A popular tourist destination, Amritsar is a beautiful city soaked in different shades of culture and heritage. Though the city is synonymous with the spectacular Golden Temple, it is home to many other religious sites that are also worth visiting. Interestingly, every Amritsar temple is associated with legends and myths that in fact amuse visitors.
Besides, the temples in Amritsar provide a glimpse into the tradition and culture of the region. So, it is actually fascinating to visit these places of worship, at least a few, to get acquainted with the cultural traditions of this remarkable city.
Here are the top 5 temples in Amritsar that travellers ought to visit during their trip:
1. Durgiana Temple, Amritsar
Dedicated to Goddess Durga, Durgiana Temple is one of the most prominent Hindu pilgrimage sites in Amritsar. The 16th-century temple was rebuilt in the 1920s as per the ideas conceived by Guru Harsai Mal Kapoor, who modelled it on the Golden Temple. The freedom fighter and educationist, Madan Mohan Malviya, laid the foundation of this temple surrounded by water.
This holy place is often known as Lakshmi Narayan Temple as its larger section is dedicated to both these deities. It is even referred to as the Silver Temple because of its exquisitely carved silver doors. Besides the main temple, there are many smaller temples dedicated to numerous Gods and Goddesses, including the popular Bara Hanuman Mandir, within the complex.
- Location: Goal Bagh, Amritsar
2. Mata Lal Devi Temple, Amritsar
Within the famous Rani Ka Bagh in Amritsar lies the eclectic Mata Lal Devi Temple. The temple is dedicated to Mata Lal Devi, a 20th-century saint who is said to grant wishes of women who want to become mothers.
This holy site is one of the popular places to visit in the city not only because of its religious importance but also for its captivating architecture. From labyrinthine pathways and ankle-length waterways to mirrored mosaics and intricate carvings, the architectural elements of this place definitely make it worth visiting. It even resembles the famous Vaishno Devi Temple at Katra in many aspects.
- Location: Rani Ka Bagh, Amritsar
3. ISKCON Temple, Amritsar
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Amritsar is a prominent place to visit for spiritual travellers. Also known as Sri Sri Gaur Radha Krishna Temple, this shrine is dedicated to Lord Krishna. Apart from Radha-Krishna, there are beautiful idols of many other Gods and Goddesses in its building.
This place of worship guides devotees to attain happiness and contentment through Krishna Consciousness medium, wherein devotional service needs to be practised for true success in life. Besides regular aarti and kirtan, lectures on Vedic scriptures including the Bhagwat Gita are also organised at this temple. Moreover, a special feast is organised here on Sundays.
- Location: Chowk Moni Bazar in Amritsar
4. Bhayian Da Shiwala Mandir, Amritsar
Bhayian Da Shiwala Mandir is one of the important religious centres for Hindus in the region. This beautiful temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is thronged by several devotees daily. On the day of Shivratri, the footfall increases manifold with devotees lining up before the break of dawn for the darshan and for offering milk, fruits, etc to the deity.
As per lore, this place of worship was constructed by two brothers, who were migrant workers from the state of Uttar Pradesh. Since this holy site was primarily constructed and maintained by migrants from UP who are often referred to as ‘bhaiya’, the temple came to be known as Bhayian Da Shiwala Mandir.
- Location: Tilak Nagar, Amritsar
5. Sri Ram Tirath Temple, Amritsar
Sri Ram Tirath Temple is a historical shrine just outside the city on Amritsar-Chogawan Road. This temple is associated with the renowned sage Valmiki, who wrote the Hindu mythological epic Ramayana. It is believed that the temple has been built on the site of his ashram where he gave shelter to Sita Mata after she was abandoned by her husband Lord Rama. She is also said to have given birth to her sons Luv and Kush here. Ram Tirath Mandir is also considered to be the site where Luv-Kush fought the epic battle with their father.
Such mythological connections render immense religious importance to this holy site.
- Location: Putligarh, Amritsar
After exploring these religious centres in the land of the Golden Temple, tourists can visit sites such as forts near Amritsar to get acquainted with the tumultuous past of this part of Punjab.