Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Eat Pray and Shop - 2 day trip to Amritsar

Remember when I had mentioned here that the reason why I was a little inactive was because I was travelling. Recently I had gone on a small holiday which almost turned into a pilgrimage tour. Reason being we went to Vaishnovdevi - Amritsar - Delhi.  As most you must be aware Vaishnodevi is a place of great importance in Hindu religion and the pilgrimage is considered to be one of the toughest to accomplish. So in the entire trip we did a lot of praying and a lot of eating. It was after all North India, the land of lassis and hot paranthas. Here's the Amritsar part of my trip:

Travel
Amritsar has an airport and a railway station. So getting into the city  is pretty easy.

Accommodation
We stayed at the Radisson Blu. There are many budget stay options in the city which are very close to the city centre and the Golden Temple. However, since Radisson Blu is a new property in Amritsar the rooms were reasonably priced at Rs 5500 + taxes, thus we didn't mind spending. The hotel is very close to the airport but a good 30km away from the city. The property though is beautiful and the rooms definitely match up to the Radisson tag. On arrival we were served a welcome drink. The rep at their service desk was sweet enough to offer a late check out even without us asking for one. They offered us a 2 hour extension on the check out time, which was really helpful.

Our room
42" TV
Love a bathroom that has a bath tub and gives me space
Big bathroom
The toiletries in the bathroom
Since, the hotel is newly built, the gym and spa are not fully functional. It has a lounge and a restaurant.The room rates are inclusive of breakfast. The buffet breakfast spread was huge and everything was delicious and filling. The staff was very courteous, polite and always smiling. They all greet you with "Sasriyakal!"

Things to do 

There was only one reason for our visit to Amritsar - The Golden Temple!

There is something about these heritage structures of India that no picture no matter how well taken can capture their true beauty. I was advised to visit the temple twice, once during the day and once to check out the night view. And it looks different both the times. We were lucky enough to have gone there on a full moon night. The temple was shining or was it glowing in full glory.




If you have time on your hands please do not miss the langar ( Meal offered inside the temple). Unfortunately we couldn't make it at both the times.

Wagah Border - The border that separates Amritsar and Lahore, India and Pakistan is a must visit. The ceremony starts just before sunset where the flags of both the nations are lowered and where the army men from across the borders shake hands. The ceremony is an hour long but please please ensure that you do not go on a public holiday or the weekend. Since, there are no entry fees, this place gets crowded easily and since we went on a public holiday we had abosultely no place to sit.

Jalianwala Baug - The place where hundreds of Indians were fired at by a British officer and his team. Their fault being that they had gathered here to plan a revolt. The Indian government has turned this plot into a memorial for these Indians who lost their lives here. One can still see the bullet marks all over the walls. The number of bullets fired were in thousands. This bit of revisiting history outside the textbook really unnerved me.

Shop for Phulkaris and Amritsari Jootis - There are lots and lots of markets in Amritsar selling local garments and jootis. I wanted to buy a phulkari since a long time and I fulfilled my wish in Amritsar. A short walk away from the golden temple is Katra Jaimal Singh Bazaar which has lots of phulkari dupatta shops. One can easily bargain and the dupattas range anything from 300 to 3000 depending on how heavy the embroidery is.
I don't have a picture of the one I bought but it looks exactly like the one in the picture below. I am planning to pair it with a fuschia salwar. what say?

Image Source



Where to eat

When in Punjab, stop counting calories!

Just stop thinking about how oily, buttery sugary your food is. Just let go and binge binge binge! Kesar da Dhaba is the must go is what I have heard. We figured out where the place is, left for the place, reached there only to see there was waiting for an hour or so. Yes! this place is that popular! so we left from there Yes trip is about a lot of unfortunate incidences :( We went to the neighbouring Bharwan da dhaba, which was not such a good decision. The food was all of the above but not tasty. So I wouldnt recommend it to any one. 

But before reaching Amritsar, we had a stopover at a Dhaba on the highway. It was an actual one. And the food was so warm and fresh. Really enjoyed eating there. Here's something to tempt you while I go burn some calories!

Makki di roti nd sarson da saag

Parathas served with oodles of butter

Have you been to Amritsar? How did you find the city?

16 comments:

  1. Lovely post, reminded me of my trip there!

    Cheers!

    Himanshu Nagpal | Being Traveler

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful post and great captures.

    Glad to come across your blog.. thanks to indiblogger :)

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  3. Wow, that is one yummy post!! You've made me want to visit Amritsar :-))

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  4. Amritsar is indeed a place to take away much from...very nice post!
    Thank you for stopping by my blog and for your lovely comment. I am glad you liked my post. Please do visit me again :)

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  5. the temple looks beautiful. Amazing pics, always wanted to visit Amritsar, hopefully wud one day. And tht makka roti is making me peckish now

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  6. Lovely post !!!
    I have never been to golden tmple.But it is in my wish listwhen I am in India.And temple looks so different at night.Incredible.

    Thanks for sharing lovely pics.

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  7. Amazing trip and sharing this experience is really nice.I was in immediate need of such detailed info for my coming trip to there.Thanks and keep sharing.

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  8. It was really nice to read your blog post. Golden Temple is one of the most important and key religious places for Sikhs in Amritsar. Also, check out these hotels in amritsar near golden temple for accommodation.

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