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History - Golden Temple - Amritsar


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The history of the Golden Temple inspires, from its early foundations to the current day. The Harmandir Sahib has evolved with the times. This Holy place envisioned and built by the Sikh Guru’s, provided a central point for the the early collation of the sacred Sikh scriptures. The Golden Temple has inspired many stories and people, and seen the woes of political confrontation. Words cannot capture the history, the place, and the personal accounts of individuals from around the world that have been touched by the Golden Temple. Indeed as Guru Arjan Dev Ji spoke “”I have seen many places, but none like Thee”.

The vision of a central place of prayer was envisioned by the Third Guru, Guru Amar Das Ji

Dukh Bhanjani Beri – Guru Amar Das sought to build a place of Worship close to the nearby pool, said to have natural healing abilities

It is believed that a herb given by Guru Amar Das Ji, cured Guru Angad Dev Ji (Second Sikh Guru) of a skin ailment

Guru Ram Das Ji named the Tree or Ber, Dukh Bhanjani Beri – ” The Tree that dispelled sorrow”

The healing powers of the Sarovar (Lake), and the faith of Bibi Rajni are popularly referred to when speaking of Dukh-Bhanjani Beri

1573 – Construction of the Holy Water Tank (Amrit Sarovar), and soon the City of Amritsar (1577) was started by Guru Ram Das Ji

1588 – Under the guidance of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the foundation stone of the Harmandir Sahib Ji (Golden Temple) was laid

Ber Baba Buddha Ji – it is from this spot that Baba Buddha Ji sat and oversaw the building of the Sarovar and the Harmandir Sahib Ji (Golden Temple)

Laachi Ber – Guru Arjan Dev Ji sat under this Tree. The Tree name comes from the Tree that gave a fruit the size of a Laachi (Cardomom)

1604 – Guru Arjan Dev Ji, oversees the completion of the construction of Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji (Golden Temple)

August 1604 – Guru Arjan Dev Ji, along with Bhai Gurdas Ji, completes the compilation of the Adi Granth, the First Volume of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji

The Adi Granth was installed at the Golden Temple by Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Baba Buddha Ji was appointed the First Head Granthi at Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji (Golden Temple)

1606 – Foundation Stone of the Akal Takht, the Seat (Throne) of the Timeless One, was laid by Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji

1665 – The caretakers of the time denied Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji entry to the Harmandir Sahib Ji (Golden Temple). Before leaving Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji rested on a Thara, earth platform. Gurdwara Thara Sahib was later built to mark the visit.

1757, 1762, 1764 – The Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) was destroyed / ruined by successive Afghan invaders.

1757 – King Shah Abdali’s Afghan army attacks the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple), in the battle Baba Deep Singh Ji is martyred. Baba Deep Singh Ji sacrificed his life defending the Golden Temple. His courage and bravery continue to inspire to this day.

1764 – The Golden Temple was finally rebuilt in its current shape and structure. Sardar Jassaa Singh Ahluwalia laid the foundations.

1776 – The construction of the Sarovar, Main Darbar, Bridge, and the Darshani Deori was completed

1784 – The Parikarma – perimeter path area around the Holy Pool (Sarovar) – were completed

1802 – Maharaja Ranjit Singh occupies the territory of Amritsar

1830 – The gold plated Harmandir Sahib Ji / Golden Temple as we see it today, is attributed to Maharaja Ranjit Singh

1839 – Maharaja Ranjit Singh visits the Golden Temple for the last time

1800s – Many Western visitors amazed by the beauty of the Harmandir Sahib artistically capture the Golden Temple

1921 – The Sikhs take control of several Sikh Gurdwara’s including the Harmandir Sahib / Golden Temple

1984 – Indian Army invades the Harmandir Sahib complex. Operation Bluestar claimed many innocent lives, and significant damage to the overall Gurdwara complex

Architecturally, the Golden Temple has unique construction influences combining Muslim, Hindu and European design principles

The complex is lower than the surrounding area, so the visitor must step down in order to reach the Golden Temple

The Golden Temple has 4 entrances, welcoming people from all walks of life, regardless of caste, colour, creed, sex and religion

Guru Ka Langar – a 3-storee communal, open kitchen serving approximately 40,000 meals daily to people of all faiths and nationalities

The surrounding 3 Ber’s (Jujube Trees) pre-date the Golden Temple. Shrouded in history they silently watch the epic events unfold

“Dithe Sab Thaon, Nahi Tudh Jeha” – I have seen many places, but none like Thee
Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji

“Ramdas Sarovar Naate, Sab uttre paap kamate”
– I bathe in the tank of Ramdas, and all of my sins were washed away

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