Golden Temple, Amritsar
Where is the Golden Temple?
The Golden Temple or the Darbar Sahab is located at Amritsar in the north Indian state of Punjab. It symbolizes the magnificence and the strength of the Sikhs. Widely popular as the Golden Temple, Harmandir Sahib Temple is the most sacred Gurudwara of the Sikhs.
How will you gain access?
The Rajasansi Airport at Amritsar operates regular flights connecting the city to all the major destinations of the country. The city of Amritsar is also well-linked by rail-route with all the major cities of India. By train, it’s an 8-10 hour journey from Delhi (453 km) to Amritsar. There are regular bus services available between the cities as well.
What does it signify?
The Golden Temple or the Hari Mandir Sahib is a living example of the historical and spiritual traditions of the Sikhs. It is the chief pilgrimage destination for Sikhs from all over the world. It was Guru Arjan Sahib himself who conceived the idea of creating a chief center of pilgrimage for the Sikhs and it was he who designed the architecture of this ever-glorious temple. The temple is famous as the Golden Temple for its scenic surroundings and the gold plating that is done upon it.
Guru Arjan Sahib got a Muslim saint Hazrat Mian Marji for laying the foundation of the temple in December 1588. The Guru himself supervised the construction work. He was assisted by such eminent Sikh personalities as Baba Budhaji, BhaiGurdasji, BhaiSahloji, and a number of other godly and pious Sikhs.
What beckons devotees?
Facing the Golden Temple, Akal Takhat was built by the 6th Sikh Guru Hargobind Singh in 1609. The place is held in high esteem by the Sikh community all over. It is the very place from where all the commandments affecting the community are issued. Muslim raiders brought it down several times. The ground floor of the present building was built in the year 1874. Maharaja Ranjit Singh added three stories to the structure. During operation Blue Star in 1984, Akal Takhat suffered severe damages again from the Indian Army.
Baba Atal was built in remembrance of Guru Hargobind’s son AtalRai. The tower was erected between 1778 and 1784. The structure is considered to be one of its kind, reaching up to a height of 108 feet.
The Golden Temple is provided with a community kitchen offering Guru KaLangar to the devotees and visitors of the temple. The Langar (Food) is offered round the clock to the devotees irrespective of caste and creed. Several thousands of devotees are served with meals every day.
Sri Guru Ramdas Niwas
Sri Guru Ramdas Niwas offers free accommodation to the pilgrims. It is maintained by the Temple authorities. There are 228 rooms and 18 huge halls. The Niwas also supplies free bedding, lights, fans, etc. However, the lodgers are not allowed to stay here for more than three days at a time.
What is the best time?
Summers are hot and winters are chilly at Amritsar. The annual rainfall of the city records 59.2 cm. The best time to pay a visit to the temple is between October and December.