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  • Golden Temple

    Sri Harmandir Sahib or Sri Darbar Sahib is called as Golden Temple, is named after Hari 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.

    Guru Arjan Sahib, the 5th Nanak, conceived the idea of creating a central place of worship for the Sikhs and he himself designed the architecture of Sri Harmandir Sahib. Earlier the planning to excavate the holy tank (Amritsar or Amrit Sarovar ) was chalked out by Guru Amardas Sahib, the 3rd Nanak, but it was executed by Guru Ramdas Sahib under the supervision of Baba Budha ji. The land for the site was acquired by the earlier Guru Sahibs on payment or free of cost from the landlords of native villages. The plan to establish a town settlement was also made. Therefore, the construction work on the tank and the town started simultaneously in 1570. The work on both projects completed in 1577 A.D.

    Guru Arjan Sahib got its foundation laid by a muslim saint Hazrat Mian Mir ji of Lahore on 1st of Magh, 1645 Bikrmi Samvat(Dec,1588). The construction work was directly supervised by Guru Arjan Sahib himself and he was assisted by the prominent Sikh personalities like Baba Budha ji, Bhai Gurdas ji, Bhai Sahlo ji and many other devoted Sikhs.

    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 Sahib got it open from four sides. Guru Sahib made it accessible to every person without any distinction of Caste, creed, sex and religion.

    The building work completed in 1601 A.D. on Bhadoon Sudi 1st, 1661 Bikrmi Samvat (August/September,1604).. After this event it attained the status of ‘Ath Sath Tirath’. Now the Sikh Nation had their own Tirath, a pilgrimage center

    The main area of Gurudwara lies in the midst of the sacred pool of 150 meters square area. A 60 meters causeway is located on the western slide of the pool. The causeway is decorated with marble and has beautiful lamps on both the sides. It has a door each on the East, West, North and South. The arch stands at the shore end of the causeway. The door frame of the arch is about 10ft in height and 8 feet 6 inches 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 with three gates.

    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.

    Architecture of Gurudwara

    Archaeological Survey conducted by the Government of Punjab revealed that the design of the Golden Temple after its reconstruction by Maharaja Ranjit Singh was supposedly borrowed from the shrine of Saint Mian Mir, near Lahore.

    The Golden Temple was built at a lower level. This was one of the distinguishing features of the Temple. The floor of Golden Temple has marble tiling whereas the ceiling is bedecked with intricate inlay work. As you enter you see Guru Granth Sahib on a lower platform under a dazzlingly beautiful canopy (Chandani Sahib).

    Shish Mahal or Mirror Room is constructed on the second storey. It is gilded with mirrors and has intricate work of various patterns. It is designed in such a way that there is a square opening in the centre to view from there the ground floor. One more reason for having the area opened is to avoid stepping over Guru Granth Sahib. If you are on the second floor, and the sacred book is on the first floor, you should not step over the place where underneath Guru Granth Sahib is placed. If this is done, it is called sacrilege (beadabi of Guru Granth Sahib).

    Above the Shish Mahal is a golden dome along with several miniature domes. The mural work in the Temple is characterized by floral patterns interspersed with animal motifs. The gates called Darshani Deorhi exhibit ivory inlay work. The gates are made of Sheesham wood.

    Around Golden Temple

    There are many places to be visited around Golden Temple in Amritsar. A visit to the holy shrine of Golden Temple is incomplete without a visit to these places. About Golden Temple provides a list of these places for your assistance:

    Guru Hargobind Ji, the sixth Guru, built Akal Takht in 1609. The weapons used by Guru Hargobind Ji Maharaj, Guru Gobind Singh and other Sikh heroes are preserved at Akal Takht.

    Baba Atal is built in memory of Atal Rai Ji. Atal Rai was the son of Guru Hargobind Ji. He died at a very early stage (when he was nine).

    Guru Ka Langar is a place where food (Langar) is prepared. The service is offered 24 hours a day to all visitors without any distinction on the basis of caste, creed, religion or nationality.

    Shri Guru Ram Das Niwas is a place for accommodation of the visitors. 228 rooms and 18 big halls constructed by the Gurudwara Committee. The facilities of bedding, fans, cots are provided free of cost. The visitors are not allowed to stay for more than three days.

    Guru Nanak Niwas has 66 rooms including 22 rooms with baths. On every floor there are 10 bathrooms.

    Akal Takht Rest House has 26 rooms with double beds with attached bathrooms on affordable rent.

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