The Golden Temple, which is also named as ‘Sri Harmandir Sahib’, literally means “an abode of God”. It is considered as the holiest shrine in Sikhism. The Golden Temple is both enthralling and spiritually revitalizing mingling sheer physical beauty with a rich sanctified atmosphere. The way devotees come and worship here is enough to grab your attention—your heart---wholly captive.
Introduction To The Golden Temple
The hallowed shrine of God is nestled in the midst of an artificial lake bordered by other edifices. It is a shimmering monument that wrapped in bronze, marble, gold leaf, and a stunning architectural carnival of Sikhism’s devotion. From early morning hours to the crack of dawn, the shrine complex is echoed with the chanting of holy hymns, sanctified songs and prayers.
Location : Amritsar, Punjab
Opening time of temple : Open almost 24 hours (from 6 AM until 2 AM)
History : Construction of Golden Temple started in 1574 on land gifted by Emperor Akbar to Bibi Bhani, who was the daughter of third Guru Amar Das. Guru Arjan Dev, who was the son of Guru Raam Das, conceived the idea of making a sanctified place for Sikh, so he himself designed the architecture of Golden Temple. The idea to scoop the river was given by Guru Amardas Sahib. The shrine was finally completed in year 1601, but embellishment and restoration continued over the years.
To create a lotus-shaped dome, decorative marble and 100 kg of gold was applied temples dome. All the marble and gold work was done under the patronage of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The legendary king was a main donor of money and other materials for the construction of temple and is still remembered by Sikh community and Punjabi people.
Architecture : Sri Harmandir Sahib or Golden Temple was framed on a 67 sq ft platform and is bordered by a lake called the “Amrit Sarovar” that is sprawled over an area of 150 sq metres. The shrine covers 40.5 sq ft area. It is 21 feet in breadth and 202 feet in length. The walkway that is situated on the western side of the lake is adorned with beautiful lamps. The floor of Golden Temple is decked with marble tiles whereas the ceiling area is jazzed up with intricate inlay work. Shish Mahal, which is located on the second storey is covered with mirrors and has fine work of numerous patterns. Above the Shish Mahal is a golden dome, in addition with several small domes that add beauty and charm to holy place of worship. The fresco work in the shrine is illustrated by floral patterns intermingled with the motifs of animals. The Darshan Deori, an arch is approximately 8 feet 6 inches in breadth and 10 feet in height. The door panels of the holy place are decked out with artistic style.
The sanctified temple has three holy trees inside the temple, each connected with a Sikh saint or past event. In order to pay homage to brave warriors, the memorial places are also built that memorialize the rich history of India. The upper floor and domes of shrine are well-carved with marble and gold work, which is done under the patronage of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The architecture of Golden Temple is an ideal amalgamation of Hindu and Muslim styles of architecture.
Worth Visiting Places To See Around Golden Temple
Akal Takht : Akal Takht was constructed by sixth Master Guru Hargobind in year (1606-44) as a mark of political sovereignty. It is located in the consecrated premises of Golden temple, Akal Takht is bestowed with the power to call upon and order repentance on individuals responsible for the breach of sanctified rules and regulations.
Akal Takht is oldest in all, Guru Granth Sahib that beautifies the sanctum of the shrine, is kept at Akal Takht in the night. Numerous weapons used by Sikh heroes are preserved at Akal Takht.
Sri Guru Ram Das Niwas : The Niwas was constructed by temple authorities and a free hostel for the pilgrims. It has 18 big halls and 228 rooms. Wholly different from normal ‘Dharamsalas’, the Niwas supplies the facilities of free lights, fans, cots, beddings etc to boarders.
Guru Ka Langar Most of the Sikh temples has the facility of community kitchen and a Sikh temple. The concept of free kitchen or langar was started by first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The kitchen of Golden temple provides cooked food to all its guests irrespective of caste, religion and nationality. The sanctified temple feeds almost 40,000 visitors every day.
Central Sikh Museum Set up at Amritsar in year 1958, Central Sikh Museum showcases paintings of Sikh saints, gurus, soldiers and other well-known Sikh leaders who contributed for the expansion of Sikh religion. The museum has a wealthy collection of ancient manuscripts, old weapons and coins. The museum is open all days and entry is free for every individual.
How To Reach Golden Temple
By Rail : The city of Amritsar is directly linked by way of rail route. It takes almost 8 to 10 hours to reach Amritsar via train.
By Air : Amritsar has extremely well developed airport named, Raja Sani International Airport provides outstanding services. The airport is well linked by other parts of the country via daily flights.
By Road : Grand Trunk Karnal Road links Delhi to Amritsar. Visitors can take regular buses from I.S.B.T Delhi to Amritsar.
A Cursory Glance On Some Fast Facts
- State - Punjab
- District - Amritsar
- Famous for/as - Pilgrim
- Languages - Punjabi, Hindi, English
- Best Season - All over year
- Weather - Summer 24 °C to 45°C, Winter 4°C to 27°C
The Golden Temple is a glittering shrine that showcases the blend of various styles of architecture. No matter which caste or creed an individual belongs, but a visit to grand and magnificent Golden Temple will surely purify your mind and soul.