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The Golden Temple or Harmandir Sahib is the central temple (gurdwara) for the Sikh religion. It is located in the northern Indian city of Amritsar, Punjab. Every day it receives thousands of worshippers and tourists. On weekends, up to 100,000 people come. Pilgrims take their ablutions here in the sacred pond on which the main building is located.
Creation of the shrine started in 1577, the IV Sikh Guru Ram Das dug a pond around which formed a city with the same name - Amritsar ("source of nectar of immortality"). Legend has it that Buddha meditated on this spot. The area was blessed and construction of the temple began from 1588 to 1604. The main part is set in the middle of an artificial lake and the rest of the complex is built around it. Guru Arjan Dev completed the work, naming the structure Harmandir Sahib ("God's Temple").
The temple began to be called "golden" only after the restoration of 1802, when some walls and the central structure were covered with plates of gold. At the same time gained popularity among the faithful and began to attract pilgrims from all over the world.
Interestingly, in 1891 the shrine was visited by Emperor Nicholas II on an official visit. In 1984, the unpleasant news about the site spread around the world. The Indian Army conducted Operation Blue Star. It was designed to destroy the Sikh base. In the 80's they sought to secede from the country and carried out terrorist attacks. There was an assault in which hundreds of civilians were killed. The structure itself was badly damaged but was quickly rebuilt.
The center of the holy complex is the gurdwara. Its domes and ceiling are completely gilded. The building was built of marble in the form of a hexagon. A bridge leads to it. It represents the way of man from sinner to preacher. In front of it there is a structure with a gilded arch in which big queues form to the famous landmark. The walls inside are decorated with paintings, precious metals and stones. Outside, the lower part is decorated with mosaic images of animals and flowers.
In total there are 10 buildings of different purposes. Each one has four entrances from all sides of the world, which symbolizes the openness of religion to anyone. The white marble structures feature carved patterns, an arched system and domes. This architecture combines Islamic and Indian styles.