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The Harmandir Sahib, also known as Darbar Sahib, is a gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. It is the prominent pilgrimage site of Sikhism. Because it is plated with gold, it is often called the Golden Temple.
See the fact file below for more information on the Golden Temple of Amritsar or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Golden Temple of Amritsar worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The Golden Temple is built around a man-made pool, which was founded in 1577 by the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das. The temple started to be built in 1581 with the first version of the temple taking eight years.
- Guru Arjan, the fifth Guru, asked Sai Mian Mir – a Muslim Pir of Lahore – to lay its foundation stone in 1589.
- Guru Arjan planned the temple to be at a level lower than the city to emphasize humility before entering the premises. He also demanded that the temple compound be open on all sides to emphasize that it was open to all.
- A long-running dispute between the Sikhs and Muslims led to the temple eventually being blown up in 1762.
- A new main gateway, causeway, and sanctum were completed in 1776 while the floor around the pool was finished in 1784.
- Ranjit Singh announced he would renovate and rebuild it with marble and gold.
- The temple was renovated in marble and copper in 1809, and in 1830 Ranjit Singh donated gold to overlay the sanctum with gold foil.
- The Harmandar Sahib is also spelled as Harimandar, Harimandir, or Harmandir Sahib. It is also called the Darbar Sahib, which means “sacred audience,” as well as the Golden Temple for its gold foil-covered sanctum center.
- The word “Harmandir” is composed of two words, Hari which scholars variously translate either as “God” or “Akāl Purakh” (meaning Timeless Being), and “mandir” which means place of worship or house.
- The Sikh tradition has several gurdwaras named “Harmandir Sahib” such as those in Kiratpur and Patna. Of these, the one in Amritsar is most revered.
- The Golden Temple’s architecture reflects different architectural practices prevalent in the Indian subcontinent, as various iterations of temple were rebuilt and restored.
- The temple is described by Ian Kerr, and other scholars, as a mixture of the Indo-Islamic Mughal and the Hindu Rajput architecture.
- The sanctum is a 12.25 x 12.25 meter square with two stories and a gold foil dome. This sanctum has a marble platform that is a 19.7 x 19.7 meter square. It sits inside an almost square (154.5 x 148.5 m2) pool called amritsar or amritsarovar. The sanctum’s exterior has gilded copper plates.
- The pool is 5.1 meters deep and is surrounded by a 3.7 meter wide circumambulatory marble passage that is circled clockwise. The pool is maintained by volunteers who perform kar seva (community service) by draining and desilting it periodically.
- The sanctum has two floors. The upper floor in the sanctum is a gallery and connected by stairs. The ground floor is lined with white marble, as is the path surrounding the sanctum.
- The doors are gold foil covered copper sheets with nature motifs such as birds and flowers. The ceiling of the upper floor is gilded, embossed, and decorated with jewels, and the sides are embellished with arched copings and small solid domes.
- Guru Ram Das acquired the land for the site. Two versions of stories exist on how he acquired this land.
- In one, based on a Gazetteer record, the land was purchased with Sikh donations of 700 rupees from the owners of the village of Tung.
- In another version, Emperor Akbar is stated to have donated the land to the wife of Guru Ram Das. Guru Arjan called the site Ath Sath Tirath which means “shrine of 68 pilgrimages.”
- On August 16th, 1604, Guru Arjan completed expanding and compiling the first version of the Sikh scripture and placed a copy of the Adi Granth in the temple. He appointed Baba Buddha as the first Granthi.
- The Golden Temple was the center of historic events in Sikh history.
- The entire Golden Temple complex of buildings was taken over by Ranjit Singh.
- Sardar Desa Singh Majithia was appointed to manage the temple and its maintenance and operation.
Golden Temple of Amritsar Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Golden Temple of Amritsar across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Golden Temple of Amritsar worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Harmandir Sahib, also known as Darbar Sahib, which is a gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. It is the prominent pilgrimage site of Sikhism. Because it is plated with gold, it is often called the Golden Temple.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Golden Temple of Amritsar in India Facts
- Interesting Facts
- Golden Numbers
- People in Temple
- Vocabulary Review
- Describe Me
- Real or Fake
- Historic Events
- Narrate the Words
- Gold For Me
- Acrostic Poem
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Use With Any Curriculum
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