While Rang de Basanti perfectly portrays the youth culture and hangouts of Delhi, it also paints a picture of the ancient and the modern Amritsar. The parallels that are drawn with history in the movie with portions shot in Jallianwala Bagh & Khalsa College instil a sense of patriotism and bring a sombre realization to the sacrifices made for our freedom. The serenity of the Golden Temple that brings about a transformation in Aamir and his friends is a place where the traveller can find his inner peace.

If great food is your calling, then you cannot leave without trying Amritsari fish fry, Beera’s chicken and the Punjabi cholle and lassi from the numerous eateries.

Vibrant colours, mesmerizing sights, great food and the loud and heart-warming hospitality make Amritsar a must-visit on our list.

The Filmy Lens: Rang De Basanti

Amritsar Holidays

/Impawards

This is a life-altering movie of 5 friends. A young British filmmaker lands in India with a desire to document the lives of great Indian revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad and his comrades. Due to the lack of resources, she (Sue) seeks the help of a group of students studying at the Delhi University. Each of these has a story of struggle. A pass-out with no desire to step into the real world, a young son living off his father in spite of them sharing a tumultuous relationship, a poet and a philosopher, a young man with revolutionary thoughts, a womanizing chap and the only girl in the gang is engaged to be married. While the documentation of this movie, these five get re-acquainted with their roots. See their strengths and weaknesses. Realize the value of the sacrifice made by the forefathers. This is fight for freedom in a different era, from different demons. The movie is beautifully shot in select places of Delhi and Amritsar. The young and the liberated running through the yellow fields, makes us want to do the same.

Filmy Locations

Jallianwala Bagh

Amritsar Holidays

/Flickr/Bhargav Saikia

Scene: Jallianwala Bagh during the shooting of the documentary

Visiting a historical city and not visiting its historical site would be a matter of shame. After all, our existence can be traced back to this eminent historical incidence. Commemorating 2000 Indians ruthlessly killed during the British Raj this garden paints a visual picture of the British’s foul play. As evidence, a wall painted with bullet marks still stands.

Golden Temple

Amritsar Holidays

/Flickr/Punjabi Assassin

Scene: Aamir Khan visits Golden temple with his mother and friends

Golden Temple has been all time favourite location for Indian movies since ages due to its scenic beauty. Golden Temple (also known as Sri Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar) is not only a central religious place of the Sikhs, but also a symbol of human brotherhood and equality. Everybody, irrespective of cast, creed or race can seek spiritual solace and religious fulfillment without any hindrance. It also represents the distinct identity, glory and heritage of the Sikhs. Golden temple showcases a unique Sikh architecture. The temple is built on a 67 ft. square platform in the centre of the Sarovar (tank). The temple itself is 40.5 ft. square. It has a door each on the East, West, North and South. You can also visit Central Sikh Museum, Monument of Victory of Sikhs on Delhi, Dukh Bhanjani Beri, Ath Sath Tirath, and Har Ki Pauri inside the temple. And do not miss langar in the temple. In the Golden Temple Community Kitchen at an average 75,000 devotees or tourists take langar in the Community Kitchen daily. Hundreds of employees and devotees render their services to the kitchen.

Khalsa College, Amritsar

Amritsar Holidays

/Flickr/JPS Kohli

Scene: Filming killing of General Dyre

Khalsa College is a historic educational institution in Amritsar, Punjab. Founded in 1892, the sprawling 300-acre campus is located about eight km outside of the city center on the Amritsar-Lahore highway (part of the Grand Trunk Road), adjoining Guru Nanak Dev University campus, to which Khalsa College is academically affiliated. The main building is considered a gem of the Indo-Sarcenic style, which is strongly influenced by traditional Indian and Mughal schools of architecture. This is such a beautiful structure that many people have a misconception that Khalsa College was the Palace but the truth is, it was actually built for education institute during the British ruling in India when Sikh scholars thought about providing higher education to Sikhs and Punjabis within Punjab.

