The Golden Temple of Amritsar

The Golden Temple of Amritsar
Written by Shirshendu Sarkar

The Golden Temple of Amritsar

Holding the title of ‘one of the most visited religious places ‘of India, The Golden Temple of Amritsar located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab is one of the holiest and sacred site of Sikhism. Also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib gurdwara, it is famous for its full golden dome which is made of approximately 400kg of gold leaf built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh during 1801-1839. Though the history of the temple goes back than 19th century, but it has been destroyed by the Afghan invaders and finally rebuild during the span of 1801-1839 with marble and gold leaf which earned it the title of ‘The Golden Temple’. If you already visited the place then you can surely relate to the fact that it is a place worth visiting again and again. And if you haven’t visited yet, then you should not waste any more time and plan your next vacation to Amritsar.

The Golden Temple is a place of great beauty and sublime peacefulness. Initially a small lake in the midst of a quite forest, the site provides as a peaceful site for meditation retreat for the pilgrims visiting there since long time back. The architecture of the temple have both Hindu and Muslim artistic styles yet it represents a unique co-evolution of the two.  The main attraction is the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred scripture of the Sikh which is a collection of devotional poems, prayers and hymns composed by ten Sikh Gurus and various Hindu and Muslim saints. With the rays of early morning sun glittering the whole temple, these hymns are chanted to the exquisite accomplishment of flutes, drums and stringed instruments echoing across the serene lake and the temple. The lake feed with a underground spring around the temple turns sacred with the inner belief of the pilgrims. Taking a bath in this lake is believed to wash off all their sins and liberate them.

Next to the temple complex is the huge dining hall and kitchen which is one of a kind, where the great ‘Langar’ takes place everyday where thousands and thousands of pilgrims and visitors are served vegeterian food. Many experienced cooks along with people visiting together helps in arranging the langar. It is believed that by helping in the langar, one can earn good deeds irrespective of their caste and creeds. So whenever you visit Golden Temple, don’t forget to visit the gurdwara kitchen.

Some other places that you can visit in Amritsar are-

  • Wagah Border, the Indo-Pak border where the Wagah Border Ceremony (border closing ceremony)takes place daily in the afternoon with full of pomp and grandeur
  • The Partition Museum, the only institution in the world devoted solely to Partition. It features a haunting collection of newspaper clippings, antique photographs and oral histories of the people who went through the devastating experience of the separation between two countries 
  • The mouth watering and finger liking Punjabi food needs special mention like the spicy curries, butter dripping parathas, tandoori-fried chicken, kulcha and what not
  • Mata Lal Devi Mandir, a sacred place for Hindus
  • Jallianwala Bagh, bearing the heart-wrenching evidence of the brutal public killing by the British where 1500 people were killed. The bullet marks still present on the walls reminds about the horrific history even today
  • Baba Atal Tower
  • Ram Bagh Gardens
  • Gobindgarh Fort which is more than 250 years old
  • Sri Ram Tirath Temple
  • Hall Bazar, which is a heaven to all the shopaholics

Amritsar is well connected with Airlines, Railways and Roadways throughout the country. So reaching there is not a problem at all. The best time that we will suggest you to plan your visit to Amritsar is between November and March as the weather is pleasant and ideal for sightseeing and visiting the Golden Temple.

So get set ready to visit The Golden Temple as soon as you can steal some time from your busy schedule and experience the serenity of the surrounding places. 

You can visit any other places in India

  • Rajasthan
  • Kerala
  • Goa
  • Varansi
  • Darjeeling   
  • Kashmir

About the author

Shirshendu Sarkar

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