The Golden Temple

THE-GOLDEN-TEMPLEThe world renowned Golden Temple which enshrines the Granth Sahib (the holy Book of the Sikhs) is located in Amritsar (literally meaning -‘a pool of nectar’). Amritsar which houses the Golden Temple or Harmandir Sahib was founded by the fourth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Ram Das, who had initially constructed a pool here. It is here that Sage Valmiki wrote the epic, Ramayana. Rama and Sita are believed to have spent their fourteen year exile in Amritsar, the epicentre of Sikhism.Contemporary Muslim mystic, Mir Mohammed Muayyinul Islam, popularly known as Mian Mir was requested by Guru Arjun Dev to lay the foundation stone. The construction was completed in rate sixteenth century. The temple was rebuilt by the Sikh ruler, Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1803. The Golden Temple is a proper blend of Hindu and Muslim cultures as is shown by the architecture. The Granth Sahib is kept in the Temple during the day and is kept in the Akal Takht or Eternal Throne in the night. The Akal Takht also houses the ancient weapons used by the Sikh warriors. It was established by Guru Hargobind.The rugged old Jubi Tree in the north west corner of the compound, is believed to possess special powers. It was planted 450 years ago, by the Golden Temple’s first high priest, Baba Buddhaya. Guru-ka-Langar or the communal canteen, is towards the eastern entrance of the temple complex, and it provides free food to all visitors, regardless of colour, creed, caste or gender. Visitors to the Golden Temple must remove their shoes and cover their heads before entering the temple. The temple is less crowded in the early mornings on weekends.

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