Temple is the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion,also
known as the Hari-Mandir, is in the center of the old part of the Amritsar.
The temple itself is surrounded by pool Amrit Sarovar , which gave the town
its name, and is reached by a causeway. Open to all, it's
a beautiful place, especially early in the morning , though the weekends can
be quite crowded.
Pilgrims and visitors to the Golden Temple must remove
their shoes and cover their heads before entering the precincts. No Smoking is
allowed inside the whole temple area, photography is permitted only in/from
, the marble
pathway that surrounds the sacred pool. An English speaking guide is available
at the information office near clock Tower that marks the temples main entrance.
The information office has a number of interesting free publications.
standing in the middle of the sacred pool ,
is the two storey marble structure reached by a causeway known as Guru's
Bridge. The Lower parts of the marble walls are decorated with inlaid flower
and animal motifs in the pietradura style of the Taj Mahal. Once inside
the temple , pilgrims offer sweet doughty prasaad to the attendants.
who take half to distribute to everyone as they leave the temple.The Golden
temple complex has 67 other shrines and the main temple is the 68th.
The architecture of the golden temple is a blend of the
Hindu and Muslim styles. The Golden Dome (said to be glided with 100
kg of pure gold) is supposed to represent an inverted lotus
flower. It is inverted, turning back to earth symbolize the Sikh's concern with
the problems of this world.
Guru Granth Sahib
priests at key positions around the temple keep up a continous reading in Punjabi
from the Sikh's holy book. The reading is broadcast by loudspeakers. The original
copy of the Granth Sahib is kept under pink shroud in the, Golden Temple during
the day and at around 10 p.m. each day is ceremoniously returned to the Akal
Takht (Sikh Parliament) building. The morning processional ceremony takes place
at 4 a.m. in Summer and at 5 a.m. in Winter, when Sri Guru Granth Sahib is bought
from Akal takhat Sahib in a procession to the Sanctum Sanctorum,
washed with milk.
: It is the seat of Sikh religious authority, and it was the
target for Bluestar
Action by Indian Army
against Sikh Nationalists/Extremists
in 1984 since then it has been completely
rebuild and being
furnished. Many important decisions concerning the religious and social life of
the Sikh community are/were made here. The hukamnama to the Sikh Quom is given
temples have a community kitchen, and
in this one volunteers prepare free meals for around 30,000 people everyday.
The food is very basic -Chapattis
food is prepared and dished out daily in an ordered fashion.
Map Of Golden Temple
HISTORY OF HARMANDIR SAHIB
The Sri Harmandir Sahib was invaded and destroyed many a times by the Afghan and
other invaders. Each and every time the Sikhs had to sacrifice their lives in
order to liberate it and restore its sanctity. After the martyrdom of Bhai Mani
Singh ji in 1737, Massa Ranghar, the Kotwal of Amritsar took charge of Sri Harmandir
Sahib in 1740 and converted it into a civil court and began to hold notch parties.
This act created great resentment among the Sikhs. Two warriors, Sukha Singh and
Mahtab Singh avenged the insult by a dare devil act. They entered the temple complex
in guise of peasants, severed the head of Massa Ranghar with a single blow of
kirpan and fled away with decapitated head on one of the their spears. After this
incident the security around the Sri Harmandir Sahib was further tightened and
the temple was locked.
Now, it was the turn of Lakhpat Rai, a Hindu Diwan of Lahore Darbar as he vowed
to finish the entire Sikh Nation. In order to avenge the death of his brother
Jaspat Rai, he befouled the Sarovar and desecrated Sri Harmandir Sahib in 1746.
He even banned the name 'Guru'. The Mughal forces marched against the Sikhs under
the command of Diwan Lakhpat Rai and Yahiya Khan. A fierce battle was fought(
the first Ghalughara in june 1746) in which nearly seven thousand Sikhs were martyred.
