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The Golden Temple of Amritsar

Listed under Sacred Spaces in Amritsar, India.

  • Photo of The Golden Temple of Amritsar
  • Photo of The Golden Temple of Amritsar
  • Photo of The Golden Temple of Amritsar
  • Photo of The Golden Temple of Amritsar
  • Photo of The Golden Temple of Amritsar
  • Photo of The Golden Temple of Amritsar
  • Photo of The Golden Temple of Amritsar
  • Photo of The Golden Temple of Amritsar
Photo of The Golden Temple of Amritsar
Photo by flickr user Koshyk
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Located in northwestern India, in the city of Amritsar, the Golden Temple is the most sacred place of the religion of Sikhism. Originally a small lake in the midst of a quiet forest, the site has been a meditation retreat for wandering sages since deep antiquity. Amritsar, originally the name of the lake, means ‘pool of ambrosial nectar’ and refers to a drink of the gods, a rare and magical substance that catalyzes euphoric states of consciousness and spiritual enlightenment. An underground spring feeds the sacred lake and throughout the day and night pilgrims immerse themselves in the water, a symbolic cleansing of the soul rather than an actual bathing of the body. Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the founder of the Sikh religion deeply loved the holy lake and after his death, his disciples continued to venerate the site. The Golden Temple, called Hari Mandir (meaning ‘Temple of God’) was constructed during the leadership of Arjan, the fifth Sikh Guru, between 1581 and 1606. From the early 1600s to the mid 1700s the Sikh Gurus were constantly involved in defending both their religion and their temple against Muslim armies. On numerous occasions the temple was damaged but each time was rebuilt more beautifully by the Sikhs. The temple's architecture draws on both Hindu and Muslim artistic styles, yet represents a unique co-evolution of the two. During the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839), Hari Mandir was richly ornamented with marble sculptures, golden gilding, and large quantities of precious stones. Beginning early in the morning and lasting until long past sunset, musicians within the Golden Temple chant hymns to the accompaniment of flutes, drums and stringed instruments. Echoing across the serene lake, this enchantingly beautiful music induces a delicate yet powerful state of trance in the pilgrims strolling leisurely around the marble concourse encircling the pool and temple.

Photos: Golden Temple, Amritsar, India (horizontal)

Golden Temple, Amritsar, India (vertical)

Pilgrims at Golden Temple, Amritsar, India

The Golden Temple from Sacred Sites.

Written by  Martin Gray.

Other expert and press reviews

“The Golden Temple of Amritsar, India’s Shining Star”

We had been back in India a mere two days when we made our way to Punjab to witness the Golden Temple. Dave had only one place on his list of must sees in India, and the Golden Temple of Amritsar was that place. Sikhs bathe in the Holy Water It live… Read more...

Written by  Dave and Deb. Continue reading on

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

golden tample is located in which lake?

Sir, I want to know Golden Tample is located in Amritsar but what is the name of the lake

1 Reply

It's called the Amrit Sarovar (Pool of Nectar).

Golden Temple of Amritsar (Harmandir Sahib)

The Golden Temple or Harmandir Sahib is the most sacred Sikh shrine, serving as a symbol of Sikh independence and freedom. The top half of the multi-storey temple has a large dome and smaller minarets and is plated with gold, the bottom made from marble.

It is built within a vast walled courtyard on a lake of holy water, called the pool of nectar, making it a tiny island. Originally this site was a lake and small forest, used as a meditation retreat. Buddha is known to have spent time meditating in this place, which is why the spot was chosen for the temple.

Anyone may enter the temple after covering their heads and washing their feet, and by all accounts it is a very peaceful experience.

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