The Beauty and Marvel of Harmindar Sahib
The Harminder Sahib (The abode of God), informally referred to as the ‘Golden Temple’ is the holiest Sikh Gurudwara. It is located in Amritsar, Punjab, India.
Founded in 1574, by the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das. The Harmindar Sahib is exemplary in its serenity and awe inspiring in its grandeur. Many architects have studied the fortress city that houses the holy temple. Displaying a tantalizing mix of Mohammaden styles with a good deal of Hindu tradition, it encompasses the best of a long heritage of beautiful building styles to produce a remarkable structure.
Some of these remarkable features are nowhere to be found other than in the Harmindar Sahib. Instead of the normal custom of building temples at a raised ground, the Golden Temple is lower, meaning devotees have to go down steps to enter. In keeping with the traditions and preaching of tolerance and brotherhood, the Harminder Sahib has four entrances to welcome strangers and devotees from all the directions as equals.
The Gurdwara features memorial plaques that salutes brave Sikh saints and martyrs who died in protection of their religion, country or the life of their brothers and sisters. The holies text of Sikhism the Guru Granth Sahib is present inside the gurudwara during the daytime. The temple is also home to exquisite artwork, with fabled inlay works and gold plating designs that are breathtaking. The two towering minarets are a truly standing feature, viewable from afar, rising high into the sky.
Over 100,000 people visit the holy shrine daily and many partake in the free community kitchen and meal that is available to everyone and anyone. Anyone is allowed to assist in the serving or preparing of the meal and everyone is allowed to enjoy the feast, a stoic gesture of community service and tolerance especially in the modern world that is so guarded and divided by differences.
The Harmindar Sahib is referred to as the Golden Temple due to the magnificent Golden shrine in the center of the fortress. Surrounding on all sides by a lake of holy water, visitors reach the golden shrine via a parapet. The shrine is decorated with gold and precious stones and also follows the four entrances architecture.
The Harmindar Sahib is a vast complex that highlights Sikh traditions and history. It is welcoming to people of all faiths, age or gender as long as visitors cover their heads and walk barefoot within the premises. The Harmindar Sahib is truly one of a kind and a must visit for everyone.
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