The Harmandir Sahib is a prominent Sikh gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. Construction of the gurdwara was begun by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru, and completed by his successor, Guru Arjan Dev. In 1604, Guru Arjan Dev completed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, and installed it in the Gurdwara. In 1634, Guru Hargobind left Amritsar for the Shivalik Hills and for the remainder of the seventeenth century the city and gurdwara was in the hands of forces hostile to the Sikh Gurus. During the eighteenth century, the Harmandir Sahib was the site of frequent fighting between the Sikhs on one side and either Mughal or Afghan forces on the other side and the gurdwara occasionally suffered damage. In the early nineteenth century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh secured the Punjab region from outside attack and covered the upper floors of the gurdwara with gold, which gives it its distinctive appearance and English name of "Golden Temple".
|Golden Temple - Amritsar (India)|
The present day Golden Temple was rebuilt in 1764 by Maharaja Jassa Singh Ahluwalia (1718-1783) with the help of other Misl Sikh chieftains. It was more beautified with adding more architecture. Between 1802-1830 Ranjit Singh did the sewa of gold plating the Temple and adding marble to it as well, while the interior was decorated with fresco work and gemstones.
|Entrance to Golden Temple, Amritsar|
|The Harmandir Sahib (The abode of God)|
Harmandir Sahib is considered holy by Sikhs. The most holy text of Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahib, is always present inside the temple. Its construction was mainly intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religions to come and worship God equally.
Harmandir Sahib literally means Temple of Gods. The fourth guru of Sikhism, Guru Ram Das, excavated a tank in 1577 CE which subsequently became known as Amritsar (meaning "Pool of the Nectar of Immortality"), giving its name to the city that grew around it. In due course, a splendid Sikh edifice, Harmandir Sahib (meaning "the abode of God"), rose in the middle of this tank and became the supreme centre of Sikhism. Its sanctum came to house the Adi Granth comprising compositions of Sikh gurus and other saints considered to have Sikh values and philosophies, e.g., Baba Farid, and Kabir. The compilation of the Adi Granth was started by the fifth guru of Sikhism, Guru Arjan Dev.
|Golden Temple at Night|
|Harmandir Sahib Complex|
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