The amazing and breathtaking experience of India is incomplete without the breathtaking visit to the Golden Temple or The Swarna Mandir, also known as the Darbar Sahib in the holy city of Amritsar in the Indian state of Punjab. The shrine is the holy place of Sikhs and is one of the most famous shrines of Sikhism. The shrine is situated in the center of the sacred pond or the Amrit Sarovar, and the whole compound of the Darbar Sahib is filled with positive vibes, and the experience is mesmerizing. Unlike many historical holy places, the Darbar Sahib is fully alive, and the positive environment induces a sacred and religious bond towards one and other and visitors are welcomed to enjoy it and be a part of this infused emotion. The Darbar Sahib is itself historically crucial but the religious values and sanctity here are unmatched as said by the Frommers, “The Golden Temple is spiritually most tangible place in the world”.
History of The Golden Temple
Originally a small lake in the midst of a quiet forest, the site of the Golden Temple has been a meditation retreat for wandering mendicants and sages since deep antiquity.The site was visited by Buddha and many other saints. After Buddha the other important saint to meditate that sacred lake was saint Guru Nanak. Saint Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the founder of the Sikh religion was a philosopher and Sufi saint who believed in the morals and principles of sympathy, compassion and above all humanity. He preached the principle of serving humanity. After the passing away of Guru Nanak, his disciples continued to frequent the site and carry forward his ideas and deeds. The idea of Sikhism gathered pace over the centuries, and the site of Harmandir Sahab became the primary sacred shrine of the Sikhs.
The lake was enlarged and structurally contained during the leadership of the fourth Sikh Guru Ramdas, (1574-1581). The construction of the primary shrine was started on the land donated by Mughal emperor Akbar, who believed in the idea of Din-i-Ilahi or the “divine faith.” The leadership of Guru Arjan Dev saw the completion of the Hari Mandir or Temple of God. The period from the 1600s till of 1750s saw Sikh Gurus and their disciples engaging in wars to protect both their religion and their temple against foreign armies attacking from the border frontiers of Afghanistan and Punjab and also from the threats within the country. On numerous occasions, the temple was destroyed by Muslim or other foreign invaders but was repaired by the Sikhs. From 1780 onwards, the Sikhs became militarily strong enough to repulse invaders and from there on peace returned to the Golden Temple.
Another serious attack on the Golden Temple complex was during Operation Blue Star in 1984. The operation ordered by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was to flush out Khalistani militants holed up inside the compound of Darbar Sahib. Over 500 people were killed in the fight ensuing between the militants and the Indian Army, and Sikhs around the globe were furious at the desecration of their holiest site. The Operation was followed by the assassination of PM Gandhi, which in turn sparked the communal clashes which had dire consequences for the India and its people. The Sikh community repaired the Golden Temple without the help of the Government, and in the year 2000, the complete restoration of the Golden Temple was achieved.
The temple’s structures is a hybrid of Hindu and Muslim creative styles, however, represents a distinctive coevolution of both. Through the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839), Golden Temple was ornamented with marble sculptures richly, silver gilding, and massive amounts of precious stones. In the first nineteenth century, 90 kg of gold had been put on the inverted lotus- formed curve and ornamental marble were added. All of this gold and marble function took place under the patronage of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The famous warrior double was a significant donor of cash and components with regards to the shrine and is usually remembered with very much closeness by people all over the Sikh community and India. Within the retreat, on a jewel-studded system, is placed the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture within the Sikhs. The Guru Granth Sahab is the holy books of Sikhs and is considered to be the last Guru of Sikh community. The Granth has all the noble teachings of all Sikh Gurus and also teachings of various other religious sages and saints. The recitation of hymns and verses is a daily trend in The complex of Darbar Sahib. Echoing over the serene pond, this gorgeous fairy-tale music induces a delicate but sturdy condition of hypnotic trance in the pilgrims strolling around the sarovar. Pilgrims immerse themselves in the water, a symbolic cleansing of the soul instead of an actual bathing of the body. The initial framework increases from the center of the holy pool on the square system that’s 67ft square. The framework is undoubtedly 40. Some ft so and are acknowledged by a causeway that’s 202 ft long and 21 years old ft large. Functionally and technically a three tales structure. A massive archway around the western part of the pool area opens to the causeway encircled with balustrades of fretted marble, and lights arranged at close intervals within the marble copy. The building gets the lower component in white wine marble. However, the upper portion is protected with number plates of gilded copper. The bottom ground room is where in fact the Guru Granth Sahib can be placed under a beautiful cover, studded with jewels. The next story over it is referred to as Shish Mahal or the Reflection Space. It is designed to have only a square starting in the guts to view the bottom flooring, which has a narrow circumambulation around the block starting.
