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:)