Amritsar (‘Pool of the Nectar of Immortality’) is named after the sacred pool in the Golden Temple, the holiest of Sikh sites. The temple is a haven amidst an essentially congested city. The atmosphere is particularly powerful at first light when the gold begins to shimmer on the water. You cannot help but be touched by the sanctity and radiance of the place, the friendly welcome of the people and the community spirit.
The temple has been sacred to the Sikhs since the time of the fourth guru, Guru Ram Das (1574-1581), who heard that a cripple had been miraculously cured while bathing in the pool here. Guru Arjan Dev (1581-1601) enlarged the pool, built the temple at its centre and installed the Adi Granth, Sikhism‘s holy text, here as the focus of devotion and teaching. Following the death of the 10th and last Guru Gobind Singh (1675-1708), the book took on the elevated status of Guru Granth Sahib (The Holy Book as Guru). In the 19th century, under Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the roof and exterior of the temple were covered with gold, giving rise to the popular name, the ‘Golden Temple’.