Risky Cities

Amritsar, Punjab, India

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Amritsar, located in the state of Punjab, India, is a city rich in history, culture, and religious significance. Known as the spiritual and cultural capital of Sikhism, Amritsar is home to the Golden Temple, the holiest shrine for Sikhs. With its vibrant atmosphere and historical landmarks, Amritsar attracts a considerable number of tourists each year. However, like any other city, it is essential to be aware of safety measures to ensure a pleasant and secure experience.

Amritsar has a population of approximately 1.2 million inhabitants as of the last available data in 2021. While the city is generally considered safe for residents and visitors, it's crucial to exercise caution and be aware of potential risks. Like in any urban area, crime does occur in Amritsar, but it is not considered a high-crime city compared to some other metropolitan areas in India. The crime rate in Amritsar is generally lower than the national average, but it is still advisable to take necessary precautions to ensure personal safety.

When examining the historical crime records of Amritsar, it's important to note that the city has had its share of incidents in the past. However, it is worth emphasizing that the authorities have taken several steps to improve safety and security in recent years. They have increased police presence and implemented measures to curb criminal activities. Nonetheless, it is always recommended to stay vigilant and informed about the current situation in the city.

While Amritsar is generally safe, it's wise to be cautious and avoid certain areas that might have a higher risk of petty crimes. Some neighborhoods, such as the old city area, may have crowded streets and narrow alleys, making it easier for pickpocketing or theft to occur. To mitigate these risks, it is advisable to keep valuable belongings secure and be mindful of your surroundings in such areas. Additionally, tourists should avoid walking alone in secluded or poorly lit areas, especially at night, as it could make them vulnerable to potential threats.

As for safe times of the day to be out, Amritsar is a bustling city that remains lively throughout the day. During daylight hours, the city is generally safe to explore, and the main tourist attractions, including the Golden Temple, are usually crowded with visitors. It's recommended to plan your visits to popular sites during daytime hours to ensure a safer experience. However, it is important to note that even during the day, it's advisable to exercise caution, especially in crowded areas where pickpocketing can occur.

In terms of safety advice specific to Amritsar, there are several key points to keep in mind. First and foremost, it is essential to respect the religious customs and cultural sensitivities of the Sikh community. When visiting the Golden Temple, it is customary to cover your head and remove your shoes before entering the premises. Modest attire is also appreciated, so it is advisable to dress appropriately, especially when visiting religious sites.

Another safety consideration is transportation. If you plan to use public transportation, such as rickshaws or taxis, it is advisable to use authorized and registered operators. Be cautious when hiring private transportation services and negotiate fares in advance to avoid any disputes. Additionally, if you are using ridesharing services, ensure that the driver's details match the information provided by the app.

When it comes to general safety practices, it is always a good idea to keep your personal belongings secure and avoid displaying expensive items or large amounts of cash in public. It's also recommended to maintain a low profile and avoid engaging in confrontations or arguments with locals or other tourists. In case of an emergency, the national emergency helpline number in India is 112, which can be used to reach police, ambulance, or fire services.