Monday, April 21, 2014

Golden temple-Harmindar Sahib, Amritsar

It was my long standing wish that I must visit a Gurudwara and I am extremely happy that I could make my first one to the Golden temple also known as Harminder Sahib in Amritsar. I feel everyone must visit this temple  at least once in their life time as it would be a great experience. This temple was built by Guru Arjan Singh in the 16th century.

Sikhs from all over the world converge at this place for worship and the temple doors are open to anyone  irrespective of their caste,creed or religion.

The Golden temple is well fortified and one cannot have  a glimpse of this temple  from outside. It is situated at a  lower level from the main land  and one  has to climb down a few steps to reach the sprawling grounds of the temple .The temple is surrounded  by a holy lake. The circumambulation path is well laid with marble and as soon as the devotees enter the temple they prostrate on the ground paying respects to their Guru.

  Everyone entering this temple has to cover their head, and there are people to remind you if the hair is visible . The temple surroundings are  absolutely clean, serene and radiates  divinity.

I made my first visit to the temple in the evening  and the first sight of the temple  and its reflection in  the surrounding lake took my breath away.

There was a mood of festivity around and I could see orange flags flying atop on tall flag masts. Was it a regular feature or was that  a part of a festival season, I am not sure.

There is a bridge to go across to the temple and there is richly decorated arch at the entrance.When I reached the main entrance of the temple, we saw people lined up for a great spiritual experience. I could see many devotees chanting silently. There was no jostling, the crowd was behaving quite well and that itself was a welcome change for me as it was unlike many other temples where  I have experienced many unpleasant situations. All seemed to be at peace, which I think every one can emulate. All were waiting patiently to enter the main temple and only  Shabad Keertan was ringing in the ears which was emanating form the sanctum of the temple.

Once I entered the sanctum ,I had to wait for a few seconds before I could take in what was inside. As this was new to me I was curious to find out what all things were inside.There was a   medium sized hall which  decorated very well.  There was canopy of sort on the ceiling and colurful carpets were spread on the floor . In the center of the hall was the Holy Guru Granth Sahib kept covered with  a richly decorated silk.

I bowed down and offered my prayers. I could not stand for long as there were devotees standing behind me for worship. We were offered Sweet halwa from the temple as prasad.

I also visited the temple during daytime and just relaxed for about an hour watching what was happening around the temple. On that day, the  turn out for worship was heavy and we didn't go inside the temple. What fascinated me was Sikhs were very much involved in Kar Seva; a voluntary contribution of their work for a good cause.

I loved the visit and I am really happy I could add one more temple to my Pilgrimage.
I do not think I have explored the temple quite well . If I get an opportunity once again I would certainly make it.

How to reach- Amritsar is well connected by rail , road and air.

Good hotels are available near the temple itself and there is accommodation facility inside the temple itself. 
Find more details here.

A  tour of the temple through my lens. Enjoy:)






















34 comments:

  1. Excellent. Thanks for sharing these photos. We were there last year. Want to visit again.

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    1. SG, thanks for the comment. Even I wish to visit it once again.

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  2. So you reached Amritsar even before I could do. Congrats. Your compliments for the cleanness there is welcome. Compare nthis with what we come across in Tamilnadu.

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    1. PNS, I visited it last month. So the write up is like reliving the experience.

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  3. I have been to the Gurudwara long back, but I still have such vivid memories of the place. Now, I am just waiting for my call, I hope I get it sometime soon. I am so glad you could fulfill this long standing wish of yours, Chitra. Such a divine place and your pictures are all beautiful. Thank you very much for this lovely post, your post took me there!

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    1. Thanks Arti, I enjoyed every minute I spent there. It was a lovely experience.

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  4. a virtual tour of golden temple for me through your lens, chitra. Well captured especially the evening photos are ethereal.

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    1. Thanks Asha. there are lot more but cannot upload all:)

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  5. Thank you.I was waiting eagerly for your posts after the pilgrimage.I have visited this temple and your pictures bring fond memories.Doing some voluntary work irrespective of one's status is a special feature there

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    1. Thanks Kp, I am happy you could relive your visit through my post.

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  6. Oh my goodness, how beautiful. As much as I liked the gold it was the simple and pure whiteness that I found exceptionally stunning.

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    1. Thanks Tracy. It is a stunning beauty.

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  7. It is BEAUTIFUL and did you notice even with so many people visiting it still is such a calming place when we go inside ...

    Thank you chitra mam for the lovely pics ... and yeah I know we missed catching up.. if only I knew ...


    Bikram

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  8. Hello Bikram,
    Absolutely fantastic place. Loved each and every moment inside.
    Yes. we missed an opportunity. Shall wait for next what say!

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  9. Very beautiful I can understand what you mean by wanting to stand and soak in the beauty and the meaning of it all.

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  10. Thanks Frances. had a wonderful experience.

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  11. What extraordinary beauty! I so hope to see these stunning places in person one day. And I am so moved by your Pilgrimage.
    <3
    Traci

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    1. Yes beauty indeed Traci. It was quite an experience.

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  12. Hello chitra mam. This reddy from Bangalore . I would like to know is there any temple in the name of pallikonda perumal temple in tiruchy .. Only in tiruchy or sri rang am areas . I now one temple in pallikonda in vellore DT .

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    1. Pallikonda Perumal is a term used for lord Vishnu who is reclining on his serpent bed. There are nearly 3-4 Pallikonda Perumal near Trichy. 1,Srirangam, TiruAnbil Soundaraja Permal, and Appakudathan @ Tirukoviladi. these are near Trichy only.

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  13. Sounds like a wonderful experience from your words and pictures. Must visit this beautiful gurudwara.

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    1. thanks Niranjan, you should visit.

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  14. Dear Chitra, this golden temple is so amazing - one of the most beautiful ones you posted about - love the pix! Thanks so much for your visit! Cheers to a lovely day!

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    1. Thanks a lot Martina.Nice to see you.

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  15. Twice I visited Golden Temple. It is one of my favourite temple. During second visit at night I stayed nearby holy lake. Early morning 3 am I saw large number of devotees visiting to do Kar Seva and to offer prayers. Listening 'Shabad Keertan' is very peaceful.

    I think you have visited during 'Baisakhi' - 13th April maybe.

    Have you visited Langar or not?
    If not, you should.

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  16. Hi Tushar,
    thanks a lot.
    We very much wanted to visit the Langar but it was heavily crowded. I visited in mid of March. I couldn't attend the early morning prayers.

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  17. Thank you for your sweet comments Citra, made me smile! I enjoyed seeing the golden temple a second time - it is SO beautiful!!!

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  18. Thanks a lot Martina. It's a pleasure visiting your blog.:)

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  19. Chitra such lovely pictures. And here am I living so close by and yet not managed to visit.

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  20. Wow! that is nice Mridula. I am sure I will get some more pics to see now.:)

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  21. Hi Chitra
    Today I stumbled on your blog. Love it. Facinating.beautiful photos.very informative

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  22. Very true Chitra..Every one should visit this atleast once..But I am still dreaming about it. Yet to make a trip. Glad to see so many pictures and glad that they allow camera inside the temple complex ( If not withing the sanctum sanctorum)... Well covered..

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