Golden Temple, Amritsar is the first on my list of places to visit when I want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the monotonous city life. The visit offers calm to my overall being and a sense of serenity takes over. Harmandir Sahib as it is known to the SIkhs (followers of the Sikhism religion) is a place of worship for Indians and foreigners alike. The name Golden Temple is synonymous with the Golden Dome that the Gurudwara has as a part of its aesthetically rich architecture inspired from the Hindu and Islamic architectural style. The Gurudwara which adorns at the center of a Sarovar (lake) was designed by the fifth Sikh Guru, Shri Guru Arjan Dev. A visit to the temple entails bowing down to the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy Sikh Scripture) which is considered to be Guru of the Sikhs after the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Though the Golden Temple looks awe inspiring at any time of the day, it is best to stay back for the evening to enjoy its majesty in the night splendor. A highlight of my visit was witnessing the holy ceremony named “Prakash” which happens every morning and in which the Guru Granth Sahib is carried in a well decorated Palanquin and housed inside the Harmandir Sahib. The morning hymns as the Palanquin moves rested on the shoulders of the temple priests is a sight to cherish and remember forever.
A visit to the temple must be incorporated with a holy dip in the Sarovar as it brings a feeling of tranquility and one must have the langar ( a community meal) to understand the rich cultural tradition of the Sikhs of having a meal together.
One must plan to visit Jallianwala Bagh and Wagah Border in addition to the Golden Temple