In the 15th century a religion emerged in India that spoke about equality, bravery and generosity. Sikhism, founded by the humble saint Guru Nanak, proved to be one of the most powerful religions in the history of India. This religion gave us a league of extraordinary men that fought for truth and became pillars of courage. Today, Sikhism is the fourth-largest religion in India with 2% of the country’s total population following it. Their places of worship called Gurudwara are the sacred shrines that not only render us spiritual comfort but also offer us an insight into how Sikhism has sustained. With thousands of Gurudwaras established across India, Sikhs have managed some of the cleanest and organized places of worship in India. That is why this time around we have prepared a list of some of the best Gurudwaras in India for you to go beyond the known.
Gurudwara Hari Mandir Sahib, Punjab
The Golden Temple,Amritsar, India (Sri Harimandir Sahib Amritsar) is not only a central religious place of the Sikhs, but also a symbol of human brotherhood and equality. Everybody, irrespective of cast, creed or race can seek spiritual solace and religious fulfilment without any hindrance. It also represents the distinct identity, glory and heritage of the Sikhs.
To pen-down the philosophy, ideology, the inner and outer beauty, as well as the historical legacy of Sri Harmadir sahib is a momentous task. It is a matter of experience rather than a of description.
As advised by Sri Guru Amar dass ji (3rd Sikh Guru), Sri Gruru Gram Ji (4th Sikh Guru) started the digging of Amrit Sarovar (Holy Tank) of Sri Harmandir Sahib in 1577 A.D., which was later on brick-lined by Sri Guru Arjan dev (5th Sikh Guru) on December 15, 1588 and He also started the construction of Sri Harmandir Sahib. Sri Guru Granth sahib (scripture of the Sikhs), after its compilation, was first installed at Sri Harmandir Sahib on August 16, 1604 A.D. A devout Sikh, Baba Budhaji was appointed its first Head Priest.
The Golden Temple Amritsar, India(Sri Hari Mandir sahib) has a unique Sikh Architecture. Built at a level lower than the surrounding land level, The Gurudwara teaches the lesson of egalitarianism and humility. The four entrances of this holy shrine from all four directions, signify that people belonging to every walk of life are equally welcome.
Tourist Attraction :
- Akal Takht
- Central Sikh Museum
- Jallianwala Bagh
- Dukh Bhanjani Beri
- Partition Museum
- Durgiyana Temple
- ISKCON Temple
- Amritsar Heritage
How to Reach ?
By Air : Located around 11 km away from the city-centre, the Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport of Amritsar has more than 160 domestic and international flights. There are daily direct flights to and from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, London, Doha, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.
By Train : The Amritsar Railway Station connects the city to almost all major Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Agra, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Chandigarh. A train journey from Delhi to Amritsar takes about 6 hours.
Gurudwara Baba Atal sahib, Punjab
The Gurudwara of Baba Atal was built in memory of the nine year old son of Sri Guru Hargobind ji. The divine soul in this child’s body once emitted a dazzling spark, others called it a miracle. Baba Atal the young dutiful son had to leave earthy form in answer to his father’s remonstration. Atal Rai was born at Amritsar on December 22, 1619. He was beloved son of Guru Hargobind and Mata Nanaki. The Guru often told his son that he had been blessed by God with much power and he should not fritter it away by showing miracles. But when Atal Rai brought to life his playmate Mohan, the great Guru demonstrated his divinely gifted son and ordained, “None should intervene in the will of God!”
Atal Rai listened to the admonition with downcast eyes. He bowed his head before his father in reverence and left for the sacred pool called Kaulsar which was his favorite resort. Here he sat in samadhi, his soul departed from the earthy body and he became a part of eternal light.
Guru Hargobind soon learnt about the death of Baba Atal. He bore the loss of his beloved son cheerfully, saying, “what pleases the Lord Almighty is good.”
Atal’s body was cremated on the bank of Kaulsar tank. A small shrine was raised over the spot. The construction of the present nine-storied Gurudwara is reminiscent of the nine years of his earthly existence. The Gurudwara is known as Baba Atal Sahib. A special feature of the shrine, is free food i.e. langar served round the clock to all visitors irrespective of caste, creed or color.
