The Harmandir Sahib also Darbar Sahib and informally referred to as the 'Golden Temple' is a prominent Sikh Gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India.
Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab, India
Golden Temple was founded by Guru Ram Das in 1579 with a part of the land granted by Emperor Akbar, the foundation stone laid by a Muslim Sufi Saint, Mian Mir, the construction was completed in 1601. The architecture of the temple is a blend of Hindu and Muslim styles. The Holy Scripture of the Sikhs, the Granth Sahib, is installed in the inner sanctum of the temple. The scripture is unique as it contains the divine message as received by saints, bhagats (devotees) and pirs of all the faiths of India. The temple was destroyed in 1761 by the Muslim invader Ahmad Shah Durani and was rebuilt in 1802 by the Sikh ruler, Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) in marble and gold (its dome took 400kg of gold leaf to be covered). Ever since, it has been known as the Golden Temple. The Sikhs usually refer to it as the Hari Mandir (the temple of God) or Darbar Sahib (the Court of the Lord). When visiting the temple please be sure to have your head covered and feet bear.
The temple complex has a number of shrines of historical importance, notably the Akal Takhat (throne of the Timeless God). It is here that the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee or the Sikh Parliament traditionally meets. Baba Atal Tower, located in the southeast of the enclosure is a 9-storey tower (30m high) built in 1784.
Akal Thakat, Amritsar
The 4 entrances signify the openness & acceptance for all. All gold and marble work was done under the patronage of Hukam Singh Chimni and Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Inside the temple complex there are shrines, holy trees, memorial plaques, pilgrims' dormitories and dining halls where all devotees are fed for free. The free kitchen service is operational 24 hrs of the day. You will find many people offering voluntary service (seva) in the kitchen or elsewhere. All volunteers are welcome to serve here.
Beed Baba Budha Sahib
Baba Buddha was born in 1506 AD in village Kathu Nangal (District Amritsar). He met Guru Nanak for the first time in 1518 AD when the Guru had visited his village. He impressed the Guru as having an old head on young shoulders and won the appellate of Buddha (old). In 1604 AD Baba Buddha became the first Granthi (priest of the Golden Temple and in that capacity completed the first path (perusal) of the Adi Granth.
In 1577 AD, Sri Guru Ramdas Ji, the 4th Sikh Guru used to sit here while supervising the digging work of the holy tank. The foundation of Sir Harmandar Sahib was laid in 1588 AD. Sri Guru Anjan Dev ji, the 5th Guru used to sit here and supervise the work of construction of Sri Harmandar Sahib and gave holy sermons to congregations.
The Holy Scriptures containing holy hymns were also kept here after they were brought from Goindwal Sahib (45 Km from Amritsar, a holy place of 3rd Guru Sri Amar Das Ji), in order to compile Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. In 1600 AD Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji cured the ailment of Wazir Khan, the then Governor of Lahore by making him perform 'Karsewa' through Baba Budha Ji.
Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji recited here a Shabad in Rag Ramkali 'Athsath tirath jah sadh pag dhareh', which means the place graced by saints becomes equivalent to combined pilgrimage of 68 holy places. In this way according to sikh traditions this place is known as 'Tharha Sahib' Athsath Tirath.
Gurdwara Shaheed Bunga
Baba Deep Singh Ji, was the chief of the Misl Shahdeedan the most reputed Misl among the twelve Misls. Along with performing the great services of writing manuscripts of the sacred forms of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, he participated significantly in the important battles of the eighteenth century. When Baba ji was informed at Sri Damdama Sahib in 1757 AD that Taimur Shah and Jahan Khan had caused sidgrace to Sri Darbar Sahib Ji and extinction of the sacred Sarovar he even in his old age of 76 years took approximately 16 KG two edged sword in his hand, swore to liberate Sri Darbar Sahib and to teach the tyrants the befitting lesson, set out for Sri Amritsar.
From the other side after having been informed about the aforesaid situation, Jahan Khan along with his forces in thousands had occupied the trenches invllage Gohalwad on the outskirts of city. Thus followed the fierce fight between the two forces. Baba Ji was yet far from the holy city when in the duel with Jamal Khan his head was cut off. When a Singh fell standing there reminded Baba Ji of his pledge, such a miracle was manifested of which there exists no other example. After placing his head on his left palm he set the sword in motion in such a way that there came in sight the hasty flights among the ranks of the enemy. Thus fighting fiercely Baba ji reached Amritsar and offered his head before Sri Harimandar Sahib Ji. Gurdwara Shaheed Bunga being situated in the Circumambulation commemorates Baba Ji and it is a source of inspiration for maintaining the piety of the Gurudhams - Gurdwaras.
The temple complex and also the langar (kitchen service) is open 24 hrs.
The Harmandir sahib or the sanctum sanctorum is closed between 10 pm – 5 pm in winters & between 11 pm & 4 am in summers