The Golden Temple is the most renowned landmark in Amritsar, known for its profound importance and engineering excellence. This Gurudwara, also called Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib, is the holiest pilgrimage site of Sikhism and one of the major tourist attractions in India. If Amritsar is the next place on your list, be sure to include this spectacular place of worship in your itinerary. Since it is located in the city's heart, it is easily accessible from your hotels in Amritsar.
Here is all the information related to the Foundation of Golden Temple and the current scenario as well:
The Foundation of Golden Temple was laid in 1581 by Miya Mir Ji, and the development was finished in 1588. In 1604, a copy of Adi Granth, the main scripture of Sikhism, was brought to the Gurudwara by Guru Arjan, the fifth Guru of the Sikhs. At that time, the place was called Ath Sath Tirath. Over the years, the shrine was destroyed several times by the rulers of the Mughal Empire and the Muslim armies invading Afghanistan.
The present building of the Gurudwara dates back to the 18th century. Its development was begun in 1764 under the oversight of Sultan-e-Quam Sardar Jassa Singh and was finished in 1776. About 50 years later, Maharaja Ranjit Singh redesigned the Gurudwara and finished it with gold foil in 1830, which prompted the Harmandir Sahib to become known as Golden Temple.
In 1984, the Golden Temple turned into the location of contention between some outfitted Sikh assailants covering up in the vicinity of the heavenly altar and the Indian Government. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, ordered the Indian Army to enter the shrine and carry out Operation Blue Star. This military operation in the Golden Temple leftover 1000 dead, including militants, civilians, and soldiers. The shrine was also badly damaged. By and by, the Sikh people group met up and redesigned the sanctuary.
The Golden Temple is situated in the centre of the Amrit Sarovar. The shrine shows influences of various architectural styles, including Indo-Islamic Mughal architecture and Hindu Rajput architecture. It is a two-storey structure. While the lower level of the shrine is made of marble, the upper level is covered with gold panels. A 750 kg gilded dome is on the top of the structure. Even the doors of the shrine are covered with gold foil.
The interiors of the shrine are decorated with magnificent floral motifs and frescoes. Verses from the Sikh scriptures are engraved in gold lettering on the arches of the shrine. The Gurudwara has four entrances from which the only one is in use.
The Golden Temple in Amritsar, India comprises many buildings around the main shrine and water body. The most important of them is Akal Takht or one of the five power seats in Sikhism. A clock tower, museum, offices and a community kitchen called Langar here can also be seen.
Inside the Golden Temple, several ceremonies take place daily. The most important ceremonies are:
This function alludes to the end of the Guru Granth Sahib around evening time and sets it in a very much brightened cart. It is then conveyed to the Akal Takht first floor, and the sacred book is set in a bed.
Each day, the Guru Granth Sahib is removed from the Akal Takht and conveyed in a bloom beautified cart to the internal sanctum of the Golden Temple.
Every day, thousands of people are provided with free food from the temple's community kitchen. During Langar, everyone sits on the same floor and have the same food without any discrimination.
There is no doubt that the Golden Temple is one of the most important tourist places in Amritsar today. Numerous people visit the temple daily to experience its spiritual aura, tranquilly and architectural beauty. The annual Vaisakhi festival is celebrated every year with much pomp and glory at Golden Temple. Besides, the birthday of Guru Nanak, the martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur and the birthday of Guru Ram Das is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the temple. During Diwali, the Golden Temple is spectacularly lit with earthen lamps or Diyas.
The sanctity and Foundation of the Golden Temple cannot be put into words; it can only be experienced. When you are done exploring the temple, be sure to visit some of the other historical sites in Amritsar nearby, including the Jallianwala Bagh. And do not forget to enjoy a meal at the famous Kesar Da Dhaba, one of the best restaurants in Amritsar, located just 500 meters from the Golden Temple complex.