Amritsar is the home to Harmandir Sahib or Sri Durbar Sahib, which is also popularly known as "The Golden temple". The temple is named after the God Hari. It is the sacred and cultural center of Sikhs. This vital Sikh shrine attracts more visitors than the Taj Mahal with more than 100,000 tourists per a day. A holy bath at Amritsar Golden temple is believed to purify the soul of the devotee. The main temple is surrounded by the beautiful Amrit Sarovar. The Golden temple is marvelously reflected in eye-catching expanse of water particularly from dawn to dusk. At this time the shiny white marbled causeway and the gold body of the temple glitters in lightening water.
Amritsar temple complex is always full with thousands of visitors from all over the world. Here numerous Sikhs are happy to explain about their religion and customs to the visitors, and also guide the visitors. Around the temple there are numerous small shops trying to trade kerchiefs (bandannas) to cover the heads in temple surroundings. The Harmandir Sahib has a large library where visitors can obtain books related to Sikhism at low cost. Every Sikh is likely to be here as a volunteer at least for a week during their lives.
It has a Langar (dining hall) in the temple complex to serve free meals to all the visitors every day. At the entrance of the dining hall, Plates and spoons are given to the visitors. Volunteers come by with large buckets of Chapathis and meals. It is the notable thing to make sure to complete everything on plate (there is no option to waste food here). Everyone should cover their heads with kerchiefs (available widely for 10 INR at temple surroundings) inside the temple complex.
The main temple is constructed on a 67 Sq.ft. platform in the centre of the Amrit Sarovar (holy tank). The temple occupies 40.5 Sq.ft. and it has four entrances on the East, West, North and South called Langar Deori, Ghanta Ghat Deori, Khazana Deori, and Atta Mandi Deori. The main entrance (Darshan Deori) is situated at the shore end of the walkway and the door frame of this arch is about 10ft in height and 8ft 6inches in width. These doors are ornate with beautiful artistic designs. This main entrance shows the way on to the bridge, which leads to the main temple of Harmandir Sahib. The bridge is 202 ft in length and 21ft in breadth and it is linked with the 13ft broad Pradakshina path. A complete Pradakshina leads to the steps to the first floor of the main temple.
The Golden temple of Amritsar is a three-storied building. In front of the main building, there is the main entrance which faces towards the bridge and is adorned with pointed arches. And the ceiling of the 1st floor of the building is at the height of 26ft. 9 inches. On the top of the first floor, there is a small square shaped room with three gates. In this room a continuous worship is held here by recitations of Guru Granth Sahib. There is a "Kalash" with a nicely decorated "Chatri" on the top of this room
The architecture of the golden temple symbolizes a combination of Muslim and Hindu architectural style. This is considered as one of the best architectural models of the world. It is often said that this structural design of the temple has shaped in the Sikh school of architecture of art in India.
Singing is a vital part in Sikh devotion and it is considering as a feast to the spirits when chants from the sacred scriptures are recited Keertan on the waves of the Classical tunes; an inspirational combination of voice and music stretches its wings.