The ‘Pool of the nectar Immortality’ and this is home to the Harimandir Sahib, the Golden Temple. This sacred pool was used as the meditation place by early puritans and philosophers. Among them Buddha was the first one and much later Guru Nanak in 14th century AD lived here and drew strength from this peaceful site. Guru Nanak believed in equality regardless of caste, gender, religion and from this concept, Sikhism was born.
The foundation stone of the temple was laid in 1588 by the Sufi Saint, Mian Mir. Over time waters were continued within a lake and the temple complex grew around and into it. The Golden Temple itself sits on a platform over the water.
The temple’s architecture is a fusion of Hindu and Muslim styles yet it’s a coevolution of two. During the reign of Maharana Ranjit Singh in 17th century AD Hari Mandir was richly decorated with marble sculptures, golden gilding and number of precious stones. Within the sanctuary, lies the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred scripture of the Sikhs. This scripture is a volume of devotional poems, prayers and hymns composed by the ten Sikh Gurus and many Muslim and Hindu saints. Beings at sunrise and up to sunset, everyday these hymns are chanted with exquisite flute and drums and string instruments along. It is a delicate but powerful state background for pilgrims strolling around lake. An underground spring feeds the sacred lake and pilgrims immense themselves for cleansing of soul.
Next to the temple complex are colossal dormitories and dining hall facilitating all pilgrims. All who visit the temple are invited to share a meal before they leave. Around 40,000 visitors are fed at Lungar each day out of temple funds. Please do watch episode from ‘Mega Kitchens’ telecasted on National Geographic Channel. The celebrity Chef Vikas Khanna staring in it and the procedure of Lungar at Golden Temple pictured so perfectly. It may inspire you to volunteer at Kitchen and contribute your share, as it did with me.
This is a place of intense of spiritual excitement for Sikhs and indeed anyone who visits from around the world.