सिक्खसम्प्रदायस्य प्रमुखधर्णकेन्द्रम् । स्वर्णमन्दिरं सर्वेषां जनानां, सर्वेषां वर्गानां, सर्वेषां विश्वासानां च कृते मुक्तं पूजागृहम् अस्ति । अस्य चतुर्द्वारयोजना, कुण्डस्य परितः प्रदक्षिमार्गः च अस्ति । गुरुद्वारस्य चत्वारि प्रवेशद्वाराः सिक्ख-धर्मस्य समानतायाः विश्वासस्य, सर्वेषां जनानां स्वपवित्रस्थाने स्वागतं भवति इति सिक्ख-मतस्य च प्रतीकं भवति । अयं परिसरः अभयारण्यस्य, कुण्डस्य च परितः भवनानां सङ्ग्रहः अस्ति । तेषु एकं सिक्खधर्मस्य धार्मिकाधिकारस्य मुख्यकेन्द्रं अकल तख्ट् इति । अतिरिक्तभवनेषु घड़ीगोपुरं, गुरद्वारासमितेः कार्यालयानि, संग्रहालयः, लङ्गरः च – निःशुल्कं सिक्खसमुदायेन चालितं पाकशाला च अस्ति यत् सर्वेभ्यः आगन्तुकेभ्यः भेदभावं विना शाकाहारीभोजनं प्रदाति प्रतिदिनं १५०,००० तः अधिकाः जनाः पूजार्थं पवित्रं तीर्थं गच्छन्ति । गुरद्वारासङ्कुलं यूनेस्को-विश्वधरोहरस्थलरूपेण नामाङ्कितं, तस्य आवेदनं यूनेस्को-संस्थायाः अस्थायीसूचौ लम्बितम् अस्ति । Sri Harmandir Sahib (lit. "the abode of God"), also known as Golden Temple and the Darbar Sahib, is the holiest Gurdwara and the most important pilgrimage site of Sikhism. It is located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India.
The temple is built around a man-made pool (sarovar) that was completed by Guru Ram Das in 1577. Guru Arjan – the fifth Guru of Sikhism, requested Sai Mian Mir – a Muslim Pir of Lahore to lay its foundation stone in 1589. In 1604, Guru Arjan placed a copy of the Adi Granth in Harmandir Sahib, calling the site Ath Sath Tirath (lit. "shrine of 68 pilgrimages"). The temple was repeatedly rebuilt by the Sikhs after it became a target of persecution and was destroyed several times by the Muslim armies from Afghanistan and the Mughal Empire. The army led by Ahmad Shah Abdali, for example, demolished it in 1757 and again in 1762, then filled the pool with garbage. Maharaja Ranjit Singh after founding the Sikh Empire, rebuilt it in marble and copper in 1809, overlaid the sanctum with gold leaf in 1830. This has led to the name the Golden Temple.
The Golden Temple is spiritually the most significant shrine in Sikhism. It became a centre of the Singh Sabha Movement between 1883 and 1920s, and the Punjabi Suba movement between 1947 and 1966. In the early 1980s, the Gurdwara became a centre of conflict between the Indian government and a movement led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. In 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi sent in the Indian Army as part of Operation Blue Star, leading to deaths of over 1,000 soldiers and civilians, as well as causing much damage to the Gurdwara and the destruction of Akal Takht. The Gurdwara complex was rebuilt again after the 1984 damage.
The Golden Temple is an open house of worship for all people, from all walks of life and faiths. It has a square plan with four entrances, and a circumambulation path around the pool. The four entrances to the gurudwara symbolises the Sikh belief in equality and the Sikh view that all people are welcome into their holy place. The complex is a collection of buildings around the sanctum and the pool. One of these is Akal Takht, the chief centre of religious authority of Sikhism. Additional buildings include a clock tower, the offices of the Gurdwara Committee, a Museum and a langar – a free Sikh community–run kitchen that offers a vegetarian meal to all visitors without discrimination. Over 150,000 people visit the holy shrine everyday for worship. The Gurdwara complex has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its application is pending on the tentative list of UNESCO.