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Amritsar : Historically also known as Rāmdāspur and colloquially as Ambarsar, is a city in north-western India which is the administrative headquarters of the Amritsar district – located in the Majha region of the Indian state of Punjab.

According to the 2011 census, the population of Amritsar was 1,132,761 and it is the second most populous city of Punjab. It is one of ten Municipal Corporations in the state and Karamjit Singh Rintu is the current mayor of the city. The city is situated 217 km (135 mi) northwest of state capital Chandigarh and 455 km (283 miles) northwest of New Delhi, the national capital. It is near Pakistan, with the Wagah Border being only 28 km (17.4 mi) away. The closest major city is Lahore, the second largest city in Pakistan, located 50 km (31.1 mi) to the west.

Amritsar (literally, the tank of nectar of immortality) was founded in 1577 by the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das.

Sri Harmandir Sahib (“The abode of God”), also known as Darbar Sahib, (Punjabi pronunciation: [dəɾbɑɾ sɑhɪb]), informally referred to as the Golden Temple, is a Gurdwara located in Amritsar. It is one of the most revered spiritual sites of Sikhism.The construction of Harmandir Sahib is intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religions to worship God equally. The four entrances (representing the four directions) to get into the Harmandir Sahib also symbolise the openness of the Sikhs towards all people and religions. Over 100,000 people visit the shrine daily for worship, and also partake jointly in the free community kitchen and meal (Langar) regardless of any distinctions, a tradition that is a hallmark of all Sikh Gurdwaras.

The Ram Teerath situated at Amritsar is believed to be the Ashram site of Maharishi Valmiki, the writer of Ramayana. As per the Ramayana, 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 Kasur 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.

Amritsar has been chosen as one of the heritage cities for HRIDAY – Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana scheme of Government of India.

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