Thursday , 29 February 2024
Thursday , 29 February 2024

Visiting And Paying Obeisance At The Golden Temple

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  • 30 Nov, 2022

The Golden Temple is one of the most spiritual places in India. Popularly known as Sri Harmandir Sahib, it is one of the holiest shrines in Sikhism. The land of Sri Harmandir Sahib was donated by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. The construction on the land began in 1574 and the foundation of the temple was seen by the fourth and fifth Sikh Gurus. The construction was completed in 1601 and for years it has been restored and embellished with pride by the community. One of the most famous and important festivals celebrated at the Golden Temple is Vaisakhi which generally falls on the 13th and in the second week of April. The other festivals which are observed with energy and zeal are the birthdays of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev Ji and the birth anniversary of Guru Ram Das Ji. The temple is visited by most of the Sikhs during their lifetime. During Diwali, the temple is brightly illuminated with lights and diyas along with a firework display. The firework of the Golden Temple is very famous worldwide. The Guru Granth Sahib is placed inside the temple premises every morning and returned to Sri Akal Takhat, which is the seat of the Khalsa brotherhood, every night. 

The Golden Temple is an enthralling blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles. There is a beautiful golden glided dome on the second level. It is topped by around 750 kg of gold and this gleaming inner sanctum has priests and musicians continuously chanting the Guru Granth Sahib. 

If you ever visit this holy place in Amritsar, the Guru-Ka-Langar is not to be missed at all. It offers mouth-watering Parsad and the temple also has the largest kitchen in the world offering free langar (food) to people of all religions and faiths. Sikhism sees no difference in people of different castes, religions, colors, or creeds. All people who enter the premises are treated equally in the eyes of God. Guru-Ka-Langar is an enormous dining room located at the southeast end of the temple which feeds around 70,000-80,000 pilgrims a day. This number increases during the time of festivals or special occasions. The food (langar) is served free of cost but as per their wishes pilgrims make donations and offer help with the huge pile of dishes to be washed and food to be served. The kitchen boasts to be well known as the ‘World’s Largest Free Kitchen’. 

When visiting Golden Temple keep the following tips in mind

                          

  • Always remove your shoes and socks before entering the temple compound. There is a place to stack your shoes at the entrance. Wash your feet in the shallow foot baths nearby before entering the Gurdwara. 
  • One should try to dress appropriately before visiting the temple. The body must be fully covered and you must cover your head properly which is a sign of respect in the gurdwara. In case you are not carrying a scarf to cover your head, it can be borrowed at the entrance which is free of charge and must be returned once leaving the gurdwara. 
  • Tobacco and alcohol or any form of drugs are strictly prohibited on the premises.
  • If you wish to sit near the holy nectar pool, you should not dip your feet in the water and sit cross-legged. 
  • Proper decorum should be maintained all the time, and no loud music or hooting is allowed in the Gurdwara which may disturb other devotees. 

Daily ceremonies

The rituals performed at Sri Darbar Sahib are carried out in accordance with Sikh traditions wherein, the scripture is treated as a living Guru and respected as a Guru. The opening ritual ceremony is called Prakash, which means ‘light’. At dawn every day, the Guru Granth Sahib is brought out of their room and carried on the head and then placed and carried around on a flower-decorated palki or palanquin. From the room, it is brought to the main sanctum and ritual prayers take place. 

The closing ceremony, known as Sukhasan starts at night and the Guru Granth Sahib is closed after a series of prayers and singing of hymns or kirtans. Ardas is recited and then the scripture is carried on the head and placed in the flower-decorated, pillow-bed palanquin while the devotees chant prayers. It is then carried back to Akal Takht and put into bed. 

How to reach Golden Temple

Since the Golden Temple is the favorite religious tourist spot for Sikhs and all other faiths and religions, reaching Amritsar is not a hassle. One can travel by air, rail, or road from anywhere in India. The Golden Temple can be reached by local transport such as auto and cycle rickshaws when in Amritsar city. It is the cheapest local mode of transportation once you are in Amritsar. The Darbar Sahib also offers free bus services from the Amritsar Railway Station. The Amritsar airport is known as Rajasansi International Airport and is situated at a distance of 11 km from the city. Regular flights route to Amritsar city from Delhi.  


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