History of Sri Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple)

The Golden Temple

History of Golden Temple History | History of Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple)
History of Golden Temple History | History of Harmandir Sahib
Some Interesting fact about Golden Temple

History of Sri Harmandir Sahib

old photos of india golden temple
Old Golden Temple Pictures

Sri Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) (The abode of God), also Sri Darbar Sahib informally referred to as the Golden Temple, is the holiest Gurdwara of Sikhism, located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. Amritsar (literally, the tank of nectar of immortality) was founded in 1577 by the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das. The fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji, designed the Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) to be built in the centre of this holy tank, and upon its construction, installed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, inside the Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple). Sri Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple Amritsar) complex is also home to the Akal Takht (the throne of the timeless one, constituted by the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind). While the Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) is regarded as the abode of God's spiritual attribute, the Akal Takht is the seat of God's temporal authority.

Construction of The Golden Temple Amritsar

ancient pictures golden temple
construction of golden temple amritsar

The construction of Sri Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) was 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. Accordingly, as a gesture of this non-sectarian universalness of Sikhism, Guru Arjan Dev had specially invited the Muslim Sufi saint, Hazrat Mian Mir to lay the foundation stone of the Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple). The four entrances (representing the four directions) to get into the Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) also symbolise the openness of the Sikhs towards all people and religions. Over 100,000 people visit the holy shrine daily for worship, and also partake jointly in the free community kitchen and meal (Langar) regardless of any distinctions, a tradition that is a hallmark of all Sikh Gurdwaras.


golden temple amritsar old pictures

Sri Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) literally means the Temple of God. Guru Amar Das Ji had ordered Guru Ram Das to create a nectarous tank as a place for worship for the Sikh religion. Guru Ram Das instructed all his Sikhs to join in the work, under Baba Budha Ji's superintendence, and engaged labourers to assist them. He said that the tank of nectar should be God's home, and whoever bathed in it shall obtain all spiritual and temporal advantages. During the progress of the work, the hut in which the Guru first sheltered himself was expanded for his residence; it is now known as the Guru's Mahal, or palace.

In 1578 Guru Ram Das excavated a tank, which subsequently became known as Amritsar (Pool of the Nectar of Immortality), giving its name to the city that grew around it. In due course, the Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple), was built in the middle of this tank and became the supreme centre of Sikhism. Its sanctum came to house the Adi Granth comprising compositions of Sikh Gurus and other saints considered to have Sikh values and philosophies, e.g., Baba Farid, and Kabir. The compilation of the Adi Granth was started by the fifth guru of Sikhism, Guru Arjan Dev.

Architectural features of Sri Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple)

art and architecture of golden temple

Some of the architectural features of the Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) were intended to be symbolic of the Sikh world view. Instead of the normal custom of building a gurdwara on high land, it was built at a lower level than the surrounding land so that devotees would have to go down steps to enter it. In addition, instead of one entrance, Sri Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) has four entrances.

The origin and evolution of the place where the Golden Temple now stands is covered in mystery. Some sources trace its origin from the pre-historic era as an Indian place of worship. The location of the Golden Temple is a low lying area with a big pond surrounded by dense jungle. This piece of land was shred by Sultanwind Tung, Gilwali and Gumtala etc. villages. More over its geographical location was superb. It was next to the city of Lahore, the then capital of Punjab and the highway connecting India and Central Asian countries was also running through this piece of land.

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