We reached Punjab around noon. As we have already booked a hotel for staying, we checked in there. We refreshed and had a little sleep. By evening 5 pm, we went to jallianwala bagh memorial. As it was closed, we went to Golden temple nearby that memorial.
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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.
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.
Bharawan da Dhaba
Located near the Amritsar Municipal Corporation, the Bharawan da Dhaba is a very renowned restaurant serving North Indian and fast food. It is among the most famous places to eat in Amritsar. The place has a very pleasant ambience and is fully Air-Conditioned which makes it more comfortable. This place is famous for Amritsari Kulcha, Daal Makhani, Makki Di Roti & Sarson ka Saag. The service is very fast as the customers come in large chunks.
A small Village on the Amritsar- Lahore Road, this is situated on the Wagah Border and is a few kilometers away from Amritsar. This village was a favorite place for Maharaja Ranjit Singh and he used to always halt here for at least a few days while travelling along Amritsar to Lahore or back. The name means a Bridge (Pul) which was built for a Kanjari (dancer). This dancer was extremely talented and that her shoes once fell into the river and thus she insisted on this bridge being built. There is a fortress here whih consists of a temple, a mosque, a pool as well as a gurudwara. This is the evidence of the secularism followed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. There is also a memorial in the village in the memory of the jawans who had to sacrifice their lives in the War of 1971 with Pakistan.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum
Located in the largest city of Punjab, Ludhiana, this is a war museum named after Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Maharaja is known as the "Lion of Punjab" and this museum was opened to the public in the year 1999. The museum has a simple design and is circled by a pretty garden with colorful flowering plants. The war museum is mainly dedicated to all those bravehearts who have laid their lives in the various battles fought so far. The items displayed in the museum also make all citizens and visitors aware of the importance of defense in everyones' lives. there are displays of tanks, canons and other weapons along with the model of the INS Vikrant. The sense of nationality is wonderful that each visitor feels over here. The light and sound show which is held here regularly is an attraction as well. In this show you get to know about the Independence Movement in which Punjab took part whole- heartedly.
Surjit Food Plaza
6. Amritsari fish Do not, I repeat, do not leave Amritsar without tasting its “world famous” fish. The batter-fried Amritsari fish fry melts in your mouth like ‘makhan’ (butter). At least, that is what the claim is. Pay a visit to Surjit food plaza at Lawrence Road for some finger-licking good fish and mutton tikkas and curry.
Mini Golf Club
After two intense days of soaking in Lahore's history, we were looking forward to a day of lazing around. Someone suggested we head to the Mini Golf Club -- apparently a popular hang out place for the youth of the city. A longish drive lead us to the club, which surprisingly had more to offer than just the mini golf, and spent the day trying to out-do each other at how many holes we managed to hit, and rounded out the day with some hukkah at the club.
Ganpati Guest House
The options of lodging Varanasi just keep getting better. Located close to the Meer Ghat is the Ganpati Guest House, a place that offers one a comfortable stay while one is on a visit to the city. The services provided by this guest house include air-conditioned rooms, free WiFi, laundry, a travel desk to help one with travel related queries and bookings, a business centre, transportation to and from the airport and as well as train station and a restaurant and bar. This restaurant serves a variety of dishes, beverages and as well as light snacks. The rooms are spic and span and the staff here make sure that one enjoys their stay at the guest house. Attached toilets, running water and cable television are some of the other services that the guest house provides.
Constructed along the lines of the Golden temple, the temple is also called the Silver temple due to its carved silver doors. The temple has slowly gained prominence over the years, with pilgrims visiting the temple form both India and abroad. It is also known as the Durgiana, its name derived from the Hindu Goddess Durga. In close proximity to the Railway station and the Bus stand, the Durgiana Mandir owes its existence to Guru Shai Mal Kapoor, a religious leader who proposed the idea of the temple. It is his statue in a sitting position that stands immortalised outside the main temple entrance, also called the Darshani Deori. Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya laid the foundation stone of the temple in the year 1924, on the occasion of Ganga Dashmi.
This is pretty happening place. There's an array of eating joints here and you will be spoilt for choice. I went to Kulcha Land (Read: NOT Kulcha Lord) to grab some authentic Amritsari kulcha and I loved it. they're a pretty small dhaba style place but the service is quick and the food delicious. A limited menu but that really stops mattering after you've ordered the first kulcha.
When I visited the Golden temple, I was overwhelmed with a sense of peace and serene. I did not want to come back. I wanted to take a holy dip in the water. I wanted to sit and sing bhajans the entire day. I wanted to watch the long line of people patiently waiting for their turn to get inside the main temple. No one was in a hurry. Tip: Keep your head covered all the time - men, women, and children. If you don't have anything, you will find something to buy outside the temple.
Paras Downtown Square Mall
14. Paras Downtown Square, Zirakpur -Type - Shopping MallFamous For - Branded Clothing Store, Luxury Restaurants, Gaming Outlets, Movie TheaterLocation - Zirakpur, Near Chandigarh, District-S.A.S Nagar, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, Punjab, 140603Timings - 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM (All Days Open)Contact Number - 01762-521345Web - www.parasdowntownsquare.com
Makhan Fish & Chicken Corner
Situated near Madaan Hospital , Majitha Road, Amritsar, The Makhan Fish & Chicken Corner is a must visit outlet while your stay in Amritsar. A very efficient and well maintained restaurant serving mouth watering food at lightining speed, just at the walking distance from the Golden temple. Best place to unwind after all the sightseeing in Amritsar. The place is very famous for its Fish and chicken dishes. The place is always filled with travelers and they have a very helping and effective team of workers to manage the huge demand.
Just an hour away from Amritsar is Punjabiyat, an organic farm which given the most authentic Punjab experience. You can hop on a bicycle and ride to the dairy farm or take part in religious ceremonies at the famous Ghallughara Saheb. At best, just laze around and get lost in the endless fields or the star-lit sky.
Dry Fruit Corner
Do not confuse this shop with New Dry Fruit Corner. The original shop is walking distance from Jalianwallah Bagh and the Golden Temple. Do stop here for different varieties of "papad", "Vadi" , "Churans" etc. They're famous all over and a pretty major food landmark of Amritsar.
A much discussed place of interest was the Attari Wagah Border about 28 kms from Amritsar. There are continuous and various forms of transport available from the city to the border, and I booked myself a visit. It is the oldest border crossing between India and Pakistan and was an interesting experience at sunset when the 'Retreat Ceremony' took place with the Border Security Force on the Indian Side of the Border displaying their highly skilled salute skills in an attempt to outclass the other side. The daily highlight is the evening "Beating the Retreat Ceremony, in which the soldiers from both countries march in perfect drill, going through the steps of bringing down their respective national flags. As the sun went down, nationalistic fervors rose and lights were switched on marking the end of the day amidst thunderous applause from the huge crowds on either side of the border that had gathered.
Being really fond of ancient structures and all the antique heritage and items that come with them, I visited the Gobind Garh Fort which was constructed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the early 18th century. The structure has still been kept entirely intact and proves it's durable build. The construction and design of the fort was to defend against the attacks of the Afghans. The fort is not open to public now and has been taken over by the Indian security forces, but one can peek a view from the outside.
With our return getting closer -- and realizing we wouldn't be allowed back home if we didn't bring back gifts -- we headed to the much talked-about shopping mecca in Lahore: Liberty market. For a couple of guys, the endless shops of silks and kurtas and jewelry and footwear got very overwhelming very quickly. Thankfully, there were enough little eateries for us to take a breather at -- and we ultimately managed to buy some really beautiful things.
Bashir Darul Mahi
Tucked away in a corner, you would miss this unassuming restaurant if it were not for the serpentine queues outside it. Strongly reminiscent of outdoor vendors in old Delhi with huge containers of boiling oil for frying all manners of things, Bashir's fish turned out to be the most memorable meal we had thoughout the trip. Though the long wait almost wore our patience thin, the taste of the delicious fried fish made every second worth it. Even thinking about it now makes our mouth water -- if fish must be cooked, it should be cooked no other way.
What is better than the sight of the Badshahi mosque by night? An aerial view of the Badshahi mosque lit up as the backdrop to one of the most delicious meals you'll have, of course! What makes this possible? A wonderful haveli-style restaurant situated at the perfect place -- overlooking the mosque and other parts of the old city. Cooco's Den was recommended to us as Lahore's best restaurant and it did not fail to live up to the hype -- the food was delicious, the ambiance was other-worldly, the hukkah was perfect, and the view was to die for. Definitely a dinner we won't be forgetting in a while.
