Amritsar district, situated in the north-western part of India is a district of Punjab state with its administrative headquarters located at Amritsar city. The Amritsar city is one of the largest cities of Punjab state. Earlier, the place Amritsar was popularly known as Ramdaspur and colloquially as Ambarsar. Natives of the district believe that the district got its name from the administrative headquarters city i.e. Amritsar and the term Amritsar is derived from Amrit Sarovar, the holy tank that surrounds the Golden Temple. Therefore, the word Amritsar literally means a “Pool of Nectar”. During the period of British Rule in India, Amritsar was under the Lahore division and administratively at that time it comprised 3 tehsils likewise-Amritsar, and Ajnala. However in 1947 during the period of partition of India, the district of Amritsar was carved out from the rest of its earlier divisions and declared as a part of India. At the time of India’s partition, most of the Muslim population of the district left for Pakistan on the other hand the Hindu and Sikh population of the West Punjab were started to migrate in the opposite direction since the West Punjab was stated as a part of the newly created Pakistan.
Hans Raj Khanna, a legendary judge of the Supreme Court of India (1971-1977) and the chairman of the 8th Law Commission of India (1977-1979) was born on 3rd July, 1912 at Amritsar city. The Government of India honoured him with the most prestigious Padma Vibhushan award in 1999. Kiran Bedi, an eminent Indian politician, social activist, former tennis player and a retired police officer was born on 9th June, 1949 at Amritsar city. She joined the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1972 and became the first woman police officer of India. The President of India awarded her the President's Police Medal for bravery in 1979.
Geographically, the district lies at 31063' N latitude, 74087' E longitude and 219 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 1.00% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 2,683 sq km. and it is bounded by Gurdaspur district on the North West, Tarn Taran district on the South, Pakistan on the North and North West and Kapurthala district on the South East. The prominent rivers that flows through the district are Beas and Ravi. The climate of the district is characterised as semiarid climate. The actual rainfall in the district was 503.7 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 4 tehsils namely Amritsar-I, Amritsar-II, Ajnala and Baba Bakala. Moreover, it comprises 4 sub-districts, 15 towns and 703 villages. The administrative language in the district is Punjabi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 24,90,656 out of which 13,18,408 are males and 11,72,248 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 889 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 15.47% including 14.36% are males and 16.73% are females. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 44,064 including 24,906 were males and 19,158 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 27,564 including 16,361 were males and 11,203 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Sikh with 68.94% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Punjabi with 94.30%.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. Most of the lands in the district are use for agricultural purposes. More than half of its population are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are wheat, paddy, maize, cotton, sugarcane, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these agricultural products helps in its economy to a great extent. The district is scantily industrialised but it has some prominent agro based industries. In the year 2016-17 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 33,91,689 lakh at current price and Rs. 28,32,704 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. In the year 2016-17 the net domestic product in the district was Rs. 30,46,388 lakh at current price and Rs. 25,30,232 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the year 2016-17 was Rs. 1,12,955 at current price and Rs. 93,817 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. Some of its recognised educational institutions are Guru Nanak Dev University, Indian Institute of Management, Khalsa College, St. Francis School, Guru Ram Das Dental College, Hindu Sabha College, Shahzada Nand College for Women, Sri Guru Tej Bahadur College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 76.27% out of which 80.15% are males and 71.96% are females.
Krishan Kant, the tenth Vice President of India (1997-until his death) was born on 28th February 1927 at Amritsar city. Prior to that, he was served as a Governor of Andhra Pradesh from 1990 to 1997. During different periods of time he was a member of different political parties likewise Indian National Congress, Janata Party and Janata Dal.
During the year 2018, there were 2,59,01,911 domestic tourists and 10,33,106 foreign tourists who visited the district. The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Golden Temple, located at the Amritsar city is famous for its full golden dome. Moreover, it is one of the most sacred pilgrim destinations for Sikhs as well. The temple stands on a 67 ft sq of marble and surrounded by many other renowned temples. Jalianwala Bagh, a public park in Amritsar district which is associated with huge historical significance. Jalianwalabagh Massacre was one of the major incidents of India's freedom struggle. Ram Bagh, a beautiful garden with a statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh is named after Guru Ram Das, the founder of the city. At present, the summer palace of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh has been converted into a museum which depicts the history very well. Durgiana temple, situated in the Amritsar district was constructed in the third decade of the 20th century. The temple was not built in the traditional Hindu architecture style but its style is just similar to the Golden Temple. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Ram Tirath, Pul Kanjari, Jama Masjid Khairuddin, Samadhi of Guru Angad Dev Ji, Samadhi of Shravan, etc.