Golden Temple, Sri Harimandir Sahib Amritsar
Sri Harimandir Sahib, more popularly known as the Golden Temple is the central religious place of the Sikhs. It is located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab. Sri Harimandir Sahib was built in 1577 by the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das. The Harmandir Sahib was built as a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religions to come and worship God equally. The Gurudwara teaches the lesson of egalitarianism and humility and is open to everyone irrespective of caste, creed or race.
The Golden Temple has an unique Sikh architecture. Built at a level lower than the surrounding land level, the four entrances of this holy shrine from all four directions, signify that people belonging to every walk of life are equally welcome. The present-day gurdwara was renovated in 1764 by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia. In the early nineteenth century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh secured the Punjab region and covered the upper floors of the gurudwara with gold giving it its distinctive appearance and hence the name Golden Temple.
The Golden temple is the house of the world's largest soup kitchen. The institution of the Sikh langar, or free kitchen, was started by the founder of Sikhism and the first Sikh Guru Guru Nanak. At the Langar (Kitchen), food is served to all visitors regardless of faith, religion, or background. The Golden temple Langar is reported to serve free vegetarian food for anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 people every day.