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Gurdwara Sri Harmandir Sahib






Location - Golden Temple Road, Amritsar City, Punjab 143006, India


Associated with - Sri Guru Ram Das Ji, Sri Guru Arjan Sahib Ji, Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji


Sikh Artifacts - Numerous in Sri Akal Takht and Sikh Museum


Sarovar - Yes


Sarai - Yes


Sri Harmandir Sahib (Gurmukhi: ਹਰਿਮੰਦਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ) also Darbar Sahib (Gurmukhi: ਦਰਬਾਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ) and incorrectly referred to as the "Golden Temple" is a prominent Sikh Gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India.

It was built by the fifth Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Arjan Sahib Ji, in the 16th Century. In 1604, Guru Arjan Sahib Ji completed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhi, and installed it in the Gurdwara.

There are four doors to get into the Harmandir Sahib, which symbolize the openness of the Sikhs towards all people and religions. The present day Gurdwara was rebuilt in 1764 by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia with the help of other Sikh Misls.

In the early nineteenth century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh secured the Punjab region from outside attack and donated the gold which covered the upper floors of the Gurdwara, which gives it its distinctive appearance and its english name.

General

The Sri Harmandir Sahib is considered holy by Sikhs. The holiest text of Sikhism, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, is always present inside the Gurdwara.

Its construction was mainly intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religions to come and worship God equally.

Over one hundred thousand people visit the gurdwara daily for worship. This important Sikh Gurdwara attracts more visitors than the Taj Mahal.

The city also houses the Akal Takht, the highest seat of earthly authority of the Khalsa, and the committee responsible for the upkeep of Gurdwaras.

History

The Harmandir Sahib literally means 'a place of worship for all'.

The fourth guru of Sikhism, Guru Ram Das, excavated a tank in 1577 CE which subsequently became known as Amritsar (meaning "Pool of the Nectar of Immortality"), giving its name to the city that grew around it.

In due course, Sri Harmandir Sahib rose in the middle of this tank and became the supreme centre of Sikhism.

Its sanctum came to house the Adi Granth comprising compositions of Sikh Gurus and other saints considered to have Sikh values and philosophies. The compilation of the Adi Granth was started here by the fifth guru of Sikhism, Guru Arjan.

  • Amritsar

    Amritsar

    Amritsar, short for Amrit Sarovar, was established by Guru Ram Das at the time of the story of the Dukh Bhanjani Beri and Bibi Rajni.



Construction of the Harmandir Sahib

Originally built in 1574, the site of the Gurdwara was surrounded by a small lake in a thin forest.

Mughal Emperor Akbar, who visited the third Sikh Guru, Guru Amar Das, in the neighbouring town of Goindval, was so impressed by the way of life in the town that he gave a jagir (the land and the revenues of several villages in the vicinity) to the Guru's daughter Bhani as a gift on her marriage to Bhai Jetha, who later became the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das Ji.

Guru Ram Das enlarged the lake and built a small township around it. The town was named after Guru Ram Das as 'Guru Ka Chak', 'Chak Ram Das' and 'Ram Das Pur'.

During the leadership of the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan (1581–1606), the full-fledged Gurdwara was built. In January 1589, Guru Arjan initiated the construction of the Gurdwara. The foundation stone was laid by none other than Guru Arjan Sahib himself in January 1589. It is a common misconception that the foundation stone was laid by the Sufi saint Mian Mir of Lahore.

The Most Beautiful Aerial View of Sri Harmandir Sahib

Some of the architectural features of the Harmandir Sahib were intended to be symbolic of the Sikh worldview. Instead of the normal custom of building a Gurdwara on high land, it was built at a lower level than the surrounding land so that Sikhs would have to go down steps to enter it.

In addition, instead of one entrance, Sri Harmandir Sahib has four entrances. Hindu temples are sometimes closed on three sides and opened only towards the east or the rising sun. Muslims would pray towards the west or to the Kaaba. The great Gurdwara at Amritsar was to be open on all sides. This meant that Sikh worship was open to all, and was not concerned with sun-worship or the Kaaba.

The Gurdwara was completed in 1604. Guru Arjan, installed the Guru Granth Sahib in it and appointed Baba Buddha as the first Granthi (reader) of it on August 1604. In the mid-18th century it was attacked by the Afghans, by one of Ahmed Shah Abdali's generals, Jahan Khan, and had to be substantially rebuilt in the 1760s. However, in response a Sikh Army was sent to hunt down the Afghan force. Both forces met each other five miles outside Amritsar; Jahan Khan's army was destroyed.

