The Golden Temple of Sikhs

The Golden Temple of Sikhs

21.08.2020

 

Sri Harmandir Sahib, aka the Golden Temple, is the main temple of the Sikhs located in Amritsar in the north-west of India.

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion that originated at the beginning of the 16th century in Punjab, preaching brotherly love for all people, regardless of their faith and social status. This religion is the world's ninth-largest organized religion in terms of number of followers.

The construction of the Golden Temple began in 1577, when the fourth Sikh Guru Ram Das ordered to dig a reservoir Amritsar – “the pool of the nectar of immortality.” Believers perform ablution ceremonies in it, considering the waters to have healing properties. They started to build a city with the same name around the lake, choosing to build a luxurious Sri Harmandir Sahib right in the middle of the reservoir. In 1588, the first stone of the future temple was laid. The construction of a religious complex took 16 years.

Its second name, “the Golden Temple“, the shrine received due to its precious decorations. The upper layers of the magnificent structure, including its dome and towers, are fully gold-plated. More than 100 kilograms of gold were used to decorate the temple’s facade.

In the photo: From a distance, it seems that the building looks like a golden monolith, whose windows are carved from a shiny metal.

 

The Golden Temple has four entrances, welcoming believers from all parts of the world. To get to Sri Harmandir Sahib, located in the middle of the lake, pilgrims need to walk across the marble bridge decorated with gilding.

Sri Harmandir Sahib amazes not only with its luxurious exterior, but also with the richness of its interior.

In the photo: the walls of the temple are covered with gold and inlaid with precious stones, as well as decorated with elaborate carvings and ornaments.

 

According to the Sikh faith, worshiping God is possible only through meditation. That’s why the music is played in the temple premises, immersing pilgrims in a state of trance.

For believers, the main relic of Sri Harmandir Sahib is the book of religious hymns "Guru Granth Sahib", consisting of 1430 pages of prayer verses. The folio is kept in a special sanctuary inside the temple on a golden pedestal covered with precious stones.

 

Interesting facts:

  • In 1891, the future Russian emperor Nicholas II visited Sri Harmandir Sahib.

  • The Golden Temple is open to visitors almost on a 24-hour basis, it closes only for a few hours, from 23:00 to 03:00.

  • Visitors are fed free of charge, water or tea can be offered.

In the photo: Sri Harmandir Sahib remains one of the top attractions in North India. Tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world come to Punjab every year to see the magnificent Golden Temple.

 

Gold is valued by people since ancient times. In order to give architectural structures a more refined look, the precious metal is often used in the decoration of facades and interiors. Gold symbolizes wealth and greatness. For the modern people who care about the future, gold serves as the best tool for preservation and accumulation of savings.

 

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Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque