The Harimandar Sahib (meaning Temple of God) is also commonly known as the Golden Temple or Darbar Sahib (Divine Court). It is situated in the city of Amritsar in Punjab. The Golden Temple is a living symbol of the spiritual and historical traditions of the Sikhs. It is a source of inspiration for all Sikhs and their chief place of pilgrimage. The temple with it's glistening gold covered exterior stands in the middle of a square tank with each side about 150m with an 18m path on all four sides. A 60m causeway traverses the pool to reach the Temple itself that is 12m square and rests on a 20m square platform in the middle of The Pool of Nectar. The Harimandar Sahib has entrances and doors on all four sides. Guru Arjun Dev exclaimed; "My faith is for the people of all castes and all creeds from whichever direction they come and to whichever direction they bow."
Guru Amar Das the Third Sikh Guru asked Ram Das (who would go on to become the Fourth Sikh Guru) to build a central place of congregation for the Sikhs. Guru Ram Das started excavation work in 1577 during his lifetime. Guru Arjun Dev the Fifth Sikh Guru completed excavation of the Tank known as Amritsar (The Pool of Nectar) in 1588. Guru Arjun Dev then started construction of the Temple building it that was finally completed in 1601. The first edition of the Holy Book of the Sikh's The Guru Granth Sahib was installed there in 1604 with Baba Buddha as the first granthi (caretaker of the book). The last Sikh Guru to live in Amritsar was the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind. In 1664 Guru Tegh Bahadur the Ninth Sikh Guru visited The Golden Temple but was refused entry by the corrupt temple caretakers, The Masands. The Golden Temple has always been a rallying point for Sikhs throughout its history. Around 1740 Massa Ranghar, the ruler of Amritsar desecrated the Temple by using it as a dancing hall. Mahtab Singh killed him. In 1761 Ahmed Shah Abdali blew up the Temple and filled in the Sacred Tank with refuse. The great Sikh martyr Baba Deep Singh laid down his life in revenge. The construction of the Golden Temple as it appears today was begun in 1764 when Jassa Singh Ahluwalia laid the foundation stone. Many of the doors and domes were covered with copper sheets overlaid with gold during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The Golden Temple was partially damaged by the military invasion of the Indian Army during June 1984.
Harimandar Sahib ( Golden Temple )
The Five Holy Takhats | A day at Darbar Sahib |
| Installation of the Holly Bible in the Harimandar Sahib |
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