I was in Amritsar last December to take the taste of Sikh heartland. My purpose was to visit the famous Golden temple but reaching Amritsar gave me more reasons to visit the city and the gallis (narrow lanes) surrounding the city. The architecture of most of the buildings I found was similar to many old buildings in Delhi and Agra. This similarity made me to explore more about the city and I visited many lanes on foot surrounding the Golden temple. One would find almost everything sold in these lanes from mouthwatering eatables to apparels.
I planned to visit temple first in the morning and then Jaliyawalan Bagh. Reaching Harmandir Sahib was a divine experience, I saw people from all faiths gathering and serving the humanity breaking all the barriers of society. Nobody was Sikh, Hindu or a Muslim, everyone just bothered about their share of service and devoted themselves to the ultimate prophecy by serving others. I sat for a while in tranquility of the enchanted temple and ruminated that this is the perfect reason why God sent us on this earth. I visited the langar(a gathering to have food together, mainly in shrines) in temple complex and had most delicious food which was prepared with lots of efforts and feelings. We sat on a common floor and ate together and this gave me a glimpse of how exactly the almighty wants to see us.
Next I traveled from Harmandir Sahib to Jaliyanwalan bagh. The place where many of the Indians were killed during the festive celebration. I could see many bullet marks on the walls surrounding the garden and a well into which many Indians jumped to save their lives, 'The Saheedi Kuan', I almost shivered down my spine. The visit to Jaliyanwalan bagh made me realized that the freedom we bear is gotten by lots of sacrifices.
Visiting Wagha border was a totally a different experience, The security on the border was very high and only goods carrier were allowed across the border after high scrutiny. We were asked to settle down on the Indian side of the premises. Flag off ceremony started and many hails for in respect of the nation started, the whole ambiance was patriotic with many patriotic Bollywood songs and dance, I got goose bumps and a sense of ‘Indianness’. I read the sign board on the highway "Lahore- 23 Km" .I could see the green paddled fields across the border, the same greenery as our side, the same wind which touched and calmed the people from both the sides yet we were far and very far. I urged to visit the other side of the border but fact prevailed over the feelings and I got back to the city.
A must do in Amritsar: Amritsar is a heaven for a foodie and a shopping freak. Kesar da dhaba is a must to visit, I never had had such a delicious food anywhere in India as here. The authentic Punjabi food and and its aroma I can still feel and it makes my mouth watered. Visit Makkhan fish center for authentic butter chicken. Just stop by some random shop by the wall of a galli and just have some hot milk in kulhad the aroma will blow your mind. Explore more for food you never know which narrow lane would lead you to the heavenly food. Fulkari is a traditional art done on clothes, don't forget to buy some ladies kurties and suits from local market.
Stay in accommodation provided by golden temple trust, they are cheap, clean and comfortable.
For station to temple and back temple to station there is free commutation service by temple trust, utilize if you are on a low budget trip.
Last just enjoy perfect saga of food, divinity and deshbhakti.