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Golden Temple - Places to visit

Golden Temple or “Harminder Sahib” is incomplete without the mention of the magnificent places which engulf it like:

Baba Atal

Baba Atal

This is a majestic nine-storey tower that was built in the memory of Sikh guru Hargobind Ji’s son Atal Rai who died at the age of nine. It is believed that he was an intellectual and had gained the eternal knowledge at a very young age. He was then, popularly known as “Head over young shoulders”. This tower was built in between 1778 & 1784 and is standing at an astonishing height of 108 ft.


Akal Takhat

This is another place of worship which rightly faces the “Golden Temple”. All the commandments that affect the Sikh community and the shape their style of living are issued from this place. The Akal Takhat was used for holding court and Sikh congregations in the days of its builder. It is believed that initially it had only the ground floor that was constructed in 1874 and then Sikh guru “Maharaja Ranjit Singh” subsequently added 3 floors to it giving it a magnificent shape. This architecture has witnessed all the blows, events & atrocities and today, it still stands all with all the glory and magnanimity. As one enters this place, a deep feeling of patriotism, bravery & sacrifice can be realized by watching a number preserved weapons used by Guru Hargobind, Guru Gobind Singh and other Sikh heroes during struggle for freedom.

Guru ka Langar

Guru ka Langar

It is believed that no one goes an empty stomach who visits this place. Sikhs are extremely helpful, friendly & cooperative and they firmly believe in serving the mankind with their heart & soul. In view of all this, a Sikh temple without a Community Kitchen is inconceivable. Cooked food is serviced in the kitchen of the Harmandir Sahib 24 hours to all visitors irrespective of religion, caste, creed and nationality and all the expenses are incurred from the Temple funds. Nearly 40,000 visitors are religiously served everyday.

Sri Guru Ram Das Niwas

This place is a hostage for pilgrims where unlike any other hostel facility; pilgrims are treated as children of God and are served with great hospitality. Anybody can stay at this place at it is said that the doors of this place remain open to everybody. The mankind is served here without any malignity and with a pure intention & feeling of help & cooperation. The beddings, cots and all basic facilities are provided free of cost. The lodgers are allowed to stay for a maximum of 3 days and no one is expected to do anything which is repugnant to Sikhism, their teachings or preaching.

Amrit Vela

Golden Temple

In Sikhism, it is believed that if a person offers his prayers during this time, they are considered to be extremely powerful and God listens & fulfils them quickly. “Amrit Vela” is a time which starts three hours before the sunrise i.e. at 3 a.m. when religious people offer prayers to God with a clear heart & soul. This time is of huge significance in the Sikh religion and according to the holy books, every Sikh is guided & urged to follow this to have a clear & shining soul & succeed in every walk of life.

Jallianwala Bagh

Jallianwala Bagh

This place has witnessed one of the most brutal massacres in the Indian history. In the northern Indian city of Amritsar, on April 13, 1919, British Army under the command of British General Reginald Dyer ruthlessly opened fire on an unarmed gathering of men, women & children during Baisakhi. The firing continued for 10 minutes and it is said that a total of 1650 rounds were fired causing over 1000 deaths & leaving over 2000 wounded. A memorial has been constructed at this place in remembrance of the martyrs and people pay a visit here to remember & pay homage to their invaluable sacrifices which greatly resulted in precipitating & propagating the struggle for freedom. The walls with bullet holes and the well in which people jumped & drowned in an attempt to save them from the firing are preserved at this place. One can still listen to the echoing screams, virtually see the blood-stains & feel the pain of innocent people who were murdered cruelly.

Prakash

The holy book “Guru Granth Sahib” is carefully set on the velvet & silk cushions. After the book is placed, the congregation stands in silence & the head priest ceremoniously opens it & read alouds the Lord’s message for the day. It is completely a religious event when prayers, shabad kirtans & recitations are sung from morning till evening.

Parikrama Shrines & Ath Sath Tirath

Along the marble walk-away, one can find the first shrine as “Dukh bhanjani Ber” built around a jujube tree. It is believed that this was the place where a crippled youth were miraculously cured when they took a bath in the holy pool. With a belief of ending all their sorrows & unhappiness, people take a bath here. Past the Dukh bhanjani Ber, there is anoter marble platform called “Ath Sath Tirath” which is prominently known as a shrine of sixth eight holy places. It is believed that after taking a bath near it, one can feel the eternal experience of being visited those 68 holy places. Further along the parikrama, there is a holy shrine of legendary baba Deep Singh. In the remembrance & pay homage to this great leader, people offer rose petals & garlands at this place.

Ram Tirath Temple

This temple is located 11 km. west of Amritsar on Chogawan road where saint Valmiki composed the holy book called Ramayan. This place is also the birthplace of Luv & Kush, sons of Lord Rama & Sita according to the epic Ramayan. Throughout the year, immense devotional pilgrimage visits this place to offer their holy prayers & fulfill wishes. The awesome attributes of this place are the peaceful, calm & tranquil environment that results from the chants of prayers & pious vibes making it a paradise.

Rambagh Garden

Ram-bagh Garden

It is a beautiful garden located around the summer place of Maharaja Ranjit Singh named as a tribute to Guru Ram Das. At the end of the garden, there is a lively status of Maharaja Ranjit Singh on a horse in a winning posture. The huge fortified that was then used as an entrance can be seen in the garden periphery. It depicts the lifestyle & valor of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. This place has now been converted into a museum with the modern amenities and preserves the paintings & weaponry used in the battlefields. People visit this place to remember & pay homage to the sacrifice of this great martyr in the Indian history.

Decorated Palki & Sawari

About half an hour before the holy book “Guru Granth Sahib” is brought down from the Akal Takht, a palanquin for its placement is beautifully decorated with gold & solver in its preparation. The attendants replace the cushions & pillows and the book is carefully placed on the silk clothing and after everything is placed, scented rose water & beautiful rose petals are sprinkled over it. The procession carrying this book slowly moves across the plaza through the Darshan Deorhi with chants of prayers and stopping as it reached the main door of Harimandir.

Festivals

“Golden Temple” witnesses all prominent festivals which are celebrated with great fervor & enthusiasm. Gurpurab is one of them which is celebrated with joy and a day when people from all around the world gather and offer their holy prayers & homage to the Sikh Gurus who sacrifices their lives in laying the foundation of this religion. In every festival, food is served to millions of people wit a belief that it is prepared in the God’s kitchen and God does not want anybody to go empty-stomach. This serving of food to congregation is generally referred as “langar” and it treated as the highest level of piousness & clarity where a person serves food to the mankind considering himself as a representative of God and where there is no ego or selfish beliefs, only virtues.

Another great festivals being celebrated at the “Golden Temple” are birthdays of Guru Nanak Sahib (15th April, 1469), the founder of this religion and Guru Gobind Singh Sahib (22nd December 1666) when the temple is gorgeously decorated with lights, candles are being lighted, people remember their Gurus and offer prayers and “langar” or food is offered to everybody as an act of serving the mankind. The reflection of colorful lights, scented environment, soothing prayers & a delicious “langar” truly makes these festivals as enjoyable and a memorable day.

 
Quick info
Region
North
Languages
Hindi, Punjabi, English
Indian Time
2017-09-24
9/24/2017 10:53:44 PM
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