From the horrors of the Butcher of Amritsar to the legend of the pool of eternal happiness, this Amritsar walking tour will teach you about the people, places, and events that have shaped Punjab. You’ll wander through back alleys and bazaars, and take a trip through 400 years of history, culture, and tradition.
The crazy streets of Amritsar are where the history of this iconic city was born. There is a story behind every alley and by-lane we cross and a legend to every monument we visit. Amritsar played a vital role in the freedom movement of India and you’ll learn about it all as you stroll the streets.
You’ll begin your Amritsar tour at the Town Hall and then head back about 400 years as we explore the streets of the historic city. We’ll first move toward the Gurudwara Saraghari, a monument erected to commemorate the Battle of Saragarhi, an iconic battle in Sikh and British military history, and considered one of the world’s most significant battles by war historians.
We’ll then proceed to Qila Ahluwalia and Jalebiwala Chowk, the latter home to some of the most famed jalebi (sweets) shops and other eateries in Amritsar — a must for fuelling you up as we keep moving! We’ll wander through the bazaars, bustling with locals and selling a mix of Fulkari textiles, colourful turbans, hair accessories, antiques, and more. Strolling through, we’ll soon reach the chitta akharas, 250-year-old hostels for spiritual seekers and saints.
No doubt hungry from all that walking, you’ll then devour a taste of Punjab, with satiating Amritsari kulcha (hot potato bread) and a chilled Punjabi lassi (sweetened yogurt).
Then it’s back to the streets! We’ll pass through Taksal Chowk and reach the infamous “Crawling Street,” where a 1919 order made by General Dyer (nicknamed “the Butcher of Amritsar”) required people to crawl for 150 yards if they wished to cross the main street. The incident, along with the related Amritsar Massacre, laid the foundation for the freedom movement in Punjab and brings us from Amritsar’s past through to modern-day India.
From there, we’ll head to a local turban shop and teach you the tricks and techniques for tying a three-metre turban. Women will be fixed with a beautiful paranda, colourful lengths of thread that are braided into the hair.
We’ll finish up at the Harmandir Sahib, famously known as the Golden Temple, the most sacred place for Sikhs in the world. The Gurudwara, or Gateway to the Guru, sits in a sacred pool of water, which is believed to wash away pain and grant health and happiness forever.