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Golden Temple

The most holy place for the Sikh community is the Gurudwara Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib. This Gurudwara is famously known as Golden Temple which is part of Amritsar a city in Punjab state. The Gurudwara was constructed in 16th century by Guru Arjan who was the fifth Sikh Guru. It is believed that the sacred writ Adi Granth the most sacred for the Sikh community was written by Guru Arjan in the year 1604 was put up in the premises of Gurudwara.

The Gurudwara can be entered through four different doors that signify ingenuousness of the Sikh community by allowing people from any religion to worship the place. The Gurudwara that stands in the current days was re-constructed by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia with the support of Sikh Misls in the year 1764. The gold that surrounds the upper part of the Gurudwara was the work of Maharaja Ranjit Singh who covered the Gurudwara at the time of initial period on 19th century when some outsiders attacked the state of Punjab. The Gurudwara got its name “Golden Temple” because of the gold coverage on its upper structure.

The Sikh community worships this place as the most holy place. The Gurudwara premises houses the holiest Sikh scripture that is the “Guru Granth Sahib”. The type of architecture given to this place is such that it allows people from all the communities whether it is men, women or children worship this holy place with pure heart. Daily, this holy place is worshipped by almost one lakh people.


The literal meaning of Harmandir Sahib is ‘Temple of God’. In 1577 CE Guru Ram Das, the 4th Guru of Sikh community dug up a tank of water that was named as Amritsar which has the literal meaning that it was a pool of holy water that also gave the name Amritsar to the place where it was excavated. The other story that links to this place is the construction of the statue of Sri Harmandir Sahib that stands richly in the center of the holy tank. The literal meaning of Sri Harmandir Sahib is the house of God. The Sikh scripture Adi Granth was placed in this Gurudwara that has opus by many Gurus along with the work of other holy people who shared their beliefs and thoughts in this scripture. Few of them to be named are Baba Farid and Kabir. The final assembling of the contents of the Adi Granth was done by Guru Arjan who was the fifth Guru of Sikh community.

Construction of Harmandir Sahib

The initial construction of the Gurudwara Harmandir Sahib included a holy lake that surrounded the Gurudwara enclosed in a forest. The construction of the Gurudwara began in the year 1574. It is said that Bhani daughter of Guru Amar Das, the third Sikh Guru received a piece of land as a gift for her marriage from Mughal Emperor Akbar who during his visit to Goindwal, it was awed by the way the people of this place were living. The daughter of third Sikh Guru married Bhai Jetha who became the fourth Guru of Sikh community and he was named as Guru Ram Das Ji. Later as the time passed the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das Ji expanded the already existing lake and later a small town was also developed here. This place got its name after the name of Guru and is referred as Guru Ka Chak or Ram Das Pura and at times Chak Ram Das.

The construction of the Gurudwara was completed under the headship of Guru Arjan who was the fifth guru of Sikh (1581 – 1606). In the year 1588 in December, the fifth Guru Arjan Sahib placed the first stone to begin the construction of the Gurudwara. Though the fallacy linked to the laying of foundation stone is that it has been placed by Main Mir of Lahore who was a Sufi Saint.

The architecture of Gurudwara Harmandir Sahib is such that it symbolizes the richness of Sikh culture. The structure of all the Gurudwara is such that they are constructed on an elevated land whereas the structure of the Gurudwara Harmandir Sahib is such that the disciples have to get down the steps to visit the Gurudwara premises. The Gurudwara Harmandir Sahib has four foyers to enter the Gurudwara instead of otherwise one entrance.

The construction of the Gurudwara was completed in the year 1604. In the year 1604 in month of August the first reader of the Holy Scripture Guru Granth Sahib that was placed in the Gurudwara was Baba Buddha. During the 18th century, the Afghan general Ahmed Shah Abdali’s disciple Jahan Khan attacked the Gurudwara. The reconstruction of the Gurudwara began in the year 1760. Later the Sikh Army went to look for the Afghan troops who attacked the Gurudwara. The Afghan troop was located at a distance of five miles from the city of Gurudwara where Sikh Army overpowered the Jahan Khan’s troop.


The Gurudwara is bounded with the holy water tank that is commonly known as Sarovar. The architecture of the Gurudwara is such that it has four foyers to visit that also signifies the opportunity that Gurudwara gives by allowing people from all the communities to offer their prayers. The Gurudwara premises also have three trees of bers and are considered to be sacred.

Visitor Information

The Gurudwara Harmandir Sahib can be visited by the devotees from any religion, there is no discrimination between the devotees who come to offer their prayers in the Gurudwara on the basis of caste, sex etc. Few of the rules that are to be kept in mind while visiting the Gurudwara are: -

  • Shoes must be removed before entering the holy place and then the feet should be washed before entering the Gurudwara.
  • Consumption of alcohol, non-vegetarian food, smoking or consumption of any kind of drug is prohibited.
  • Head should be covered by all men, women and children for the entire time while in Gurudwara premises.
  • The devotees should sit on the ground while in the premises of Gurudwara as a respect to be given to the Holy scripture Guru Granth Sahib and the God.

The devotees who come to this place for the first time are expected to visit the information center and the Gurudwara Museum that are located at the entrance of the Gurudwara.


The major festival celebrated by the Sikh community in the state of Punjab and other parts of the country is Baisakhi that falls usually on 13th April. The reason for the celebration of this festival is that it is known as the foundation day for Khalsa and it is celebrated with full zeal in Gurudwara Harmandir Sahib. The other festivals that the Sikh people celebrate are the memorial day of Guru Tegh Bahadur, birth celebration of Guru Nanak Ji. The Gurudwara Harmandir Sahib is lighted with beautiful lamps, lights on the occasion of Bandi Chhor Divas. The people also enjoy by ejecting the fireworks. The few of the occasions that make every Sikh visit the Gurudwara once in their entire lives are birthdays, marriages, birth of a child in the family etc. The Sikh thinks it to be very auspicious visiting the Gurudwara on important days of their lives.

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