The Harmandir Sahib , also Darbar Sahib and informally referred to as the “Golden Temple”, is the holiest Sikh gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. The city was founded in 1574 by the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das.The Harmandir Sahib was designed by the fifth guru, Guru Arjan, who had the cornerstone laid by the Muslim Sufi saint Sai Hazrat Mian Mir on 28 December 1588. Guru Arjan completed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, in 1604 and installed it in the gurdwara.
There are four doors to get into the Harmandir Sahib, which symbolise the openness of the Sikhs towards all people and religions. The present-day gurdwara was rebuilt in 1764 by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia with the help of other Sikh Misls. In the early nineteenth century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh secured the Punjab region from outside attack and covered the upper floors of the gurdwara with gold, which gives it its distinctive appearance and its English name.
The Harimandir Sahib is considered holy by Sikhs.The holiest text of Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahib, is present inside the gurdwara during daytime and the holy book goes for Sukhasan during the night time. Its construction was mainly 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.Over 100,000 people visit the holy shrine daily for worship, and also partake in the free community kitchen and meal (Langar) that is a hallmark of all Sikh Gurudwaras.[infobox title=’What is 4K Video’]4K resolution, also called 4K, refers to a display device or content having horizontal resolution on the order of 4,000 pixels. Several 4K resolutions exist in the fields of digital television and digital cinematography. In the movie projection industry, Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) is the dominant 4K standard.[/infobox]
Some interesting facts about Golden Temple are :
- The temple was initially built without any gold coating. It is during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the ruler of Punjab in the early 19th century that the temple went under full renovation and made into what it is today.
- Before the temple was built, the first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak, used to meditate at the site. It was not until the fifth Guru, Guru Arjana that the temple was built.
- The temple is considered holy such that 35% of the pilgrims that visit it are from faiths other than Sikh.
- The Langar at the Golden temple serves up to 200,000 people during special religious events. Amazingly, all the food served are donations from faithful.
- With hand painted mosaics and patterns, the Golden temple is one of the most significant symbols of Mughal and Indian architectural genius.
- 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.
- According to records, the structure was inspired from the religious shrine near Lahore dedicated to a Sufi saint named Hazrat Mian Mir, who also laid down the cornerstone of Sri Darbar Sahib(another name used for the Golden Temple)
- While the Golden Temple stands for spiritual guidance, the Akal Takht (seat of highest Sikh Authority) symbolizes the dispensing of justice and temporal activity.
- Every morning the scripture of Guru Granth Sahib Ji is brought from the Akal Takhat Sahib in a gold palanquin, along with the shower of flowers and gulab jal and is placed in the Darbar Hall. After taking the holy Guru Granth Sahib back to Akal Takhat, the entire Darbar Hall is washed with milk.