The Sri Harmandir Sahib Complex and areas in its vicinity

The Gurdwara is surrounded by a large lake or holy tank, known as the Sarovar, which consists of Amrit ("holy water" or "immortal nectar"). There are four entrances to the Gurdwara, signifying the importance of acceptance and openness.

Inside the Gurdwara complex there are many areas and memorial plaques that commemorate past Sikh historical events, saints, martyrs and includes commemorative inscriptions of all the Sikh soldiers who died fighting in World Wars I and II. There are three holy trees (bers), each signifying a historical event or Sikh saint.

(Click on images to view the Sri Harmandir Sahib visitors guide)

In keeping with the rule observed at all Sikh Gurdwaras worldwide, the Harmandir Sahib is open to all persons regardless of their religion, colour, creed, or sex. The only restrictions on the Harmandir Sahib's visitors concern their behavior when entering and while visiting:

Maintaining the purity of the sacred space and of one's body while in it:
Upon entering the premises, removing one's shoes (leaving them off for the duration of one's visit) and washing one's feet in the small pool of water provided;
Not drinking alcohol, eating meat, or smoking cigarettes or other drugs while in the Gurdwara.

Dressing appropriately: Wearing a head covering (a sign of respect) (the Gurdwara provides head scarves for visitors who have not brought a suitable covering);
Not wearing shoes (see above).

How to act: One must also sit on the ground while in the Darbar Sahib as a sign of deference to both the Guru Granth Sahib and God.

First-time visitors are advised to begin their visit at the information office and then proceed to the Central Sikh Museum near the main entrance and clock tower.

  • Foundation Of Sri Harmandir Sahib

    Foundation Of Sri Harmandir Sahib

    It is a common misconception that the foundation stone was laid by the Sufi saint Mian Mir of Lahore. The foundation stone was laid by none other than Guru Arjan Sahib himself in December 1588.

  • Completion Of Sri Harmandir Sahib

    Completion Of Sri Harmandir Sahib

    The Gurdwara was completed in 1604. Guru Arjan, installed the Guru Granth Sahib in it and appointed Baba Buddha as the first Granthi (reader) of it on August 1604.

  • Guru Arjan And The Arrogant Brahman Pandit

    Guru Arjan And The Arrogant Brahman Pandit

    A proud ritualistic hindu brahman pandit arrived in Amritsar to hold a religious argument with Guru Arjan. Guru Arjan asked the pandit, "Brahman, why are you so full of arrogance and anger?"

  • Complaint Made To Akbar

    Complaint Made To Akbar

    Modern open views on moral philosophy and equality made many enemies for the Sikhs. The qazis and pandits were fearful of losing control of the masses and bore enmity to Guru Arjan on account of his compilation of the Granth and complained to Emperor Akbar.


The Foundation Stone of the Sri Harmandir Sahib


Contary to popular belief, Mian Mir did not lay the foundation-stone of the Harmandir Sahib.

Taken from "Sri Harmandir Sahib Sunehri Itihaas" published by Dharam Parchaar Committee SGPC

Sri Guru Arjan Sahib Ji and Baba Budha Ji consulted with the leading Sikhs of the time and set a day for setting the foundation stone of Sri Harmandir Sahib. A great congregation took place on 1st Magh, 1654 Bk. (1589 AD) the Sarovar had been drained in preparation and the divaan took place in the sarovar itself. Sri Guru Ji explained the meaning of Harmandir and the importance. After distributing karah parshaad and invoking the first four Satgurus, Baba Budha Ji asked Guru Arjan Sahib Ji to place the first brick.

Sri Guru Arjan Sahib Ji with his hands then placed the first brick:

ਇਮਿ ਅਰਦਾਸ ਕਰੀ ਬ੍ਰਿਧ ਜਬੈ। ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਰਜਨ ਕਰ ਪੰਕਜ ਤਬੈ॥੧੩॥ ਗਹੀ ਈਟ ਤਿਹ ਕਰੀ ਟਿਕਾਵਨ। ਮੰਦਰ ਅਿਵਚਲ ਨੀਵ ਰਖਾਵਨ। (Gurpartap Suraj Ras 2, Ansu 53).

