The Golden Temple, located in the city of Amritsar in the state of Punjab,is a place of great beauty and sublime peacefulness. It is also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib, is the holiest shrines in Sikhism and is alive with religious fervour and sacredness.Originally a small lake in the midst of a quiet forest, the site has been a meditation retreat for wandering mendicants and sages since deep antiquity. After going through a tumultuous period of demolitions, it was rebuilt by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1830 purely with marble and gold.
The Buddha is known to have spent time at this place in contemplation. Two thousand years after Buddha's time, another philosopher-saint came to live and meditate by the peaceful lake. This was Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the founder of the Sikh religion. After the passing away of Guru Nanak, his disciples continued to frequent the site; over the centuries it became the primary sacred shrine of the Sikhs. Serving as a symbol of brotherhood and equality, Golden Temple is visited by people from all over the world who come here to seek spiritual solace and religious fulfilment.
The lake was enlarged and structurally contained during the leadership of the fourth Sikh Guru (Ram Dass, 1574-1581), and during the leadership of the fifth Guru (Arjan, 1581-1606), the Hari Mandir, or Temple of God was built. From the early 1600s to the mid 1700s the sixth through tenth Sikh Gurus were constantly involved in defending both their religion and their temple against Muslim armies. On numerous occasions the temple was destroyed by the Muslims, and each time was rebuilt more beautifully by the Sikhs. From 1767 onwards, the Sikhs became strong enough militarily to repulse invaders. Peace returned to the Hari Mandir.In spite of the thousands of people milling about in the premises of the temple, the only voice you will hear around you is silence interspersed with chants of the Sikh prayers.
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