In my way for visit the Golden Temple in India 2019 for short course training from Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Program used to go to witness what is fact about the Golden temple? and these is the fact about Golden Temple in India.
The land for the Golden Temple was donated by the Mughal emperor Akbar on which construction began in 1574. The foundation was overseen by the fourth and fifth Sikh Gurus, and the construction was completed in 1601. It has been restored and embellished continuously over the years. In the 19th century, the inverted lotus-shaped dome was inlaid with 100 kgs of gold and decorative marble. This took place under the patronage of Maharaja Ranjit Singh who was a legendary warrior king fondly remembered by the Sikh community.
In 1984, the then Prime Minister of India, ordered an attack on the armed Sikh militants hiding inside the Golden Temple premises. In the fight that ensued, over 500 people were killed, and Sikhs all over the world were enraged by this sacrilege of their holy site. The Sikh community did not allow the central government to undertake the repair of the damage caused to the temple, undertaking the work themselves. The temple has been substantially built since then, but the incident remains fresh in the memory of the locals.
One of the most important festivals celebrated at the Golden Temple is Vaisakhi in the second week of April (mostly the 13th April). This festival is celebrated to commemorate the founding of the Khalsa. The other festivals observed with great religious piety are the birthday of Sikh founder Guru Nanak, the birth anniversary of Guru Ram Das, martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur, etc. The Harmandir Sahib is brightly illuminated with lights and diyas on Diwali along with the fireworks display. The temple is visited by most Sikhs at least once during their lifetime.
The Guru Granth Sahib is placed inside the temple premises every morning and returned to the Akal Takhat (timeless throne), which is the temporal seat of the Khalsa brotherhood, every night. This ceremony is called the Palki Sahib, and it provides male visitors with a chance to participate in the veneration of this holy book. The Guru Granth Sahib is carried in a heavy palanquin. The male visitors form a line in the front and back of the palanquin, shouldering the burden for a few seconds before passing it on. This allows every person a chance to participate and rest.
The ceremony takes place at 5:00 AM and 9:40 PM in winters and 4:00 AM and 10:30 PM in winters.
- The Golden Temple is a mesmerising blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles and appears to be floating at the end of a long causeway. It has an elegant marble lower level embellished with animal and flower motifs in pietra dura work, which is also seen on the Taj Mahal.
- Above this is the shimmering second level, circumscribed in intricately carved gold panels, topped by a 750 kg gold gilded dome. The gleaming inner sanctum sees the priests and the musicians continuously chanting the Guru Granth Sahib, piling on to the already intense religious atmosphere.
- After paying obeisance, pilgrims generally retreat to the second floor, which has the intricately painted gallery.
- The Hari Mandir (central temple) is connected to the pathway by a marble causeway which is known as Guru’s Bridge. This path symbolises the journey of the soul after death. Embraced by marble stairways, this tank is believed to have healing powers that can cure many diseases.
If you decide to visit this enigmatic masterpiece, don’t forget to offer and taste the mouth-watering Prasad. The temple also has the largest kitchen in the world offering free langar food to people of all religions and faiths.
Guru-Ka-Langar is an enormous dining room located at the southeast end of the temple complex where an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 pilgrims a day come to eat after praying at the Golden Temple. The food is free of charge, but the pilgrims often make donations and offer help with the staggering pile of dishes to be washed. It is a humbling projection of the Sikh doctrine of hospitality, catering to everyone from paupers to millionaires. The food served here is vegetarian to ensure that all people can eat together here, as equals. This is often touted as the World’s Largest Free Kitchen.
The rituals performed in the Golden Temple are carried out as per the Sikh tradition wherein, the scripture is treated as a living person, almost equated and respected as a Guru.
The opening ritual is called Prakash, which translates into “light”. At dawn every day, the Guru Granth Sahib is taken out of its room, carried on the head and then placed and carried around on a flower-decorated palanquin. It is brought to the main sanctum and a ritual singing of the Var Asa kirtans and ardas takes place and a random page from the holy book is opened. This is called the mukhwah of the day and the page is read aloud and also written for pilgrims to read during the day.
The closing ritual, sukhsan (comfort or rest position) starts at night and the Guru Granth Sahib is closed after a series of devotional kirtans and three-part ardas are recited. It is carried on the head and then placed and carried in the flower-decorated, pillow-bed palanquin while the devotees chant. It is carried into the Akal Takht and tucked into bed.
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