Golden Temple

Golden Temple is the holiest pilgrimage site of Sikhs that draws devotees and travelers alike with its serenity and lustrous beauty. Also known as Harmandir Sahib and Darbar Sahib, it is sited in Amritsar city of Punjab. The sacred place observes inflow of thousands of visitors who come to take blessings of God and experience its ethereal charm. A visit to the temple renders immense peace that stimulates the spiritual self. Besides its peaceful atmosphere, it also lures visitors with its eye-catching work of gold-leaf on the temple dome.

Golden Temple

History

History reveals that the site for the sacred temple was chosen by the third Sikh Guru, Guru Amar Das. He was then succeeded by Guru Ram Das Ji who faced opposition from the sons of Guru Amar Das. Following which, Guru Ram Das Ji laid the foundation of a new city called Ramdaspur and invited merchants, traders and artisans to settle here. This tiny city in his hands slowly became popular as Amritsar. Guru Arjan also made significant contributions in the evolution of this city. In 1604, he installed the Sikh scripture 'Guru Granth Sahib' inside Golden temple. Since then the temple became the supreme pilgrimage site for Sikhs. His contributions also include a huge share of writings in the holy book and in another sacred book Sukhmani Sahib.

Architecture

The structure of the temple is a hypnotizing beauty that will leave you in awe of its magnificence. The golden-colored temple sits in the middle of a water moat called 'Amrit Sarovar' and is rimmed by a marble platform. Devotees take a holy dip in Amrit Sarovar as it is believed to help one get rid of sins. At the centre of it lies the main temple that is connected with a causeway with the gateway called Darshani Deorahi.

Walk to the sanctum and admire the majestic temple which is very likely to grab your attention with its sparkling dome with artful work of gold-leaf. Its architecture is an aesthetic blend of Hindu Rajput and Indo-Islamic Mughal style of architecture. You can see Mughal influences with the presence of in-lay work, onion dome, frescoes and multi-foil arches.

The sanctum and the causeway face Akal Takht, the residence of the Sikh scripture. It translates into 'the Throne of Timeless' referring to God. It was established by Guru Hargobind after the martyrdom of his father Guru Arjan. Guru Granth Sahib is taken to Akal Takht from the sanctum in the evening in Sukhasan ceremony and then again back to sanctum in the morning called Prakash ceremony, for devotees to take blessings.

After soaking in the blissful atmosphere, have Prasad in Langar, operated by Sikh community. It is an in-house 24/7 active open kitchen that serves free food to people regardless of caste, creed or race. It allows anyone to partake who wishes to offer free service to mankind.

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