A well-formed well carrying its own historical and architectural significance is Goindwal (also called Goindval) Baoli in Amritsar. The Baoli (open-well) is a 16th century established renowned Sikh centre located on the banks of river Beas. Thus it is also a site of the township, besides being a famous Sikh shrine. It is also believed to be the first Sikh pilgrimage site as it houses more than a dozen spots of spiritual interest and is highly visited by all the devotees from various parts, besides the famous Golden Temple and Sri Tarn Taran Sahib. Guru Amar Das, the third Guru of the Sikhs stayed in Goindwal for 33 years and he established a new centre for preaching Sikhism. It is a prime pilgrimage centre. It is a place where Guru Amar Das met Guru Ram Das.
History Related Story to Goindawal
Believed to be the birthplace of Guru Arjan Dev, Goindwal has a lot of historical and religious significance since times immemorial. Obviously, like other foundations, it also has a story attached to its formation. It was believed that a trader by the name of Goinda wanted to establish a port at the ferry landing to reap the benefits of the traffic of the crossroads. Facing a lot of interventions and apprehended by demonic interferences in his venture, he sought the blessings of Guru Angad Dev to proceed further in this project. Guru Angad made Amar Das, his devoted disciple, responsible for seeing the project to its completion. Under Ram Das’s supervision, the project was successfully completed and the place came to be as known as ‘Goindwal’ after the trader Goinda.
Later Goinda made a special place here to honor Guru Angad Dev. Later he was selected by the Amar Das as the most faithful of the Sikhs and made him his successor. Thus Amar Das was the third guru and he moved permanently to stay in Goindwal with his family and successors. Basically, the well was constructed to serve the needs of the Sikhs and other visitors at Amar Das’s instruction. Today, this well has become an important Sikh pilgrimage site.
Architecture or Structural Appeal of Goindwal
The modern Baoli spans about 25 feet or 8 meters. It has arched access that opens to a domed entrance, embellished with frescoes depicting the life of Guru Amar Das. There is also a divided underground staircase consisting of 84 covered steps that lead beneath the earth to the sacred waters of the well. It is divided because one side can be used by women while the other side by men.
These steps have a significance of their own. Each step is believed to represent 100,000 life forms of a possible 8.4 millions of existences. Devotees visiting Goindwal recite the entire hymn of “Japji” on each step. The entrance archway is decorated with multi-colored floral designs and portraits of the Ten Gurus. There is a lotus dome covering the well which is made of the gold-plated pinnacle and has intricate domes around it that look almost like the dome of a Gurudwara.
Religious Significance of Goindwal
This historic well is also believed to be a site where one can attain Moksha and Mukti (salvation) after taking a dip or even by having a small sip of its water. Thus the devotees repeat the prayer and perform all 84 complete recitations of ‘Japji’ in the hope of being liberated from transmigration.
Things to do in Goindwal Baoli
Thara Sahib Sri Guru Amar Das Ji is a marble line platform with the pinnacle covered of white marble supported ton cylindrical columns. This is the place where Guru Amar Das used to sit and this place is so serene. People can spend some time in peace.
After the rituals, pilgrims can eat the langar (free food) served to the visitors all throughout the day in the Langar Sri Guru Amar Das Ji.
How to Reach Goindwal
From Amritsar, you can reach there by hiring an auto or taxi as it is located 30 km from the south-eastern exit of the city. Raja Sansi Airport in Amritsar is the nearest airport from the Goidwal which is located at a distance of 64 km and the nearest railway station is the Jandiala railway station which is 33 km while the nearest major railway station is the Amritsar Junction which is located at 50 km from the Goindwal. People can catch a bus or hire a taxi till there.
Best Time to Visit
Baishakhi and Gurupurab are celebrated with great zest and pomp here. Though it can be visited all throughout the year June to November is the best time to visit Goidwal due to the festive celebrations here. The weather conditions during this time of the year are very comfortable for the sightseeing tour.
Places to visit near Goindwal
Amritsar is thrived with the famous tourist attractions and frequented by a large number of tourists. People can visit eh various nearby attractions of Goindwal such as Golden Temple, Wagah Border, Jallianwala Bagh, Taran Tarn, etc.
Goindwal Timings: 24 hours
Goindwal Entry Fees: Nil