Amritsar ( pronunciation ; Punjabi: ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ; Punjabi pronunciation: [əmːɾɪt̪səɾ]), historically also known as Rāmdāspur and colloquially as Ambarsar, is a city in north-western part in India and the administrative headquarters of the Amritsar district located in the Majha region of the state of Punjab.
According to the 2011 census, the population of Amritsar was 1,132,761. The city is situated 217 km (135 mi) northwest of state capital Chandigarh. It is near Pakistan, with the Wagah Border being only 28 km (17.4 mi) away. The nearest city is Lahore, the second largest city in Pakistan, located 50 km (31.1 mi) to the west.
Amritsar is home to the Harmandir Sahib (commonly known as the Golden Temple), the spiritual and cultural centre for the Sikh religion. This important Sikh shrine attracts more visitors than the Taj Mahal with more than 100,000 visitors on weekdays alone and is the most popular destination for non-resident Indians (NRI) in the whole of India. The city also houses the Akal Takht, the highest seat of earthly authority of the Khalsa, and the committee responsible for the upkeep of Gurdwaras.
The Ramtirth temple situated at Amritnoor tsar is believed to be the Ashram site of Maharishi Valmiki, the writer of Ramayana. According to the Hindu mythology, Goddess Sita gave birth to Lava and Kusha, sons of lord Rama at Ramtirth ashram. Large number of people visit Ramtirth temple at annual fair. Nearby cities to Amritsar, Lahore and Kasoor were said to be founded by Lava and Kusha, respectively. During Ashvamedha Yagna by Lord Rama, Lava and Kush captured the ritual horse and tied lord Hanuman to a tree near to today's Durgiana Temple. During Navratra festivities it is considered to be auspicious by Hindu population of the city to visit that temple.
The main commercial activities of Amritsar include tourism, carpets and fabrics, farm produce, handicrafts, service trades, and light engineering. The city is known for its rich cuisine, and culture, and for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919 under British Rule. Amritsar is home to Central Khalsa Orphanage, which was once home to Udham Singh, a prominent figure in the Indian independence movement. Gandhi Ground is the main sports complex in the city which is home to the Amritsar Games Association, (AGA).
Amritsar has been chosen as one of the heritage cities for HRIDAY - Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana scheme of Government of India.
The city is going through a major development project, Amritsar BRTS is under construction and is likely to be completed by the end of this year. Sukhbir Singh Badal inaugurated the beautification project from Hall Gate to The Golden Temple on 24th of October 2016.
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