The Darbar Sahib or the Harmandir Sahib based within the city of Amritsar, Punjab popularly known as Golden Temple, literally means the House of God. As the title states, the Golden Temple is composed of gold. The temple welcomes one or more lakh worshippers on a regular basis. The shrine consists of Darbar Sahib, which is encompassed by the Holy Sarovar(Tank). Guru Ji wanted to build a common place of worship for the Sikhs, providing a common platform where all the Sikhs could gather and offer prayer to the Almighty.
This desire gave the idea of constructing Golden Temple and subsequently, he designed the architecture of the temple. Prior to him, Guru Amardas Sahib, the 3rd Guru, had planned the excavation of the Holy Sarovar(Tank), however, it was performed only by Guru Ramdas Sahib, under the supervision of Baba Budha Ji.
The most sacred place of India is Golden Temple or popularly known as Sri Harmandir Sahib. This divine court, which essentially means the temple of God, is located in Amritsar, Punjab. This wonderful temple is built exactly in the center of Sarovar and there's water all around.
The gold covered exterior of the temple looks amazingly beautiful. Sikh individuals from different regions of the world come and pay a visit to this holy place every year. There's a rich history associated with it and the meaning of Golden Temple is also tremendous.
The Land for Site was brought by The Guru Ram Das Sahib on payment from the Zamindars (landlords) of native villages. The plan to establish a town settlement was also made. Consequently, the construction work on the Sarovar and the town started simultaneously in 1570. The Sarovar(tank) was excavated in 1577 A.D.
And was subsequently called Amritsar or Amrit Sarovar, meaning the pool of the nectar of immortality. This helped to name the city, which grew around it. The work on both projects was completed in 1577 A.D. Guru Arjan Dev Ji laid the foundations of Golden Temple with the aid of a Muslim saint Hazrat Mian Mir Ji of Lahore, on 1st of Magh.
The construction work they were supervised by Guru Arjan Sahib, with the aid of prominent Sikh personalities like Baba Budha Ji, Bhai Gurdas Ji, Bhai Sahlo Ji and several other devoted Sikhs. Guru Arjan Sahib built the building on the lower level, unlike the traditional Hindu Temple architecture, where it's typically built on a higher structure.
Golden Temple deviated from a temple in another aspect, by being open from all four sides, as opposed to having only one gate for both entrance and exit. This symbolized the dawn of a brand new faith, which embraces people without any distinction of caste, creed, sex, and religion.
The building work was completed in 1604 A.D and Guru Arjan Dev Ji installed the Adi Granth in it. He named Baba Budha Ji as its first Granthi i.e. The reader of Guru Granth Sahib. After this event, he achieved the status of Ath Sath Tirath. Now the Sikh Nation had their own Tirath, a pilgrimage center Sri Harmandir Sahib is built on a 67ft. a square platform in the center of the Sarovar(tank).
The temple itself is 40.5ft. square. It has a door each on the East, West, North, and South. The Darshani Deori (an arch) stands at the shore end of the causeway. The door frame of the arch is about 10ft in height and 8ft 6inches in the breadth. The door panels are decorated with artistic style. It opens on to the causeway or bridge that leads to the main building of Sri Harmandir Sahib. It is 202 feet in length and 21 feet in width.
The bridge is connected with the 13 feet wide ‘Pardakshna’ (circumambulatory path). It runs around the main shrine and it leads to the ‘Har ki Paure’ (steps of God). On the first floor of "Har Ki Pauri", there is a continuous reading of Guru Granth Sahib.
The main structure of Sri Harmandir Sahib, functionally as well as technically is a three-storied one. The front, which faces the bridge, is decorated with repeated cusped arches and the roof of the first floor is at the height of the 26 feet and 9 inches.
At the top of the first floor, 4 feet high parapet rises on all the sides which has also four ‘Mamtees’ on the four corners and exactly on the top of the central hall of the main sanctuary rises the third story. It is a small square room and has three gates. A regular recitation of Guru Granth Sahib is also held there.
On the top of this room stands the low fluted ‘Gumbaz’(dome) having lotus petal motif in relief at the base inverted lotus at the top which supports the "Kalash" having a beautiful "Chhatri" at the end.
Furthermore, in the year, 1699, Guru Gobind Singh, 10th guru of Sikhs laid the institution of Khalsa Panth. Golden Temple also holds special significance as it marks the popular Baisakhi celebrations. This sacred center of the Sikh community is visited by the Sikhs from across the world.
The holy Sarovar (tank) of the Golden Temple is considered as very holy and the Sikh people try to pay a visit to this temple and to take a holy bath at the Sarovar(tanks) of the temple. This holy Sarovar(tank) of Harmandir Sahib was built by Guru Arjan Dev.
The water in those Sarovar (tank) is believed to have therapeutic properties. Individuals from various parts of the society regardless of caste, gender, race, and religions come and worship the Almighty. Golden Temple is the symbol of peace, magnificence, and strength.
Baisakhi is celebrated in this second week of Apr at all the Gurdwaras such as Sri Harmandir Sahib or this Golden Temple.
The day of Vaisakhi is regarded as a sacred day by this Sikhs because it's believed that Khalsa was founded on that day. Numerous other celebrations like the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev, this martyrdom day of Guru Tej Bahadur are celebrated on a sizable scale in the Golden Temple.
The Golden Temple is lit up using Diyas superbly on this occasion of Diwali along with special fireworks along with lightening are also visible on this day.
While entering the Golden Temple, appropriate code of conduct is to be preserved by the visitors. The code of conduct is located on the following fundamentals:
I. It's imperative to maintain this purity of the sacred temple and of one's body while entering the premises.
II. Smoking cigarettes, eating meat, drinking alcohol isn't permitted inside the temple premises.
III. As an indication of respect, it's imperative to cover one's own head using a piece of cloth. Visitors without a fabric are provided one while going into the temple.
IV. Anyone can take a dip in the holy sarovar (pool of nectar) but use of soap or shampoo is not allowed. The wet clothes may kindly be deposited in a Wet-Clothes-Room.
V. It's Also essential to sit on the ground to be able to show respect to Shri Guru Granth Sahib along with God.