It is clear that Gurpartap Suraj Granth says that Sri Guru Arjan laid the foundation of Sri Harmandir Sahib with his own hands.

Sri Harmandir Sahib panoramaSri Harmandir Sahib panorama.

Why the Confusion?

The first Sikh historian to write otherwise was Giani Gian Singh. In the third Lahore edition of Sri Gur Panth Parkash, he writes that Mian Mir placed the brick. What is odd is that Giani Ji in the first edition of Panth Parkash (published in Delhi, 1936 Bk.) and in the second edition (published in Amritsar, 1946 Bk) does not say who placed the first brick. Only in the third Lahore edition does he say that Mian Mir placed the first brick but does not say where he has learned this from nor does he give any reference.

From the foundation of Sri Harmandir Sahib to the writing of Panth Parkash, 300 years had passed. None of the writers of Gurbilas Patshahi 6, Gurbilas Patshahi 10, Mehma Parkash (1776), Bansavalinama, Gurkirat Parkash (1812), Suraj Granth nor Pracheen Panth Parkash by Rattan Singh Bhangu had indicated that Mian Mir was involved in laying the foundation of Sri Harmandir Sahib.

Further, none of the Muslim writers who have written biographies of Mian Mir have written that he laid the foundation. This is odd because they would have been very proud to note such a fact. It seems clear that the story of Mian Mir laying the foundation is imaginary.

Butay Shah: Beginning the Myth

Principal Satbir Singh has written that the first person to write about Mian Mir having laid the foundation of Sri Harmandir Sahib was Butay Shah (real name Ghulam Muhaiyuddin) in his book "Tavarikh-i-Punjab." Butay Shah was a Muslim Maulvi. He writes, "Shah Mian Mir came to Amritsar at the invitation of Sri Guru Arjan Sahib Ji and with his holy hands, placed four bricks in the four directions and one in the middle."

A hand-written copy of this work says that it was written in 1848 AD. The British were in control of Punjab at that time. No Sikh or non-Sikh writer had written about Mian Mir before this time. How did Butay Shah find his information? He has not given any source. The method he outlines of how the foundation was laid is also unusual and has not been seen or read anywhere before.

Bhai Rattan Singh Bhangoo writes about Butay Shah in Pracheen Panth Parkash. Rattan Singh had found out that the British had hired Shah to write the Khalsa's history in Persian. He protested that a Maulvi would not do justice to Sikh history because there had always been tension/ conflict between Hindus and Sikhs and the Moslems and they spoke against each other.

Giani Gian Singh also writes about the above incident. He writes how Rattan Singh and Cpt. Murray discussed the issue and Rattan Singh told him that Sikh history written by a Maulvi would be of harm to the Sikhs and he did not write the truth. He told Murray that each person could write about his own religion for which he was knowledgeable but he could not write about another's religion properly especially in the case where there was conflict between the respective religions. He said clearly to Murray after seeing the history written by Butay Shah, "he will write history in a way that will harm the Singhs." And also "how will he write the truth? He will write what is the opposite." (Sri Guru Panth Parkash Poorbaardh Bisram dooa)"

After this, Rattan Singh wrote Panth Parkash and gave it to Cpt. Murray. Murray kept both Panth Parkash and Tavarikh-i-Punjab with him. Rattan Singh did not however write in Panth Parkash who placed the foundation of Sri Harmandir Sahib.

Clearly from what Rattan Singh told Cpt. Murray, he saw that Maulvi Butay Shah was writing Sikh history in a twisted and inaccurate way.

Which Account is Authentic?

Accepting Butay Shah's statement that Mian Mir placed the foundation of Sri Harmandir Sahib, Sohan Lal Suri in his book Umda-Tu-Tavarikh (1885 AD) repeated the same thing. In the same way, the Amritsar Municipal Corporation in their record for 1849 to 1885 seem to have relied on Butay Shah and recorded Mian Mir as having placed the foundation.

Before all these, Kavi Santokh Singh wrote in Gurpartap Sooraj Granth (1900BK) that Guru Arjan had placed the foundation. Bhai Santokh Singh had received his training at Sri Amritsar Sahib from Bhai Sant Singh. Bhai Sant Singh used to do Katha every day at Sri Darbar Sahib. Before him, his brother Giani Gurdas Singh and their father, Bhai Surat Singh used to do this seva at Sri Harmandir Sahib.

