The Haramandir Sahib, or more popularly known as the Golden Temple, is considered in Sikhism to be its holiest shrine. Interesting enough, it is located in what is known as the Sikh Guru's city, Amritsar in India. The temple's architectural style distinctly falls within the class of Sikh architecture. The temple's architectural design is attributed to Guru Arjan Dev. The construction of this temple was started in December of 1585 and was only completed in August of 1604.
Characteristics of the Temple Complex
The temple complex itself is encircled by a large lake which is known as the Sarovar. This temple has entrances on all its four sides, which is symbolic for openness and acceptance. Walking into the temple complex itself will reveal more of Sikhism to anyone who visits the place. Inside the complex, you will find lavish and astounding art work and memoirs to the wonders of its unique culture and beliefs.
Inside the Golden Temple's complex, you'll find many shrines that commemorate each of the gurus of Sikhism, the religion's martyrs, and its saints. You will also see holy trees or locally referred to as Bers which denote several historical events. Other memorial symbols of Sikh history can be found further into the temple's compounds.
Those visiting the Haramandir Sahib for the very first time, please visit their information office first before checking out the various sites and sections of the temple. Take note that visitors aren't allowed to smoke, drink alcohol, take drugs, or even eat meat while inside the Golden Temple complex. You will also be required to wear appropriate attire, which includes head covering. You will also be requested to remove your shoes and wash your feet in a pool of water nearby.
Other Interesting Monuments and Structures
The arch at the Golden Temple's causeway is 62 meters in height with a width of six meters. The temple itself occupies an area that is about 40.5 square feet. The main shrine has a circular pathway that is 13 feet in width. The entire temple complex covers an area of about 150 square meters. The causeway at the entrance has a length of around 60 meters.
The base of the Golden Temple is about 52 meters. The aforementioned causeway stands on a platform that is about 20 square meters. The interiors of the Haramandir Sahib are intricately designed. You'll find murals, mirrors, inlaid ceilings, and floral embellished wall designs within many of the shrines. Other than the lavish interior designs, the architectural design of the temple complex itself is a well-deserving tribute to this unique architectural style.