Harmandar sahib gurdwara complex

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Important landmarks around Harimandir Sahib
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Harimandir Sahib is the most famous Sikh Temple or Gurdwara in the world. It is also called the Golden Temple in English because of the gold plating that covers most of its surface. This Gurdwara is found in the holy city of Amritsar in Punjab in North West India and is the sacred and the most visited of the many historic Sikh shrines found in India and Pakistan. This striking building was built by Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Guru of the Sikhs.

For details of the Gurdwara itself see Gurudwara Harimandir Sahib. This articles deals with the area outside the Gurdwara precinct and immediate surrounding the holy shrine. It deals with the other Gurdwaras and places of interest found just outside the perimeter wall of the Gurdwara.

Landmarks close to Darbar Sahib

Akal Takhat

Main article: Akal Takhat

The Akal Takhat directly faces the Harmandir Sahib. It was built by the sixth Master, Guru Hargobind (1606-44) in 1609. It has been the nerve centre or the Sikhism ever since. All commandments affecting the community as a whole were issued from here by the Gurus.

The Akal Takhat was pulled down several times by the various raiders. The ground floor of the present building was constructed in 1874. Three storeys were subsequently added by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. A number of weapons used by Guru Hargobind, Guru Gobind Singh and other Sikh heroes are preserved at the Akal Takhat. In 1984 during Operation Bluestar, the building was badly damaged by the Indian Army.

Baba Atal Tower

Main article: Gurdwara Baba Atal Sahib

A nine-storeyed tower, built in memory of Baba Atal Rai (D. 1628), son of Guru Hargobind, is called Gurdwara Baba Atal. Baba Atal Rai died at nine. He was called 'Baba' (an old man) head over young shoulders. The tower was built between 1778 and 1784. It is the only of its kind in the city with a height of 108 ft. (33.2 metres)

Guru Ka Langar

A Sikh temple without a community kitchen is inconceivable. Cooked food is serviced in the kitchen of the Harmandir Sahib 24 hours to all visitors irrespective of religion, caste, creed and nationality. The expenses are met out of the Temple funds. At present, approximately 40,000 visitors share the meals everyday in Guru ka Langar.

The Residence Blocks or NIWAS

There are 6 residence blocks or Niwas which provide lodging facilities for pilgrims, maintained by the Sri Darbar Sahib authorities. The reception counters work around the clock to attend to the visitors.

Contact to book rooms: Tel: 91-183-2553957 /58 / 59 PBX : 219, 310, 417, 424, 425

Please Note: The Sarai Booking is offered on First-Come-First-Serve basis subject to availability of accommodation at the time of booking on the desired date/s.

a) Sri Guru Ram Das Niwas

Sri Guru Ramdas Niwas also called Sri Guru Ram Das Sarai was built in 1931. The project was initiated by the Local Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee Amritsar and its foundation stone was laid by Sant Sadhu Singh ji of Patiala on 17th January 1931.

The Niwas is a free hostel for the pilgrims and is maintained by the Temple authorities. It has 228 rooms and 18 big halls spread over 2 stories, with modern sanitation and other amenities for civil life. Unlike the ordinary 'Dhramsalas' the Niwas supplies the facilities of free beddings, cots, lights and fans etc. to the lodgers. A lodger is not generally allowed to stay here for more than three days at a time. The doors of the hostels are open to all. The lodgers however must not do anything repugnant to the teachings of Sikhism.

  • Total number of rooms: 228
  • Rooms available for pilgrims: 160
  • Charges payable: None but Refundable Security of Rs. 50/-
  • Facilities Available: Common Bathroom, Dispensary within the Precincts
  • Contact Counter: Incharge Sarai 420

b) Guru Nanak Niwas

Sri Guru Nanak Niwas: This building houses sectarian offices of the different departments of SGPC apart from the lodging facilities for pilgrims. The lodging facilities of 66 Rooms - 22 with attached baths and 44 without baths, but on each floor there are 10 independent bath rooms and ten flush latrines so as to make the stay of visitors comfortable.

  • Total No. of Room: 80
  • Rooms Available for pilgrims: 21
  • Charges payable: Refundable Security Deposit of Rs. 100/-
  • Facilities Available: Common Bathroom
  • Contact Counter: Incharge 310

c) Akal Rest House

New Akal Rest House: This building is situated near the rear of Guru Arjan Dev Niwas. It has 49 rooms of which 44 rooms are available for local pilgrims. The remaining 5 rooms are reserved for "foreigners". All rooms have attached bathrooms.