Bhai Surat Singh's ustad was Bhai Gurbaksh Singh, who had received his training in Gurmat and Sikh history from Bhai Mani Singh Ji himself. Bhai Mani Singh Ji had been in the Guru's service since the time of Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib. Bhai Sahib's grand father, Bhai Baloo Ji was a Sikh of Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib and was shahid in the Battle of Amritsar in 1691 Bk.

Bhai Mani Singh Ji must have known from his grandfather and father about the foundation of Sri Harmandir Sahib and certainly must have been told by the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth Guru of the same.

Bhai Mani Singh passed on his knowledge to Bhai Gurbaksh Singh, who then passed the knowledge to Bhai Surat Singh who educated his two sons, Bhai Gurdas Singh and Bhai Sant Singh. It was from Bhai Sant Singh that Kavi Santokh Singh learned of the foundation of Sri Harmandir Sahib. It is clear that Kavi Santokh Singh's knowledge is more reliable than that of Butay Shah.

Butay Shah and Sohan Lal Suri do not have even a distant relationship with Sri Harimandir Sahib nor did their ancestors have any link. It is clear that these writers have not relied on anything besides their own imaginations. In fact, Butay Shah and Sohan Lal Suri's accounts do not match between themselves. Butay Shah writes that four bricks were placed in the four directions and one in the middle. He then writes that Mian Mir was invited to Amritsar by Guru Arjan Sahib Ji. Sohan Lal writes however that Guru Ji himself went to Lahore and invited Mian Mir to place the foundation of Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar.

There is no further mention of whether Mian Mir came to Amritsar and whether he placed one or five foundation bricks. In a court of law, where the statements of the witnesses don't match, they are not given any credence. Therefore the writings of Butay Shah and Sohan Lal cannot be accepted, especially since they have both been written after Gurpartap Suraj Granth.

The film looks at a day in the life of Sri Harmandir Sahib. It follows the pre-dawn preparations,
the ceremony at dawn and installation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in it's chamber
and explores the lives of the people associated.

Dr. Madanjit Kaur on the Issue

Sikh historian Dr. Madanjit Kaur writes in "The Golden Temple: Past and Present, "According to the earliest Sikh tradition, the foundation stone of the Harmander was laid by Guru Arjan himself. A mason, so goes the story, accidentally displaced the brick (the foundation stone). On seeing this, the Guru prophesized that the foundation would be laid again in the near future. This version of Bhai Santokh Singh is carried by almost all subsequent Sikh sources right up to the twentieth century …."

The author further writes: "The story of Mian Mir having laid foundation of Harmander appears amongst the Persian sources for the first time in Bute Shah's, 'Tawarikh-I-Punjab'… The real objective of the author (Bute Shah) was to eradicate any chance of animosity between Sikhs and Muslims after fall of Sikh Kingdom…"

"The first recorded reference to this version in European sources is to be met immediately in, "The Punjab notes and queries". It records: 'The foundation stone was laid by Mian Mir...' The contributor of the entry, E. Nicholl, (Secretary, Municipal Committee, Amritsar) does not cite any authority, he merely states the facts".

Renowned Sikh historian, S. Piara Singh Padam also accepts that Sri Guru Arjan Sahib Ji laid the foundation. He writes "Mian Mir was barely 36-37 years old at the time. Only after considerable meditation did he finally (later in life) become so respected."

Therefore it is clear that the foundation Sri Harmandir Sahib was laid by Sri Guru Arjan Sahib Ji. The myth of the foundation being laid by Sai Mian Mir is a fabrication of the mid 19th Century.

Artwork and Monument Sculptures

Much of the present decorative gilding and marblework dates from the early 19th century. All the gold and exquisite marble work were conducted under the patronage of Hukam Singh Chimni and Emperor Ranjit Singh, Maharaja of the Sikh Empire of the Punjab. The Darshani Deorhi Arch stands at the beginning of the causeway to the Harmandir Sahib; it is 202 feet (62 m) high and 21 feet (6 m) in width.

Sri Harmandir Sahib gach art work
Sri Harmandir Sahib gach art work.

The gold plating on the Sri Harmandir Sahib was begun by Ranjit Singh and was finished in 1830. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a major donor of wealth and materials for the Gurdwara and is remembered with much affection by the Punjabi people in general and the Sikh community in particular.