Gurdwara Baba Atal has been raised in the revered memory of Guru Hargobind’s 9 year old Sahibzada Baba Atal Rai. It is situated in Amritsar. The child was the personification of something wondrous. Through a miracle Baba Atal Rai once revived a dead child. Guru Hargobind was convinced that Sikh religion did not believe in any kind of miracle and that it was an uncalled for interference in the ways of god and the cosmic system. The Guru, therefore, felt annoyed with his son. To atone for the intervention in the divine ways, the child left for his heavenly abode. It is at the point of the terrestrial exist of Baba Atal Rai that a nine storeys Gurdwara symbolic of his 9 years of exisatence was constructed. It is known as Baba Atal.
Takht Sri Patna Sahib, Bihar
Patna city has has the unique distinction of being honoured by the holy presence of the Buddha, Guru Nanak and Guru Tegh Bahadur. Besides, it is also the birthplace of Sri Guru Gobind Singh.
He was born here on December 22, 1666. There stands, at the sacred place a magnificent holy shrine, called Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib. It is situated in one of the old quarters of Patna city, once known as Kucha Farrukh Khan, now known as Harmandir Gali. It is regarded as one of the holiest of five Takhts, the seat of the Sikh authority. Two of the five Takhts are located outside Punjab. These are Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib, Patna in Bihar, and Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib at Nanded in Maharashtra. Three Takhts are in Punjab. These are Akal Takht Amritsar, Keshgarh Sahib Anandpur and Sri Damdama Sahib at Talwandi Sabo in Bhatinda district. Besides, there are over one hundred important holy Sikh shrines spread over the length and breadth of the country which are humming with the sacred message of the Sikh Gurus and reminding the people of their teachings. These are visited by thousands of pilgrims throughout the year.
In fact the new order Khalsa Panth was set up by the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh with emphasis on unity and integration. He baptised PanjPyaras on Baisakhi day at Anandpur Sahib in 1699 and founded the Khalsa Panth. The Panj Piaras represented the different segments of society. Thus the tenth Guru created Khalsa Panth for the protection of the downtrodden and deprived sections of people.
How to Reach ?
The nearest airport is Jaiprakash Narayan International Airport, Patna (restricted international airport), and it is connected with the rest of the country by frequent flight services. All major aviation companies in India provide their service here.
The shrine has a railway station named Patna Sahib railway station, located near to the place. This provides great convenience to the visitors and connects the shrine to other parts of the country.
NH-31 connects Patna with the rest of the country. One can reach the shrine by bus, taxi or by private vehicles.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, New delhi
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is a prominent house of worship for the Sikh community and tourist spot in Delhi. This 17th-century shrine is dedicated to the memory of Guru Har Krishan, who was the eighth Sikh Guru. Located near Connaught Place, the busiest neighborhood in the national capital, the Gurudwara draws attention due to its magnificent structure, architectural beauty, and the large water body aka ‘Sarovar’ located within the complex. It definitely deserves to be on your itinerary when you book your Hotels in Delhi for a holiday or sightseeing escapade.
The langar hall at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib serves free vegetarian meals to around 10,000 people every day. This community meal service is extended to all visitors, regardless of caste, creed, race, religion, or economic standing in society. A large number of people also extended their voluntary service at the community kitchen to help prepare the meals.
Baba Baghel Singh Museum located inside Gurudwara Bangla Sahib may not boast of huge size, but it’s among those places where you can learn about the history of Sikhism. The museum also chronicles the story of the 10 gurus of Sikhism and the Sikh martyrs who laid down their lives for their faith.
Guru Majnu ka Tila, Delhi
This Gurudwara, situated in North Delhi near ISBT Kashmiri Gate, is reckoned to be the oldest Sikh shrine in Delhi. The shrine is named after a mound where Majnu (a boatman who used to ferry people across the Yamuna River for free) met Guru Nanak. In 1783, Sikh leader Baghel Singh built a Gurudwara commemorating the stay of Guru Nanak. Also, the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Gobind Singh, stayed here for quite some time and this is also one of the reasons why this place holds so much importance amongst Sikh devotees.