The Golden Temple at Amritsar in
Punjab is the most revered religious center in Sikhism. In Amritsar
is the Akal Takt Sahib. The other three taktas held in reverence are Sri
Patna Sahibi where Guru Govind Singh the tenth Sikh Guru was
born, Anandapur Sahibi where he established the Khalsa
and Sri Hajur Sahibi at Abichalnagar where he gave up his body.
Amritsar was established by Guru Ramdas,
the fourth in the lineage of the Sikh Guru in 1577 CE. The ten Gurus of the Sikhs are Guru
Nanak, Guru Angada, Guru Amardas, Guru Ramdas, Guru Arjun, Guru Hargovind Singh, Guru Hari
Rai, Guru Hari Krishna, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Govind Singh.
Guru Ramdas constructed the sacred tank
Amritsar. Amritsar was once known as Ramdaspur. This town was rebuilt in 1764
CE, after its defilement by attacking armies. It was in 1802 CE that Maharaja
Ranjit Singh gilded the roof of the temple with gold. It was then that the temple
came to be known as the Golden temple. This ruler also fortified the town with the Govind
The sacred lake occupies an area of about 250000
square feet and is lined with marble steps. In its center is the Golden Temple, also known
as the Har Mandir. A white marble bridge leads to the temple. Much of the
temple is covered with gilted gold sheets, and on them are inscribed words from the sacred
Granth Sahib. To the west of the lake is the Akal Takta Sahib,
with a dome covered with gold. The original copy of the Granth Sahib is
enshrined in the temple and is taken out in procession during the appropriate occasions.
Also in Amritsar are the Durgiana and
the Lakshmi Narain Temples.