Gurudwara shri harmandir sahib, Amritsar

Sri Harmandir Sahib (Gurmukhi: ਹਰਿਮੰਦਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ) also Darbar Sahib (Gurmukhi: ਦਰਬਾਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ) and incorrectly referred to as the "Golden Temple" is a prominent Sikh Gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. It was built by the fifth Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Arjan Sahib Ji, in the 16th Century. In 1604, Guru Arjan Sahib Ji completed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhi, and installed it in the Gurdwara. There are four doors to get into the Harmandir Sahib, which symbolize the openness of the Sikhs towards all people and religions. The present day Gurdwara was rebuilt in 1764 by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia with the help of other Sikh Misls. In the early nineteenth century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh secured the Punjab region from outside attack and donated the gold which covered the upper floors of the Gurdwara, which gives it its distinctive appearance and its english name.

some pictures of shri harmandir sahib

front view of shri harmandir sahib

old image of shri harmandir sahib

4th guru shri ramdas ji

golden temple

history of harmandir sahib

Golden Temple is also known as Sri Harmandir Sahab and Sri Darbar Sahab. Guru Arjun Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru, gave the idea of construction of a temple where Sikhs can come and worship. The land for the temple was bought from the Zamindars by Guru Ramdas. Hazrat Mian Mir Ji, a Muslim saint, laid the foundation of the temple and the construction was supervised by Guru Arjun Dev. The guru asked to build the temple at a lower level with four gates, one in each direction. The construction of the temple was started in 1588 and completed in 1601. Guru Granth Sahib was also installed by Guru Arjun Dev and Baba Budha ji was appointed as the first reader of the book. The temple has got the status of Ath Sath Tirth and Sikhs from various places come here for pilgrimage.

construction of golden temple

Foundation Stone: The foundation stone of the Golden Temple was laid by a Muslim saint, Hazrat Mian Mir, on December 28, 1588.
Architectural Design: The design of the Golden Temple was conceptualized by the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das. It was later completed by the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev.
Construction Material: The temple was built using white marble and gold. The sanctum, known as the Harmandir Sahib, is covered with gold leaf.
Inauguration: Adi Granth Installation: The Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, was installed in the Golden Temple in 1604. Guru Arjan Dev compiled and installed the Adi Granth, which later became the Guru Granth Sahib, the eternal Guru of the Sikhs.
IFirst Invocation: Guru Arjan Dev's son, Guru Hargobind, inaugurated the Golden Temple by performing the first invocation in 1604.
INectar Pool: The Amrit Sarovar, a holy pool surrounding the temple, was excavated during the early years of the temple's construction. It is considered to have healing properties. Over the centuries, the Golden Temple has undergone several renovations and expansions to accommodate the growing number of devotees. It remains a symbol of Sikhism's spiritual and historical significance and continues to be a place of worship, pilgrimage, and community service.

architecture images of the golden temple

gold embossed work in golden temple

interior image of the golden temple

Exterior view of the balcony

golden temple

the golden temple architecture

The Golden Temple stands in the midst of a beautiful water body called Amritsar or Amrit Sarovar, from where the city derives its name. The shrine displays influences of different architectural styles, including the Indo-Islamic Mughal architecture and the Hindu Rajput architecture. It is a two-storied structure. While the lower level of the shrine is built out of marble, the upper level is covered in gold panels. A 750 kg gold gilded dome sits at the top of this structure. Even the doors of the shrine are covered in gold foil.

The interiors of the shrine are adorned with splendid floral motifs and frescos. Verses from the scripture of the Sikhs are etched in gold lettering on the arches of the shrine. There are four entrances to the Golden Temple complex, but only one to enter the gurudwara.

The gurudwara is comprised of many buildings which are located around the main sanctum and the water body. Of these, the most important is Akal Takht or one of the five seats of power in Sikhism. You can also see a clock tower, a museum, offices, and a community kitchen which is locally called a langar.

the holy sarovar around the golden temple

“PAWAN GURU, pani pita, mata dharti mahat” (air is teacher, water is father and earth our mother) - thus goes the closing line of the Japji Sahib given by the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev. It holds special significance for Amritsar, the holy city, which boasts of the Harmandar Sahib (also known as the Golden Temple). The city has been named after the water body surrounding the temple. 'Amrit' means the nectar of immortality and 'sar' or 'sarovar' means pond - hence the name. The city was founded by Guru Raam Das, the fourth spiritual master of the Sikhs, who also ordered the excavation of the pond. His son and successor Guru Arjan Dev completed this work. It is said that water from the river Ganga was added to the sarovar. The belief is that whoever takes a dip there, gets rid of their bad karma. While the pond was earlier dependent on rainwater, its supply comes from the Upper Bari Doab canal of the Ravi river via the Jethuwal distributory today. Harmandar Sahib became popular as 'Golden Temple' when Maharaja Ranjit Singh got its upper floors covered with gold plated copper sheets in the 1830s. The regilding was done again in 1999 with the gold and money donated by devotees from all over the world. However, due to increasing air pollution around the shrine, restoration work has to be done every year to maintain the sheen.

harmandir sahib sarovar

the golden temple daily routine

A number of ceremonies take place inside the Golden Temple on a daily basis. The main ceremonies are:

Sukhasan or the Closing Ritual: This ceremony refers to the closing of the Guru Granth Sahib at night and placing it in a well-decorated palanquin. It is then carried to the Akal Takht on the first floor and the holy book is then put into a bed.

Prakash or the Opening Ritual: Each morning, the Guru Granth Sahib is taken out of the Akal Takht and carried in a flower-decked palanquin to the sanctum of the Golden Temple. After the customary singing of kirtans, a random page is opened and read out loud.

Free food: Everyday, thousands of people are fed free food from the community kitchen at the temple. This practice is known as langar in which everyone sits on the ground and enjoys the simple yet tasty vegetarian meal served there.


ਸੋਚੈ ਸੋਚਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜੇ ਸੋਚੀ ਲਖ ਵਾਰ ॥
ਚੁਪੈ ਚੁਪ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜੇ ਲਾਇ ਰਹਾ ਲਿਵ ਤਾਰ ॥
ਭੁਖਿਆ ਭੁਖ ਨ ਉਤਰੀ ਜੇ ਬੰਨਾ ਪੁਰੀਆ ਭਾਰ ॥
ਸਹਸ ਸਿਆਣਪਾ ਲਖ ਹੋਹਿ ਤ ਇਕ ਨ ਚਲੈ ਨਾਲਿ ॥
ਕਿਵ ਸਚਿਆਰਾ ਹੋਈਐ ਕਿਵ ਕੂੜੈ ਤੁਟੈ ਪਾਲਿ ॥