Celebrations at the Harmandir Sahib

One of the most important festivals is Vaisakhi, which is celebrated in the second week of April (usually the 13th). Sikhs celebrate the founding of the Khalsa on this day and it is celebrated with fervour in the Harmandir Sahib.

Other important Sikh religious days such as the martyrdom day of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur, the birthday of Guru Nanak, etc., are also celebrated with religious piety. Similarly Bandi Chhor Divas is one of the festivals which sees the Sri Harmandir Sahib beautifully illuminated with Divas (lamps); lights and fireworks are discharged.

Most Sikhs visit Amritsar and the Sri Harmandir Sahib at least once during their lifetime (although it is not compulsory), particularly and mostly during special occasions in their life such as birthdays, marriages, childbirth, etc.

Operation Blue Star

Operation Blue Star was undertaken on 3 June 1984 and ended on 6 June 1984. The Indian Army, led by General Kuldip Brar, brought infantry, artillery, and tanks into the Harmandir Sahib to put a stop to Dharam Yudh Morcha, which were peaceful protests to support the implementation of The Anandpur Sahib Resolution. During these "Morchay" thousands of Sikhs courted arrest. Indira Gandhi ordered the army to launch Operation Blue Star. Within six months, Indira Gandhi’s Sikh bodyguards killed her (31 October 1984) for the sacrilege.

(Click on images to view 10 days of State Terror)

Fierce fighting ensued between Sikhs and the soldiers, in which many of the Sikhs were killed along with many soldiers. An official account tallies the deaths of 83 soldiers and 492 sikhs killed by the army; the Sri Harmandir Sahib complex also suffered much damage due to the attack, especially the holy Akal Takhat Sahib.

This attack is regarded as a desecration of Sikhism's holiest Gurdwara and discrimination of a minority in India. In 1986, the repairs performed on the Akal Takhat Sahib, which the Rajiv Gandhi Government had undertaken without consultation, were removed. A new Akal Takhat Sahib was completed in 1999 by Kar Sevaks.

Miracle At Sri Harmandir Sahib In 1877

For those that have been to Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, you may have noticed a sign outside on the Darshan Deori that reads;

"It is for the knowledge of all that in Harimandir Sahib on April 30, 1877 at 4.30 in the morning, a strange thing happened. There were about four hundred beloved enjoying spiritual peace of celestial music in Harimandir Sahib when suddenly a flash of lighting was seen which in the form of a big resplendence entered through the door on the mountain-side and exploded exactly like a ball in front of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and illuminating everything then went out, becoming a streak of light through the southern door–though at the time of its exploding there was a dreadful and forceful sound, no harm of any kind occurred to any devotee sitting inside and no harm to the building or anything else in the precinct. All the people described this supernatural scene as the wonderful doing of Sri Guru Ram Das himself"

This miracle transformed the Panth and brought it back from the brink of oblivion.

After the fall of the Sikh Kingdom in 1849, the Sikhs were in very serious trouble. The Gurdwaras were in control of Mahants who had installed hindu idols and barred 'low castes' from entering. The hindus introduced many of the non-Sikh customs that Punjabi's follow. British observers wrote that Amrit Sanchars almost never took place. Sikh women lost their distinct appearance and no longer followed rehit or took amrit. The British even began to photograph Sikhs as they believed this 'fading sect' ought to be recorded in history and one day shown in museums as a part of India's history.

The British also started a heavy mission of conversion amongst the Sikhs. Many notable Sikhs left the faith at this time. Raja Ranjit Singh's general, Jowand Sikh Mokhal's family embraced Islam, Beharwala Sardar Isher Singh became Muslim under the influence of a prostitute, Harnam Singh of the Kapurthala Royal family became Christian, Dayal Singh Majithia became a Brahmo Samajist and gave over the Daily Tribune, Dayal Singh College and a Library to the sect.

Sikh landlords Mangal Singh Virk and Charat Singh of Barhar became muslims under the influence of muslim women. In 1873, 4 Sikh boys Aya Singh, Attar Singh, Sadhu Singh and Santokh Singh announced they were converting ot Christianity and prepared to cut their hair. Later they were convinced not to do this.

Harmandir Sahib was under the control of the British Government and they had appointed a Sikh manager, Mangal Singh to look after the site for them. The British had nefarious designs for the Sikhs. They had intended to make Sree Darbaar Sahib the main Diocese for the Christian Church and convert the complex into a giant church. Crucifixes were even put near the entrance of Sree Darbaar Sahib near the foot-wash area.

