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Golden Temple

Golden Temple

The Harmandir Sahib, more popularly known as the Golden Temple is regarded as the most sacred pilgrimage site of the Sikh community. Harmandir Sahib literally means temple of Hari or the Supreme God. Golden temple's exterior is gold-plated and the structure stands in the middle of a square tank. Sikhs from all over the globe come here to pay respect to Guru Granth Sahib and take a dip in the Amrit Saras Kund for self purification. The shrine is not only symbolical of the doctrines of Sikhism but is also a symbol of strength for all Sikhs. Infact, doorways on all four sides of Golden temple indicates that it welcomes Sikhs of all the four castes.

Golden temple is located in Amritsar in western Punjab. The holy city of Amritsar literally means pool of the nectar.

How to reach the Golden Temple
Air : Flights operate to the Rajasansi airport at Amritsar from many national destinations. A few international flights also land at the airport.
Rail : Amritsar is well connected by railway network. Regular trains operate between Amritsar and national capital Delhi.
Road : Buses are available to Amritsar from Delhi and other destinations of Punjab. Amritsar is at a distance of 234 kms from Chandigarh and 464 kms from Delhi.

The idea of building the Golden Temple was conceived by Sikh Guru Arjan Dev. His aim was to provide a central place of worship for the Sikh community. The foundation of the temple was laid in the year 1588 by the Guru himself. The idea to dig the holy tank or Amrit Sarovar was that of Guru Amar Das and Baba Budha ji started it under his supervision. The first Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh made Amritsar his spiritual capital and significantly developed the architecture of the temple.

The Golden Temple has been built on a 67 feet square platform right in the centre of the water tank. The temple is 40.5 feet square and has doors on the east, west, north and south. An arch called Darshani Deori stands at the shore end of the causeway. The door frames of the arch are 10 feet in height and 8 feet in breath. The main shrine can be entered through a causeway or bridge built over the holy tank. The arch also opens to the bridge. The length and width of the causeway are 202 feet and 21 feet respectively.

There is a 13 feet wide 'Pardakshna' or circular path round the main shrine which leads devotees straight to 'Har ki Paure' or steps of God. The causeway or bridge connects straight to this circular path. On the first floor of Golden Temple, the Guru Granth Sahib is continuously read. On the top of the room where Guru Granth Sahib is recited, stands a low fluted 'Gumbaz'(dome) having lotus petal motifs.

One of the best architectural specimen of the world, the architecture is a praiseworthy fusion of Hindu and Muslim styles. But the best thing about Golden Temple is that devotees cutting across religious lines come here to pay obeisance to the supreme Lord. The Golden Temple is a symbol of religious unity.
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