Three thousand of them were put to death publicly at Lahore, (the site is now
After this hollowcast, the Sikhs under the efficient leadership of Sardar Jassa
Singh Ahluwalia retaliated back and recaptured both the city and Sri Harmandir
Sahib killing Salabat Khan in March, 1748. They celebrated Vaiskhi with great
enthusiasm by clearing the holy Sarovar and restoring the daily Maryada at Sri
Harmandir Sahib. They also held 'Sarbat Khalsa'. The Dewali festival of 1748 was
also celebrated enthusiastically.
In 1757, Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded India for the second time and attacked Amritsar.
He demolished Sri Harmandir Sahib and filled the Sarovar (tank) with garbage.
On hearing of the desecration, Baba deep Singh ji Saheed, the head of 'Misl Shaheedan',
started at once to avenge the insult. A bloody encounter took place at the village
Gohalwar near Amritsar. Baba Deep Singh was mortally wounded. He gripped and supported
his almost severed head with his left hand and with the right, he went on mowing
down the enemies. Thus fighting, this unique warrior reached the holy precincts
and laid down his life for the cause of maintaining sanctity of Sri Harmandir
On 10th April, 1762, Ahmed Shah Abdali again invaded Amritsar and Sri Harmandir
Sahib, after the horrible carnage of the Sikhs at Kup Harira. On this occasion
thousands of armed and unarmed Sikhs had gathered at the temple for a holy bath.
Countless Sikhs laid down their lives in defense of their beloved shrine. Sri
Harmandir Sahib was again blown up with gun powder and the holy tank was also
desecrated. It is said that while the building of the shrine was being blown up,
a flying brick bat struck the Shah on the nose. This wound proved fatal for him.
In December, 1764, Sri Harmandir Sahib was again attacked by Ahmed Shah Abdali
with the sole object of destroying the entire Sikh Nation. But before his arrival
the Sikhs abandoned the city and to his surprise he found only thirty Sikhs in
the vicinity of Sri Harmandir Sahib, who under the command of Baba Gurbax Singh
ji gave him stiff resistance and all were martyred. Abdali, again pulled down
the newly constructed structure of the Shrine and leveled the holy tank.
Before the final departure from India in 1767, Ahmed Shah Abdali again attacked
Amrtisar but he dared not enter Sri Harmandir Sahib, and it remained under the
control of the Sikhs ever afterwards. (In June, 1984 it was attacked by the Indian
Army, under operation Blue Star in which several hundred innocent Sikh pilgrims
After the Martydom of Bhai Mani Singh ji Sri Harmandir Sahib was collectively
managed by the Sikh misls and many Bungas( Mansions) were constructed. Whenever
the Sikh leaders visit Amritsar, they did not interfere in the affairs of the
temple. All the general gatherings were held on Akal Takhat Sahib only in the
presence of Guru Granth Sahib. During the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh the administration
of Sri Harmandir Sahib went under the control of the State. Maharaja took keen
interest in the development and beautification of Sri Harmandir Sahib.
During the British period, Sri Harmandir Sahib passed under the control of one
man the 'Sarbrah' (Manager), a nominee of Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar. The
Deputy commissioner of Amritsar also made a committee of so-called sikh Sardars
and Raises. The Pujari's, Mahants, Ragis and other functionaries began to receive
their customary share of offerings at the Temple. On the other hand immoral acts
were practiced by them within the precincts of the temple with the connivance
of Sarbrah. Great resentment prevailed among the Sikhs and outcome of this was
Sikh Gurdwara Reform Movement. Now again the Sikhs had to sacrifice their lives
for the cause of Sri Harmandir Sahib and other Shrines. The Shiromani Akali Dal
became the spear head of the struggle for the reform of the places of worship.The
curtain was finally rung down upon the Gurdwara Reform Movement, when the Sikh
Gurdwara Act, 1925, vested the control and management of Sri Harmandir Sahib in
the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, a representative body of the Sikhs
elected by adult franchise.
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