The history of Golden Temple is connected with the ‘Pool of Nectar’ which surrounds the Golden Temple building. This is the story of Rajni, Daughter of Raja Duni Chand. One day Raja Duni Chand brought some gifts for his all three daughter. The two daughters praised her father for the gifts. But Rajni was devotee of Guru and had blind faith in supreme power of God. She praised God for the gifts and said that gifts were actually sent by God, her father was only the medium to deliver those gifts. Raja got angry after hearing this and made his daughter marry a patient of leprosy. But Rajni believed in God and accepted the things life gave her.
She started struggling for the treatment of her husband. One day she placed the basket containing her husband on the bank of a pool and went away for some task. Her husband saw that some crows were plunging into the water of that pool and coming out converted into a white bird. He too plunged into the water and came out turning into young man with all diseases cured. Since that time, the pool is popularly to be known as ‘Pool of Nectar’.
Golden temple is also known as ‘Harmandir Sahib’. Harmandir is a combination of two words ‘Har’ as God and ‘Mandir’ as Temple. Sahib is a word to express respect. Golden Temple is located in City Amritsar (Punjab, India).
Guru Amardas, 3rd Guru planned to dig the Holy Tank in 1573. But the guidelines were handed over to 4th Guru, Guru Ramdas to execute the plan. Guru Ramdas executed things as per the plan with the help of experienced and intelligent assistant Baba Budhha. Along with the planning of Holy Tank, Guru Ramdas established a small town in 1577. Which is now a beautiful & Tourist city with the name of Amritsar.
Fifth Guru of Sikhs Guru “Arjan Dev” designed the layout of the building to be built in the centre of pool. Guru especially invited Muslim Saint Hazrat Mian Mir of Lahore to lay the foundation of Golden Temple. Upon the construction of building, Guru Arjan installed ‘Adi Granth’ inside Golden Temple. ‘Adi Granth’ is Holy Book of Sikhism with latest name of ‘Guru Granth Sahib’. With the vision to make common place of worship for Sikhs & people from other religions as well. Guru Arjan built the building one step lower than the surrounding areas to emphasize humility and encourage one to eliminate ego before entering premises. The layout was designed with four doors at all four directions with the vision to allow entrance to people from all religions, sex and casts. With continues efforts, Guru Arjan declared Amritsar as a primary Sikh pilgrimage Destination. Thus ‘Harmandir Sahib’ started to be considered as the ‘Temple of God’.
World’s Largest Kitchen – Where you can have Free Food in Golden Temple
A Dining hall was established in Harmandir Sahib Complex. People call it ‘Free Kitchen’. The focus was to serve people with free food, who come for worship after completing long distance. The name given to this free kitchen is ‘Guru Ramdas Langar’. People come and sit on floor in rows, which shows the sign of equality. Food is served to all regardless of Faith, Gender or Economic background. Till now the community runs this free Kitchen Where people enjoy fresh vegetarian food for free. The stats say that around 2, 00,000 people are served with food daily.
History of Akal Takhat
Sixth Guru “Guru Hargobind” established a building to the west of Golden Temple called ‘Akal Takhat’ (Throne of Almighty). The motive to establish Akal Takhat was to take wise & major decisions related to Sikhism. Two flags in front of Akal Takhat building represent the Spiritual Authority. In 16th century, Mughals destroyed Golden Temple & Akal Takhat building by seeing the increasing popularity of the place. But it was rebuilt gradually. On the orders of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, again it was heavily damaged by troops of Indian Army in 1984. But Indian Govt. got it repaired thereafter.
History of Attack on Golden Temple in 1984 – Operation BlueStar
The violence took place at Amritsar was in 1984. This was a political clash actually, when troops of Indian Army attacked Golden Temple complex on the orders of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. This violent political clash is known as the ‘Operation Blue Star’. Many innocent Sikhs were killed in Golden Temple complex for no reason. The purpose of this operation was to evacuate extremists from the complex. Reports says that more than 1200 people killed in this operation. This attack damaged Akal Takhat, which was gradually repaired after the attack.
Gold Work on Golden Temple by Maharaja Ranjit Singh
In 18th century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Sikh Emperor in Punjab) covered the Dome and inner part of building with Gold plates. Thus the name derived Golden Temple. Later on British emperors started visiting Amritsar frequently. The British resident, H.M. Lawrence issued an order in 1847 asking English people to visit Sikh centres by following the Sikh protocols. Train service started between Lahore and Amritsar in 1862. The 1st Sikh college was established in 1892 with the name ‘Khalsa College’. Guru Nanak University was established in 1969 to expand education. British declared Amritsar a ‘Holy City’ in 1915.