The continuous singing of Gurbani Kirtan (hymns) at Sri Harimandir Sahib fills the innerself with peace and tranquility. Basking in the light of the dawn filtering through the golden shrine, I looked at the many who had braved the cold chill early morning to come for their prayers.
The legendary Golden Temple is actually just a small part of this huge gurdwara complex, known to Sikhs as Harmandir Sahib (or Darbar Sahib).
Spiritually, the focus of attention is the tank that surrounds the gleaming central shrine – the Amrit Sarovar , from which Amritsar takes its name, excavated by the fourth guru Ram Das in 1577. Ringed by a marble walkway, the tank is said to have healing powers, and pilgrims come from across the world to bathe in the sacred waters.
The Golden Temple has a unique Sikh architecture. Built at a level lower than the surrounding land level, The Gurudwara teaches the lesson of egalitarianism and humility. The four entrances of this holy shrine from all four directions, signify that people belonging to every walk of life , Sikhs and people from any community ,religion and country are equally welcome.
The Temple is not only a place of worship but a rallying centre of the Sikh community. It is the heritage of the Sikh people gathered in their five hundred years old history. Legends and miracles are connected with the holy tank while great martyrdoms and triumphs are associated with various spots of the temple precincts. The temple had been a symbol of the Sikh struggle for independence in the eighteenth century. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries all important Sikh movements have been led from the precincts of the Golden Temple.