Golden Temple is well-known to almost all the tourists, far and wide. Located in the city of Amritsar in Punjab, this exalted Gurudwara is where people come to seek spiritual peace. Renowned as the most sacred pilgrimage site of Sikhism, it is also known by the names of Darbar Sahib or Harmandir Sahib, meaning the ‘abode of God.’ A living symbol of Sikh faith this temple is where all the religious and spiritual aspirations reside and allowing the visitors to get inspired with Sikh ideals and traditions. Free kitchen and recitation of the divine are endless here. Thus, this place has a radiating calm and serene presence.
History of Golden Temple
The exact origin of the place where the temple stands today is still shrouded in mystery. A lot of Sikh chronicles are attached to its establishment. It is commonly believed that the idea of establishing this place was founded by Guru Amar Das while Guru Arjan, the fifth guru of Sikhism had requested a Muslim saint Mian Mir to lay the foundation stone of this place in 1589. Surely, the spiritual focus is the tank, the Amrit Sarovar from where Amritsar takes its name. This Sarovar was excavated by Guru Ram Das.
The land for its establishment was donated by Mughal Emperor Akbar and the construction reached its completion in 1601. In 1984, an attack was carried out on the Sikh militants hiding inside the temple during which the temple suffered great damage. This incident and the killing of over 500 Sikhs enraged the Sikh community worldwide leading them to stop the intervention of the central government in repairing the temple. Even though a substantial overhaul has been done, the incident remains fresh in the memory of the Sikhs
Architecture or Structural Appeal of Golden Temple
This white and gold majestic building is spectacular to look at. Presenting a fusion of both the Hindu and Islamic architectural styles, the temple is built on a 67ft square of marble. It is a two-storied structure and its top structure is covered with pure gold leaf from where the foundation derives its name. Its marble made lower level is embellished with animal and flower motifs. The dome is on the second level which is composed of 750 kg of gold. The second floor also houses a painted gallery. Thus it is a stellar product of the intricate synthesis of Hindu and Islamic styles, combined with unique elaborations. Again, the Amrit Sarovar Tank is believed to be endowed with a lot of healing powers that can cure many ailments. Lastly, there is a gleaming inner sanctum where the musicians and priests are heard chanting the divine words and the Granth Sahib. The following are the structures inside the Golden Temple are Akal Takht, Clock Tower, Ber Tree, and Sikh History Museum. These are the famous monuments located inside the premises of the Golden Temple which one should visit.
The Guru Granth Sahib
Guru Granth Sahib is a divine book of Sikhism. It is placed inside the premises of the temple every morning and returned to the Akal Takht which is a temporary seat of Khalsa brotherhood, every night. This holy ceremony is called the Palki Sahib and in this male devotees can participate in the veneration of this holy book. The Guru Granth Sahib is carried on the heavy palanquin and male devotees form a line in front and back of palanquin and shouldering the burden for a few seconds before passing it on to others. This allows every devotee a chance to participate in the ceremony. This ceremony is so serene and looks so mesmerizing. The ceremony takes place at 5:00 A.M and 9:40 P.M in winters and 4:00 A.M and 10:30 P.M in winters.
What’s more about Golden Temple?
A visit to this enigmatic masterpiece is just incomplete without having tasted the ‘Guru Ka Langar which is free food. A selection comprising of lip-smacking dishes, this temple has the largest kitchen in the world serving langar to all the people belonging to various faiths. Approximately 60.000 to 80.000 pilgrims a day come to eat at Guru Ka Langar. Visitors to the temple must remove their shoes and cover their heads.
How to Reach Golden Temple
All modes of transportation are feasible to reach the Golden temple right from the public to private. You can opt for rickshaws (auto and cycle) which are both the local and cheapest modes of transport. You can also hire private cabs to reach this place. You can also travel by opting for free bus services by the temple. Amritsar owns an airport located at a distance of 11 km and one can hire a taxi from the Golden Temple. The nearest railway station is the Amritsar Railway Station from there you can hire autos or taxis. The city is well-connected with the national capital and other major cities of Punjab. The government and Volvo buses ply from Delhi to Amritsar daily.
Best time to visit Golden Temple
Anytime is best, especially early morning or late at night. The temple looks beautiful at night with golden lights. You can also visit the temple on the occasion of Baisakhi in April and during the festival of Diwali. The ideal season to visit the Golden Temple is the winter season. During this time the city experiences a comfortable climate which makes the sightseeing comfortable. The days during the winter season remain pleasant while the mornings and nights experience the chilly winds. Don’t forget to carry woolens during the winter.
Places to visit near Golden Temple
Golden Temple is the renowned and most frequented Sikh pilgrimage site. People visit here from all over the globe to seek blessings. Golden Temple itself accommodates various tourist attractions namely Akal Takht, Clock Tower, Ber Tree, and Sikh Museum. Golden Temple is located in the vicinity of various famous tourist places such as Jallianwala Bagh, Taran Tarn, Wagah Border, Goindwal, etc.
Golden Temple Timings: 24 hours
Golden Temple Entry Fees: Nil