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Amritsar historically also known as Rāmdāspur and colloquially as Ambarsar) is a city in the north-western part of India. It is the spiritual center for the Sikh religion and the administrative headquarters of the Amritsar district in the state of Punjab.

It is home to the Harmandir Sahib (referred to as the "Golden Temple" in the western media), the spiritual and cultural center for the Sikh religion. This important Sikh shrine attracts more visitors than the Taj Mahal with more than 100,000 visitors on week days alone and is the most popular destination for Non-resident Indians (NRI) in the whole of India. The city also houses the Sikh temporal and political authority, Akal Takht, as well as the Sikh Parliament.

The 2011 Indian census reported the population of the city to be 1,132,761. Amritsar is situated 217 kilometres (135 mi) northwest of state capital Chandigarh and is 32 kilometres (20 mi) east of Lahore, Pakistan and therefore, very close to India's western border with Pakistan.

The main commercial activities include tourism, carpets and fabrics, farm produce, handicrafts, service trades, and light engineering. The city is known for its rich cuisine and culture, and for the tragic incident of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in 1919 under British Rule. Amritsar is home to Central Khalsa Orphanage, which was once a home to Shaheed Udham Singh, a prominent figure in the Indian independence movement.
Prior to the partition of the country, Amritsar occupied an unrivalled position in the business and commercial scene of undivided Punjab. Situated on important trade routes, its trade extends to Kabul, Kashmir and Tibet, even today. Although, the Partition left it a border town and did away with much of its erstwhile importance as a trade center.

The city was founded by Guru Ramdas Sahib, the fourth Guru of the Sikhs, in the late 16th century, who also built a magnificent temple to serve as a central place of pilgrimage for the Sikhs. The design of the shrine included the construction of a tank round the proposed temple. The site lay in picturesque surroundings where the congregations met for prayer and contributed voluntary labour to build the tank under the personal guidance of the Guru. Later, the place grew to be a sprawling town.

It was the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Sahib, who developed the shrine and the town on a larger scale. He built a beautiful temple, in the middle of the sacred tank, which is better known as the Golden Temple today. Hazrat Sheikh Mian Mir, a Muslim saint, who was a great friend and admirer of the guru, laid the foundation stone of this temple. By this time guru Arjan Dev finished compiling the Sikh scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, which was placed in the temple with great reverence. Devotional hymns from the holy book are recited daily and thousands of people come here for spiritual solace.