Golden Temple / Harmandir Sahib
#2 of 20 Places to Visit in Amritsar
Distance (From Amritsar Junction): 2 Kms
Trip Duration (Including Travel): 2 Hours
Transportation Options: Cab / Auto
Travel Tips: People of all faiths are welcome into Golden Temple. Visitor must cover their head all the time while in the temple premises.
At a distance of 2 km from Amritsar Junction, Golden Temple is most sacred Sikh pilgrimage site situated in Amritsar town of Punjab state. Popularly known as Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib, Golden Temple is acclaimed as one of the most visited pilgrimage centers in India.
Sri Guru Ram Das Ji, 4th Sikh Guru, started the digging of Amrit Sarovar in 1577 AD on the orders of 3rd Sikh guru Sri Guru Amar Das Ji. Which was later on brick-lined by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the 5th Sikh Guru, in 1588 and he also started the construction of Sri Harmandir Sahib. Sri Guru Granth Sahib was first installed at Harmandir Sahib in 1604 AD. The temple had to be substantially rebuilt after it was destroyed in fire accident in the 1760s. In the early 19th century, 100 kg of gold were applied to the inverted lotus-shaped dome and decorative marble work took place under the patronage of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Fondly known as Swarn Mandir, Sri Harmandir Sahib is built on 67 feet square platform in the center of the Amrit Sarovar. This sarovar is considered to be filled of Amrit, which means 'holy water' or 'immortal nectar'. The water in this sarovar is believed to have medicinal properties and curative powers and hence, devotees bath in the tank to cleanse their soul. The Golden Temple has a unique architectural style and is built at a level lower than the ground. The temple is a two storey marble structure and can be reached by the Guru's bridge. The upper floor is gold plated and crowned with a dome and the lower floor is made with white marble and has walls decorated with motifs. The architecture is a great blend of Hindu and Muslim styles.
The Granth Sahib is kept in the temple during day time and at night it is kept in the Akal Takht or Eternal Throne. The moving ceremony takes place at 5 AM and 9.30 PM in winter, and 4 AM and 10.30 PM in summer. Akal Takht was initially built in 1609 CE by the sixth Sikh Guru Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib as a symbol for political sovereignty of Sikhs. This is first of the five Takht Sahib of Sikh religion. The Akal Takht also contains the ancient weapons used by Sikh warriors.
There is also a Central Sikh Museum atop the clock tower which was built in 1958. It displays the paintings of Sikh gurus, warriors, saints, and other prominent Sikh leaders who have contributed to the development of Sikh religion. It has a huge collection of ancient manuscripts coins, arms, and also has an excellent library.
Another major highlight of the Golden Temple complex is the 'Guru-ka-Langar', a dining hall where around 35,000 people a day are fed for free by temple volunteers. One of the most important festivals of Golden Temple is Vaisakhi, which is celebrated in the second week of April.
Temple Timings: 4 AM to 10 PM
Museum Timings: 8 AM - 7 AM