The inside of the Shish Mahal is ornamented with bits of mirror in various sizes and shapes, skillfully inlaid on the walls with mainly floral designs. Over a Shish Mahal is undoubtedly one more minuscule block pavilion, surmounted by a minimal fluted senior dome, lined at its foundation with several smaller domes. The walls of both decrease tales, building parapets, end with many curved heights. There are four chhatris or perhaps kiosks with the corners. The mixture of large, moderate and miniature domes of gilded copper produce a dazzling impact. The 1st plate for the temple was set in 1803. The archway beneath the Darshani Deorhi was also embellished with lines of gilded copper by Sangat Singh, the Rajadura of Jind.
The adornments are strictly mural paintings with floral patterns interspersed with animal motifs. You will find about three hundred different habits on the wall space, which appear to be Persian carpeting and rugs. The just mural describing individual statistics is certainly in the wall structure lurking behind the North narrow staircase resulting in the very best of the shrine, representing Master Gobind Singh on horseback.
Furthermore, there is certainly function in embossed copper mineral, gach, tukri, ivory and jaratkari inlay. The majority of the exterior top portions for the wall space from the yellow metal Temple will be protected with beaten copper mineral plates, gilded heavily. The raised adornments are primarily floral and abstract, yet there are several heating elements with individual numbers.
Gach, sort of gypsum, was medicated to a composite and applied to the wall structure like lime green. Then it had been fashioned with metal cutters and additional implements. Gach function is indeed inlaid with colored cup known as tukri function and sometimes appears over the second tale of the Shish Mahal. Jaratkari function included inlaying of colored cut-stones found in marble and is available to the lower part of the exterior wall space of the frialdad. Also known as pietra dura work, which will include Terme conseillé function on semi-precious boulders, such as lapis lazuli and onyx.
The ivory inlay work sometimes appears only on the doorways of the Darshani Deorhi. The doorframe of the posture is certainly 10ft high and eight toes six ins in breathing. The door is made from shisham wood, leading is protected with silver bedding, and the back is normally inlaid with ivory in geometrical and floral patterns. A few of the ivory inlay is usually coloured green and red. Today many paintings by Mahant Ishar Singh have already been protected over with marble slabs. The causeway is linked with a 13 ft extensive circumbulatory trail. It operates around the primary shrine and it network marketing leads to the for the Har ki Pauri — guidelines of God. On the first floor here the Granth Sahib is continuously read.
The Langar Sewa of Golden Temple
The Golden Temple is home to the world’s largest free kitchen service also known as the Guru ka Langar. The Langar or free food service serves around 50,000 to 1,00,000 people daily, and on festive occasions, the number touches up to 3,00,00, as reported by the Croatian Times. The principle of Langar is based on equality amongst all, and that is why people belonging to any; religion, caste, and class are equally treated and served. The Langar is managed by the volunteers who willingly want to help and is known as Sewa. There are around 300 permanent and around thousands of non-permanent volunteers who run the Langar 24*7. The dining hall of the is big enough to accumulate around 5000 people at one go.
Volunteers also run the kitchen of the Langar. Equipped with all the necessary utensils and materials the dishes are prepared by all the Sewadars (volunteers) on all regular days and on festive days to manage the rush machines are used to cook food. A large roti was making the machine which can churn out 20000 -25000 chapattis is also used. The raw material for the Harmandir Sahab Langar is majorly procured from Delhi and rest is fulfilled by the local markets. The kitchen runs on the donation from all over the globe and mostly in huge numbers.
The daily requirement of raw material is in quintals, and it includes; rice, pulses, vegetables, flour, spices and dairy products. The food served in Langar is simple Indian vegetarian food with high nourishment value. The other important aspect of Langar is its excellent hygienic standards. The visit to Golden Temple is incomplete without Guru ka Langar, which is truly a divine and mesmerizing experience.
Important Pointers and Facts about Golden Temple
- The Golden Temple is the most visited tourist site in India, displacing the Taj Mahal from first position. According to the tourism ministry’s annual report the Golden Temple has around 6 million visitors annually, making it the fourth most visited heritage site in the world
- The Darbar Sahib has the largest free service kitchen in the world.
- The Golden Temple complex and its neighboring compounds have strictly prohibited alcohol, meat and other stuffs considered inappropriate by the religious authorities.
- The sanctity and purity of the Golden Temple is an important part of the whole place and should be upheld by every visitor.
The Golden Temple is alos the home of Akal Taqht, the highest authority of Sikh power in the world. The Akal Taqht was ccreated under the supervision of Sikh Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh Guru. The Akal Taqht was made as a seat of justice and and authority. The head of Akal Taqht is known as Jathedar, highest sporkperson of Sikh community all around the globe. The Akal Taqht is an integral and most important part of Sikhism.
The amazing and breathtaking experience of Golden Temple cannot be described in words and is a must visit for everyone to behold the grandeur and spectacular view and ambiance of the iconic structure.
The heritage city of Amritsar which got its name from the Amrit sarovar ( pool of nectar). The city which is famous for its food and historical significance is stratergically important because of its close proximity to Pakistan border and to the city of Lahore. The city which also holds other famous monuments like ; Jallianwala Bagh , Durgiana Temple , Ranjit Singh fort and many other significant place