The Golden Temple or Darbar Sahib, located in Amritsar, Punjab, is the most sacred temple for Sikhs.
Sri Harmandir Sahib (meaning The Abode of God), also termed as the Golden Temple in Amritsar is the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. Also called the Shri Darbar Shaib, it is in the center of the old a part of Amritsar. The Golden Temple sits on the rectangular platform, encompassed by a pool water called the Amrit Sarovar that the City is known as. The entrance to the Golden Temple complex is thru an ornate archway with intricate inlay work. Verses from the Granth Sahib are inscribed on the doorway. The main north entrance is within Victorian clock tower. Referred to as the Darshani Deori, the entrance expires a flight of steps and back off to the temple and holy tank. The temple is a two storey marble structure reached with a causeway known as Guru´s Bridge.
A Brif History of Golden temple
The Sri Harmandir Sahib was invaded and destroyed often by the Afghan along with other invaders. Every time the Sikhs had to sacrifice their lives to be able to liberate it and restore its sanctity. After the martyrdom of Bhai Mani Singh ji in 1737, Massa Ranghar, the Kotwal of Amritsar took control of Sri Harmandir Sahib in 1740 and converted it right into a civil court and started to hold notch parties.
This act created great resentment among the Sikhs. Two warriors, Sukha Singh and Mahtab Singh avenged the insult with a dare devil act. They entered the temple complex in guise of peasants, severed the head of Massa Ranghar having a single blow of kirpan and fled away with decapitated directly one of the their spears.
Guru Arjan Sahib took its foundation laid with a muslim saint Hazrat Mian Mir ji of Lahore on 1st of Magh, 1644 Bikrmi Samvat(December,1588). The construction work was directly supervised by Guru Arjan Sahib himself and that he was assisted by the prominent Sikh personalities like Baba Budha ji, Bhai Gurdas ji, Bhai Sahlo ji and several other devoted Sikhs.
Unlike erecting the structure on the higher-level(a tradition in Hindu Temple architecture), Guru Arjan Sahib first got it built on the lower level and in contrast to Hindu Temples having just one gate for the entrance and exit, Guru Sahib first got it open from four sides. Thus he made a symbol of recent faith, Sikhism. Guru Sahib managed to get accessible to everyone without any distinction of Caste, creed, sex and religion.
Architecture of Golden temple
Architecture of the Golden Temple Sri Harmandir Sahib is made on a 67ft. square platform in the centre of the Sarovar (tank). The temple is 40.5 ft. Square. It features a door each on the East, West, South and north. The Darshani Deori (an arch) stands at the shore end of the causeway. The doorframe of the arch is all about 10ft in height and 8ft 6inches in breath. The door panes are decorated with artistic style. It opens onto the causeway or bridge leading to the main building of Sri Harmandir Sahib. It’s 202 feet long and 21 feet wide.
The bridge is associated with the 13 feet wide ‘Pardakshna’ (circumambulatory path). It runs round the main shrine also it leads to the ‘Har ki Paure’ (steps of God). On the first floor of ‘Har ki Paure’, there’s continuous reading of Guru Granth Sahib. The main structure of Sri Harmandir Sahib, functionally in addition to technically is a three-storied one. The front, which faces the bridge, is decorated with repeated cusped arches and the roof of the first floor reaches the height of the 26 feet and 9 inches.
At the surface of the first floor 4 feet high parapet rises on all the sides that has also four ‘Mamtees’ on the four corners and just on the surface of the central hall of the main sanctuary rises the third story. It’s a small square room and also have three gates. A normal recitation of Guru Granth Sahib can also be held there. On the surface of this room stands the low fluted ‘Gumbaz’ (dome) having lotus petal motif in relief at the base inverted lotus at the top which assists the ‘Kalash’ having a beautiful ‘Chhatri’ at the end.
Things to See
Despite its great sacred status, the Golden Temple is available to visitors, like several Sikh temples. The only restrictions are that visitors mustn’t drink alcohol, eat meat or smoke in the shrine. And in contrast to many other Indian temples, people to the Harmandir Sahib are made to feel truly welcome and never pressured to purchase anything. The information office left of the main gate gives advice and information, in addition to booklets on Sikhism.
Most people to the Golden Temple, whether Sikh or otherwise, are humbled in what is quite simply the most tangibly spiritual devote the country. Arrive with some good hours put aside and get lost in the magical beauty. Visitors must leave their shoes at the facility near the entrance, cover their scalp (bandanas are provided, or buy a souvenir bandana from the vendor), and wash their feet by wading through the shallow pool before entering.
The most well-known and sacred a part of the Golden Temple complex is the Hari Mandir (Divine Temple) or Darbar Sahib (Court of the Lord), that is the beautiful golden structure at the center of a big body of water. The gold-plated building features copper cupolas and white marble walls encrusted with gemstones arranged in decorative Islamic-style floral patterns. The structure is decorated inside and outside with verses from the Granth Sahib (the Sikh holy book).
The water that surrounds the Hari Mandir is a sacred pool referred to as the Amrit Sarovar (Pool of Nectar). The temple is reached by using the Parikrama, which circumscribes the sacred pool inside a clockwise direction. Connecting the pathway with the Hari Mandir is a marble causeway called the Guru’s Bridge, which symbolizes the journey of the soul after death. The gateway to the bridge, the Darshani Deorhi, has magnificent silver doors.
The fascinating scene inside the Hari Mandir is televised throughout India for Sikh viewers. Amidst an audience of fervent and solemn devotees, scriptures from the Holy Book are sung beneath a canopy studded with jewels. A chauri (whisk) is consistently waved above the Book as lines of Sikhs pay their respects by touching their foreheads to the temple floor and walls, continuing inside a clockwise direction in a relaxed pace.
Best time for you to visit
The best time for you to visit the temple is within the winter months (October to March) when the weather conditions are pleasant also it even gets cold here. However the winter months are the ideal for sightseeing. Summers ought to be avoided as it can certainly get blisteringly hot. An earlier morning or night time visit to the temple is special as the atmosphere is serene and incredibly peaceful.
The temple remains open on all days and may be visited from 4:00 am to 10:00 pm in the summer months and 5:00 am to 9:00 pm in winter months.