  • Total No. of Room: 49
  • Rooms Available for pilgrims: 44 with 5 rooms being held in reserve for foreigners
  • Charges payable: Rs. 50/- Day and Rs.200 Refundable Security
  • Facilities Available: Attached Bathroom
  • Contact Counter: Incharge 424

d) Guru Arjan Dev Niwas

Guru Arjan Dev Niwas: This building is situated at the entrance point to the main sarai area, adjacent to Guru Nanak Niwas. It houses a branch of Punjab & Sind Bank and has parking for scooters. The main booking counter for the rooms is also situated here. The facilities comprises of 100 rooms.

  • Total No. of Room: 65
  • Rooms Available for pilgrims: 65
  • Charges payable: Rs. 50/- Day and Rs.200 Refundable Security
  • Facilities Availible: Attached Bathroom, Post Office, Punjab & Sind Bank with in the Precincts
  • Contact Counter: Incharge 424

e). Guru Hargobind Niwas

Guru Hargobind Nawas: This building is situated near Gurdwara Baba Atal Sahib. Sri Guru Ramdas Library is situated in its basement. There are 92 double bed rooms with attached bath in addition to four halls. Rooms are available at Rs. 50/- per day.

  • Total No. of Room: 88 + 3 Halls
  • Rooms Available for pilgrims: 88 + 3 Halls
  • Charges payable: Rs. 50/- Day and Rs.200 Refundable Security
  • Facilities Available: Attached Bathroom, Shri Guru Ram Das Library
  • Contact Counter: Office Incharge 425

f) Mata Ganga Ji Niwas

Mata Ganga Ji Niwas: This stands exactly opposite Guru Hargobind Niwas building. It also houses Internet Department of SGPC.

  • Total No. of Room: 103
  • Rooms Available for pilgrims: 94
  • Charges payable: Rs. 50/- Day and Rs.200 Refundable Security
  • Facilities Availible: Attached Bathroom, 300 Lockers available - Security Fee Rs.20/-
  • Contact Counter: Incharge 417

The SGPC Offices

The headquarters of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee are located in the Teja Singh Samundri Hall near the Harmandir Sahib. The Gurdwara Act 1925, transferred the control of the historical Sikh Shrines in the Punjab to the SGPC. It is a representative body of the Sikhs elected by adult franchise.

Central Sikh Museum

Central Sikh Museum has paintings of Sikh Gurus, Saints, Sikh warriors and other prominent Sikh leaders who have in their own way contributed a lot to the enhancement of the Sikh Religion.

Others Details

The famous Sikh shrines at Amritsar include: Five Sarovars (sacred tanks): Amritsar (1586), Santokhsar (1587-88), Ramsar (1602-03), Kaulsar (1627), Bibeksar (1628); and, Gurdwaras: Baba Atal (1770), Shaheed Ganj Baba Dip Singh (1803, partly in 1823), Shaheed Ganj Baba Gurbakhsh Singh, Guru De Mahal (It was the residence of Guru Ram Das Sahib, Guru Arjan Sahib, Guru Hargobind Sahib and Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib. Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib was born here), Darshani Deodi (near Guru Bazaar, associated with the memory of Guru Arjan Sahib), Gurdwara Thara Sahib (on the bank of Amritsar Sarovar; associated with the memory of Guru Ram Das Sahib and Guru Arjan Sahib), Gurdwara Thara Sahib (in memory of the visit of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib), Damdama Sahib (in memory of the visit of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib, in 1664), Pippali Sahib (It is associated with memory of Guru Arjan Sahib and Guru Hargobind Sahib), Gurdwara Tahli Sahib (Guru Ram Das Sahib used to rest under a Tahli, i.e. shisham tree. The Tahli tree, believed to be the same still exists), Churasti Atari (associated with memory of Guru Hargobind Sahib), Gurdwara Lohgarh Qila (Earlier it was a fort built by Guru Hargobind Sahib in 1609) etc. Besides, 68 Bungas were constructed in the town from time to time. (See: Bunga). The Central Sikh Museum and the Sikh Reference Library are also established here. The Indian army burnt the Sikh archives, libraries and the records of the offices of the Akali Dal and the S.G.P.C. on June 6-7, 1984.

See also

External links

Map of Harmandar Sahib