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The Golden Temple

Sri Guru Harmandir Sahib (The abode of God) (Punjabi: ਹਰਿਮੰਦਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ), also Sri Darbar Sahib (Punjabi: ਦਰਬਾਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ) is the holiest Gurdwara of Sikhism, located in the city of Amritsar. Amritsar (literally, the tank of nectar of immortality) was founded in 1577 by the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das. The fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan, designed the Harmandir Sahib to be built in the center of this holy tank, and upon its construction, installed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, inside the Harmandir Sahib.The Harmandir Sahib complex is also home to the Akal Takht (the throne of the timeless one, constituted by the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind). While the Harmandir Sahib is regarded as the abode of God\'s spiritual attribute, the Akal Takht is the seat of God\'s temporal authority.

The construction of Harmandir Sahib was intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religions to come and worship God equally. Accordingly, as a gesture of this non-sectarian universalness of Sikhism, Guru Arjan had specially invited Muslim Sufi Saint, Sai Mian Mir to lay the foundation stone of the Harmandir Sahib. The four entrances (representing the four directions) to get into the Harmandir Sahib also symbolize the openness of the Sikhs towards all people and religions. Over 100,000 people visit the holy shrine daily for worship, and also partake jointly in the free community kitchen and meal (Langar) regardless of any distinctions, a tradition that is a hallmark of all Sikh Gurudwaras.

WHy Visit Golden Temple

Most people have heard about the Golden Temple, famous for it\'s beautiful architectures and dazzling combination of golden domes and pure white marble, so clean you can eat off it. All visitors to the shrine be they pilgrim, passer by or queries tourist are all equally stunned by the soothing peace and heavenly sounds of the Temple, in comparison to the loud hustle and bustle of streets and walkways outside. However the Golden Temple which was started by the 4th Guru, Guru Ram Das Ji and completed by Guru Arjun Dev Ji the 5th Guru holds other unique and marvelous attributes which first don\'t meet the eye. A few of which are listed below.

  • The site where the Temple now stands has been regarded as a mystical and divine place years before its construction. Holy people are said to have performed spiritual devotion on the special site for ages. Guru Nanak visited the site where the Temple now stands when the seeds of the Sikh faith were being laid, and the site was then a jungle scrubland. 
  • The Golden Temple being the center of the Sikh religion had its foundation stone laid at the request of the 5th Sikh Guru by a Muslim Saint called Mian Mir. Hence it\'s the only special place of one religion where a person from another faith has been given the supreme privilege of laying the founding stone. As the Guru\'s have revealed all people regardless of creed, gender etc are equals. 
  • The Golden Temple has four entrances in the North, East, South and West. This symbolizes how all people from all four corners of the earth are welcome and free to enter. Hence unlike Mecca and other religious places different people are present in the Golden Temple without any restrictions. I don\'t no of any other place on Earth where at least 35% of the pilgrims are from other faiths and regarded as equals. 
  • The stairs entering the Temple go down, rather then up like traditional holy places. This is designed to bring a sense of humbleness rather then haughtiness to people lucky enough to visit it. The whole temple complex itself is purposely built on a lower level to the rest of the city. 
  • No scripta electram necessitatibus sit
  • Quidam percipitur instructior an eum
  • Attached to the golden Temple as in all Sikh Gurdwara\'s is the Langer hall, where all people regardless of faith, gender, status etc all sit together in straight rows to eat the same simple foods free of charge. The Langer at the Golden temple serves around 70.000 meals in this unique way 24 hours a day, with numbers reaching 200.000 on special religious days. All the food is brought by donations and prepared and distributed by volunteers doing sewa, (selfless service). 
  • NThe Temple itself in beautifully decorated with gold and has some of the best Mughal and Indian architecture in the World, as well as hand painted mosaics and patterns. The Temple complex floor is built in beautiful pure marble, with the Golden Temple sitting in the middle of a striking man made lake./li>
  • Quidam percipitur instructior an eum
  • No scripta electram necessitatibus sit