Amritsar, India, a city in the state of Punjab, near the Pakistan border, about 255 miles (410 km) northwest of New Delhi. Amritsar has long been the religious and commercial center of the Sikhs. The Golden Temple, surrounded by a small lake called the Pool of Immortality, is their most sacred shrine. Textiles and carpets are notable products of the city's handicraft industry. A variety of food products and other consumer goods are manufactured here.
Amritsar was founded in 1577 by Ram Das, the fourth guru (leader) of the Sikhs. With the building of the temple, begun under Ram Das, the city grew as a stronghold of Sikhism. Early in the 20th century it was the scene of many attacks against British authority. In 1919 British troops fired on a public meeting, killing 400 persons. The Amritsar Massacre, as it is sometimes called, spurred the nationalist movement throughout India.