Golden Temple

According to Sikh history, Guru Amar Das, the third Guru of the Sikh tradition, chose the land that would later become Amritsar and house the Harimandir Sahib. Initially, it was called Guru Da Chakk. After Guru Ram Das took over from Guru Amar Das in 1574, he faced opposition from Guru Amar Das’s sons. Despite this, Guru Ram Das went on to found the town, which eventually came to be known as “Ramdaspur”. He began by completing the pool with the assistance of Baba Buddha (not to be confused with the Buddha of Buddhism). Guru Ram Das then constructed his official center and residence adjacent to it. He also invited merchants and artisans from various parts of India to settle in the new town with him.


For Sikhs, this temple is super important. It played a big role in movements that shaped Sikh history. In the 1980s, there was a big conflict between the Indian government and a leader named Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. It got really bad in 1984 when the Indian Army came in, and a lot of people got hurt, and parts of the temple got damaged. But they worked hard to fix it up.

The Har-Ki-Pauri, located behind the temple, allows pilgrims to sip water from the holy tank. This section also provides water for cleaning the temple.

The sanctum has two floors. The lower one holds the Sikh Scripture Guru Granth Sahib for about 20 hours a day, and for 4 hours it’s taken to its bedroom inside Akal Takht.

The upper floor is a gallery. The exterior is adorned with gilded copper plates, and the doors are covered in gold leaf. Inside, there are Arabesque designs, verses from the Sikh scripture, and frescoes depicting nature.

The Darshani Deorhi houses temple management offices and the treasury. Nearby, volunteers serve a sweet offering called Karah prasad. Pilgrims typically circumambulate the pool before entering the sanctum.

The Golden Temple is a place of welcome for everyone, no matter their background or beliefs. It’s designed with four entrances to show that all people are equal. Around the pool, there’s a path you can walk. There are different buildings around the temple, including Akal Takht, which is a very important place for Sikh religion. There’s also a clock tower, offices, a museum, and a kitchen where they serve free meals to anyone who comes by. Every day, lots of people, over 150,000, visit this special place to pray.