Sardar Mangal Singh heard these rumours and despite being pro-British, felt very upset. He met with Punjab's Lt. Governor to ask about this issue and he did not give any reassurance but asked him to speak with the Viceroy.

The Viceroy was at this time in Gobind Garh fort in Amritsar. Sardar Mangal Singh went to meet him and was told that the British were lawfully entitled to own, manage and dispose of all property owned earlier by the Sikh regime. They could do as they wish in the future.

The Sikhs came out very dejected and sat in a Gurdwara trying to understand what to do. They decided to hold and Akhand Path Sahib in Darbar Sahib and do Ardas that the most precious place of the Sikhs would be saved.

The next day, the sangat gathered at Harmandir Sahib and Asa Di Vaar began. An intelligence officer sent by the Viceroy was also present at 0430hrs to watch over the gathering.

An estimated number of 400 people were present in and around Harmandir Sahib. There was the sound of thunder and a bolt of lightning struck water in the Sarowar on the Northern side of Harmandir Sahib – left side of the causeway leading to the Gurdwara.

Normally a lightening has a very fast zap and then it fades away. In this case the sharp zap of lightening became a ball of light over the water surface.

Then, to everyone's amazement, it moved and entered the Harmandir Sahib from the Northern door through which Sikhs enter. After entry the ball of light hovered for some time in front of Guru Granth Sahib where Sikhs normally put down their offerings and carry out obeisance.

Then the ball of light became a ray of light and existed through the opposite door - the Southern door. All this while everyone was stunned and stuck to their position wherever they sat or stood. And no one was hurt.

Non-believers may opine that lightening has been known to strike water surface even when the sky is clear or when there are no clouds. Physicist's may explain some phenomena associated with electrical charge in the environment and some other weird explanations quite illogical to the devout. Moreover there was no common supply of electric in northern India in 1877.

However, none of the explanatinos explain the phenomena of the ball of light moving into the Harmandir Sahib through the front door and hovering in front of Guru Granth Sahib and then making a dramatic exit through the southern door.

Even if the ball of light was an electrically charged phenomenon it would have harmed some of the Sikhs when it entered the front door where people were lined up to go in, passing within inches away from them. Or it would have caused panic among the Sikhs who would have feared the strange light as something dangerous and would have jumped into the Sarowar to escape. The light is said to have had a benign and loving effect on the minds of Sikhs making them wonder struck and without fear. Only Waheguru has that overpowering love upon the minds of all God's creations.

This incident was viewed as a miracle by the Sikhs at that time. The management of Sri Harmandir Sahib in 1877 had very thoughtfully written a golden plaque in Gurmukhi script about six feet above the floor on the left wall of Darshani Deori facing Akal Takhat. The golden plaque is so high and above a normal person's height that one would not notice it among all the rush to get in: And particularly so if there is a crowd. Moreover at the entrance of Darshani Deori our eyes normally fall on the beauty of Harmandir Sahib and are not likely to look elsewhere.

News of this event went all over Punjab. The hundreds of witnesses all gave their names as proof of this great miracle. The intelligence officer too was stunned and advised the British Government that any attempt to take over Darbar Sahib would be wrong.

This incident was Guru Ram Das himself blessing the Sikhs. It showed the Sikhs that Guru was not far, but always watching over his Panth. At a time where Amritdhari Singhs were almost extinct and hindu rituals had taken hold in the Gurdwaras and Sikhs were converting away en masse, Guru Ram Das enacted this miracle and revived and awakened the Sikhs. The Gurdwara Reform Movement gathered steam, Singh Sabha Movement threw out the hindu influences and again the Panth began to emerge and grow. The entire Panth rose up to save Sikhi. The Sikhs were saved from the brink of extinction.

In today's age, when again Sikhi is threatened by governments, and Sikh youth are confused and misguided, it is time for a Sikh Revival. It is up to us to save our Panth. And if we take the initiative, we should rest assured Guru Ji is watching us and will certainly give us victory.

Those who are destined will come to the abode of Waheguru others may find some convenient excuse not to.

Attacks on Sri Harmandir Sahib

Note: Those responsible for attacking Sri Harmandir Sahib have always suffered a horrible fate usually within a few months.


