Full guide about Golden Temple

Full guide about Golden Temple

Golden Temple

Table of Contents

Amritsar is one of the oldest and spiritual city of India. When we hear the word Amritsar, the first image created in our mind is the Golden Temple and Sikhism. As we know, the Golden Temple plays an important role in Sikh history and religion because it’s a sacred place for Sikhs. If you are a traveler or a person who always seeks to know about religion, history, and amazing facts, then this article is good for you, my friend. In today’s article, we will get to know some amazing facts about the Golden Temple and how it plays a vital role in Sikh history. 

So, let’s quickly get back into the old era to know more about the Golden Temple!

1. History:

History of Golden Temple

The first and oldest name of the Golden Temple is Shri Harmandir Sahib. The meaning of Hari is (God), and Mandir means (Temple), so it’s a temple of God. Sikhs used to practice Ardas (prayer) regularly here. 

Harmandir Sahib was founded by the Fifth Guru, i.e., Guru Arjan Dev Ji, in 1604 A.D. Guru Arjan Dev Ji made the plan to construct Harmandir Sahib. Still, Guru Ram Das Ji purchased the land to establish a city and took it free from local zamindars ( landlords) of the village. Guru Ram Das Ji founded the city Amritsar, which was also called Ramdaspur in the past era. Later on, it became known as Amritsar when the construction of Shri Harmandir Sahib and the city was properly completed. The word Amritsar is derived from two significant words, Amrit (Nectar) and Sar (Pool), and its meaning is Pool of Nectar, which is located in the Golden Temple.  

Construction of the Pool around the main complex of Shri Harmandir Sahib and the city of Amritsar was started simultaneously in 1570 A.D. and completed in 1604 A.D. together. Guru Arjan Dev Ji built a Shri Harmandir Sahib on the lower level with four entrance gates, which represent a new symbol of faith. All four doors represent that it doesn’t matter that a person from any caste, sex, religion, or creed can enter Harmandir Sahib.

2. How Harmandir Sahib comes to be known as Golden Temple or Swarn Mandir:

Darbar Sahib

In the 19th century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh was ruled in Punjab. During his rule, Amritsar was in its golden age. Maharaja Ranjit Singh also plays a very important role in Punjab’s history against the Mughals. In 1809 A.D., Shri Harmandir Sahib was reconstructed with marble and copper by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Later, in 1830 A.D., he donated 400 kg of gold to make a golden temple full of gold. After covering Shri Harmandir Sahib with a layer of gold, people started calling it Swarn Mandir and, in English, Golden Temple.

3. Architecture:

Sri Harmandir Sahib

The architecture of the Golden Temple is a blend of Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh religious architecture. We can get to know about Sikhism from the design of the Golden Temple because both gave the message that everyone is equal. This is the reason why it is inspired by various religious architecture and has four gates for everyone. The reflection of the golden dome of Harmandir Sahib in Amrit Sarovar (Pool of Nectar) not only shows a sign of spirituality but is also a great example of architecture. When you see the reflection of the Shri Harmandir Sahib in pounds, you will notice that its color changes according to time. If you see it in the morning, then it will be in a little orange shade, and in the afternoon, it will be in a yellow shade. 

The architecture of the Shri Harmandir Sahib also teaches us that people of all religions, castes, sexes, and creeds are children of only one God. Four doors describe how any person can enter Harmandir Sahib, but there is only one way to enter the main hall where Shri Guru Granth Sahib is established.

4. Central Sikh Museum:

Central Sikh Museum

The Central Sikh Museum was established by SGPC (Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee) in 1958. If you are a person who is always seeking to know more about history, then this Central Sikh Museum is a fantastic place for you. In this museum, you can find a rich collection of coins, ancient manuscripts, and old coins. In this museum, you will get to explore the finest paintings of Sikh Gurus, Saints, and Sikh Warriors. Also, you will get more information on the Sikh leaders who have contributed to the Sikh religion. The wooden comb (kanga), arrows, iron wires, jackets (sanjoe), and iron chakras (circles) worn by Sikh warriors on turban can be seen in this Central Sikh Museum. Rare pencil sketches by some great sikh artists, musical instruments, and guns of the Sikh era made this museum more special and historical. 

5. Visitor Information

5(a). When to visit the Golden Temple: 

Golden Temple timings

Approximately 1,50,000 people visit the Golden Temple daily. If you are a traveler and planning to visit the Golden Temple, you should know some information before visiting. You can enter Swarn Mandir anytime because its complex is open 24/7. But if you are visiting between 9:30 pm and 4:30 am, you can’t worship in front of Shri Guru Granth Sahib. It’s a time when the holy book Shri Guru Granth Sahib is put to rest at Akal Takhat.

5(b). What to wear in Golden Temple:

Golden Temple

When you visit Swarn Mandir, make sure you cover your head with a scarf and wear clothes below the knees. You can’t bring tobacco, alcohol, etc., into the Golden Temple complex. Also, before entering the Golden Temple, you need to submit your shoes to the shoe deposit counter. After that, wash your feet before entering Shri Harimandir Sahib.

6. Langar:

Langar Hall




If we are talking about the Shri Harmandir Sahib, then how can we forget about Langar? In Langar, people from any caste or religion, rich or poor, sit together and eat food. This practice was started by the first Sikh Guru, Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. It gives a message that every human is equal, and we all are the children of God. In Shri Harmandir Sahib Ji, the practice of Langar used to be done on a very large scale, and that’s why Golden Temple is famous for its world’s largest community kitchen. In Langar, they generally serve chapati, lentils, rice pudding, and vegetables. The amazing fact about Langar in Shri Harimandir Sahib is all the work is done by volunteers in the form of seva ( to serve without any greed).

Visiting the Golden Temple is a soul-stirring journey of spiritual awakening. It doesn’t matter whether you are visiting Shri Harmandir Sahib for prayers or simply to soak in the divine ambiance; it always welcomes you with open arms and a warm heart. This sacred place describes the teachings of all the 10 Gurus. Also, everything from the entrance of the Swarn Mandir to the exit has its meaning. It represents that the former of the Shri Harmandir Sahib was a fantastic thinker.  

If you want to explore all these facts in more depth, then you can book our Golden Temple Tour. In this tour, we will help you take in that era when the Shri Harmandir Sahib was constructed and help you feel the Sikh religion more deeply. Apart from that, if you want to explore the old city of Amritsar, then we also run a Back in Time Heritage Walking Tour

We hope that you enjoyed this article and hope to see you in Amritsar very soon.


Walk and Explore helps travelers to explore the city attractions(both popular and offbeat) through our theme-based walking tours and amazing storytelling. We are a team of young spirits who love traveling and want to share insights into our history, culture, and traditions with the travelers who come to our city.


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