Stuff You Didn’t Know About The Golden Temple

 (or maybe you did, idk. I don’t know you. I don’t know what you do or don’t know. But I mean there’s probably a fact or two in here you don’t know so I would  just stay on the safe side and read it ; )

So I started watching this documentary on Netflix called Himalaya where BBC’s Michael Palin goes all over South Asia saying wonderfully British and sometimes wonderfully corny things about all the places he visits.

It’s the greatest thing.

Anyways, at one point, he visits Harmandar Sahib, or the Golden Temple.

Golden Temple, Amritsar 2013-05-21 01-35.jpg

This is the most well-known gurdwara, or place of worship, for Sikhs, but it’s also amazing from a secular viewpoint. And as I was watching the documentary, I realized I’ve never really told you guys why the Golden Temple is so great. Let me go ahead and…I’m going to…that’s what I’m going to do now…

*Ahem*

REASONS WHY HARMANDAR SAHIB IS DA BOMB (NOT LITERALLY OK LET’S JUST NOT EVEN GO THERE)

1) Everyone is welcome.

Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, atheists, white people, black people, brown people, all the people! This might not sound so unique in 2013, but the kicker is that it’s been this way since its founding in 1604. Like a lot of places, India is a place where discrimination based on religion,etc. has been somewhat prominent in its history. But in 1604, the Golden temple was one of the only places to be blind to trivial bhaqwaas. (Yes, I changed my spelling of backwass to this classier looking version I saw Zayn Malik tweet, idk which one I like better yet.)

2) Free food for anyone who wants it.

Harmandar Sahib’s kitchen is run by volunteers–doctors work alongside rickshaw drivers to provide free meals to the tens of thousands of people who show up there everyday.

source: http://banwait.tumblr.com

If you want to see this in action:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/video/Kitchen-of-the-Golden-Temple.html#ooid=NkbWhkMjqqiVQdKhUlG3FjYYh2z70DTS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRwQ7n9431s

3) Including freaking Akbar. 

At one point, Mughal Emperor Akbar visited the gurdwara, and sat on the ground alongside all of the other visitors. 

4) Four doors. (I did not make this one #4 on purpose omg)

There are four doors into the Golden Temple, symbolizing that it is open to everyone in every direction. Including One Direction. 

“Thanks for looking out, Guru Ji mate!”

M why has One Direction been mentioned twice in your post about the Golden Temple. I’m just curious.

Voice of Reason don’t be so judgmental ok. This is a post about the Harmandar Sahib so why you gotta be like that?

BUT THAT’S WHAT I’M SAYI–

5) Solar energy

In a country not exactly known for its environmental awareness, Harmandar Sahib plans to switch to (if they haven’t already, I’m still trying to find out) solar-powered cooking facilities. 

6) Also, steel plates.

I just really have  thing for steel plates idk. Just something about them not going in a landfill really gets me going. But yeah, Harmandar Sahib has those 🙂

7) It’s beautiful, inside and out.

golden temple inside carvings 466x700

golden temple inside people 550x366

source: travelindia123

source: sikhwallpapers

source: blogabond

8) It’s surrounded by the Amrit Sarovar (the water), which, paired with the white stone ground, gives the entire complex a peaceful, heaven on earth feeling (not that I’ve actually been there to really know but hey. I’ve heard ok??)

source:http://linnietraveler.tumblr.com

source:http://lakeside-amusement-park.tumblr.com

source: http://yeh-hai-meri-kahaani.tumblr.com

http://crushabledotcom.tumblr.com/

…M?

…Um. M??

….HELLO?!?!?

Sorry! It’s just so beautiful that it hypnotizes me okay?

So yeah. That’s Harmandar Sahib. Writing this felt like describing some prized possession or something, that is so nice I can’t actually believe it’s mine. But the thing is, Harmandar Sahib isn’t only mine. It’s yours too.

As you guys know, I haven’t visited it yet. But from what I’ve heard, it’s an out of body experience. My grandma remembers visiting it, and tells me that she felt like she was actually in heaven when she saw it. I can’t wait for that feeling, and I can’t wait to tell you guys about it : ) If you’ve been to Harmandar Sahib, let me know what it was like! Same if you haven’t–I’d love to hear your thoughts as well!

Have an amazing week guys! : )

-M

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