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The Golden Temple – Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal!

Golden Temple
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If you’ve been to Harmandir Sahib, also known as Darbar Sahib, and informally known as the Golden temple before, you know the opulence and exuberance with which it stands. Located in Amritsar, Punjab, Harmandir Sahib is considered to be the holiest Sikh shrine, the construction of which was started in 1585 AD. This gurudwara is proof of the long-standing history and legacy of Sikhism and its significance in the history of the country. The Harmandir Sahib was designed by the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan, and the cornerstone was laid by the Sufi Saint Sai Hazrat Mian Mir. Thus, the Golden Temple is the epitome of secularity, rich culture and a history that goes back centuries.

The History

The Harmandir Sahib literally means Temple of God. Guru Amar Das told Guru Ram Das to make a nectarous tank as a Sikh place of worship. Guru Ram Das set to work and had one thing in mind – that the nectar should be God’s home and whoever bathes in it will have achieved spiritual goodness. In 1578, Guru Ram Das found a tank, which then came to be known as Amritsar (Pool of the Nectar of Immortality). The city that developed around it then came to be called Amritsar. The Golden Temple was consequentially built in the centre of this tank and became the most important centre of Sikh religion. After Guru Arjan completed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, it was installed in the gurudwara in 1604.

The Architecture

The design of the Golden Temple is simply awe-inspiring and spectacular. The gurudwara has four entrances, signifying its acceptance of all religions. The gurudwara is surrounded by the holy tank known as the Sarovar which is fed by the river Ravi. The water in this tank is considered to be holy or immortal nectar. There are also three holy trees that signify a historical event of Sikh Saint. You will also find several memorial plaques within the shrine that commemorate Sikh historical events, martyrs, saints and soldiers who fought and died in World War I and II.

Keeping with the norms

The Golden Temple is a secular and open-to-all place of worship and accepts and welcomes people belonging to all castes, religions, sex and creeds. The only thing one needs to keep in mind is to conduct oneself well inside the temple. Some other simple rules to remember while visiting the Golden Temple are:

  • Remove your shoes and wash your feet in the small pool of water

  • Do not drink alcohol, eat meat or smoke cigarettes while inside the shrine

  • Cover your head with a scarf

  • One must sit on the ground while listening to the Gurbani

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If you keep with these simple norms while visiting the Harmandir Sahib, rest assured your trip to this holy shrine will be one of peace, reflection and rejuvenation. Have you ever visited the Golden Temple before? Share your experiences in the comments section below!

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Nikita is a total and complete bookworm. She’s also a writer and a dreamer who dreams of travelling far and wide. Her other very important dream is to one day, very soon, write books for children.

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