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The Golden Temple

The Golden Temple: The Most Sacred Destination for Sikhs


Golden Temple

Thousands of people throng the pious vicinity of the Golden Temple almost everyday. Along with being one of the most sacred pilgrimages for the followers of Sikhism, the Golden Temple has been welcoming followers from different religions, countries and creeds. Foreigners love visiting the Golden Temple due to the sacred peace that can be felt here. In addition, it is also a brilliant display of Sikh architecture, endowing rare moments of natural photography to the tourists.


The Golden Temple is also known as Darbar Harmandir Saheb, which signifies the “Temple of God.” Located in the Northern Punjab, the Golden Temple was originally only a small lake amidst the forest, where presumably Lord Buddha also used to contemplate. Later, this sacred site gained more significance after 2000 years with Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, frequently meditating near the lake. It was only the fourth Sikh Guru Ram Das who enlarged the lake in 1577 AD, while the Fifth Guru Arjuv Dev led to the construction of the HarMandir, the Temple of God. Over the years, the temple had been invaded by the Muslim Rulers but it was built again by the Sikhs. The tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh started the tradition of following the sacred Guru Granth Sahib.

Every day, more than 1,00,000 followers come to experience the peace and divine blessings at the Golden Temple. The rhythmic melody of Gurbani, freely flowing from the sacred devotion of the granthi (reader) is definitely one of the miraculous and healing experiences in life. The Temple also provides meals for the needy, with the Sikhs voluntarily coming together and helping in preparing and distributing the meals.


The Golden Temple is known for its unique and special Sikh architecture. Interestingly, in spite of being a blend of both Muslim and Hindu architectures, the Golden Temple stands out to be unique and different. For example, the vocabulary of this architecture is different from the other Gurudwaras. The architecture is built at a level lower than the land, which signifies that the followers need to climb down the Gurudwara and pay their respect to the almighty.


Central Sikh Museum

Places to visit in the Golden Temple


Central Sikh Museum: It is also known as Ajaib Ghar. It is located in the clock tower building, near to the entry of Ganta Ghar side and at the eastern side of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib. It is known for the preserving the paintings of important Sikh leaders, saints and the Sikh warriors who lost their lives in the first and second world war. The in-depth journey of Guru Nanak Dev is also included in the important collection of the museum. The priceless art work of artists like SG Thakur Singh, Karpal Singh, Gurwinderpal Singh and Sobha Singh are also present in the collection.

Ramgarhia Bunga: This three storeyed building is one of the main marvels of Sikh architecture. It was  built by Maharaja Jassa Singh Ramgarhia  in 1794. Originally, such structures were built to protect the Golden Temple from atttacks during the Mughal Era. Initially 22 such towers were constructed to protect the HarMandir, but with lapse in time, only two remain as of now.

Langar Hall: It denotes the free kitchen or canteen, where people from different religious, castes, sects and creed assemble to eat. This tradition was started by Guru Nanak Dev. Vegetarian food and non-alcoholic beverages are served during the langar for free. The Langar Hall at the Golden Temple serves around 75,000 people every day.


Gurudwara

Ath Sath Tirath: It is the raised marble slab located near to the Dukh Bhanjani Ber. It is considered to be the sacred shine of 68 Holy Places. It is considered to be very auspicious and is believed that anyone who takes a bath here has supposedly earned the blessings from 68 other holy places. It is believed that it was at this place where small manuscripts of Gurubani had been kept, years ago, when they were obtained from the Gurus.


Gurudwara Manji Sahib Diwan Hall: The daily code of conduct or Hukamnama is read to the devotees everyday at this Hall. The hymns included in Guru Granth Sahib is also sung here, creating a very peaceful, rythmic and liberating atmosphere.

When to Reach: The Golden Temple is open for worshipping all round the year. Festivals like Vaisakhi and Diwali, when it is festooned with lights and decorations.


How to Reach:
Air: The nearest airport to the Golden Temple is the Amritsar International Airport, located at a distance of 13 km.
Rail: The distance between the Golden Temple and the Amritsar Railway Station is 6 km.
Road: The distance between Amritsar Bus Station and the Golden Temple is 39 km.



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