Golden Temple Amritsar
Sri Harmandir Sahib, also known as Golden Temple, (it is beauty and golden coating for English speaking world), is named after Hari (God) the temple of God. The Sikhs all over the world, daily wish to pay visit to Sri Amritsar (Golden Temple) and to pay obeisance at Sri Harmandir Sahib in their Ardas. The Golden Temple placed in Amrit Sarovar, Punjab (State).
Standing in the centre of a large tank, Amrit Sarovar, the Golden Temple is the most beautiful aspect of Amritsar. The city of Amritsar was built around the Golden Temple and the Amrit Sarovar Lake, from which it derives its name. Originally named Sri Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) , the Golden temple complex is surrounded by a fortified wall with eighteen gates and has its main north entrance under a Victorian clock tower known as the Darshani Deori. The entrance is up a flight of steps and down again to the golden temple and holy tank. The Golden Temple sits on a rectangular platform in the centre of the Amrit Sarovar. The Golden Temple is surrounded by a white marble corridor, through which pilgrims visiting the shrine walk, circumnavigating the temple. A narrow causeway links the Harmandir, or Darbar Sahib, as the golden temple is also called. The entrance to the Golden temple is through an ornate archway with intricate inlay work, inscribed with verses from the Granth Sahib. The golden temple building is three storeys high and is crowned with a dome shaped like an inverted lotus. The lower storey is in white marble, while the two upper storeys have gold plating.
Places Around Golden Temple
Darshani Deori Is the main entrance, sporting a distinctly Victorian clock-tower.
Amrit Sarovar:- The giant pool of water that surrounds and reflects the Golden Temple. Sections (marked off by ropes) are set aside for (male) pilgrims wishing to bathe.
Harmandir Sahib:- This is the Golden Temple itself, floating above the Amrit Sarovar, housing the sacred Adi Granth scripture which is recited out loud during the day. This is the most crowded point, accessible by a bridge from the edge of the pool, and entry here is regulated by guards.
Akal Takht:- Drectly opposite the Harmandir Sahib. Meaning “The Timeless”, this is where the highest council of Sikhs sits and deliberates. At night, the Guru Granth Sahib is taken to the Akal Takht.
Central Sikh Museum:- 2nd floor (entrance on the right side of the main side of the main entrance). Devoted to large gallery of paintings, mostly showing the gruesome ways countless Sikhs have been martyred, and various knick-knacks from the gurus
Best time to visit Golden Temple
The best time to visit the Golden temple is in the winter months (October to March) when the weather is pleasant and it even gets cold here. However the winter months are the best suited for sightseeing. Summers should be avoided as it can get blisteringly hot. An early morning or late night visit to the temple is special as the atmosphere is serene and very peaceful.
Timings to visits the Temple
The temple remains open on all days and can be visited from 4A.M to 10 P.M in the summer months and 5 A.M to 9 P.M in winter months. The entry to the temple is free of cost. Monsoon hits the city around the first week of July and brings average rainfall. The best time to visit Amritsar is between October and March. Visitors to the Temple must remove their shoes and cover their heads before entering the Temple complex. The best time to visit the Temple is early in the morning on weekdays before it gets too crowded.
Sri Harmandir Sahib, is built on a 67ft. square platform in the centre of the Sarovar(tank). The temple itself is 40.5ft. square. 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 frame of the arch is about 10ft in height and 8ft 6inches in breath. 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. It is 202 feet in length and 21 feet in width.
Getting to Golden Temple by Air
The Raja Sansi Airport is just 10 km from the main city of Amritsar and taxis are easily available to and from the airport. There are connecting flights from Amritsar to Delhi – London and Delhi – New York.
Trains to Reach Amritsar
Amritsar is well connected by rail to almost every city of the country. There are direct trains to Hyderabad, Delhi, Calcutta, Bombay, Puri and other places. The Samjhauta Express also connects Amritsar to Lahore in Pakistan.
There are many Bus, Taxi, Cars Service available to reach Amritsar
Amritsar is well connected to all the major cities of northern India. Important destinations near Amritsar are Delhi, Shimla, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Kullu, Manali and Jammu. It is at a distance of 234 km from Chandigarh.