Located in the city of Amritsar in the state of Punjab in India Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib is popularly known as the Golden Temple.
GOLDEN TEMPLE (image courtesy A Little Adrift)
It gets the name Golden from the gold plated dome visible from a distance as you approach the sanctum. The Golden Temple is the most sacred Gurdwara and important pilgrimage of the Sikhs . It spreads the message of equality and brotherhood . All people irrespective of their caste, creed, colour or race can visit the spiritual place and embark in its aesthetic brilliance. The Golden Temple was designed by the 5th Sikh Guru Arjan Dev Ji who later on after the construction was completed installed the holy scripture (Adi Granth) of the Sikhism inside the Harmandir Sahib built at the center of the holy tank the Amrit Sarovar . The holy shrine has four entrance signifying the four directions.
GOLDEN TEMPLE AT NIGHT (Source: Tripoto)
The glorious past , the architecture and the scenic beauty of the Golden Temple is like a pandora’s box which never ceases to amaze you. The AMRIT SAROVAR at the Harmandir Sahib is a very large pool surrounding the central temple. The Sarovar is very sacred to the pilgrims who take a dip to cleanse their mind and body.
AMRIT SAROVAR (image courtesy Global Gallivanting)
The common kitchen or the Guru Ka Langar at Harmandir Sahib serves pure vegetarian food to all visitors for free . It serves around 40,000 to 100,000 people per day without any religious bias. The Langar is served in the community kitchen on a daily basis . All the preparation , cooking , serving , and washing is done by volunteers or sewadars. The Langar brings all people rich – poor , big – small on the same pedestal which helps bringing in the feeling of oneness.
LANGAR AT THE GOLDEN TEMPLE (image courtesy Adventures of Goodman)
THINGS TO KNOW:-
- Best time to visit Golden Temple is in the morning for the Palaki procession at 4:30 am.
- Keep your head covered within the complex.
- Hand and feet should be washed before entering the temple.
- You can carry cameras but pictures are not allowed in all areas.
- Backpacks can be deposited at the cloak room.
- There are no washrooms inside the complex . The closest washroom is in the dharmashala outside the complex.
- A special note for people with disability – WHEELCHAIRS are available and much of the site can be accessed