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Pilgrimage in India »» Sikh Pilgrim Centers»

Golden Temple, Amritsar, India

  India Piligrimage Tour - Golden Temple Amritsar

Information on Sikh Pilgrimage place Golden Temple - providing on-line reservation /booking for Visit to Golden Temple Amritsar on discounted rates, air/rail ticketing, car/ taxi / coach hire for Golden Temple Tour package , package tour to Golden Temple and Hotel Booking in Amritsar.

Click Here to book a pilgrimage to Sikh Pilgrimage site - Golden Temple (Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib) in India.

GOLDEN TEMPLE FACTS & FIGURES

Location: Amritsar, India
Best time to Visit: October to March
Significance: One of five sacred takhts in the Sikh faith.

The Golden Temple or Darbar Sahib, located in Amritsar in the state of Punjab, India is the most sacred shrine of Sikhism.

Sri Harmandir Sahib, also known as Sri Darbar Sahib or Golden Temple, (on account of its scenic beauty and golden coating for English speaking world), is named after Hari(God) the temple of God. The Sikhs all over the world, daily wish to pay visit to Sri Amritsar and to pay obeisance at Sri Harmandir Sahib in their Ardas.

The Past

The Sri Harmandir Sahib was invaded and destroyed many a times by the Afghan and other invaders. Each and every time the Sikhs had to sacrifice their lives in order to liberate it and restore its sanctity. After the martyrdom of Bhai Mani Singh ji in 1737, Massa Ranghar, the Kotwal of Amritsar took charge of Sri Harmandir Sahib in 1740 and converted it into a civil court and began to hold notch parties. This act created great resentment among the Sikhs. Two warriors, Sukha Singh and Mahtab Singh avenged the insult by a dare devil act. They entered the temple complex in guise of peasants, severed the head of Massa Ranghar with a single blow of kirpan and fled away with decapitated head on one of the their spears.

Guru Arjan Sahib got its foundation laid by a muslim saint Hazrat Mian Mir ji of Lahore on 1st of Magh, 1644 Bikrmi Samvat(December,1588). The construction work was directly supervised by Guru Arjan Sahib.

Unlike erecting the structure on the higher level (a tradition in Hindu Temple architecture), Guru Arjan Sahib got it built on the lower level and unlike Hindu Temples having only one gate for the entrance and exit, Guru Arjan Sahib got it open from four sides. Thus he created a symbol of new faith, Sikhism, making it accessible to every person without any distinction of Caste, creed, sex and religion.

Architecture of the Golden Temple

Sri Harmandir Sahib, is built on a 67ft. square platform in the centre of the Sarovar(tank). The temple itself is 40.5ft. square. It has a door each on the East, West, North and South. The Darshani Deori (an arch) stands at the shore end of the causeway. The door frame of the arch is about 10ft in height and 8ft 6inches in breath. The door panes are decorated with artistic style. It opens on to the causeway or bridge that leads to the main building of Sri Harmandir Sahib. It is 202 feet in length and 21 feet in width.

The bridge is connected with the 13 feet wide 'Pardakshna' (circumambulatory path). It runs round the main shrine and it leads to the 'Har ki Paure' (steps of God). On the first floor of 'Har ki Paure', there is continuous reading of Guru Granth Sahib.The main structure of Sri Harmandir Sahib, functionally as well as technically is a three-storied one. The front, which faces the bridge, is decorated with repeated cusped arches and the roof of the first floor is at the height of the 26 feet and 9 inches.

At the top of the first floor 4 feet high parapet rises on all the sides which has also four 'Mamtees' on the four corners and exactly on the top of the central hall of the main sanctuary rises the third story. It is a small square room and have three gates. A regular recitation of Guru Granth Sahib is also held there. On the top of this room stands the low fluted 'Gumbaz'(dome) having lotus petal motif in relief at the base inverted lotus at the top which supports the 'Kalash' having a beautiful 'Chhatri' at the end.

Its architecture represents a unique harmony between the Muslims and the Hindus way of construction work and this is considered the best architectural specimens of the world. It is often quoted that this architecture has created an independent Sikh school of architecture in the history of art in India.

The Akal Takht

The Akal Takht is the highest Political Institution of the Sikhs. Akal means The Timeless One - another term for God. Takht means 'throne' in Persian. Hence, Akal Takht translates as The Throne of the Timeless One. It is part of the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar. The Akal Takht is situated on the other end of the causeway connected to the Harmandir Sahib. Its foundation was laid by Guru Hargobind. It was here that he was ceremonially installed as Guru in 1606. The building of the Akal Takht opposite the Golden Temple has a special meaning. While the Golden Temple stands for spiritual guidance the Akal Takht symbolizes the dispensing of justice and temporal activity. During the day the Guru Granth Sahib is kept in the Golden Temple, while at night it is kept in the Akal Takht.

Baba Atal

A nine-storeyed tower, built in memory of Atal Rai (D. 1628), a son of Hargobind, is called Baba Atal. Atal Rai died at nine. He was called 'Baba' (an old man) head over young shulders. The tower was built between 1778 and 1784. It is the only of its kind in the city with 108 ft. height.

Guru ka Langar

A Sikh temple without a Community Kitchen is inconceivable. Cooked food is serviced in the kitchen of the Golden Temple 24 hours to all visitors irrespective of religion, caste, creed and nationality. The expenses are met out of the Temple funds.

Sri Guru Rma Das Niwas

The Niwas is a free hostel for the pilgrims maintained by the Temple authorities. It has been built by the Gurdwara Committee. It has 228 rooms and 18 big halls. Unlike the ordinary 'Daramsalas' the Niwas supplies the facilities of free beddings, cots, lights and fans etc. to the lodgers. A lodger is not generally allowed to stay here for more than three days at a time. The doors of the hostels are open to all. The lodgers however must not do anything repugnant to the teachings of Sikhism.

SGPC Offices

The headquarters of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee are located in the Teja Singh Samundri Hall near the Golden Temple. The Gurdwara Act 1925, transferred the control of the historical Sikh Shrines in the Punjab to the SGPC. It is a representative body of the Sikhs elected by adult franchise.

Among the other objects of interest in and around the Golden Temple worth mentioning are :

Dukh Bhanjni Ber (Jujube Tree)
Thara Sahib
Ber Baba Budha Ji
Gurdwara llachi Ber
Ath Sath Tirath (Sixty eight holy places condensed into one)
Gurdwara Shaheed Bunga Baba Deep Singh

How to Reach Amritsar

• Air: Amritsar Airport connects to the major cities of the country and is located at a distance of 11 Kms. from the city.

Rail: Amritsar railway station is connects it to various parts of the country. Amritsar is well connected to Bhopal, Delhi, Calcutta, Jaipur, Lahore, Lucknow, Mumbai, Patna, Baroda by rail routes.

Road: Amritsar is connected to the nearby cities by well developed roadways.

Important Sikh Pilgrimage Places»

Anandpur Sahib
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib

Golden Temple

Hemkund Sahib
Manikaran
Paonta Sahib
Sri Hazur Sahib
Sri Patna Sahib
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