life style based on philosophy which is well ahead of its time, the Sikh
religion today has a following of over 20 million people worldwide. Sikhism
preaches a message of devotion and remembrance of God at all times, truthful
living, equality of mankind, social justice and denounces superstitions and
blind rituals. The most significant historical religious center for the
Sikhs is The Golden Temple also known as Harmandir Sahib, at Amritsar in the
state of Punjab in northern India. It is the inspirational and historical
center of Sikhism but is not a mandatory place of pilgrimage or worship. All
places where Sri Guru Granth Sahib are installed are considered equally holy
History of Golden Temple, Amristar
Guru Arjan Sahib, the fifth Nanak, conceived the idea of creating a central
place of worship for the Sikhs and he himself designed the architecture of
Sri Harmandir Sahib. Earlier the planning to excavate the holy tank
(Amritsar or Amrit Sarovar ) was chalked out by Guru Amardas Sahib, the
Third Nanak, but it was executed by Guru Ramdas Sahib under the supervision
of Baba Budha ji. The Harmandir Sahib, or the sanctum sanatorium, was
conceived by Guru Arjan Dev to reflect the resoluteness, clarity and
simplicity of the Sikh religion. The Harmindir Sahib today stands as the
hallowed symbol of the indestructability of the Sikh faith.
Sri Harmandir Sahib, is built on a 67ft. square platform in the center of
the Sarovar (tank). It has a door each on the East, West, North and South.
The darshani deori (an arch) stands at the shore end of the causeway. The
door panes are decorated with artistic style. It opens on to the causeway or
bridge that leads to the main building of Sri Harmandir Sahib. The bridge is
connected with the 13 feet wide 'Pardakshna' (circumambulatory path). It
runs round the main shrine and it leads to the 'Har ki Paure' (steps of
God). On the first floor of 'Har ki Paure', there is continuous reading of
Guru Granth Sahib.
Its architecture represents a unique harmony between the Muslims and the
Hindus way of construction work and this is considered the best
architectural specimens of the world. It is often quoted that this
architecture has created an independent Sikh school of architecture in the
history of art in India.