The Golden Temple in Amritsar is the holiest shrine of Sikhs, which forms one of the major pilgrimage centers of India.It is one of the oldest Sikh gurdwaras, which is revered by people of every caste and creed. Also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib, it is built on a 67 sq ft platform and is surrounded by a lake, the Amrit Sarovar (the pool of nectars). The sarovar supplies from the water of the holy Ganga is known for its healing properties. The holy pool or Sarovar witnesses a huge influx of pilgrims who perform abulations in order to do away with any sort of evils or diseases. There are entrances to the Golden Temple on all the four sides, which stands for the importance of acceptance and openness. The architecture of the temple stands for the unique blend of the Hindu and Muslim architecture and is so marvelous and enchanting.
An epitome of peace and spirituality Sri Harmandir Sahib, which means Temple of God is also known as Golden Temple because of its magnificent features. The most important part of the Golden Temple however is the Hari Mandir or Darbar Sahib which is a beautiful composition that is plated with gold and engraved with precious stones.
The most attractive parts however of this living edifice is the feast or Langar. A sanctified meal that feeds thousands of people every single day is served at the temple. Completely free of cost the meals at the Langar are specially prepared by worshippers who volunteer to be a part of something good.
History of Golden Temple
Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth Guru of the Sikhs, thought of having a common place of worship for the Sikhs. This thought inspired him to start the construction of Harmandir Sahib. Before him, Guru Amardas Sahib, the third Guru, had planned the excavation of Holy Tank (Amrit Sarovar), but it was executed only by Guru Ramdas Sahib, under the supervision of Baba Budha Ji. Guru Arjan Dev Ji laid the foundation of Golden Temple with the help of a Muslim saint Hazrat Mian Mir Ji of Lahore, on 1st of Magh (December 1588). The building work was completed in 1604 A.D. After the construction of Sri Harmandir Sahib was complete, Guru Arjan Dev Ji installed the Adi Granth in it. He appointed Baba Budha ji as its first Granthi i.e. the reader of Guru Granth Sahib. After this event, it attained the status of ‘Ath Sath Tirath’. Guru Granth Sahib, the 11th Guru of Sikhs, is revered as Holy Scripture of the Sikhs.
How to Reach
Golden Temple is one of the most visited pilgrimage centers in India. It boasts of a well-developed infrastructure, which allows for an easy accessibility from every part of the world. It is conveniently connected to the outside world by road, rail as well as by air.