Travel Information – Amritsar
By Road :
You can drive into Amritsar from neighboring states. Bus services also connect Amritsar with most north Indian towns, including Chandigarh (235 Kms), Delhi (450 Kms), Shimla, Kulu, Manali, Dharamshala and Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh, Dehradun and Rishikesh in Uttar Pradesh and Jammu . There is also a bus service to Lahore , 35 km away, which is the only overland connection between India and Pakistan.
Mega Cabs (+91 183 5151515) and City Cabs (+91 183 6060606) service is available in the City.
Amritsar is connected by direct trains to major Indian cities like Delhi , Jammu , Mumbai, Nagpur , Calcutta and Puri .
For more details visit http://www.indianrail.gov.in (Official site of ministry of railways)
By Air:- The Rajasansi airport, about 11 km. from town, is connected by domestic flights to Delhi , Srinagar and Chandigarh . You can get to town by a pre-booked rented car, taxis or auto-rickshaws.
Summer months between May and August are hot and dry in Amritsar, when day temperatures go beyond 40° C. Monsoons bring some respite, while winters are cold with minimum temperatures falling down to 4° C.
Punjabi,Hindi,English & Urdu
Shopping options mostly revolve around handicrafts and rugs with prices being competitive, and a little bargaining being of good use. Woolen blankets and sweaters are cheaper in Amritsar than in other parts of India as they are locally manufactured. Katra Jaimal Singh in the old city is a good shopping area.
Culture and Crafts :
Amritsar , as other parts of Punjab , has a rich tradition of folk songs and dances. There are songs for every occasion, be it a marriage, birth of a baby or the harvesting season. Couplets in Punjabi are part of the day-to-day life of its people. There is also a strong influence of Sufism and devotional songs reflect this influence. Festive occasions are livened up by singing to the beats of the dholak (drum) and the vigorous Bhangra dance. Both men and women participate in this rhythmic and energetic dance form.
Amritsar has a craft tradition in gold and artificial jewellery, handcrafted furniture with ivory inlay work, leather jutties (embroidered shoes), swords, oils and perfumes. In recent times, it has also become a leading centre for trade in woollen blankets and shawls, musical instruments and cut glass crockery.
Currency & Costs :
The Indian rupee is available in denominations of Re1, Rs2, Rs5, Rs10, Rs20, Rs50, Rs100 and Rs500. One rupee is split into a hundred paise , available in denominations of 10p, 25p and 50p. There are coins for Re1, Rs2 and Rs5.
A healthy budget in Punjab is about $35 a day that will see you sleep in decent clean beds and wake up to an attached bathroom for morning ablutions. It’ll fetch you three decent meals, a spot of shopping and some auto-rickshaw rides. The dollar goes a long way in the country (the pound sterling, longer). The bare minimum is just under $15 a day, while a top end holiday could reach the skies.
Banks & Money Changers:
Banking in Punjab is becoming easier. There are a sizeable number of ATMs in Chandigarh and Amritsar . Banking hours usually are 10 AM to 2 PM Monday to Friday and 10 AM to 12-noon on Saturdays. Changing money can be a tedious process so change substantial amounts at a time. The banks accept travellers’ cheques or currency. Changing money anywhere but at accredited bureau is illegal.
Save up all exchange receipts (encashment certificates); these are required for visa extensions and other formalities, and when you want to convert rupees at the end of your trip.