The Golden Temple
The city of Amritsar is busy and lively. The people come here from far and wide to experience the richness of culture, mesmerizing views, and palatable food. If you are in India, on holiday, you can’t miss the city of Amritsar. It will not faze you but will leave you overwhelmed. It’s a city of mere 2.8 million people following modern Indian standards. It takes 2 days to roam around the city of Amritsar in Punjab. Out of your adventurous visits, if you want to connect with the divine Aura and run into the books of history, and experience the richness of culture, the trip to Amritsar is a must.
If you ask anyone about Amritsar, everyone will ask you to visit the golden temple. Undoubtedly, there’s a long list of tourist places, but visiting the Golden temple will leave you with jollity and heavenly fulfilment.
The most famous attraction of Amritsar is the golden temple. The place is holy and devotional and rich with memorials and historical background. People have come to this place to worship and for their spiritual contentment.
About The Golden Temple
The Golden temple is the symbol of equality and brotherhood, where all the people from different corridors of the world bow their heads and seek spiritual relief and support. It depicts the historical glory and pride of the Sikhs. Across the globe, this place is considered to be the most impressive and stirring tourist destination. It is visited by more than one lac (1,00,000) people every day. The holy temple ‘s idea was executed by Guru Ram Das Ji, (the fourth Guru of the Sikhs) under the guidance of baba buddha Sahib Ji. The beautiful temple has 4 doorways each in different directions. You have to move downward through the stairs. These stairs are designed to symbolize the down-to-earth nature of human beings. The temple is constructed below the ground level which signifies that human beings should be unpretentious to meet the god. The amazing fact about the golden temple is it is made of pure gold. This gold has been contributed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Moving inside The Golden Temple
You need to cover your head with a scarf or rumalas, available in the baskets for the visitors at each entrance door. It is also available at low prices in the nearby markets. You can remove your shoes inside the cloakroom. The water is available at the entrance door for cleaning your feet by walking through the pool of water. Also, if you’re carrying some luggage or bags, you can keep them in the luggage room.
You need to move clockwise from the main doors of the temple. A huge crowd of visitors follows each other inside the main temple. You can buy Karah prasad to offer inside the temple. The view inside is enchanting and blissful. Moving around the temple, you can also visit various places such as Dukh banjani Beri, Langar Ghar (community kitchen), Manji sahib, Har ki Pauri, Akal Takht sahib, Ber baba buddha Ji, Gurudwara Baba Atal Rai Ji, Gurudwara Mata koulan Ji.
Har ki Pauri
To Reach Har ki Pauri, you need to stand in a queue on the guru’s bridge to enter the main temple. This guru’s bridge represents the journey of the body and soul after passing down from this earth. The beautiful art and armature and soothing kirtan sound keep you esteeming the surrounding beauty. Everyone stands in the queue holding the Karah Prasad in their hands, covering their heads and prayers in their heart. The vibes are calm and peaceful; indeed, the sanctum area is full of pilgrims chanting and praying around and outside the area, reading books, and chanting religious hymns. This disassociates you from the external world and helps you throw yourself into the inner world. While coming out of the temple, the Karah Prasad is offered to everyone. It has great importance for the Sikhs. It is said that the Prasad is the food blessed by the guru, and it should not be refused. People keep sitting for long hours inside the temple, singing and chanting hymns, and reading holy books. It is believed that the guru of the Sikhs has his holy presence inside the main temple.
Visit during the Daytime
If you visit in the daytime, you can read the holiest text of Sikhism written inside, which is not visible during the night. People sit around the holy Sarovar pathway, filling their hearts with the beautiful sight of the temple. You can also wash your face and hands in the holy water. People generally come here for a dip into the Amrit Sarovar, especially on holy days. (Gurupurabs, Amasya, or at the beginning of the month)
You can also bathe at the Amrit Sarovar early in the morning as a part of the ritual of the golden temple. There are separate places for men and women pilgrims to take holy baths. The holy Amrit has therapeutic qualities which heal your mind, body, and soul. A huge crowd takes a holy dip every minute in the temple. You will find the different colors of fish inside the Amrit Sarovar.
Visit during the Night Time
The Daily routine at the temple
The tradition of continuous singing at Kirtan Darbar fills your heart with love and gratitude. From the opening of the portals to their closing, the surroundings are immersed in the name of God.
Every day in the morning, Hukamnama is taken from the guru Granth sahib Ji and it is sent to all the gurudwaras. It is read loudly in all the gurdwaras during the morning ceremonies. It is considered to be the order of the guru of Sikhism on that day. It is also written on the various corridors of the gurudwaras for visitors .It is written in English and Punjabi language.
At Sri Akal Takht Sahib, during the night time at 8 pm, the rehras time) the weapons of the martyrs and the gurus are shown to the pilgrims
Every night at 9.30 pm, the palki sahib is decorated carrying Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and headed towards Sri Akal Takht sahib. The Gurbani kirtan is sung by the devotees following the crowd. The grounds are cleaned by the staff and the devotees.
Must Visit Langar Ghar (Community Kitchen )
One can also eat in the world’s largest free kitchen in the temple. The food is made by people and also offered by them to the large crowd sitting inside the dining hall .with proper organization, people are offered food and water. You have to take the plates and a large bowl of water from outside the kitchen hall. It is said that this is the largest langar Sewa organized by Sri Harmandir sahib. You are accompanied by more than 50 people at a time serving the food and water. You have to sit on the floor irrespective of your status as in guru’s ghar everyone is considered equal.
Volunteering in assisting
You can also assist in the kitchen with cooking, cutting vegetables, and dishwashing. It became a part of the sewa offered by people with wholeheartedness. 24*7 hours langar Sewa is open and the chopping and cutting cooking is a continuous task. Anyone can participate voluntarily. Women/ men, children, or old people, all come to do their part of Sewa. Not only this, you can opt for cleaning the hall or distributing the food in the kitchen. The overall maintenance and the operation inside the kitchen are managed through the offerings by the devotees. Volunteers do their part of Sewa without any cost.
If you don’t know much about Sikhism, you can ask anything from people around you. The Punjabi people are very friendly, and they know the importance of religion and sacred places. The Sikh’s way of life and the 5Ks, the importance of uncut hair, customs, and culture will be well explained by them.