Chronology Of Events At Sri Harmandir Sahib

1573 AD

1577 AD

1589 AD

1604 AD

1606 AD

1621 AD

1628 AD

1634 AD

1665 AD

1721 AD

1725 AD

1738 AD

1739 AD

1739 AD

1740 AD

1745 AD

1757 AD

1762 AD

1764 AD

1767 AD

1773 AD

1776 AD

1802 AD

1808 AD

1813 AD

1822 AD

1831 AD

1839 AD

1849 AD

1857 AD

1871 AD

1873 AD

1881 AD

1893 AD

1902 AD

1919 AD

1920 AD

1923 AD

1925 AD

1947 AD

1949 AD

1955 AD

1958 AD

1973 AD

1977 AD

1978 AD

1984 AD

1985 AD

1986 AD

1988 AD

1988 AD

1997 AD

2004 AD

- The construction work of the holy water tank started under the supervision of Guru Ram Das Ji.

- Guru Ram Das Ji laid the foundation of Amritsar (earlier known as Ram Das Pur).

- The foundation of Sri Harimandir Sahib was laid by Guru Arjan Sahib Ji

- The central Gurdwara was completed.

- Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji adopts two swords, one for religious affairs, the other for worldly affairs. Guru Hargobind lays the foundation of Sri Akal Takht.

- Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was born in Amritsar.

- The first ever Sikh-Mughal armed conflict, and the Sikhs emerged victorious under the command of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji.

- Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji left for Kiratpur with his Sikhs to avert a possible attack on other visiting Sikhs.

- Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji visited the Sri Harmandir Sahib after becoming the Ninth Sikh Guru but he was denied entry by the masands.

- Bhai Mani Singh appointed the head granthi of Sri Harmandir Sahib. After a century long period control was again under the Sikhs.

- Dispute between the two Sikh groups over the Sri Harmandir Sahib's control. Bhai Mani Singh resolved the issue in a fair manner.

- The head granthi Bhai Mani Singh hacked into pieces for not paying demanded revenue to the Mughal authorities.

- The Mughals negotiated peace and granted independent territory (jagir) to the Sikhs.

- Persian King Nadir Shah attacked Sri Harmandir.

- Two Sikh warriors, Sukha Singh and Mehtab Singh, avenge the act of sacrilege by a Mughal administrator named Massa Ranghar and behead him.

- A new wave of Mughal suppression oppresses the Sikhs.

- Afghan King Ahmed Shah Abdali attacks Sri Harmandir Sahib and Baba Deep Singh martyred.

- After the great holocaust of 5th Feb 1762, Ahmed Shah Abdali destroys Sri Harmandir Sahib and fills its holy tank with debris and animal carcasses.

- Ahmed Shah Abdali returns and destroys repairs. Baba Gubaksh Singh and his thirty comrades were ruthlessly murdered near the Akal Takht.

- Udasi Nirvan Pritam Das and Mahant Santokh Das build a 35 mile water canal to fill the holy water tank with the water of river Ravi.

- Sikh Misl chiefs build Gurdwara Baba Atal near Sri Harmandir Sahib.

- Reconstruction of the damaged holy water tank, entrance gate and bridge.

- Maharaja Ranjit Singh occupies the territory of Amritsar as part of the Sikh Empire.

- Amritsar's famous Gobindghar fort was built to move Lahore's treasure to Amritsar.

- Maharaja Ranjit Singh obtained famous Kohinoor diamond, now studded in the English crown, and a great Sikh army march past in the streets of Amritsar.

- Amritsar's fortification wall with twelve gates completed.

- Gold work of Sri Harmandir Sahib reached its final stages.

- Maharaja Ranjit Singh came to Sri Harmandir Sahib in March 1839, it proved his last visit.

- The Sikhs lost their rule over the unified territory of Punjab.

- Amritsar observed no real effect of the mutiny against the British.

- Kuka (Namdhari) movement starts, several Muslim butchers were assassinated. British administrators hang several Kuka (Namdhari) disciples in Amritsar.

- Singh Sabha Movement gained roots.

- The British government introduced their management agents (Sarbarah) to exercise their full control over Sri Harmandir Sahib.

- Khalsa College, Amritsar opened.

- Pro British chief Khalsa diwan formed.

- Jallian Wala Bagh massacre took life of several thousands innocent Sikhs and others on Vaisakhi day in Amritsar.

- Sikhs take control of several Sikh Gurdwaras including Sri Harmandir Sahib. SGPC started to emerge.

- The first Kar Sewa or cleansing of the sarovar took place.

