Pun: ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ amritasara

‘Pool of Immortality’ [Ramdaspur] -City/District, Punjab

From Skt: amṛta ‘immortal’; and saras, ‘pool’, ‘lake’

Amritsar was founded by the 4th Sikh Guru, Ram Das, in 1577. He built a temple here surrounded by a pool with sacred healing properties. 

The temple became a complex and the town became a city. The temple complex is home to the Harmandir Sahib or ‘Golden Temple’, one of the most important centres for Sikh worship.

Sadly, Amritsar is also famous for two violent events of historical importance:

(1) The Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919, when British troops opened fire on unarmed Indians at an open air meeting killing hundreds.

(2) Operation Blue Star in 1984, a military raid on the Golden Temple to expel Sikh activists who were occupying the Temple. The raid and the its aftermaths resulted in thousands of civilian and military casualties.

For related place names see Indian Place names and Punjab place names.


Golden Temple (Amritsar) – Shubhashish