Golden Temple, also known as Darbar Sahib, is situated in the city of Amritsar
and it serves as the most revered destinations for the Sikh community across the
It is considered as the holiest of places for the followers of the faith, and is
considered by many as the backbone of the trend of tourism in Punjab. The city of
Amritsar, in Punjab, boasts of high historical value for the citizens.
The golden temple, because of its rich historical and religious sentimental values, has been
nominated by the UNESCO, to be considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site,
and is still pending decision.
The golden temple is a gurudwara (a place of worship for the Sikhs) and is famous
for hosting the largest langar (term used in Sikhism meaning free meal) in the
world where it feeds a massive number of over 35,000 visitors every day without
any charge, this practice is carried out by volunteers of the temple. Tourism in
Punjab is incomplete without a trip to this place.
The foundation of the site was laid in the year 1589 by a Muslim saint of Lahore
and the monument was constructed around a sacred man-made pool known as
the Sarovar. The Golden Temple is called so because of the gold foiled sanctum
center building which lies right on the middle of the pool.
The gurudwara can be divided into these main parts – Akal Takht (the throne of
the timeless one), Ber Trees (Indian Jujube), Clock tower, Guru Ram Das Langar,
and the Sikh History Museum.
This forms the main center of the authority of Sikhism and is headquarter of Akali
Dal (the main political party of Punjab). They are the prime authority in matters of
the Sikh community and gives verdicts to maintain peace and solidarity of the
The gurudwara earlier used to be open space but now is a fortified sanctum which
stands strong protecting three Ber trees. The three trees bare significant
importance in the Sikh tradition. The first tree Ber Baba Buddha is the one where
it is believed that where Baba Buddha (not to be confused with Buddha, by the
founder of Buddhism), sat during the construction of the pool. The second known
as the Laachi Ber was the one provide shade to Guru Arjan during the
construction of the temple and lastly, the third tree is known as Dukh Bhanjani
Ber is where a leper was cured.
The clock tower was an addition by the British officials. There was a palace which
is known as the lost palace, which was demolished in spite of opposition from the
Sikh community, and in its place the clock tower was added. 70 years after its
completion, the tower was demolished by the Sikh community and yet another
entrance was added which is known as the Ghanta Ghar Deori.
The ghanta ghar deori houses a museum on its first floor which proudly displays
various artifacts of historical and religious importance. It has various paintings
narrating the historical journey of the Sikh community, the martyrs who gave
their lives protecting the tradition. It also displays swords, chakkars (steel rings),
combs, kripans (small knife) etc. of historical importance.
Ram Das Langar
The community-run, free kitchen sits next to the dukh bhanjani ber, and serves
free meals to thousands of visitors round the clock. It is the largest langar system
in the world. The visitors are seated in rows in a hall, where they are served a
vegetarian meal prepared by the volunteers of the temple. They serve people
from all walks of life and faith. They believe it is a part of their ethos known as Kar
Akal Takht is a place of great culture, tradition, and heritage. A tour to the Golden
temple gives you an insight into the history of this state, their people and lets you
in on the serenity of its ways. Next time you are in India, be sure to visit this
golden treasure (pun intended) for an adventure in Punjab you will never forget.