Golden Temple (Amritsar)

Photo of Golden Temple, Golden Temple Road, Amritsar, Punjab, India by Fly With Shaunak

It was for the first time that I visited Harmandir Sahib or Golden Temple, as it is popularly known across the world. Blessed with a cute (and heavy !) kid, me and my wife in any case wanted to visit this marvel, that is also universally considered as the holiest Sikh Gurdwara.

Photo of Golden Temple (Amritsar) by Fly With Shaunak

The Golden Temple, as can be seen above, has a Gold dome, situated in a middle of holy water pool. It was first designed by Guru Arjan in 1588 and is in the city of Amritsar, Punjab. The holy scripture of Sikhism Adi Granth was completed by Guru Arjan in 1604 and is placed here ever since.The land, by the way, was donated by Mughal Emperor Akbar, for construction.

None-the-less, when you do reach there, you will realize the whole structure and premises is huge. Right from the entrance, you find Sevaks, who are offering their services and are willing to help. There is a Shoe Stand on the outside, followed by a small space in the basement for keeping your luggage. I had my 7-month old kid, who we got along with his pram. The pram was supposed to be kept in that basement. No money is taken anywhere.

Photo of Golden Temple (Amritsar) by Fly With Shaunak

There are 4 doors to enter, meaning openness to people from all faiths and religions. It is assumed that more than 1 Lac people visit the Golden Temple daily. But if you see the overall management and administration of all facilities, you won’t feel that there is any disturbance or problem with orderliness.

And when we talk of this place, the history can’t be forgotten. In 1984, the then Prime Minister of India Ms. Indira Gandhi, gave an order to attack the armed Sikh militants. Several people died, a lot of innocents too, it is said. It is then that 6 months down the line, 2 of her Sikh bodyguards killed her. I also learnt that 2 years post this incident, Mr Rajiv Gandhi attempted to approach the Sikh community and offered to repair the damages caused to the Golden Temple, which was turned down.

The most popular and interesting part of the complex is the HARI MANDIR or the Darbar Sahib, that is the golden structure in the body of water. Inside of this, clicking pictures is not allowed. But I could feel and I saw a lot of people, irrespective of their caste, creed or religion, getting humbled by some supreme power and the different air that exists in the atmosphere.

Pity we could not take a dip in the holy water, missed it. But looking at that positively, this means there is another chance for me to come here once again…

Photo of Golden Temple (Amritsar) by Fly With Shaunak
Photo of Golden Temple (Amritsar) by Fly With Shaunak

Thanks to everybody who could manage to come on board and hence make the trip wonderful – 5 is always better than 2 :)

Some Rules for Visiting the Golden Temple

1. Removing your footwear outside the temple premises, there is a free shoe stand

2. Washing your feet in a small pool of water before entering the temple premises

3. Covering your head is mandatory for all irrespective of your gender, you may get the covering cloth outside the premises.

4. You may click the pictures, but no style or photo-shoots or extra smartness please

5. Clicking pictures inside of the main temple is prohibited

6. Dress appropriately

7. There is an Information Office, I visited this office first as I wanted to take advice – just so that I don’t end up doing anything that should not be done

We also ate Langar here. Harmandir Sahib runs one of the largest free kitchens in the world, serving almost 1 Lac people daily. There was bread, spinach vegetable and sweet rice – taste was good.

Accommodation Near Golden Temple in Amritsar

Anywhere you stay in Amritsar, it appears that Golden Temple is very near. Lets say, it is only about 1 km from the Railway Station, which is almost the City Center. As you can see, the infrastructure, the roads that lead to this place are bad. No diplomatic words here. They are not good at all, especially when you look at the popularity of the place and the number of visitors on a per-day basis.

And if you are in need of any hotel bookings, Enjoy Accommodations anywhere in Amritsar with

Last Visited in November 2015

Trip first published o Fly with Shaunak