5 unknown facts about Golden Temple
A symbol of brotherhood, equality and glory of the Sikhs, the Harmandir Sahib commonly known as Golden Temple in Amritsar welcomes thousands of devotees from all walks of life every day.Designed by the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji in the late 16th century, the Golden Temple has witnessed the history unfold and stood tall for more than four centuries now. Here are few unknown facts about Golden Temple. Take a look here.
Here are 5 unknown facts about Golden Temple:
1) It was completed in 1601
After its foundation was laid in December, 1588 under the supervision of fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the construction work of Harmandir Sahib, which is popularly known as Golden Temple, was completed during August/September 1601.
The Golden Temple is the central place of worship for the people belonging to Sikh faith and is visited by over 1, 00,000 devotees every day on an average.
2) Foundation stone laid by a Muslim, open to all faiths
Guru Arjan Dev Ji asked his friend Mian Mir, who was a popular Sufi Saint of that time, to lay the foundation stone of golden temple aiming to send across a message that this place of worship was open to people belonging to all the faiths. After Sant Mian Mir’s death, Empror Shah Jahan’s eldest son Dara Shikoh ordered the construction of his tomb which was later stopped after Aurangzeb. However, the tomb was later renovated by Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
3) Blown up and reinstated with gold plating
The gold plating, because of which the temple gets its English name, was done after more than 200 years of its construction. After the death of tenth Guru Gobind Singh ji, Golden temple was repeatedly attacked and destroyed five times by the Mughals.
In the year 1762, Ahmad Shah blew up the temple with gunpowder. After Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the only Sikh ruler ever, came to power in 1801; he rebuilt the temple and also ornamented it with the gold.
4) Baba Deep Singh’s sacrifice to die in the temple
As per the Sikh history, Baba Deep Singh Ji, who was the first head of Damdami Taksal (the Sikh school of learning), had taken an oath of breathing his last at the Golden Temple.
After an invasion of Amritsar by Jahan Khan in the year 1757, the sacred pool was defiled by them. 75-year-old Baba Deep Singh Ji gathered 5,000 men and fought a battle with his forces at Tarn Taran, about 10 miles from Amritsar.
It is said that his head was severed in the battle and he held it together with one hand and fought with the other to reach the temple so as to fulfill his vow. A shrine is located near the ‘Sarovar’ inside Temple complex where he fell and died.
5) Unique structure that also serves a purpose
Interestingly, the temple is built on a platform below the ground level to signify that one must remain humble and move downwards while reaching the temple. Also, there are four entries to the temple from all sides which say that it is open for people coming from all the faiths, caste, creed, etc.
The central structure stands in middle of a man-made pool called ‘Amrit Sarovar’. The city of Amritsar gets its name from there. However, the increasing pollution around the temple is negatively affecting the gold plating of the temple which requires its replacement more often than before.