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Amritsar Gay Travel

Personalized Amritsar gay travel advice including where to stay, top experiences, local gay life & travel tips.

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The Gay Travel Experience: Amritsar, India

Indian people are as friendly as they come. Amritsar’s tranquility is perfect for the lone gay traveler or anyone seeking raw beauty. The city welcomes people of all kinds from around the world.

gay travel Amritsar India

Amritsar is one of the cities that gives me the most nostalgia out of all the places I’ve visited around the world. I would absolutely love to go back.

visiting Amritsar India
gay travel Amritsar India

Interacting with locals was quite easy since they are all so friendly and eager to talk to westerners. This made being a solo traveler super easy.

visiting Amritsar India

Residents are genuinely happy to welcome tourists to their city. The common question is “how did you learn about Amritsar?”

Amritsar Gay Travel: Hotels & Where to Stay

Hotels in Amritsar are extremely affordable, which is great if you’re a budget traveler.

Staying in a hotel near the Golden Temple will give you the best experience. Most of what you’ll want to explore in Amritsar will be directly in this area.

hotel city park room Amritsar
Amritsar hotel
hotel city park room Amritsar

I stayed a Hotel City Park, which was modern and in a great location. It was perfect for a comfortable, authentic Amritsar experience.

They offered wonderful breakfasts each day in their large dining room, as well as a peaceful rooftop. Each morning I would stand on the rooftop, gazing at the low-rise structures for what seemed like forever.

Amritsar hotel

Amritsar Experiences for the Gay Traveler

The Golden Temple is the obvious draw to Amritsar, the holiest city of Sikhism. This magnificent site grounds the city in peace.

The temple is a glitzy structure surrounded by fountain waters and marble walkways. Sikhs flock here to pay respects and I bet you will see some bathing in the water!

Amritsar golden temple night
Amritsar golden temple night
visiting Amritsar golden temple

The wide-open perimeter walkways are perfect to visit both day and night. I particularly liked visiting after dusk while everything is lit up.

Visitors can also wait in line with the Sikhs to see the temple up close. As you enter the walled area surrounding the temple, grab a head covering (showing hair is not allowed) and rinse your feet in the water.

Toss your sandals aside and take it all in. The rhythm of the music played constantly is mesmerizing and seemed to relax me.

golden temple
golden temple

Walk the main strip through town at night, leading to and from the Golden Temple. The roads are called Golden Temple Way and Golden Temple Road.

The glow of all the buildings is lovely. The municipality has put significant effort into beautifying this area, so make sure to experience it.

visiting Amritsar golden temple

Side streets in this area have small shops where you can purchase souvenirs. I liked browsing the shops especially because these places aren’t flooded with tourists.

Amritsar isn’t a global destination for westerners, so you can take in all the authentic Punjabi markets. Don’t forget to barter!

Although I felt safe the entire time, some areas outside the city center are quite poor and not very developed. Take a trek off the beaten path so you can observe the local life. It’s mesmerizing to see how these neighborhoods buzz all day.

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India-Pakistan Border Ceremony

Absolutely go to the India-Pakistan Border Ceremony in Attari. Ask your hotel to arrange a car to drive you there, or book a border ceremony ticket in advance. This unforgettable ceremony takes place once per day.

In the late afternoon, the Indian army and Pakistani army perform a routine on their respective sides of the border wall.

Attari border ceremony
gay traveler with soldier
Attari border ceremony

At the end of the performance, which is essentially a display of power, the armies slam their gates shut. This signifies the tense relations between these nations.

Both the Indian and Pakistani sides play very loud music to a cheering crowd in a nationalistic fashion, so it is quite a rowdy show!

gay traveler with soldier

The group on the Pakistan side will be clearly visible. As a westerner, this is the closest I will probably ever get to Pakistan. Lahore is just a short distance away and it was surreal, to say the least.

Upon arrival, your driver will park and you begin your journey on a long trail toward the border. Bring some extra rupees for water.

india pakistan border
tours in Amritsar
india pakistan border

Indians and tourists alike wait in line, are checked at a security booth, and then proceed toward the stadium. Ranks of visitors will be assigned benches. Citizens of India are seated separately.

At the end of the ceremony, there will be an opportunity to get a photo with an Indian soldier!

tours in Amritsar

Gay Amritsar: Nightlife

There is not really any gay nightlife in Amritsar, as you might have imagined. Frankly, there isn’t really any straight nightlife either! The locals actually prefer to enjoy some drinking at home.

Amritsar gay nightlife
Amritsar gay nightlife

You may read about how Sikhism prohibits the consumption of alcohol and other intoxicants, but the truth is that many Sikhs do in fact drink. Smoking, however, is rare amongst the Sikhs.

The only place you will truly be able to grab a beer will be in the comfort of your hotel. But who is traveling to Amritsar for nightlife, anyway?

Amritsar Travel Tips

The most important tip I can give you is don’t wear shorts! If you do, locals will look at you like you have three heads. This screams “uninformed tourist.” It is just customary here, so grab a pair of lightweight, breathable pants for your explorations.

border ceremony Amritsar india

India’s heat will definitely make you sweat. When exploring, I always carry these cleansing skin wipes, which have an exfoliating side that helps wipe away dirt. You’ll also be better off with breathable underwear.

Amritsar gay travel experience
Amritsar gay travel experience

If you use an American Express card, you may want to consider bringing a different card type. I had frequent difficulty paying for hotels with my old Amex card while in India, which isn’t uncommon in many countries these days. You certainly can’t go wrong with Visa or Mastercard.

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India Gay Rights

Being gay is still taboo in India and homophobia is still prevalent, although it is on the decline. India still has a long way to go regarding LGBT inclusiveness. The laws regarding homosexuality have oscillated over the years with a recent positive outcome.

India decriminalized homosexuality in 2009. Then in 2013, this ruling was reversed with the government deferring to legislators on the issue. However in September 2018, the Indian high court unanimously agreed to decriminalize same-sex relations, a huge step forward.

Amritsar travel tips
border ceremony Amritsar india
Amritsar travel tips

Tolerance of the LGBT community in India is slowly but surely changing. There is significant support for LGBT people in most large Indian cities. They are much less conservative here, as you might expect.

Enjoy your stay in this wonderful north Indian city. If you travel to Amritsar, I’d love to know about your Amritsar gay experience.

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Explore more of India with wolfyy’s Mumbai and Delhi gay travel guides.

For additional resources, visit the official Punjab Tourism website.

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