The Golden Temple is also known as Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib. It is located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. The Golden Temple is also the holiest Gurdwara and one of the most important pilgrimage site of Sikhism. Lakhs of tourists and pilgrims visit the place from around the globe.
Guru Arjan Sahib thought to create a central place of worship for the Sikhs. The idea was executed by Guru Ramdas Sahib under the supervision of Baba Budha ji. Guru Ram Das purchased with the land for the temple with a Sikh donations of 700 rupees from the owners of the village of Tung. Guru Arjan initiated the construction in 1581 and it took 8 years to complete the first version of the Harmandir Sahib.
The template remained one of the main target of persecution during the Mughal Empire. Guru Arjan was arrested on order of Emperor Jahangir and asked to convert to Islam. He was tortured and executed in 1606 CE. For about a century after the execution of Guru Arjan, the temple was not occupied by the actual Sikh Gurus. In the 18th century, Guru Gobind Singh and his newly founded Khalsa Sikhs came back and fought for it.
In 1802, Ranjit Singh took Amritsar from the Bhangi Sikh misl, paid homage at the Golden Temple and announced the reconstruction. Athen the temple was rebuilt with marble and gold. The temple was renovated in marble and copper. In 1830, Ranjit Singh donated gold for the sanctum.
The temple is open to worship for all men and women from all faiths. As per data, the Golden Temple attracts more visitors than the Taj Mahal.
What is Palki Sahib
Palki Sahib is a ceremony in which the Guru Granth Sahib is placed inside the temple premises every morning and returned to the Akal Takhat every night. The Guru Granth Sahib is carried in a heavy palanquin. Male visitors get a chance to participate in this ceremony.
Palki Sahib ceremony takes place at 5:00 AM and 9:40 PM in winters and 4:00 AM and 10:30 PM in winters.
Guru-Ka-Langar or also known as World's Largest Free Kitchen is located inside the Golden Temple premises. It is a big dining room where an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 pilgrims a day come to eat for free of charge. The food served is vegetarian to ensure that all people can eat together. Everyone has to sit on the floor in rows that is called pangat.
The Langar is run by donations pilgrims make to help the langar.
How to reach Golden Temple
If you are in Amritsar, you can easily reach to the Golden Temple by using any kind of transportation. Cabs and autorikshaws are available form any part of the city. The Golden Temple Trust also runs a free bus service from the Amritsar Railway Station.
Amritsar is well connected by Air, rail and road. Amritsar has Raja Sansi International Airport located at a distance of 11 Km from the city. Taxis from Airport to the Golden temple are available. Amritsar is also connected by a strong rail network and road network from Delhi and other nearby cities.