1000 Places

#TravelTuesday: The Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab, India


Tuesday 15 August 2017

On This Day

The Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab, India

Today is celebrated as Independence Day in India, a national holiday that commemorates the nation’s independence from Britain in 1947. In Amritsar, home to the sikh religion’s Harmandir Sahib, or holy golden temple, many people celebrate the day by flying kites that match the Indian flag, a tricolor of saffron yellow, white, and green emblazoned with a 24-spoke wheel.

One of the country’s most beautiful buildings, the temple is the Sikh religion’s holiest shrine and one that welcomes every­one, ir­respective of religion, race, or caste. Construction of Harmandir Sahib began in 1574 on the site of the lake, which was believed to have healing powers, in order to house the book of holy scriptures. Since then, the three-story temple, connected by a man-made causeway, has seen many restorations and embellishments, including the addition of over 220 pounds of gold to cover the upper stories and an inverted, lotus-shaped dome in the 19th century. Signifying the importance of acceptance, the temple has open doors and balconies on all four sides, and the interiors are decorated with inlaid marble, carved woodwork embossed with gold and silver, and intricate mosaics. The atmosphere is both festive and serene. As with Muslims and Mecca, every Sikh hopes to visit the Golden Temple at least once in his life.

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