- Sikh Gurdwara Act passed.

- Amritsar became a border city after India's partition.

- Sikh Reference library formed.

- Indian Army storm and attack Sri Harmandir Sahib to suppress Sikhs from asking for equal rights.

- Central Sikh museum formed.

- The second Kar Sewa or cleansing of the sarovar took place.

- The city of Amritsar observed its 400th birthday.

- Sikh - Nirankari conflict took life of thirteen innocent Sikh demonstrators and it changed the Punjab forever.

- Indian Army invade Sri Harmandir Sahib under Operation 'Blue Star', killing thousands of innocent Sikhs and looting the Sikh reference library.

- A special Kar Sewa takes place to repair the damage of Operation Blue Star.

- Indian Army storm and attack Sri Harmandir Sahib for the third time since hindu rule in India began in an effort to destroy Sikhs and replace their leaders.

- Several thousand shops and houses (generally of the Sikhs) were removed to make a road around Sri Harmandir Sahib.

- Indian Army storm and attack Sri Harmandir Sahib for the forth time since hindu rule in India began in an effort to destroy Sikhs and replace their leaders.

- English Queen Elizabeth II and her husband visit Sri Harmandir Sahib.

- The first Kar Sewa of the 21st century for the purpose of installing water treatment plants.


Historic Sikh Gurdwaras In Amritsar City


Gurdwara Sri Baba Atal Sahib - Sri Harmandir Sahib complex

Gurdwara Sri Baba Deep Singh Shaheed - Sri Harmandir Sahib complex

Gurdwara Sri Harmandir Sahib - Sri Harmandir Sahib complex

Gurdwara Sri Lachi Ber Sahib - Sri Harmandir Sahib complex

Gurdwara Sri Mata Kaulsar Sahib - Sri Harmandir Sahib complex

Gurdwara Sri Manji Sahib Harmandir - Sri Harmandir Sahib complex

Gurdwara Sri Shaheed Ganj Baba Gurbaksh Singh - Sri Harmandir Sahib complex

Gurdwara Sri Thada Sahib Amritsar - Sri Harmandir Sahib complex

Gurdwara Sri Thara Sahib Amritsar - Sri Harmandir Sahib complex

Historic Place Of Beri Baba Budha - Sri Harmandir Sahib complex

Historic Place Of Dukh Bhanjani Beri - Sri Harmandir Sahib complex

Sri Akal Takht Sahib - Sri Harmandir Sahib complex


Gurdwara Sri Baba Bota Singh And Baba Garja Singh - Shaheeda Sahib Road complex

Gurdwara Sri Bibeksar Sahib - Shaheeda Sahib Road complex

Gurdwara Sri Manji Sahib Amritsar - Shaheeda Sahib Road complex

Gurdwara Sri Ramsar Sahib Amritsar - Shaheeda Sahib Road complex

Gurdwara Sri Shaheed Ganj Baba Deep Singh - Shaheeda Sahib Road complex

Gurdwara Yaadgar Vaisakhi 1978 De Shaheed Sahib - Shaheeda Sahib Road complex


Gurdwara And Burj Akali Phula Singh - 1 km from Sri Harmandir Sahib

Gurdwara Bhai Manjh Da Khooh - 5.5 km's from Sri Harmandir Sahib

Gurdwara Bhai Shalo Da Tobha - 700 meters from Sri Harmandir Sahib

Gurdwara Qila Lohgarh Sahib Amritsar - 900 meters from Sri Harmandir Sahib

Gurdwara Sri Atari Sahib Sultanvind - 3.5 km's from Sri Harmandir Sahib

Gurdwara Sri Chaurasti Atari - 500 meters from Sri Harmandir Sahib

Gurdwara Sri Darshani Deori - 250 meters from Sri Harmandir Sahib

Gurdwara Sri Guriaana Sahib - 8 km's from Sri Harmandir Sahib

Gurdwara Sri Guru Ka Mehal - 500 meters from Sri Harmandir Sahib

Gurdwara Sri Kotha Sahib - 7 km's from Sri Harmandir Sahib

Gurdwara Sri Pipli Sahib Amritsar - 3.5 km from Sri Harmandir Sahib

Gurdwara Sri Tahli Sahib Amritsar - 650 meters from Sri Harmandir Sahib

Gurdwara Sri Toot Sahib - 3 km's from Sri Harmandir Sahib


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