Golden Temple is the most significant Sikh Shrine is located in Amritsar, Punjab, India. The construction of Golden Temple was initiate by fifth Sikh guru Shri Arjan Dev Ji.
The most famous Sikh Shrine ‘Golden Temple’ also known as Shri Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib is one of the primary attraction of Punjab, India. Gurudwara Golden Temple is located in Amritsar, Punjab. Golden Temple is held is very regard by not only the people following Sikh faith but also by people following different faiths and religions. Golden Temple is both majestic and tranquil.
The spiritual energy of the Golden Temple cannot be described in words. One has to go there to feel it.
The site of Golden Temple is considered holy as it is said that the founder of Sikh faith Guru Nanak Dev Ji meditated here.
History of Golden Temple:
The story of Golden Temple started in 1577 when the fourth Sikh Guru, Shri Guru Ram Dass Ji started digging the holy tank on this site and named it Amrit Sarovar. Later in 1588 fifth Sikh guru Shri Arjan Dev Ji brick-lined the Sarovar (Holy Tank). It is said the primary reason for choosing this place to build the shrine was that the founder of Sikh faith Guru Nanak Dev Ji meditated here.
The construction of the holy shrine of Golden Temple or Shri Harmandir Sahib was initiated by the fifth Sikh guru Shri Arjan Dev Ji. The construction work of the holy shrine of Golden Temple was completed in 1601.
In the year 1604 the holy text of Sikhs ‘Shri Guru Granth Sahib’ was completed and Shri Harmandir Sahib or Golden Temple was the first shrine to house the holy text. Baba Budha Ji was appointed as the first Granthi/ head priest in the Gurudawara.
Every morning the holy text Guru Granth Sahib is placed in the temple and in the night it is placed at Akal Takhat.
Gurudwara Shri Harmandir Sahib is not only a spiritual center but also a symbol of peace, harmony, and inclusivity.
Golden Temple – A shine for everyone:
Golden Temple sets an example of inclusivity and welcomes people from all faiths and all walks of life. This iconic shrine of Golden Temple has four entrances on the east, west, south and north directions signifying that the Gurudawara does not discriminate or put restrictions on any ground (like gender, caste, religion, creed, color, etc).
Another example that the Shrine of Harmandir Sahib spreads the message of harmony, peace, inclusivity and peaceful coexistence of different community is that the foundation stone of the shrine was laid by a Muslim Saint of Lahore called Hazrat Mian Mir Ji.
Golden Temple – Destruction and reconstruction Story:
Despite the fact that the Gurudawara Harmandir Sahib always spread the message of love, peace, and harmony, unfortunately, it has been a victim of attacks by invaders such as Afghans a number of times. Golden Temple obviously suffered a lot in such attacks hence it was rebuilt several times.
The shaping of its current appearance dates between 1801 – 1839, during the period of Maharaj Ranjit Singh. This time structure was built using marble and copper with gold plating on top of it. Since the upper portion of the Gurudwara is made of gold it is called ‘Golden Temple’.
In June 1984 when the Sikh extremists were taking refuge in the temple, the temple was accessed by Indian army in order to get hold of the extremists. Meanwhile, all this happened some damage to the temple and Akal Takht were sustained which were later repaired.
Darbar Sahib Architecture:
The main building of the Golden Temple shrine is a three-storeyed structure. It faces the bridge that is adorned with beautifully crafted arches. Temple and entire complex is adorned beautifully with intricate carving designs and ornamentation.
Golden Temple or Harmandir Sahib is situated in the middle of holy Sarovar of the temple making it look like an island in the man-made lake of the shrine. The connecting bridge on its one edge has Pardakshna or circumambulatory path which leads you to Har Ki Pauri meaning step of God.
The temple is built on a lower level as opposed to Hindu temples that are built on a higher level which is purposely done to spread the message of humility.
Golden Temple is built in the Indo- Islamic style of architecture; it shows an amalgamation of Hindu and Muslim styles of architecture. This blend has created a unique and one of the most amazing architecture specimens which as per some is referred to as independent Sikh School of Architecture.
Other Interesting facts about the Holy Shrine of Darbar Sahib:
Golden Temple hosts one of the biggest langar (community kitchens) and serves a large number of people every day. During special occasions, this number goes up to 2 lakh.
The holy shrine of Darbar Sahib (Golden temple) is held in high regard not just by the Sikh community but other religions as well. About 35% of the pilgrims that visit the shrine belong of faiths other than Sikh.
It’s always a delight to visit the Golden Temple. Spending some time in this beautiful shrine really fills one’s heart with positive energy and calmness. There is a lot to see, explore and witness in this temple complex. Apart from primary shrine other attractions of the premises include the Sikh Museum, holy Sarovar with exotic fishes and clock tower.
Shri Darbar Sahib is much more than a spiritual center. It is a shrine that sends the message of inclusivity, harmony and peaceful coexistence. Everyone must visit this beautiful shrine at least once in their lifetime.
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