“Shining in the morning light, the gilded splendour of its panelling, big dome and small minarets, this temple is a fairy world palace to the devotees of the Sikh faith. Certainly, the first look brings on to the innocent eye the image of a transcendent fact. The ‘loving sight’ peering into heaven from the legends […]
“Shining in the morning light, the gilded splendour of its panelling, big dome and small minarets, this temple is a fairy world palace to the devotees of the Sikh faith. Certainly, the first look brings on to the innocent eye the image of a transcendent fact. The ‘loving sight’ peering into heaven from the legends of the miraculous cures by the touch of the water in the pool of nectar, in which the shrine stands makes for ecstatic awareness. The vision has been received by millions of pilgrims who have come here for centuries from near and far.”
Of great historical, spiritual, and emotional significance to the Sikhs, this Gurdwara was first conceived by Guru Amar Das, but its actual construction was begun under the supervision of Guru Ram Das his successor. The Temple had modest beginnings, a house built of sun-dried mud bricks was the first building constructed by Guru Amar Das. Guru Amar Das is said to have found ‘a medicinal herb growing at the edge of the pool, which cured a skin ailment of his master Guru Angad the ‘second Nanak’. For many years the Amrit Sarovar remained little more than a village tank, until the fourth Guru, Guru Ram Das began to carry out the plans of his mentor Guru Amar Das for a more permanent structure built of kiln-fired brick.
The Guru Granth Sahib, the 11th Guru of the Sikhs, lies literally at the heart of worship in the Harmandir Sahib complex, serving as the focus of attention and devotion in the Harmandir Sahib’s sanctum. The foundation stone of the historic building was laid by a non-Sikh. The Guru gave the task of initiating the building to a Muslim Saint Hazrat Mian Mir ji of Lahore in December 1588. The Guru Sahib had been asked by the previous Guru to find the Holiest man in India to lay the stone for the Gurdwara. Guru Arjan in choosing his friend Hazrat Mian Mir ji to lay the stone showed the world the true message of religion, promoting Interfaith dialogue and interaction.
Around the world, to non-Sikhs the Harimandir Sahib is, perhaps, better known by its English ‘sobriquet’ – a name given to the Temple because of the lavish gold plating that adorns the walls of its two upper floors, which include its dome, the airy Shish Mahal, where three Gurus spent many hours, and its minaret’s. Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the great Sikh Maharaja of the only Sikh state to never be ruled by the British during his lifetime was, besides one of the greatest generals of military history, one of the few rulers of India to serve his Kingdom and its subjects of, various religions, with an eye to the equality of all. He was also a great patron of the arts. During his lifetime, he had strived to bring all Sikhs under the rule of one great Khalsa Kingdom. When he gained control of Amritsar he used much of the great excess wealth the Punjab produced to rebuild many Gurdwaras associated with the days of the Gurus as well as having many more constructed.
The establishment of Sri Harimandir Sahib during the late 1500 hundreds was a most significant achievement as the Sikh Gurus saw to its establishment as a centre of excellence, inspiration and action for the faiths many followers spread around the world. The popularity and importance of this Crown Jewel of Sikh Gurdwaras made the whole of the region a prosperous an important economic hub, as well as the preeminent centre of Sikh activity.
~ Source: Sikhiwiki