Sacred beauty: The Golden Temple, popular amongst the adherents of the Sikh religion as Sri Harmandir Sahib or Sri Darbar Sahib, is the sacred seat of Sikhism. On a jewel-studded platform is the Adi Grantha or the sacred scripture of Sikhs wherein are enshrined holy inscriptions by the ten Sikh gurus and various Hindu and Moslem saints.
Right from big-wigs in the literary world (Mark Twain called the journey his most enjoyable day on earth) and nature enthusiasts to the Bollywood - the toy train so synonymous with Darjeeling - continues to mystify its guests with a journey one of its kind. If you want to have a dekko first, watch the Bollywood flick Pareenita’s song sequence “Kesto majaa” video. Irresistible - it is!
An Architectural Achievement: The Golden temple, unlike the usual Hindu temple architecture, was constructed on the lower level on a 67 ft. square platform, in the center of the tank and had four entrances. The golden gilding and the rich ornamentation with precious stones dates back to the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The 202 ft bridge that leads to the temple is connected with the circumambulatory path that borders the temple and leads to the ‘Har ki Paure’ or the steps of God. The very structure seems to emanate the secularism that its builders aimed to propagate and is often quoted to stand as the progenitor of the independent Sikh school of Architecture.
The chants of the devotees sanctify the entire area from dawn till dusk and the pilgrims and tourists strolling in its vicinity and around the marbled concourse encircling the pool, experience a spiritual nirvana too powerful to be contained in mere language.