Weekly Photo: Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple), Amritsar, India

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Hamandir Sahib (Golden Temple), the holiest shrine in Sikhism located in the city of Amritsar, India. Taken by Wikimedia Commons user Oleg Yunakov.

*Click on image for full-sized view.

The Harmandir Sahib, referred to as the “Golden Temple” in English, is the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. Located in the city of Amritsar (state of Punjab), India, it is also sometimes called the Darbar Sahib. Built in 1574 by the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev, it almost always holds the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism completed by Arjan Dev in 1604.

Harmandir Sahib is a temple, but specifically it is a Gurdwara, which translates to “gateway to the guru.” It is located on a lake called a sarovar that was artificially enlarged centuries ago. The Afghans attacked the area in the  mid-1700’s, and the temple was rebuilt by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia in 1764. Almost a century later,  Maharaja Ranjit Singh plated most of the upper floors of the Harmandir Sahib with pure gold, giving it its English nickname as the Golden Temple. There is one main door on each side, facing north, west, south, and east, representing the Sikh’s culture of being open to all peoples.

Panorama of the Golden Temple at Amritsar. Taken by Wikimedia Commons user Angad Pal Singh Kingra.
Christian "Krzysiek" Eilers is a twenty-something who constantly likes to look up the next flight out of JFK. His life goal is to visit every country in the world; as a young adult working full-time, he often settles on visiting the near countries of Central and South America and the Caribbean, knocking these off the list as it is less of a financial strain than Europe or Asia. Caffeine is his vice, and if he doesn't have a coffee in his hands, then it's probably a green tea. A native of New York City, when he is not traveling, he can find an abundance of cultural influences right in his own city, enough to keep him satisfied until the next country's beckon cannot be ignored any longer.

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