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Discovering India's Golden Temple

Famous landmarks in India offer great sightseeing opportunities
Famous landmarks in India offer great sightseeing opportunities
Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Located in Amritsar City, Punjab India, the Golden Temple is a structure of outstanding beauty and peacefulness. Also called the Darbar Sahib, the Golden Temple is the most scared pilgrimage destination for those who embrace the Sikh religion. The temple's architecture features both Moslem and Hindu characteristic, making the end result a unique and fascinating building.

The Golden Temple is situated in the midst of a lake, which creates the illusion of a floating island. The richly decorated exterior of the temple makes it one of the most recognizable structures in India. The building's interior is just as impressive with its gold and marble walls and ceilings. Mystical Music Inside the sanctuary on an ornate platform, lie the sacred scriptures of the Sikhs called the Adi Grantha. These scriptures and hymns are chanted throughout the day to the accompaniment of stringed instruments, flutes and percussion. The intriguing sound of this music can be heard from all directions, and many visitors stop to listen to the enchanting performances.

Entering the Temple The Golden Temple is reached through a single causeway that emerges from the lake's shore. The Darshani Deorhi Arch marks the temple's main entrance, although a total of four entrances exist, all of which are surrounded by water. The structure's accessibility is meant to promote a feeling of openness and acceptance, and to encourage visitors of any religion, race or cultural background to feel comfortable entering the temple.

Anyone can visit the Golden Temple; however, patrons must adhere to proper religious protocol, especially with regard to attire. Visitors must cover their heads and remove their footwear as a sign of reverence before entering the building. Those who do not come prepared can borrow a headscarf at the temple's main entrance.

The Golden Temple Museum Many tourists are delighted to find that there is also a museum located inside the temple. Here, one can view commemorative inscriptions and memorial plaques that offer a glimpse into India's history. Such objects also highlight past events that were of special significance to those of the Sikh faith. Some of the museum's shrines are dedicated to the Sikh soldiers who engaged in combat during both World Wars.

Many people who journey to the Golden Temple are searching for spiritual enlightenment. The temple offers a harmonious and peaceful atmosphere with which few tourist attractions can compete. Outstanding architecture and religious significance make the Golden Temple one of the most visited and best-love landmarks in all of India.