Amritsar – one of the Heritage cities chosen by HRIDAY – Heritage City Development & Augmentation Yojana Scheme of Government of India today, was actually founded by fourth Sikh Guru – Shree Guru Ram Dass Ji and is also called “Ramdaspur”. Also referred to as Holy City, it is believed to be the central point of Sikh faith with the most revered “Golden Temple” arguably called the “World Headquarters for Sikhism”.
Being an attractive destination for World Tourism, the place has many historic sites that have gone through the beautification and renovation process under the HRIDAY scheme with Heritage Walk being on the top. Famous for Golden Temple, Ambarsar – (Colloquial name) also have some most revered Hindu temples. Being a city of many-splendors Holy versions, these temples have their own story to tell. A city where the past has shaped the present and is remembered till date, we as a core team of City On Pedals take immense pride in taking our guests to these locations, with our amazing tour itineraries that help them to explore the beauty and sanctity of these amazing temples, besides making them familiar with our glorious past. After all, a walk through the past is a window to the city today.
So here is a compilation of 5 such temples which are famous among our Religious Tourism and will definitely be enjoyed by every visitor to this city.
Lakshmi Narayan Temple
Situated inside the old city near Lohgarh Gate, the architecture of this premier temple is similar to that of the Golden Temple. Durgiana Temple, a derivative taken from Goddess Durga, who is a chief presiding deity worshipped here. We also find the idols of Goddess Lakshmi – (Goddess of Wealth) and God Vishnu – (The Protector of the World) on whose name the temple has also been given a name of Lakshmi-Narayan Temple. Build in the year 1921, the temple has also given the name of Sitla Mata Mandir – (Goddess Sitla Temple) as the temple also has small subsidiary temples of Mata Sitla and Lord Hanuman which are again famous Nation-wide and have an importance of their own.
Build in the middle of a sacred pond, the dome and canopies of the temple are similar to the Golden Temple. The dome is illuminated with colorful lights and is gilded with gold. Extensive use of marbles adds to the temple’s features. With a rich collection of Hindu scriptures, Temple is believed to be an amalgamation of Myths, History, and Religion. It is also referred to as Silver Temple owing to the silver doors of its sanctum, on which are embossed the incarnations of Lord Vishnu and other deities. It is believed that there is a wish-fulfilling tree in the temple complex where devotees offer flowers, apply turmeric and Vermilion paste. They also go around this tree several times seeking a host of favors.
Langoor Wala Mandir
Situated at the North-western corner of Durgiana Temple. The Mandir has an importance of its own. Many couples seek blessings of Lord Hanuman for a child – especially a Male Child. There is a big Banyan tree in the Mandir complex where childless couples tie a sacred red thread or Mauli around its branches and trunk praying for a progeny. They also vow to bring their child attired as a Langoor once their wish is fulfilled. So when Lord Hanuman fulfills their wish, they come here every day during Navratri along with their male child. During these nine days of Navratri, they sleep on the floor, observing fast and take only one-time food of raw vegetables and fruits. The recitation of Ramayan especially Sundar-Kand Path – (A Holy Book in the prayer of Lord Hanuman) goes on throughout these nine days. The male child is dressed as Langoors – Monkeys, during “Langoor Wala Mela” in bright red outfits laced with Golden or Silver lining. Their faces are smeared with fuller’s earth in order to look like Langoors and a big tail with an artificial mace completes the appearance. To a procession of band and music, they reach the temple, offer prayers daily for a period of nine days.
On the concluding day of Navratri, Langoor will take off their simian outfits near the banyan tree where their parents have tied the thread. Now parents of the Langoor will untie a thread since Lord Hanuman has fulfilled their wishes. Thus, the annual function at this Bada Hanuman Mandir is attended by people from far off places. The idol of Lord Hanuman here is a “rare” one, as it is one of the two sculptures that show him in a sitting position. The other being the Lord Hanuman Gadri in Ayodhya.
