Amritsar is considered to be the most important and sacred city of Punjab. It is considered the most sacred place because the largest Gurudwara Golden Temple is in Amritsar. After the Taj Mahal, most of the tourists come to see the Golden Temple of Amritsar. It used to be the camp of Guru Ramdas. Amritsar has a glorious history. It has been very famous for its culture and fighting. The arrival of Amritsar has been a witness to the events of reverence and revenge. The biggest massacre of the Indian freedom struggle took place in Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar. Thousands of devotees and tourists visit the Golden Temple every day.
My visit to Shri Harmandir Sahib
After a bad phase in my life, I want to spend some peaceful time with myself. So, I planned a solo trip to Amritsar. I was much excited to go there so I went half an hour early to Nizamuddin Railway Station. This was the first time that I was going to roam alone in another state. I reached Amritsar at 5:30 in the morning. After getting fresh, I decided first to visit the Golden Temple.
On entering the complex, I heard some melodious hymns. It was so a soothing experience. I saw some pilgrims taking a dip in the water. People believe that this water body i.e Sarovar has healing properties. I sat on the porch for an hour. It was such a peaceful time. At that time I comprehensive forget all the sadness and started feeling fresh. Then I decided to forget all my problems and to start a new phase of my life. Then I walked all around the temple and also went to eat langar in lunch time. You should also visit this community kitchen .
History of Shri Harmandir Sahib
The history of Amritsar is about 400 years old. The foundation of this Gurudwara was laid by the fourth Sikh ‘Guru Ramdas’ in 500 bhiga. Amritsar means ‘the tanker of Amrit’.The fifth Guru Arjun dev constructed the Shri Harmandir Sahib in between the holy Sarovar and established the holy scripture of Sikhism i.e ‘The Aadi Granth’. Shri Harmandir Sahib is also considered the home of homeless people.
The Sri Harmandir Sahib complex is also home to the Akal Takht. One version states that Emperor Akhbar donated land to the wife of Guru Ramdas. Then in 1581 Guru Arjun Das started its construction. This lake was kept dry and empty during its construction. It took about 8 years to complete the first edition of Harminder Sahib. The temple was completed in 1604. Although the Golden Temple was destroyed many times, it was commemorated again in the 17th century by Maharaja Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia. The temple is made up of marbles upon which a golden layer is carved which looks very beautiful to see.
Read more about the history of Golden temple
About the ‘Langar’
Langar is a community kitchen where hundreds of people are served food and people take part volunteerly in feeding and making the food. Many people volunteerly comes not only for working in the community kitchen but also in cleanliness part. Everyone can participate in the langar at the Golden Temple gurdwara. You may be surprised to hear but every day 40,000 people are fed free langar in the Golden Temple kitchen. Every day around 400,000 people eat langar. Mostly rottis are served here, for which 12,000 kg of flour is utilized every day. One of the special things here is that you have to take off your shoes and cover your head before you sit down to eat at the langar.
Here is the hall where 5000 people can sit together and eat langar at a time. The proof of cleanliness is found by the fact that each maiden is washed in five different vessels. The practice of Langar was started by Guru Nanak, the first Guru of the Sikhs. There is a complete arrangement for any person to stay in this gurudwara for 3 days. Many rooms and halls are built here where pillow blankets and bedsheets are provided for sleeping. If you want to roam in the Golden Temple then you can stay here for 3 days comfortably
Interesting facts about Golden Temple
The Golden Temple is also known as ‘Sri Darbar Sahib’ or ‘Sri Harmandir Sahib‘. The Golden Temple is also considered a form of religious unity. This gurudwara is associated with devotees’ respect and devotion. It also attracts tourists again and again with its immense grace. Some of the interesting facts about the Harmandir Sahib are enlisted below.
1)The name Golden temple
The Golden Temple got its name from the gold sheet mounted on the outer layer of the temple which was added to it by Maharaja Ranjit Singh 200 years after building the temple. Earlier, the temple wanted to be known as Darbar Sahib or Harmandir Sahib.
2)The Entry Gate
The temple has four entrances which are in all four directions. The entrances indicate that this temple wholeheartedly welcomes devotees from all parts of the world without any interruption. Tourists and devotees of any denomination, any caste, any religion are embraced here.
Amrit Sarovar is one of the major attractions of the temple. It is believed that this Sarovar has medicinal properties. Whoever comes to visit this temple first wash their hands and feet in this Sarovar and then enter inside the temple. Some devotees also take a dip according to their reverence.
4)The largest ‘Langar ‘ hospitality
The Golden Temple organizes the largest langar seva in the world every day where lakhs of the devotees are fed food. It runs throughout the day. Here, you can taste the ‘Prasad’.
Best time to visit the Golden Temple
If you are planning to visit the Golden Temple during the summer holidays, then do not even think about coming here at this time! because the temperature remains high during this time. So this time is not good for to roam. You can come here in the monsoon season between July to August. Otherwise, the time from October to March is the best.
Places to visit near the Golden Temple
If you go to the Golden Temple, then you can also visit very beautiful places around it. Wagah border is located just 1 hour away from here! You will be very proud to see patriotism and love between India and Pakistan You can also visit Mata Devi Lal temple around it. It is just 17 minutes apart from the Golden Temple. Apart from this, you can see the Akal Takht. It is one of the few possessed by the Sikhs. It is said that people of Sikhism who visit Amritsar, must-visit Akal Takht.
The Durgiana Temple is also worth visiting. It is not less than the Golden Temple. This temple is also known as Lakshmi Narayan Temple.Here ,I have enlisted the places to visit near the Golden Temple.This temple is 1.5 km away from the Amritsar Railway Station. Besides this,, you can also visit the Jalliawala bagh .
How to reach Amritsar
If you are going from Delhi to Amritsar by train or road, then it will take about 9 hours, while it will take only 1 hour if you are going by flight.
1)By air – Sri Guru Ramdas Ji International Airport is located 11 km away from Amritsar in Rajasansi. It took 15 minutes to reach there. This airport is well connected to Delhi.
2)By train– Amritsar is well connected to all the major Railway Station like Delhi, Ludhiana, Jalandhar. It is the cheapest mode and you can easily come via train.
3)By road – If you are coming via road from Delhi then you can reach Amritsar by Grand Trunk Road. Let me tell you that Pakistan is only 25 km away from Amritsar.
Things to know before going to Shri Harmandir Sahib
1)Cover your head with hankey, scrap, or any cloth before entering the temple.
2)Avoid cut sleeves dresses in the temple
3)Short dresses are not allowed here.
4)Alcohol, drugs, cigarettes are prohibited.
5)Mainly the temperature remains high in Amritsar so you should bring your cotton clothes while coming.
6) Here photography is only allowed in the hall, after which special permission has to be taken if you want to click inside pictures.
Read my previous blog – List of places to visit in Udaipur