Golden Temple Amritsar

Golden temple is the prevalent name of the most important Gurudwara of Sikh religion. The Gurudwara is also a takht from where the diktats of sikh religion are passed.

Best Time to Visit Golden Temple @ dawn: - According to the Sikh tenets the Amritvela or the time of dawn is the best time is the day to venerate the Almyghty this is the time for daily prayers (Nit nem) and this is sure the best time of the day to visit Golden Temple Sri Darbar Sahib. Guru Sahib after a night rest at Sri Akal Takht Sahib starts his journey to the Darbar Sahib in a palanquin surrounded by joyous devotees who greet their Guru with a shower of rose petals, the drums (Nagara) are beaten, Ran singha anounce loudly the arrival of the Maharaja. Its a Sight you should not miss. Guru the lord arrives at the santum Santorum of the Darbar Sahib, Prayers are made before the lord and the bards sing the Shabads.

History of Golden Temple: - Sri Guru ram Das ji started the construction of Golden temple in 1574 ACE the construction started with the digging of the holy pond which existed at this place even before. Guru Ramdas ji not only started the construction of the Gurudwara but a city called as “Ramdas Chak” came into existence this city was later known as Amritsar. The entire pre- existing natural pond was constructed ,” Thara Sahib “on the Parikrama or the path for circumambulating round the Harmandir sahib is a place where Guru Ramdas ji built a platform . The sarovar was rebuilt by Guru Hargobind ji and name Amrit sarovar and the city were to be known as Amritsar. Guru Hagobind ji himself laid the foundation of the holy Gurudwara sri Darbar sahib which was completely ready in the earlier 17th century. The Akal Takht which is the temporal authority of the Sikhs was constructed by the sixth master Guru Hargobind Ji, he was son of Guru Arjun dev ji. The Guru here embraced two swords of miri and Piri signifying the spiritual and the temporal authority, Akal takht issues diktats related to the sikh religion. The congregation or the sarbat khalsa is also convened over here. The Akal takht was constructed in year 1609.The next two centuries were marred by struggle between the Sikhs and the ruler Mughals and Afghan marauders. The Golden temple Gurudwara was destroyed multiple times, the Sikhs fought a valiant struggle and in year 1776 the reconstruction almost achieved its goal. Sikh maharaja Ranjit Singh in year 1830 is known to have renovated the Darbar Sahib and the exterior was covered with Gold this is how the name Golden temple got associated with the Darbar sahib. The interiors were all painted with frescoes.

Architecture of Golden Temple: - Surrounded by the pool of ambrosial nectar or the pond of Amrit the darbar sahib was constructed on a square marble platform. The structure is double storied , inside the sanctum sanctorum a copy of the holiest sikh scripture Sri guru Granth sahib ji is kept and venerated by the congregation of devotees for 20 hours of the day the holy bards sing the verses from Sri Guru Granth sahib ji in classical ragas, for five hours the Sri Guru Granth sahib ji goes for “sukhasan” at Akal Takhth sahib. The 19.7 x 19.7 mtrs marble platforms has the marble structure very nicely painted inside with beautiful floral and decorative frescoes. The sanctum sanctorium is connected with the Akal Takht through a cause way and a ceremonial gate “ Darshi ni deori”.

The 3.7 meter wide pathways circumambulating the Darbar sahib is known as parikrama. There are ber(berry) trees on the parikrama known to be as old as the Darbar sahib. The top floor or the ceiling has small cupolas 19 in number on the respective sides, there are four small domes on extreme corners while there is a large chattri with lotus finial top. All this is covered in Gold and looks extremely beautiful. The two red sand stone towers on the south eastern side of the pool are actually the watch towers constructed in 1762 by Sirdar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia and later were called Ramgarhia bungas, these watch towers were constructed to avert any surprise attack on the temple complex.

Golden temple corridor project: - In year 2016 the then chief minister of Punjab inaugurated the face lift of the area around the Goldent temple, the very congested adjoining markets were all given a new shape, the color pink presides as the key color. The entire area has been beautifully redone and looks great, On the road leading to Amritsar welcomes the new comers a golden gate identical to the Golden temple.

Community Kitchen: - The concept of community kitchen was started by Guru Nanak Dev ji, this concept not only eradicates the problem of hunger but it also addresses the age old problem of caste and untouchability. Guru promoted equality amongst his disciples so all the disciples sat in rows accepting the holy parshad or the food. This concept of Langar is also practiced at the Golden temple where more than 100000 people everyday have the free of cost meal. Just besides the red stone towers is the langar hall where devotees collect their utensils and move to the hall sitting peacefully on the floor while the sewa daar (volunteers) serve a fresh meal of black lentils and chapattis coupled with a serving of sweet porridge (Kheer). Hundreds of volunteers prepare the meal non stop 24 x7 and many others are busy in washing the utensils used by the devotees. The mega community kitchen is an experience for the visitors of the Golden temple Gurudwara.