The Golden Temple in Amritsar is the religious soul and pride of the Sikh community of India. Not just Sikhs, the grand temple is also one of the most famous spiritual destinations of the Indians and the foreigners as well. It is a famous tourist attraction as it leaves the people from the corners of the country as well as from abroad spellbound by the majestic beauty of the beautiful Golden Temple and its surroundings. The golden body of the main temple (Gurudwara) is the holy worship place and is known for the spectacular beauty it reflects on all sides. Believers irrespective of the religion, caste, and creed are welcome at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab and are hazed by the immense beauty of the Golden Temple. In addition to the eye-catchy beauty of the premise, the religious shrine also gives out the message of love, care, and humanity to all.
So if you have been planning your next trip to Amritsar, Punjab; do not miss out to visit the religious Golden Temple. In addition to the religious and the spiritual enlightenment, you can also pay a visit to some of the places which are located within the premises of the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Have a read:
Central Sikh Museum:
The museum was established in 1958 at Amritsar. The museum is famous for the exhibition of the explicit paintings of the Sikh Gurus, various Sikh brave warriors, and other prominent Sikh personalities or leaders who have had in some way contributed to the propagation of the Sikh religion and community. The museum is also house to a rich collection of old arms, coins, and ancient rare manuscripts. There is an excellent library in the Central Sikh Museum where you can find the documents of religious and historical importance.
The museum is open on all days and the entry is free. You can take photographs upon special permission from the concerned authorities. It is said that your visit to the Holy Golden Temple is incomplete if you don’t pay a visit to the Central Sikh Museum. There are different sections of the museum which are as per the varying Sikh history. You can be privileged to find the rare works of the great Sikh artists like the S.Kirpal Singh, Thakur Singh, Phulan Rani, Gurdit Singh and much more. There is also the rare wooden comb of Sri Guru Gobind Singh.
Ramgarhia Bungas (Towers):
The word “Bungas” is used to denote “the place of living”. During the era of the Sikh Empire, many royal families and the Sikh generals constructed as many as 99 bungas in the city of Amritsar. Out of these, the Ramgarhia Bungas was constructed within the premises of the Golden Temple by Ramgarhia Missal to offer accommodation and living spaces to the devotees who visited the holy shrine. Originally, there were 22 towers or Bungas around the Golden temple, out of which only two towers survived. Even these two towers got severely damaged during the army invasion in 1984 but were restored later.
The Bungas houses a balcony with some rooms at the ground floor along with an open space. The building is famous for the rare historic Sikh architecture. There is a big basement at the Bungas as well but the entry is restricted there.
Ath Sath Tirath:
It is one of the holy spots located in the premises of the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) in Amritsar. When you would be moving out of the outer circumference (parikrama) of the holy shrine, you would find an area of a pool of water next to the “Dukh Bhanjani Beri”. This confined area is known as the “Ath Sath Tirath” and is of religious importance to the Sikh community who visit the temple. The significance of this holy place is that if you would take a dip in the holy waters with devotion and selfless heart, then you could have the good fortune to visit the 68 holy places. There is a small raised marble platform where small manuscripts known as the “pothis” of Gurbani were kept when they were acquired by the families of the Gurus. These holy books (pothis) were brought to the Golden Temple for the compilation of Adi Granth (Sri Guru Granth) Sahib by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji.
The Langar Hall of Sri Harmandir Sahib which is known as the “Guru ka langar” was established by the 3rd Sikh Guru named Sri Guru Amar Dass Ji at Goindwal. The “Guru Ka Langar” is used to denote the tradition of serving the holy langar at the Gurudwaras which were initiated by the great Sir Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The langar hall is open to all where one can come and serve the langar with selfless motives. Even Emperor Akbar once sat among the ordinary people to share the langar at the Langar Hall at The Golden Temple.
At the community kitchen of the Golden Temple, there is an average of 75,000 tourists or devotees who take langar at the Langar Hall daily. There are around hundreds of employees to serve the holy langar at the Langar Hall in Golden Temple, Amritsar.
Tourists Information Center:
This is an important place for the tourists wherein the tourists can get all the relevant information they would need about the Golden Temple, Amritsar. The Tourists Information Center is located next to the main entrance of the Clock Tower side. This important office is managed by the S.G.P.C (The Management Committee of the Golden Temple Amritsar). Here, the tourists can get free information about the Golden Temple and the Sikh religion and community. They can also get guided tours and complementary information brochures on the philosophies of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Sri Guru Granth Sahib and the code of conduct by the Sikh community.
Dukh Bhanjani Beri:
This is a pious place situated at Golden Temple, Amritsar where the visitors and the devotees can be enlightened about the story of Duni Chand Khatri and his daughter Rajni. The Beri tree under which the leaper sat is considered holy and the pond nearby is considered to take away all the sorrows and sufferings of life when the devotees would take a dip in its holy water.
Har ki Pauri:
Located on the backside of Sri Harmandir Sahib, the Har ki Pauri is also referred to as the “steps of the Almighty God”. This is the holy place where the sangat bows down to have the holy waters of the Amrit Sarovar. Upon ascending from this Pauri, one can find the endless recitation known as “Akhand Path” of Bani of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
Akal Takht Sahib:
This holy place at the Golden Temple is used to denote “Timeless Throne” where the emperors and kings used to sit. This place is also referred to as the Seat of the Almighty. Akal Takht is the highest form of the temporal seat of Sikhism which was founded by the Sixth Sikh Guru Sri Har Gobind Singh in the year 1609.