Golden Temple, Amritsar
The Golden Temple or DarbarSahib, situated in Amritsar, Punjab, is the most
sacred temple for Sikhs. It is a symbol of the magnificence and strength
of the Sikh people all over the world. In the evolution of the Darbar Sahib,
is entwined the history and ideology of Sikhism. In its architecture are
included, symbols associated with other places of worship. This is an example
of the spirit of tolerance and acceptance that the Sikh philosophy propounds.
Sri Harmandir Sahib, also known as Sri DarbarSahib or GoldenTemple, (on
account of its scenic beauty and golden coating for English speaking world),
is named after Hari(God) the temple of God. The Sikhs all over the world,
daily wish to pay visit to Sri Amritsar and to pay obeisance at Sri Harmandir
Sahib in their Ardas.
The Sri Harmandir Sahib was invaded anddestroyed many a times by the Afghan
and other invaders. Each and every time the Sikhs had to sacrifice their
lives in order to liberate it and restore its sanctity. After the martyrdom
of Bhai Mani Singh ji in 1737, Massa Ranghar, the Kotwal of Amritsar took
charge of Sri Harmandir Sahib in 1740 and converted it into a civil court
and began to hold notch parties. This act created great resentment among
the Sikhs. Two warriors, Sukha Singh and Mahtab Singh avenged the insult
by a dare devil act. They entered the temple complex in guiseof peasants,
severed the head of Massa Ranghar with a single blow of kirpan and fled
away with decapitated head on one of the their spears.
Guru Arjan Sahib got its foundationlaid by a muslim saint Hazrat Mian Mir
ji of Lahore on 1st of Magh, 1644 Bikrmi Samvat(December,1588). The construction
work was directly supervised by Guru Arjan Sahib himself and he was assisted
by the prominent Sikh personalities like Baba Budha ji, Bhai Gurdas ji,
Bhai Sahlo ji and many other devoted Sikhs.
Unlike erecting the structure on thehigher level(a tradition in Hindu Temple
architecture), Guru Arjan Sahib got it built on the lower level and unlike
Hindu Temples having only one gate for the entrance and exit, GuruSahib
got it open from four sides. Thus he created a symbol of new faith, Sikhism.
Guru Sahib made it accessible to every person without any distinction of
Caste, creed, sex and religion.
Architecture of the Golden Temple
Sri Harmandir Sahib, is built on a 67ft. square platform in the centre of
the Sarovar(tank). The temple itself is 40.5ft. square. It has a door each
on the East, West, North and South. The DarshaniDeori (an arch) stands at
the shore end of the causeway. Thedoor frame of the arch is about 10ft in
height and 8ft 6inches in breath. The door panes 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 withthe 13 feet wide 'Pardakshna' (circumambulatory
path). Itruns round the main shrine and it leads to the 'Har ki Paure' (steps
of God). On the first floor of 'Har ki Paure', there is 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 highparapet 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. Itis a
small square room and have 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
Its architecture represents a unique harmonybetween the Muslims and the
Hindus way of construction work and this is considered the best architectural
specimens of the world. It is often quoted that this architecture has created
an independent Sikh school of architecture in the history of art in India.
Golden Temple, Amritsar, Religious Places in India