiences. If you are fond of haunted stories and interested in having your own spooky adventure, you'll love Shimla. A lot of people including the renowned Rudyard Kippling (in 'My Own True Ghost Story) have written various eerie stories set around Shimla. A place known most for giving many people the jeepers-creepers is the Charleville Mansion. Another time travelling portal is the antique bookstore, Marina Brothers, located on Mall Road, which is truly a reader and collector's paradise. There are many luxury and budget hotels here, meaning you'll never fall short of options. Popular places to eat include Wake & Bake, Ashiana, Cecil and Minchy's that serve commendable Indian and multi-cuisine dishes and delicious gourmet food.
Gar firdaus ruhe zamin ast, Hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast. “If there is a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here.” This is how the Sufi mystic Amir Khusrow has described the Kashmir Valley, and Srinagar is at the heart of the valley. Smack in the middle of the city is the mighty Dal Lake, its placid water reflecting the vivid kaleidoscope of innumerous houseboats, shikaras (taxi-boats), and the snow-capped Pir Panjal range: a sight that will make your heart skip a beat. The city is home to the state-of-the-art Mughal Gardens, Shalimar Bagh and Nishant Bagh being the most famous of them. The gardens exhibit the Mughal taste of nature and the philosophy of disciplining nature rather than imitating it: fountain pools and canals, meticulously manicured hedges, and motley flowerbeds. Also known as the Kashmiri Venice, Srinagar is a place not to be missed by those seeking a tranquil refuge in the lap of the Himalayas.
Chandigarh is India's first planned city, quite distinct from the rest of the country and considerably better organized. It is the capital of both Haryana and Punjab, but the city itself is not part of either state, being a union territory, i.e. administered directly by the central government. It was one of the early planned cities in post-independence India and is internationally known for its architecture and urban design. Chandigarh has various visitor attractions including theme gardens within the city. Some notable sites are Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden, Rose Garden, Parrot Bird Sanctuary Chandigarh, and Leisure Valley. Chandigarh as a perfect city with regards to its cultural growth, modernisation and architecture. Rose Garden is home to over 1,500 varieties of rose and the Garden of Fragrance is perfect for those mind-refreshing walks. Chandigarh has a bustling food scene, home to every cuisine you can think of right from Mediterranean (Kelong, Virgin Courtyard) to Thai (Tao- Bar & Lounge). Some popular places for Punjabi dishes are Punjab Grill and Sher-e-Punjab. Chandigarh is also close to many hill stations such as Solan, Kasauli, Shoghi and Naldehra.
The land from where once an ancient trade route to China would be embarked on, Manali is an abode for modern creativity now as much as it for withdrawal and adventure in the majestic mountains. From offering hostels, hotels, co-working spaces to the cave where once Arjun, the Pandava king had supposedly meditated (Arjun Gufa), Manali is no less than a global village. The mighty Himalayas have inspired many foreign settlements here, giving rise to popular European and Israeli cafes, restaurants and hostels, providing one a consortium of around the world cultures. This town is a true haven for adventure junkies who can indulge in river rafting, paragliding, camping, rock climbing, rappelling, zorbing at Solang Valley and Aleo. Manali has an array of breathtaking treks and sights for its nature lovers, for instance the Patalsu Peak, the Deo Tibba basecamp, Jogini Falls and the Rahala Falls. For all the solo riders out there, cruise your way through the snowy alley of Rohtang Pass while those who wish to travel back in time, can indulge in the exquisite display of culture and heritage at the Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art. Restaurants and cafes such as the Khyber Pass, Johnson's Cafe, La Plage, Drifters' Inn, The Hangout attract foodies for their culinary justice to everything from Thai to European cuisines and even some live music. If all this is too over the top for you, then reconnect with simplicity at Naggar Village, which is home to waterfalls, a beautiful castle, an art gallery and locals which have many stories to share and a cultural heritage to take pride in.
A kingdom that has risen above disasters like the 2010 cloudburst and is still able to magnetise a plethora of tourists and travellers every month to it, even when the mercury dips below sub-zero levels. This former capital of the Himalayan Kingdom of Ladakh is chiefly dominated by the ruined Royal Palace of Leh and the eternally serene Pangong Tso, Tibetan for 'high grassland lake', which is spread for 134 km from India to China. If you're someone who loves travelling unconventionally and is interested in the lifestyle that thrives in this high altitude desert, you can stay with locals who have turned their homes into 'homestays' and are open to interacting with non-natives. For a more spiritual and mystical experience, one can also spend the night at monasteries such as Thiksey, Lamauru or the Hemis Monastery, where you will get a chance to interact with Lamas (Buddhist teachers) and learn all about their lives and what they preach. For more visual and audio insights and treats, one can attend the 6 day Ladakh festival, a multihued explosion of Ladakhi culture and tradition, celebrated annually in the month of September in Leh's villages. Leh can always keep you entertained, for instance, with trekking (frozen river trek to Chadar, Padam to Darcha trek), mountain biking, skiing, camel safari, paragliding and even having your car pulled uphill by the magnetic force at the Magnetic Hill. Foodies will get no better thrill than eating at the highest cafeteria in the world, Rinchen Cafeteria. Other popular cafes such as Gesmo, Nirvana Garden, Cafe Jeevan and Norlakh are a must to go to for their lip smacking Italian, Himalayan and local dishes.
Located in Himachal Pradesh, what most people refer to as Dharamsala is actually Lower Dharamsala. This is where the bus drops you, and from here you can make your way to Mcleodganj, or Upper Dharamsala, which is also where the Dalai Lama lives. The two Dharamsalas have a strong Tibetan presence with monasteries, meditation centres and a big library of Tibetan history. This is owing to the Tibetan refugees who have made this place home after fleeing the oppression of China in their homeland. There is a lot to explore at these destinations, which are popular both with Indian and foreign tourists. For tourism in Dharamsala, there is the Norbulingka Institute, where you can see artisans making thangka paintings, embroidering and carving food. Further up in Mcleodganj, you can visit the Namgyal Monastery, say a prayer at the St John in the Wilderness, take a dip in the gushing Bhagsu Falls, trek up to Triund or just enjoy the surrounding pine forest from its many fabulous rooftop cafes and restaurants. Some resorts provide opportunities for paragliding, flying fox, rock climbing, zip lining, rappelling and even night camping. Treks through the magical hills and forests are always invaluable, the most cherished one being, the trek to the snowy peaks of Triund. Dharamshala's vast Tibetan population gives way to charming little kitchen cafes serving the most lip smacking Tibetan dishes, that too at very affordable prices (below Rs 500 for two). Dishes such as thenthuk, thukpa, chocolate and meat medallions are a huge hit with most travellers that have visited and sought refuge in this city's mystical spread. Close