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Golden Temple – History and Importance

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  • Last Updated : 07 Jul, 2022
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Beautiful holy temple Sri Harmandir Sahib, popularly referred to as the “Golden Temple,” is situated in Amritsar, Punjab, India. There is also the holiest shrine in Sikhism, and as a result, many Sikhs visit it every day. Along with being a well-liked tourist site, it is an important Sikh destination. The “Golden Temple” and the Sikh religion were developed at a time when the caste system was still quite prevalent in India. Low caste individuals suffered greatly as a result of the caste system.

The fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das, built the man-made pool on the grounds of the shrine in 1577. A copy of the Adi Granth was deposited in Harmandir Sahib by Guru Arjan in 1604. The Gurdwara was periodically demolished by the Mughal and invading Afghan forces, and the Sikhs rebuilt it after it continued to be a target of persecution.

After discovering the Sikh Empire, Maharaja Ranjit Singh reconstructed it in marble and copper in 1809 and covered the sanctuary with gold leaf in 1830. The Golden Temple is the outcome of this is why it is named as Golden Temple .

The Golden Temple’s glittering golden dome and surrounding are its most well-known and alluring features. The temple is also built on 67-foot square marble. In addition, the temple has storeys structure.  The temple has a distinctive appearance because of its exquisite construction. The Amritsarovar lake nearby also enhances to the shrine’s beauty. A beautiful sight to view at night is the temple’s golden reflection in the water. There is a lovely garden to the south of the temple where finding serenity is simple. The Central Sikh Museum, which is located atop the Clock Tower, enhances the charm of the area around the temple.

Every day, over 20,000 people are served free meals at the ‘Guru Ka Langar.’ On certain occasions, the figure might reach 100,000. Before entering the temple site, visitors must cover their heads. During the day, the Granth Sahib is kept in the Temple, and at night, it is stored on the Akal Takht, or Eternal Throne.

Guru Arjan

Guru Arjan’s growing prominence and achievement aroused the attention of the Mughal Empire.  Guru Arjan was imprisoned and forced to convert to Islam on the instructions of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. In 1606 CE, he refused, was tortured, and killed.  Guru Arjan’s son and successor, Guru Hargobind, left Amritsar for the Shiwalik Hills in order to evade persecution and rescue the Sikh panth. According to Louis E. Fenech and W. H. McLeod, the Golden Temple was not held by the genuine Sikh Gurus for almost a century after Guru Arjan’s death and remained in hostile sectarian hands. Guru Gobind Singh and his newly formed Khalsa Sikhs returned in the 18th century and struggled to reclaim it.

History Of Golden Temple related to Mughal Empire 

The governor of Lahore deployed his soldiers in 1709 to prohibit and prevent Sikhs from assembling for their festivals of Vaisakhi and Diwali. The Sikhs, on the other hand, resisted the authorities by congregating in the Golden Temple.  Banda Singh and several Sikhs were arrested and executed in 1716. In 1737, the Mughal ruler ordered the capture and execution of Mani Singh, the guardian of the Golden Temple. He selected Masse Khan as police commissioner, after which he occupied the Temple and turned it into an entertainment center with dancing females. He polluted the pool. In August 1740, Sikhs avenged the Golden Temple desecration by assassinating Masse Khan within the Temple .

Another Lahore official, Diwan Lakhpat Rai, serving for Yahya Khan and seeking vengeance for his brother’s death, filled the lake with sand in 1746.  When Muin ul-Mulk stopped Mughal attacks against Sikhs and requested their assistance during his operations in Multan in 1749, Sikhs repaired the pool. In 1757, Ahmad Shah Durrani, also known as Ahmad Shah Abdali, the Afghan monarch, raided Amritsar and desecrated the Golden Temple. Before leaving for Afghanistan, he had excrement dumped into the pool, along with the entrails of slain cows. It was rebuilt by the Sikhs .

When Ahmad Shah Durrani arrived in 1762, he ordered the Golden Temple to be blown up with gunpowder. Sikhs returned to the temple to celebrate Diwali. Baba Jassa Singh Ahluwalia raised funds to restore the Golden Temple in 1764. In 1776, a new main gateway (Darshan Deorhi), causeway, and sanctum were constructed, while the pool floor was finished in 1784. The Sikhs also finished a canal to deliver fresh water from the Ravi River into the pool.

Sample Questions

Question 1: Why is the Golden Temple made of gold?

Answer: 

The 24-karat gold covering gave rise to the name “Golden Temple.” This religious historical monument was completely destroyed by Islamic authorities in 1762. The valiant Sikh king Maharaja Ranjit Singh renovated the entire temple and put a brilliant outer covering of gold to the marble structure at that time.

Question 2: Who laid the first brick in the Golden Temple?

Answer: 

In December 1588, the 5th Guru Shri Arjan Dev ji brick lined the complex and began construction of the Golden Temple Complex. In Sikh history, the foundation stone of Harmandir Sahib was placed by sufi saint Mir Mohammed Muayyinul Islam, also known as Hazrat Mian Mir.

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