Amritsar or Ambarsar is famous for the Harmandir Sahib or the famous Golden Temple. As well as the Jalianwala Bagh. Foodies will of course keep the food scene in mind too. Not to forget the wonderful textiles and carpet markets.
We landed in Amritsar on a beautiful, weekend winter evening. The drive from the airport to the centre of the city was hardly of half an hour. We had chosen a wonderful place to stay in, right in the middle of the old city from where the Golden temple was hardly 800 meters away. There were markets on all four sides including the cloth market and all the good eateries all around ... the farthest being 2 kms away ... the only place where we needed a cab to go to. All other places we walked to ... making our evenings very fruitful in more than one ways.
The man cut them up and served them hot with a dash of lemon juice and rock salt. Awesome!
Amritsar streets are full of such small vendors selling all kinds of street food. From kulche chole being sold off handcarts to samosas to puri chole to gol gappas to boiled eggs ... the list is endless.
Traffic is pure mayhem. Roads are narrow inside the old city and it will seem like everybody is driving into everybody .... rickshaws, cars, bikes, people .... all honking, shouting out warnings, jostling against others to make a way. Crazy!
Waking up at 3 in the morning and changing two flights to get to Amritsar had left us a little tired.
So we decided to just look around and get an idea of the surroundings on that evening. Standing in the long line for drarshan and langar would be on the next day.
It was a beautiful evening with a light breeze and a little chill. All around, it was a festive feel. The huge area in front of the temple has a water fountain that played along with changing lights. People filled the whole place but there was no jostling or big sized crowds. The kirtan from inside the temple floated all around. We spent some time there ... clicking snaps and walking all around.
Walking through the flow of water that washes our feet, we stepped into the temple.
The first look is breathtaking .... especially in the evenings and nights, when the temple is all decked up with lights. With its reflection shimmering in the water, there stood a monument of faith; a witness of history that is now history itself.
It was beautiful.
Beera Chicken house is a small place with a few chairs outside. But there is good sized hall inside, complete with dining tables and chairs. You can park your car outside too and get your plate of food served there.
I was looking forward to trying out this place and was not disappointed by the food at all. It was close to 9:30 in the night yet the place was packed and people were still coming in. There were two boys working as fast as they could. Service was prompt and the food was fresh and hot.
The chicken tandoori at Beera's is by far the best I have eaten so far.
It was so good one has to taste it to know it. I do get good tandoori chicken in Pune ... and yes, it does not have the red colour too ... but this was something else altogether.
Done on a grill, the chicken was so succulent I could actually peel the pieces. The meat just melted and fell into my fingers. Totally out of the world!
B ordered Shahi Paneer and tandoori naan and roti, which again was wonderful in both taste and flavour. The roti is differently done ... not the usual tandoori roti that we get to see elsewhere. He did not take the butter but I did not refuse it on my Kheema paratha. After all I was in Punjab ... to taste Punjabi food. Good dhaba food.
Paired with fresh onions , a chutney, green chiilies and lemon juice sprinkled liberally all over, our first meal in Amritsar took us straight to food heaven.
If there is one place in Amritsar where I would love to eat again, it would be Beera's.
Only one evening in Amritsar and we were already in love with the place, its food and people.
Tomorrow will be another big day!
Darshan, Langar, more snacks and meals. And a surprise find ... all lined up.
Do stay tuned for my next post. :-)