History, memory, and contestation: challenges in preserving Amritsar's diverse heritage

Gurmeet S Rai, Churnjeet Mahn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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The city of Amritsar in the Indian state of Punjab was founded by the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das, in 1577 and since then has become one of the holiest and most recognised sites associated with the Sikh faith. The surrounding area was home to other sacred sites, such as the Ram Teerath, and contemporary Amritsar houses various religious monuments, illustrating the diversity of worship in the region. The narrative of Amritsar's significance, however, has been dominated by historical events in the 20th century, namely the massacre of a congregation in Jallianwala Bagh in 1919, violence in the aftermath of Partition in 1947, and the attack on the Golden Temple known as Operation Blue Star in 1984. Jallianwala Bagh and the Golden Temple have remained at the centre of the city's self-presentation of its heritage to tourists, the majority of whom come specifically to visit the temple.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHeritage Conservation in Postcolonial India
Subtitle of host publicationApproaches and Challenge
Place of PublicationNew York
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2020


  • Amritsar
  • craft guilds
  • faith
  • culture


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