Sheesh Mahal Of Punjab
Built-in 1989, in Rani Ka Bagh, the temple is a replica of the famous sacred Vaishnodevi Temple at Katra. This temple used to be the shrine of 20th Century “Female Saint”, Mata Lal Devi Ji, popularly known as “Pujya Mata Ji” – (Respected Mother Figure), a human-deity who lived on fruits and milk all her life. The temple is believed to be full of miraculous powers. Considering that people who particularly want to start a family, come for blessings from here and with the blessings of the bespectacled female deity, all their wishes are fulfilled shortly after. Because of the fact, it attracts people from all over India. We can see a swarm of people inside the temple praying and chanting Bhajans in the praise of Mata Lal Devi Ji. Renamed as Lal Bhawan, after the presiding deity, during “NAVRATARAS” it remained crowded with devotees from early hours of the morning to late hours of the night. The “ASHTAMI JAGRAN” is celebrated with great zeal and zest in the temple premises and is attended by hundreds of people.
The hallway of the temple is adorned with a spectrum of colorful mirrors with lights popularly called as the Sheesh Mahal by many. there are numerous vivid, intricately designed brilliant altars in the primary mandir. With some twisted pathways, ankle-deep waterways, there is a series of shrines and caves inside the temple. Being a home to various deities besides Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma, Goddess Kali, and Goddess Saraswati, it has a sacred seat for “Mata Ji” in the center of all.
The distinct feature about this Hindu temple is that the main Prashad that is offered to the devotees of this temple from Mata Lal Devi Ji, is the Pushps – (The Flower Petals), which is regarded as highly sacred by people and believed to be a cure for all sicknesses. Apart from eating that Prashad, people also keep it in their wallets and purses as a mark of Blessings from revered Mata Ji and believe that the same will bring some good fortune to them. Another peculiar feature of this temple is the “Gufa” – (a Little water channel) which is a miniature of popular Vaishno Devi Gufa, with all the three deities residing in – Maa Katyayni Devi, Maa Chintpurni Devi, and Maa Jwala Devi. One needs to cross the caves by bending and crawling through some parts. These peculiar features of this temple make it distinct from all. Experience the sanctity of the temple with our Wagah Border Tour during your visit to the Holy City.
Situated at another part of the city near Tilak Nagar, the temple was built by two brothers from Uttar Pradesh who were believed to be called the biggest and staunch believers of Lord Shiva, hence is the name of the temple. It was originally built and maintained by migrant workers of UP (residents of UP are colloquially called Bhaiya), over time the temple came to be known as Bhaiyan Da Shivala Mandir or Shivala Bagh Bhaiyan. Crowded mostly during Shivratri apart of almost all days, the temple has a swarm of devotees on every Mondays. Filled with idols of almost all the deities, the temple has a simple and serene environment that attracts its devotees from far off places even. The practice of daily evening Aarti at the temple is a treat for your soul. It soothes and calms your soul and gives you motivation and a driving force to work ahead. This is a temple worth visiting for its divine energy and ambiance.
According to Hindu Astrology, Shani refers to the planet Saturn and is one of the nine heavenly objects called “Navagraha”. According to Puranas, Lord Shani is a powerful male deity – “The God of Justice”. It is believed that it is this deity who conquers our lives and decides our results depending upon our good or bad Karma – “Deeds”. Shani Dev – as is popularly revered as, has an iconography consists of a handsome figure carrying a sword or a scepter and sitting on a crow. Believed to be the son of Surya Dev and Goddess Chhaya, Shani Dev defines our life based on the thoughts, deeds, and speech.
People in India believe in Kundali System – a book which is made at the time of the birth of an individual and perhaps contains the complete life circle according to the Navgrahas in one’s life. As a staunch believer in this system, some people think that in order to enjoy all the pleasures of life smoothly, it is important to please Shani Dev. So they offer their prayers to this old Shani Temple situated near to Golden Temple Complex and their offerings include a piece of black cloth, some sesame seeds immersed in oil which are believed to be much liked by Lord Shani Dev.
The temple is basically over-crowded on all Saturdays while moderately crowded on the rest of the days of the week. People from far-off distances pay their homage in this temple.
So next time planning a tour to Amritsar, here you know what all to look for.