Must see

While Rang de Basanti brings back memories of lush yellow fields and large and loud family members, there is more to Amritsar than that.

Wagah Border

Amritsar Holidays

/Flick/PK Gupta VNS

India-Pakistan international border is a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit which one should not miss. The handshakes across the borders, the squeaky clean and disciplined lives lived by the military men; the dressed-up friendship between the two countries is an experience worth experiencing. The best part happens in the evening when soldiers from both the countries march in a synchronized drill famously called “Beating the Retreat”.

Then, there are places which need no introduction but are a must mention- Ram Tirath, Pul Kanjari etc. Then after seeking blessings, one can pay a visit to Aamirtsar Heritage Walk, Suncity Amusement Park etc. The key to experience a city is to interact with the natives. Nobody would know the place better than its inhabitants.

Other locations in the movie which are visit-worthy

Nahargarh fort, Jaipur; Sarai Lashkari Khan, Punjab; India Habitat Center, New Delhi; India Gate

Other movies shot at Amritsar

More recently glimpses of Amritsar can be caught in movies like Rab ne Bana Di Jodi, Gadar, DDLJ, Veer Zaara etc. Bollywood has romanced Amritsar for quite some time now.

Must try

It would be natural to be hungry after an exhaustive trip through the city. Food is religion of sorts in this part of the country. So make sure you are a devotee of eating before you plan a trip to this city. You must try:

FOOD

Amritsar Holidays

/Flickr

Gulab Jamun

Available almost everywhere in Amritsar. This is unlike the ones you may find back home. Remember, Punjab is a land of butter and ghee. They know the best how to make a sweet which makes its way straight to your heart.

Kesar da dhaba

Punjab taught the country to eat right out of a dhaba. So a dhaba-visit is a must in Amritsar. A vegetarian haven with a lot to offer-laccha , parantha, maa ki daal , lassi and their famous phirni. A vegetarian’s soul will definitely bless this place at the end of a meal.

Beera Chicken

Their tandoori are to die for. A roadside joint which can be ignored without a second glance, celebs and travel and living crew and cast flock this place. The tender flesh, the smoky flavour and the aromatic atmosphere is an experience you’ll never forget.

Surjit Food Plaza

This is a non-vegetarian retreat. Mutton tikkas, gilawati kebabs, Amritsari fish; their dishes are marinated and cooked in secret masalas handed down from generation to generation.

Gurudas Ram Jalebi Wala

And for that sweet tooth visit this place. Their dripping hot jalebies and gulab jamun are quite acclaimed. And no words can aptly describe the sensantion of munching upon these delicious treats. You’ve got to have a firsthand experience to know what delicious actually tastes like.

These were just a prologue to eating food the Amritsari style. There are places like Thai Chai,Yellow Chilli and the likes. Do not visit Amritsar if you are on a diet.

SHOPPING

Taking a break from soaking all the history, charm and food of the city one should definitely take time to go shopping. If not for your loved ones, then splurge for yourself. Amritsar is a shopper’s haven. Visit

Phulkari is a place to visit for handicrafts and beautifully carved wood works. Moreover, phulkari work is special handicraft work on a piece of cloth which isn’t found anywhere in the country.

Katra Jaimal Bazaar and Shashtri Bazaar for textiles and handlooms.

Then there are malls and secret dens which are a must explore.

Getting there

That depends on where you are planning to start your journey from.

By Air-Rajasansi Airport in Amritsar has direct flights from Delhi, Srinagar and Chandigarh.

By Train-Most prefer the train as it gives one a picturesque view of the land. Moreover, during the winters flights are delayed due to fog. The  Amritsar Shatabdi from Delhi is a good option.

By RoadRoad travel is also an option. It takes in and around 10 hours from Delhi to make it to Amritsar

Best time to visit Amritsar

JFMAMJJASOND

Where to stay

Holiday Inn, Ranjit Avenue

Hotel Hongkong Inn

Golden Tulip

Radisson Blu Hotel

Share This