One of the most iconic places in India is the Golden Temple, Amritsar. Located in the heart of Punjab, it never ceases to amaze me. We had to go here so that our little one to get his due blessings. It is considered to be the holiest Gurudwara of Sikhs.
The construction of the Golden Temple (also known as Harmandir Sahib) was intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religions to worship God equally.Accordingly, as a gesture of this non-sectarian universalness of Sikhism, Guru Arjan had specially invited the Muslim saint, Hazrat Mian Mir to lay the foundation stone of the Harmandir Sahib.The four entrances (representing the four directions) to get into the Harmandir Sahib also symbolise the openness of the Sikhs towards all people and religions.
Over 100,000 people visit the holy shrine daily for worship, and also partake jointly in the free community kitchen and meal (Langar) regardless of any distinctions, a tradition that is a hallmark of all Sikh Gurudwaras.
The peace and solace one is embraced upon entering the Gurudwara is heavenly.
There are certain rules to be followed while visiting the Golden Temple:
- Upon entering the premises, we had to remove our shoes and keep them at a shoe center who gave us a token which was to be exchanged for our shoes while returning.
- washing one’s feet in the small pool of water provided while entering the temple;
- One must cover whole body while visiting this sacred place. No shorts is allowed. And as a sign of respect, we all have to cover our head with a scarf / any such clothes fulfilling the purpose.
The Central Sikh Museum near the main entrance and clock tower is also a must visit.