The Golden Temple in Amritsar: A Divine Abode
The Golden Temple, respectfully known as “Darbar Sahib”, is located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab. It is the holiest Shrine in Sikhism. It is also known as “harmandir” meaning “A Temple of God”. A place of prodigious beauty and splendid tranquility, it was built by the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji in the sixteenth century. The dome of the Gurdwara is gilded with gold, popularizing it by the name of “the Golden Temple”.
The Gurdwara was originally surrounded by a small lake in a quiet forest. The lake was later on enlarged by the fourth guru, Guru Ram Das Ji. After the construction of the temple, it was ornamented with designer marble, gold and precious stones. Within the premises of the temple, the sacred scripture of the Sikhs, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji or the Adi Granth is placed on a jeweled platform. There are four entrances to the Darbar Sahib, symbolizing the openness of the Sikhs towards all the religions.
The place has been a meditation retreat for wandering vagrants and sages for long premival. More than a lakh people visit the holy shrine daily for worship. The “Guru ka Langar” (free kitchen in English) is served throughout the day to the visitors. Hymns (Shabad) from the holy book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib are chanted from early in the morning until long past sunset. Echoing across the serene sarovar (lake) , this intriguing music imbues a powerful state of trance in the devotees promenading leisurely while doing parikrama around the sarovar. The placidity of the site relegates us to the canopy of heaven.
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