All About Golden Temple Amritsar
The Golden Temple located in Amritsar, India, named as Sri Harimandir Sahib and also known as Sri Darbar Sahib is one of the religious places of the Sikhs. It is a representation of human brotherhood and parity. People of all religions can seek for spiritual realization.
Amritsar the city was originally built in the year 1574 by Sri Guru Ram Das Ji. The site of the temple was surrounded by a small lake in a thin forest. Land for the city was acquired by Guru Amar Das Ji. There are different stories about it. According to one Emperor Akbar, while visiting Guru Amar Das, in the neighbouring town of Goindval, was so impressed by the way of life in the town that he gave a jagir (the land and the revenues of several villages in the vicinity) to Guru's daughter Bhani as a gift on her marriage to Bhai Jetha. Bhai Jetha later became the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das. Guru Ram Das enlarged the lake and built a small township around it. The town was named after Guru Ram Das as Guru Ka Chak', Chak Ram Das or Ram Das Pura.
Guru Ram Das Ji began the construction of the Golden Temple Amritsar. It was Guru Arjan Dev Sahib who layed it’s foundation with the help of a Muslim priest Hazrat Mian Mir ji. With the help of other prominent Sikhs like Baba Budha ji and Bhai Gurdas ji, Guru Arjan Sahib took on the building work.
Golden Temple is built on a square platform of 67 feet at the centre of Sarovar tank. The Golden Temple is of 40.5 sq. feet. It has doors on all the four directions - North, South, East and West. The frame of the door is of about 10 feet height and 8 feet and 6 inches in width.
A bridge with the width of 13 feet links to ‘Har ki Paure’ which means steps of God. The continuous reading of Guru Granth Sahib Ji is done on the first floor of Har ki Paure.
The Golden Temple is a three- storied monument. The front one is one which faces the bridge and it is tinted with cusped arches and the height of the roof of the first floor is about 26 feet and 9 inches.
Harmony between Muslims and Hindus is represented with its unique construction work, and it is considered as one of the best architectural monument among the world. Many a time, it has been said that, this structural design has made self-determining, Sikh discipline of architecture in the history of Indian art.
Though the Golden Temple is an immense prominence representation, it is open for all the people like all other Sikh temples. And the limitations for visitors are not to drink alcohol, eat meat or smoke when they are inside the holy place. And like many other temples of India, visitors are not pressured to buy anything without their will. The information office is there, which gives all kind of suggestion and information, as well as booklets on Sikhism. The most famous part of the Golden Temple is the Hari Mandir which is also called as Divine Temple and Darbar Sahib means Court of the Lord. It is one of the gorgeous golden monuments at the center. Hari Mandir is surrounded by a pool which is known as Amrit Sarovar which means Pool of Nectar.
One of the other major highlight of the Golden Temple monument is the Guru-ka-Langar, a hall where more than 30,000 people are fed at free of cost by temple volunteers. One and all are invited to join this. Whoever participate in this, regardless of caste, status and wealth are treated equally and they have to sit on the floor.
For visitors, Guest lodgings are accessible, any outsider can make a stay and the prices are also very reasonable, more than 300 simple rooms are there, which are given for free of cost to make a stay.
At the main entrance, there is an essential Sikh Museum; there is a corridor which has display of images and tribute of Sikh gurus, fighters and priests, which have some vivid description of the agony and execution of gurus.
An event in which every night the Granth Sahib is carried along the bridge to its "bed" in the Akal Takht, is the seat of the Sikh parliament which was build in 1609 which is also known as Palki Sahib. This ceremony is done every night and all the male pilgrims and visitors can participate in the worship of the Holy Book. Timing of this ceremony is usually around 11 pm in summer and at 9:30 pm in winter season.
Golden Temples’ exterior is one of the astonishing features which are made of pure gold. One of the most pure and spiritual place in India which is open for people of all the religion and nationality. More than millions of tourist visit yearly which includes Indian as well as foreigners.
In Golden Temple, one of the festivals which are celebrated every year is Vaisakhi. It is celebrated usually on the 13th of April. Some other important Sikh religious celebration are like, martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib and birthday of Guru Nanak Sahib. And similarly Diwali is also one of the festivals which you can easily find that it is celebrated marvellously with Divas means Lamps, lights and fireworks, etc. During these occasions many people take a visit to this holy place - Golden Temple. Many Sikh people from around the world come to Amritsar to visit Golden Temple at least once in their life, and mostly they come at any of their special occasions like, marriages, childbirth, birthdays, etc.
Golden Temple has been popular in several other ways also. Like, it has been shown several times in international and national movies like, one of the documentary BBC movie like Himalaya with Michael Palin which was showed in 2004 and other Bollywood Movies like Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Bride and Prejudice and many more.