So much walking through the day had left us famished, and the Lahore Food Street turned out to be exactly what we were looking for. As the sun began to set and the lights came on, the street seemed to take on a life of its own -- bustling with energy and all sorts of inviting aromas from the many jharokhas that lined it from both sides. While we gorged on the best of traditional Lahori cuisine, and joked about the density of the human population matching the density of fat in our food, it was difficult not to feel like this was the good life -- good food, gorgeously lit surroundings, and... more good food!
Chandigarh, is dream city of India's first Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru. It was designed by the popular French engineer Le Corbusier. Beautifully situated at the foothills of Shivaliks, it is known as one of the best experiments in urban city designing and current structural engineering in the twentieth century in India. The Reserve Bank of India positioned in Chandigarh is the twelfth biggest deposit centre and the tenth biggest credit center across the country as of June 2012. Chandigarh IT Park (otherwise called Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park) is the city's endeavor to break into the data innovation world. Chandigarh's framework, closeness to Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, and the IT talent pool draws in IT organizations searching for office space in the region. Chandigarh is an uncommon embodiment of modernization existing together with nature's conservation. It is a very beautiful place to spend quality time with family and friends.
Masjid Wazir Khan (Wazir Khan Mosque)
After the vast grandeur of the Lahore Fort, the intricate tile work of the Wazir Khan Mosque felt like a direct contrast. The colourful glazed tile mosaics gave us the feeling of being in some sort of a kaleidoscopic dream -- the greens and the blues of the calligraphy and floral motifs doing a mesmerizing dance across the facade. Though we didn't have much time to spend here, it rounded off an overwhelming day very fittingly.
Born out of the same dynasty, there was no surprise that the first glimpse of the Badshahi Mosque reminded us of the Jama Masjid in Delhi: the symmetry, the awe-inspiring presence, the vast courtyard, the feeling of serenity. We were pleasantly surprised to find a small museum on the first floor of the main entrance which housed relics that were several centuries old. Also in the distant skyline you can see the Minar-e-Pakistan, or the 'Eiffel Tower of Pakistan' (as our guide liked to call it), the monument that marks the separation of Pakistan as a country. We walked around the compound, admiring the detailed calligraphy and the painstakingly assembled white marble on red sandstone -- all the while gasping to each other about its grandeur. And just as we thought it was impossible for the mosque to be any more beautiful, the sun set and it was lit up -- turning it into something that looked like it would be right out of a dream (or a grand Yash Chopra movie!). Breathtaking would be an understatement.
13. Elante Mall, Industrial Area Phase I -Type - Shopping MallFamous For - Branded Clothing Store, Luxury Restaurants, Gaming Outlets, Movie TheaterLocation - 178-178A, Purv Marg, Industrial Area Phase I, Chandigarh, 160002Timings - 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM (All Days Open)Contact Number - 0172-5005000Web - www.lntrealty.com/elante.aspx
Pathankot Railway Station
We had an overnight journey by Jammu Mail taking us from Old Delhi railway station to Pathankot. As you step outside Pathankot railway station, you can hire a cab(depending on your group size and budget) taking you to Dalhousie or Chamba. As we reached Pathokot early in the morning, our road journey to Dalhousie was through infinite mist cloud and hilly terrain with a view of the deep valleys.
Having seen only a part of the walled city the previous day, we head out to old Lahore again the next morning. We thanked the weather gods for it being a cloudy day, because the Lahore Fort, down the road from the Badshahi Mosque, is a sprawling complex that has so many interesting landmarks that walk one through what it must have meant to be a king back in the day. We kept wondering about how the Emperor would have ruled from his throne here, how he would have addressed the masses in the Diwaan-e-aam, what kind of wonderful conversations would have happened among his chosen 'gems' in the Diwaan-e-khaas, what would be going through his head while he strolled the royal gardens, what conspiracies of creation and destruction would have been hatched within these walls. Just imagining the power wielded by the Mughals while occupying this space was a rush to the head, and we both took it in quietly.
2. Amritsari Naan Savor these potato-stuffed naans with butter and chhole and feel like heaven. These huge mouthwatering naans are famous across the country but in no corner of India have they tasted the same like in Amritsar. Try chungi Ka Kulcha at Maqbool Road or Kulcha Land in Ranjit Avenue.