The Golden Temple aka Sri Harimandir Sahib in Amritsar is the central holy place of the Sikhs. The official website of the temple states that the digging of Amrit Sarovar (Holy Tank) of Sri Harmandir Sahib was started by Sri Guru Ram Dass Ji, the fourth Sikh guru, on the advise of Sri Guru Amar Dass Ji in 1577 AD. The temple was brick-lined by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji in 1588. He started the construction of Sri Harmandir Sahib and installed the holy scripture Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Baba Budha Ji was appointed its first Head Priest.
Like other places of worship, Golden Temple was also affected by COVID-19. At the onset of the pandemic, Health department guidelines, including wearing of masks, keeping social distancing and sanitisation of hands, were made mandatory for pilgrims.
Coronavirus not only caused a decline in the footfal but also reduced langar consumption at the world’s largest community kitchen to nearly half, even as there has been no fall in langar ration donations.
However, the temple came back to normalcy gradually and is open 24 hours all seven days at the moment.
“The Golden Temple Amritsar India (Sri Harmandir Sahib Amritsar) 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,” the website reads.