15 Interesting Lesser Known Facts About The Golden Temple Of Amritsar in India

The Golden temple is a Gurudwara located in the holy city of Amritsar in the Panjab State of India. The Golden temple is also known as Harmandir Sahib literally means “The House of God”. It is one of the most spiritual places in India.   The Golden temple is famous for its fully golden dome.

Is there any plan to visit the Golden Temple in the coming days? Here are 15 interesting lesser-known facts that will give information about the sacred place.

1. World’s Largest Free Community Kitchen- Langar

The free community kitchen called langar at the Golden Temple is the world’s largest free community kitchen.  The langar is feeding more than 75,000 people per day. To feed the people the langar uses 12,000 kg of flour, 1500 kg rice, 13,000 kg lentils, and approximately 2000 kg of vegetables daily. The meals in the langar are vegetarian, simple, nourishing, and nutritious. The meal timings are morning 12.00 pm to 2.00 pm and evening 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm.

2. World’s Largest Volunteer At Fee Kitchen

To feed the people and prepare the meal at langar hundreds of volunteers to work there free of cost. These volunteers come from the local community as well as national and international travelers.  They are doing the work according to the assignment from cutting vegetables to serving the food to the people. You can also join the world’s leading community for volunteering. This is also the world’s largest free volunteering service in the Golden Temple.

3. Guru Arjan Built Golden Temple

The Golden Temple was built by Fifth Sikh Guru Arjan in 1604. He thought that there should be one central place of worship for the Sikhs. Before that Guru Nanak, the First Sikh Guru used to meditate there and designed the architecture of the Golden Temple. The Fourth Guru of Sikh Guru Ramdas initially constructed the pool here. Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Sikh Empire rebuilt the temple in marble and copper in the year 1809 and coated it with gold leaf in 1830.

4. Renovated With 160 kg Pure Gold

The structure of the temple in marble and copper has been renovated with 160 kg of pure gold. Maharaja Ranjit Singh rebuilt the entire temple and added the outer covering of gold to the marble structure. The gold used for the temple is pure 24-karat which is much purer than 22-karat gold. The gold coast with worth INR 130 crores. The gold plating was done on the four domes at the entrance of the temple. Now the temple is set to shine brighter.    

5. Named After Gold Covering

The original name of the sanctum sanctorum is Harmandir Sahib. The meaning of Harmandir Sahib is “The house of God”. The Golden Temple is named after the gold covering on it. The temple was destroyed many times by the Afghan invaders. After that, the temple was built in marble and copper with gold foil. The structure is thus named Golden Temple. 

6. Lord Buddha Meditated At Golden Temple

There are several ancient records and documents available to show that the founder of the world religion of Buddhism Lord Buddha stayed at the sacred site of the golden temple. At that time the place was a manmade lake surrounded by a thick forest. That place was beautiful, calm, and peaceful.  He thought that this place is ideal for meditation. So he stayed there for a longer time. 

7. Surrounded Biggest Sacred Pond

The Golden Temple is surrounded by a sacred pond. Amrit means the nectar of immortality and “Sar” or “Sarovar” means pond. The depth of the pond is 15 feet. The artificial pond was dug by Guru Ram Das in 1577. The devotees visiting the Golden temple bathe in the holy water of the pond. It is believed that taking bath at the pond before sunrise is a celebrated ritual. The water in the pond has therapeutic qualities and undoubtedly healing in nature. 

8. Mobile Phone And Camera Not Allowed

The management committee of the Golden temple Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee has banned any type of videography and photography in the Golden temple complex. Therefore, a mobile phone or camera is not allowed inside the complex. The photography is allowed only at the outer parikrama- the outer walkway. If anyone needs photography, then have to obtain special permission at the main gate. They can provide the lockers to keep your mobile, camera, and belongings there.

9. Free Rooms

There are rooms inside the complex. The rooms are free of charge. Saragarhi Sarai is a luxurious accommodation for pilgrimages located near Harmandir Sahib inside the golden temple. You can stay for a single day or week as per the requirement.   Saragarhi booking offers a first cum first served basis subject to availability of rooms on desired dates.  Simply ask at the information desk and they will help you.

10. Open To All Religions

People from all religions are allowed to visit the Golden Temple. There is not any restriction on religion. Even though there is no restriction on sex, age, and color. Guru Granth Sahib, the holiest text of Sikhs inside the main hall is open to all worship people.  People from all over India as well as outside India visit the Golden Temple.

11. Architecture

The Golden Temple has been influenced by different types of architecture. It includes Indo-Islamic Mughal architecture and Hindu Rajput architecture. The temple stands on a platform having dimensions of 20 meters square. The main structure is a two-storeyed building with shrines ground floor made with marble and the upper floor is coated with gold panels. The bridge facing the front is decorated with repeated cusped arches.

12. Pilgrimage Place

Many people from the Sikhs religion all over the world make a pilgrimage or Yatra to the Golden temple, Amritsar. It is a special religious journey to the Golden Temple.  It is the most sacred place in Sikh Religion. They perform the Yatra to pay their respect to the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book.

13. Akal Takht

Akal Takht is a religious building and part of the Golden temple complex.   Shri   Guru Hargobind Singh laid the foundation stone of the Akal Takht building in 1605.  The Akal Takht in the Golden Temple is the first and most important Takht of the five Takht of religious power of Sikhism. It is the highest authority that addresses the spiritual and temporal concerns of the Sikh community.  The building of Akal Takht is a large 5-storeyed modern building with inlaid marble and a gold-leafed dome. The historic weapons of the Guru are kept in the Akal Takht

14. Dress Code

There is no prescribed dress code to enter the Golden temple. The only thing is that your head should be covered with cloth. If you do not have cloth, then you can purchase them outside the temple.  Along with that, you should remove footwear outside before entering the temple. It is better to wear a closed-shoulder dress.

15. Timing

The timing of the Golden Temple on all working days of the week is from 05.00 am to 10.00 pm. The time required to see Golden Temple is 2 to 3 hours. The best time to visit the Golden temple is from November to March as the weather is pleasant and ideal as compared to the other months.

I hope this article will be useful to you for planning a trip to the Golden Temple Amritsar.

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