Golden Temple at Amristar
is the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. Known as Sri Harmandir Sahib in the Sikh world, it is also sometimes referred as Sri Darbar Sahib. Guru Arjan Sahib
, the fifth Guru, conceived the idea of creating a central place of worship for the Sikhs and he himself designed the architecture of the Golden Temple. The foundation of Golden Temple was laid by a Muslim saint Hazrat Mian Mir ji of Lahore on 1st December, 1588.
The Golden Temple sits on a rectangular platform in the center of Amrit Sarovar. It is surrounded by a white marble corridor, through which pilgrims visiting the shrine walk, circumnavigating the temple. The temple is made up with 165 kg of gold, offered by the Great Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Three storied, it is crowned with a dome shaped like an inverted lotus. Inside the temple on a jewel studded platform, lies the Adi Grantha, the sacred scripture of the Sikhs. The scripture is a collection of devotional poems, prayers, and hymns composed by the ten Sikh gurus and various Muslim and Hindu saints. The hymns will be echoing from the early morning till sunset and creates a devotional atmosphere.
A 450-year-old Jubi tree can be seen at the north-western corner of the complex. It is believed to have special powers and childless women tie strips of cloth on it to be blessed with sons. Central Sikh Museum, Baba Atal Tower and Ramgarhia Minars are situated inside the Golden Temple complex.
Enormous dormitories and dining halls are also provided where all persons irrespective of race, religion, or gender are lodged and fed free.