The Golden temple is also known as Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib. It is a significant Sikh temple, which is located in the city of Amritsar. It is the central Gurdwara or Sikh place of worship the world over. Thousands of people visit the Golden Temple every year and is one of the most visited places in Punjab. The proper name is Harmandir which means "temple of God", while some refer it to as darbar, which means "court". The Golden Temple has some unique features.
People gather here to listen to hymns, and also pay respect to the Guru Granth Sahib Holy Scripture being read here. Langar - a meal provided to all the pilgrims who visit is a free meal which is prepared in the Golden Temple. The preparations are carried out by worshipers and pilgrims and volunteers. Donations are made by people, which is used for the cost of the meal and maintenance of the temple.
The lessons taught here are of egalitarianism and humility. The four entrances symbolize the unity of people from all walks of life.
The history of The Golden Temple begins from 1574, when Akbar the Mughal Emperor gifted the land to the daughter of the third Guru Amar Das, when she married Jetha who later became the fourth Guru, Guru Ram Das. In 1577, Guru Ram Das started to construct a fresh water tank. In 1588, Guru Arjun Dev, the son of Guru Ram Das and also the fifth guru, oversaw the foundation of the temple. He also completed the construction and compiled the Adi Granth after five years. In 1606, Guru Har Govind set the foundation stone of the Akal Takht, which is the throne of the spiritual authority. In 1699, Bhai Mani Singh was appointed curator of the temple.
After the attack of the Afghan king in 1757, Maharaja Ranjit Singh sponsored marble inlay, the gold plating in 1830. However, in 1984, the Golden Temple was attacked by Sikh separatists and the Indian army troops fought into the temple compound and killed around 500 Sikh rebels. 100 Indian soldiers died here that took place for several hours.
The Golden Temple has a unique architectural style and is built at a level lower than the ground. There are four entrances here known by various names. The temple is a two storey marble structure and can be reached by the Guru's bridge. The upper floor is gold plated and crowned with a dome and the lower floor is made with white marble and has walls decorated with motifs. The architecture is a great blend of Hindu and Muslim styles.
The Golden Temple can be visited anytime. The time of festivals can be the best time to visit the temple. However, this period attracts huge crowds. Summer is too hot and winter too cold. So the best time to visit is October and March.
Golden temple is located in Amritsar, in Punjab, India. It is situated in the Majha region of the state of Punjab.
How to Reach
The Golden Temple can be reached by road, train and air. While in Amritsar, one can easily reach by taking a taxi to the Golden temple. Other forms of local transport here are cycle rickshaws and city buses. Other cities are also well connected to the Golden Temple. Delhi is 435 km and Chandigarh is 235 km from the Golden Temple.
Amritsar is well connected by rail with Mumbai, Varanasi, Delhi, Kolkata and other major places in India.
Amritsar is also well connected by air to other parts of the country. One can easily fly from Delhi and Srinagar to Amritsar. Most of the flights are from Delhi, which is an hour away. There are international connections as well.
Last Updated on : 14/08/2013