25 January 2009

Amritsar means ‘Pool of the Nectar of Immortality’, so named after the pool within the Golden Temple. Deep in the Punjab, it is the holy city of the Sikhs and as such is intimately linked with the history of the Sikh peoples. All Sikhs endeavour to visit the Golden Temple at some point in their lives and bathe in the holy water. A prosperous city, Amritsar’s income is mainly from agriculture, commerce and industry.

Close to the border with Pakistan, Amritsar holds strategic importance. It has seen much bloodshed over the years, especially during partition. As recently as the 1980s, Indira Gandhi famously ordered the storming of the temple to remove Sikh militants in Operation Blue Star, an act which ultimately led to her assassination by her own Sikh bodyguards in revenge. Since then both the temple and peace in the city have been restored.