Harmandir Sahib is also popularly known as Darbar Sahib or Golden Temple is a major part of the Golden Triangle Tour. The English-speaking world knows the temple as Golden Temple due to its gold coating. Harmandir Sahib gets its name from Hari, which means God. Sikhs from all across the globe visit Amritsar to pay their respects to Harmandir Sahib.
Guru Arjan Sahib is the Fifth Nanak in Sikhism. He thought of an idea of constructing an opulent worship place for the Sikh community. It was he who designed Harmandir Sahib’s architecture.
Guru Amardas Sahib was the Third Nanak in Sikhism. He made plans to excavate the holy tank, known as ‘Amritsar’ or ‘Amrit Sarovar’. The plans were executed by Guru Ramdas Sahib, who was supervised by Baba Budha ji. The land for building the temple was gained by the previous Guru Sahibs by paying money. Some zamindars or landlords from neighboring villages donated land at no cost. Elaborate planning was done to create a fully-equipped town. Creation of the tank (sarovar) began simultaneously with the construction of the town. The year was 1570. Work was completed in AD 1577.
Hazrat Mian Mir ji, who was a Muslim saint from Lahore, laid the foundation for Guru Arjan Sahib. Guru Arjan Sahib supervised the construction work. He got assistance from well-known Sikhs, including Baba Budha ji, Bhai Gurdas ji, and Bhai Sahlo ji. Numerous devoted Sikhs, too, got involved.
Guru Arjan Sahib built Harmandir Sahib on a lower level. This was in sharp contradiction to Hindu Temple architecture, which believed in erecting structures at a higher level. Most Hindu temples have only one gate that serves as entrance and exit. Harmandir Sahib, on the other hand, is open on all four sides. Harmandir Sahib became a symbol for Sikhism. The temple does not differentiate between individuals on the basis of creed, caste, religion, and sex. People from all faiths can gain entry here.
The construction work was concluded in AD 1601. Guru Arjan Sahib installed the Guru Granth Sahib in the temple. Baba Budha ji was appointed as the first Granthi or reader. The construction of the temple created an exclusive pilgrimage center or ‘Tirath’ for the Sikhs.
Harmandir Sahib is constructed on square platform that stretches for 67 feet. It lies in the center of the sarovar. A door is placed on each of the four directions. The Darshani Deori, which is an arch, lies at the causeway’s shore end.
The bridge has a connection with ‘Pardakshna’ or circumambulatory path, which is 13 feet wide. It leads to the ‘Har ki Paure’ or steps of God. Har ki Paure’s first floor has nonstop readings of the Guru Granth Sahib.
Harmandir Sahib’s architecture is a unique blend of Hindu and Muslim culture.