Gurdwara Sri Ramsar Sahib Amritsar stands alongside the Ramsar sarovar, the smallest of Amritsar's five holy sarovars.
Located near Chativind Gate, on the south-eastern side of the walled city of Amritsar, the present Gurdwara Ramsar is a marble-lined hall topped by a gilded, fluted lotus dome.
The original Gurdwara was first built in 1855 at this site. However, long before any Gurdwara was constructed, Sri Guru Arjan Sahib Ji was looking for a quiet spot away from the growing city of Amritsar.
Guru Arjan chose this site as the spot where the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji would take form.
Adi Granth means the first Guru Granth ie. containing the Gurbani of the first five Sikh Gurus.
In 1603, after the completion of Sri Harimandir Sahib in 1601, Guru Arjan chose this once secluded, shady spot, about 1 km away from the bustle of the town growing around Sri Harmandar Sahib, and set about collecting the Gurbani (holy Sikh hymns) of the first four Gurus, Guru Nanak, Guru Angad, Guru Amar Das and Guru Ram Das.
Although there were plenty of cool shady trees around, the spot provided the peace and quiet that Guru Arjan needed, the cooling breezes of the Amrit Sarovar were far away. To make the surroundings more agreeable, Guru Sahib had a small sarovar dug, which he named 'Ramsar' after his father Guru Ram Das.
Guru Arjan and his scribe, Bhai Gurdas spent over a year at the site in semi-seclusion. Guru Arjan added his compositions to those of the earlier Gurus, as well as selections from the writings of several bhats and bhagats from a variety of different backgrounds that shared the principles of Sikhism.
After the completion of the Adi Granth in 1604 the Adi Granth was installed, with due honor and ceremony, in Sri Harimandir Sahib. Today the Adi Granth is known as the Guru Granth Sahib; the sacred Sikh scripture. The Guru Granth Sahib, which now spans 1430 pages, was installed by Guru Gobind Singh as the Eternal Guru of the Sikhs, shortly before Guru Sahib re-joined with God. This unique holy Granth preserves the purity of the scriptures, embodying, the philosophy of the Gurus for the perpetual guidance of Sikhism, as well as other faiths.
Gurdwara Sri Manji Sahib Amritsar, located by the side of Ramsar sarovar, was also where Guru Arjan composed his famous Sukhmani (the 'Psalm of Peace'). As this site marks the exact location of the Guru's labours and the formal beginning of the Sikh scripture, it is only natural that this place where the current, perpetual and honoured Sikh Guru, the Guru Granth Sahib was first created, is a site of special significance for all Sikhs.
Many sacred Sikh Gurdwaras can be found in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar, of particular importance are the five sacred pools in this city. These are called sarovars and it is the practice of some Sikhs to have a dip in all five of these holy pools. Apart from being good exercise, it acquaints one with the importance of these five sites. These five holy Sarovars are:
Amritsar (1586) (now used more to refer to the city rather than the sarovar),
Among these famous five historic Gurdwaras is the famous Gurdwara, Gurdwara Sri Ramsar Sahib. This is located south to southeast of the most important landmark for the Sikhs, Sri Harimandir Sahib.
The most valuable achievement of Guru Arjan was the compilation of the scriptures of the Sikh Guru's into the Adi Granth, popularly called Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
The Guru Granth Sahib is truely unique among the world's great scriptures. It is considered the Supreme Spiritual Authority and Head of the Sikh religion, rather than any living person. It is also the only scripture of it's kind which not only contains the works of it's own religious founders but also writings of people from other faiths.
Gurmat Gyan (Knowledge)
Other Gurbani Contributors