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Harmandir Sahib

The Harmandir Sahib informally called to as The Golden Temple, is a famous Sikh gurdwara situated 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. In 1604, Guru Arjan completed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, and installed it in the Gurdwara. In 1634, Guru Hargobind left Amritsar for the Sivalik 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".

The Golden Temple is measured sacred by Sikhs because the everlasting guru of Sikhism, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, is always in attendance inside it and its structure was mainly intended to build a place of adoration for men and women from all walks of life and all religion to come and worship God equally. The Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the holiest literature in the Sikh religion,the tenth guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh, on 7 October 1708 at Nanded made it the eternal Sikh Guru and the leader of Sikhism. Anywhere in the world where the Guru Granth Sahib is present is equally holy and precious to Sikhs. Amritsar is the location of Harmandir Sahib.

Harmandir SahibIts given name factually means Temple of God. The 4th guru of Sikhism, Guru Ram Das, excavated a cistern in 1577 AD which subsequently became known as Amritsar, giving its name to the city that grew around it. In due course, a superb Sikh edifice, Harmandir Sahib rose in the center 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. Originally built in 1574, the site of the temple was surrounded by a small lake in a thin forest. The third of the six grand Mughals, Emperor Akbar, who visited the third Sikh guru, Guru Amar Das, in the neighbouring town of Goindval, was so impressed by the way of life in the town that he gave a jagir (the land and the revenues of several villages in the vicinity) to the guru's daughter Bhani as a gift on her marriage to Bhai Jetha, who later became the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das. Guru Ram Das enlarged the lake and built a small township around it. The town was named after Guru Ram Das as Guru Ka Chak', Chak Ram Das or Ram Das Pura.

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