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Amritsar – Sifti Da Ghar May 16, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : City, Food, Golden Temple, Review , trackback

Yesterday was a good day for me, a visit to Sri Harmandir Sahib – http://www.goldentempleimages.com always does good to me, it recharges me. As it was Sangrand, beginning of the month, even at 3:00 pm there were lots of  us for our own individual reasons.

Amritsar Airport was recently renovated you can smell it, but wait, there’s another smell and more visible changes happening. The new terminal is being demolished. A heritage oriented structure is being changed over to a swanky Iron & Glass House.  They could have retained this and made another, it would have been best. Why bring it down, and so quickly?

Ambarsar, as the locals call it, is known for Sri Harmandir Sahib. It is also known for being a foodies delight. Kundan, Kaiser, Gyan, Kanhiya, Bansal, Lubhaya are all legends. Papar and warian, a whole bazaar exists and they would gladly make you eat the raw Papar to understand how the cooked would taste. I try my level best to go to Gyan on my every visit, located at Chok Regent Cinema, Gyan to me is the finest Barfi you can have in the world, and why his lassi tastes the way it does remains a tasty mistry.

Amritsar is the city most visited by me and I am seeing the city change, the change is of course making the city yet another city of India, Amritsar is loosing its distinct character. None of the folklore lush green fields welcome you the minute you step out of the airport, it is the concrete, either done up or under construction.

The wikipedia link offers lots of information on Amritsar, but the soul of the city is missing, the information is more like 10 pages read one page written: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amritsar

So here is an attempt to define/ explain the statement which is as old as Sikhism:

Q: What is the meaning of Amritsar – Sifti Da Ghar?

A: To understand it fully we must reword the sentence – Amrutsar – Sifti Da Ghar, Amrut + Sar, (as per local fokelore first hand from generational chain) Amrut (Amrit) is used here to mean Pure, Pious, Water, Nectar and Medicinal and Sar means – Sarovar or a Pond or a Pool. A rough cut  meaning of Amritsar is a “The pool of pure, clean, pious and medicinal water”. Sifti as per them stands for Adorable, Appreciation and Praise. Da of course means “is” here, and Ghar means home which is an abode.  So Amritsar – Sifti Da Ghar means – ” The adorable  abode of the Pool with pure, pious and medicinal water”.

The city of Amritsar (also referred as ASR) gets its name from the Amrut Sarovar. The Amrut Sarovar’s digging on a lot of land which had a pond with medicinal values was initiated by the Fourth Guru Ram Das. The generational chain referred to earlier also substantiates that Guru Ram das initiated the same as per wishes of the third Guru, Guru Amar Das Ji. The sarovar per se is now popularly referred to as Ram Das Sarovar. Some devotees also refer to Amritsar as Amarsar, substituting Amrit for Amar, first name of the Third Guru.

If anyone disagrees with the above interpretation, I pray with my folded hands for a submission of your revered view, and may Wahe Guru “Bhulaan Chukaan Muaf Karnian” (Forgive me for my forgetfulness and mistakes).

More to come…


1. Gagandeep Singh - May 2, 2011

Yes you have done a good research.
But its amarsar is not because of fourth guru but due to local lunguage. its also pronounced as ambarsar and many similar words. Rest all is f9

2. simarprit - May 3, 2011

I agree “colloquial Punjabi” has a role to play in the way it is pronounced.

3. palak bedi - October 1, 2011

i like what u had written
I got many information about amritsar after reading this
so special thxxxxxxxxxxxxx to u simar :)

4. simarprit - October 20, 2011

Thank you, your comment motivates me. Have a good one.

5. Navdeep singh - January 24, 2012

I like this i have understood means of amritsar…good one

6. mvrangaraajan - November 15, 2012

I am very enthusiastic in pronouncing the names of places and persons correctly. Unfortunately in India, we had been indifferent to the danger of fading of “samskritham” which could have united India on language basis. English pronunciation is not always correct but through this language only the entire India knows the other far-off regions. The urge to know the meaning and correct pronunciation of “Amritsar” has been in my mind for a long time. Today it has been fulfilled. Thanks!

7. Sukhminder Singh - January 19, 2013

I personally feel the author has done a lot of hard work & deserves appreciation.

We all should know more about our history & heritage, lets stop it from getting destroyed, author is fully justified that old structure should be preserved & new one could have given alternate space nearby.

To bring all Amritsarians closer & save the history, I am working on http://www.SIFTIdaghar.com which will be operational in next few days, lets come together & preserve our city, punjabi culture & punjabiat.

One again all the praise for the author.

8. Sukhminder Singh - January 21, 2013

Palak, this gentelman has given infact a great master piece of knowledge