Amritsar – April 2018 : Day 1

Amritsar, a city in Punjab; located 28 kms from the border with Pakistan and home to the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib), the most sacred gurdwara of the Sikh religion. We are going to spent two days in this city.

Day 1: Itinerary

  • Arrival @ Amritsar
  • Lunch @ Crystal restaurant
  • Shopping for Phulkari dupattas
  • Mall of Amritsar
  • Dinner @ Hyatt

Arrival @ Amritsar

Started off from Bangalore at 10:00 am on a direct Indigo flight and after a comfortable 3 hour journey, landed at the Amritsar airport at 1:00 pm. Amritsar is hot, current temperature 34°C; but we quickly got into our waiting taxi. Our driver suggested lunch first, at a restaurant called Crystal.

A model of the Golden Temple at the Amritsar airport
A model of the Golden Temple at the Amritsar airport

Lunch @ Crystal restaurant

We were famished and lunch was good. We were just in time to get a table. The restaurant seemed quite popular and the tables filled fast for Sunday lunch. Started off with lemon juice and a mojito and then we ordered the Butter Chicken, Sheekh Kebab and Roti. The dessert Chocolate Struggle was a pleasure.

Shopping for Phulkari duppattas

My cousin reminded me to get something in Phulkari from Amritsar. It’s the first time I am hearing about this traditional thread-work. Phulkari is famous in Punjab, just like chikankari in Lucknow and kantha in West Bengal. Phulkari is an embroidery work using linear stitches to create intricate patterns. I was hoping to buy some dupattas with the phulkari work and requested our driver to take us to some shops selling the same.

He asked whether we wanted to visit the wholesale shop or a pricier one. I chose the pricier one and we stopped at a shop called Raja Exclusive. Escorted upstairs, we were shown a few dupattas and asked for the price range we were looking at. With that go-ahead, more were displayed. The embroidery came in vibrant colours and they are beautiful. It’s easy to go overboard and had to consciously tone down the number of pieces I selected. Very happy about the purchase and the dupattas were very pretty.

Mall of Amritsar

This is located right next to our hotel Hyatt. We ventured into the mall out of curiosity; the mall was relatively less crowded on the Sunday evening as compared to a mall in Bangalore or even Kochi. We looked around and head back to our hotel for dinner.

Mall of Amritsar, located next to Hyatt
Mall of Amritsar, located next to Hyatt

Dinner @Hyatt

We are staying at Hyatt for the 2 days. The proximity to the Mall of Amritsar is a bonus. The room was comfortable, staff courteous and good food; all making for a comfortable stay. One noticeable fact was the checking of the bags each time you enter the hotel. It’s not just during the check-in, each time you step out and come back in, the bags are checked; maybe because we are so close to the border.

Our package included the room rent and complimentary breakfast. Dinner was charged separately. There was an elaborate buffet spread for dinner, but we chose a la carte and tired the Sangria, Tandoori chicken and Chicken biryani. Skipped dessert.

Tomorrow sight-seeing.

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