India is an old country. Together with China, they form the oldest countries that existed as cohesive units thousands of years ago. One of the biggest advantages of being an old country is the amount of heritage and cultural practices that will be exported to rest of the world. Among the most prominent heritage sites in India that have made an impact in the world is the Golden Temple. Peruse the list below and see religious heritage at its best.
1. The Golden Temple is also referred to as "Darbar Sahib” or “Harmandar Sahib", and is one of the oldest worship places for the Indian Sikh. It is located in Amritsar, Punjab.
2. The entire top of the temple is made of pure gold, adding to the beauty of the temple.
3. The temple is surrounded by a manmade lake that boasts a lot of exotic fish in it. To get to the temple, you will literally have to walk on water.
4. The temple is entered from four different sides to show openness and acceptance.
5. The temple was initially built without any gold coating. It is during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the ruler of Punjab in the early 19th century that the temple went under full renovation and made into what it is today.
6. Before the temple was built, the first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak, used to meditate at the site. It was not until the fifth Guru, Guru Arjana that the temple was built.
7. The manmade lake around the temple is known as 'Amrit Sarovar' which is translated as ‘Pool of Holy Nectar’.
8. The temple is considered holy such that 35% of the pilgrims that visit it are from faiths other than Sikh.
9. The Langar at the Golden temple serves up to 200,000 people during special religious events. Amazingly, all the food served are donations from faithful.
10. With hand painted mosaics and patterns, the Golden temple is one of the most significant symbols of Mughal and Indian architectural genius.
The Golden Temple is one of the holiest sites in India. It is visited by hundreds of thousands every year to say their prayer in a site where the first Guru regularly said his prayers. If that alone is not a good enough reason to visit the temple, then I do not know what is.
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