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Golden Temple

The Golden Temple is also known as Harmindar Sahib or Hari Mandir by the Sikhs. Located in Amritsar, Punjab, India, this beautiful building is the most important sacred shrine for the Sikhs, who travel from all parts of the world to pay their respects to this, their most important historic site.

Originally, this site was a small lake, surrounded by a thin forest. Travellers and holy people used the site for meditation and rest. These visitors recognised it as special for its tranquillity and pure & sweet water. The lake was enlarged and a small community was established during the leadership of the fourth Sikh Guru (Guru Ram Das, 1574-1581). It was during the leadership of the fifth Guru (Guru Arjan, 1581-1606), that the Golden Temple was built. A Muslim saint Hazrat Mian Mir ji of Lahore in December 1588 initiated the construction of this wonderful building by laying the foundation stone.

On June 5 through June 6, 1984 Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi ordered an attack on the Golden Temple, as part of attempting to enforce executive rule in the Punjab and capture Jarnail Singh Bhindrenwale, later made a Saint by the Sikhs. The army attacked in an operation labelled Operation Blue Star and killed Bhindrenwale during the battle.

BY AIR:Amritsar is connected by Indian Airlines flights to Delhi. Everyday Wednesday and Friday, Indian Airlines has a flight from Delhi to Amritsar and back. The arrival time is 1.50 p.m. and departure time from Amritsar is 2.20 p.m. There are two connecting flights of Air India from Amritsar to Delhi London and Delhi New York sector on every Tuesday and Saturday. Arrival time at Amritsar of Air India flight is 1.05 A.M. and departure is at 1.45 A.M. Raja Sansi Airport is just 11 kms. from the Golden Temple and taxis are available at negotiable rates. The airport has a Punjab Tourist Information Counter.

BY RAIL: Amritsar is well connected by rail to all corners of the country with trains. Important trains include Frontier Mail to Bombay, Shatabdi Express to Delhi and Utkal Express to Puri. There is an Extension Counter of our Information Office near the main entrance of Railway Station. Amritsar Railway Station is provided with all passenger amenities. Taxis/Auto Rickshaws and Cycle Rickshaws are available outside the station. Free Bus Service (Buses plying by the S.G.P.C. free of cost) is also available at the station. The route of these buses is from Railway Station to Golden Temple (Sri Darbar Sahib) via Bus Stand and vice versa. It takes only 15 minutes to reach Golden Temple (Sri Darbar Sahib) from the Railway Station.

BY ROAD:There is vast network of bus services from Amritsar with services by state transport systems of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, PEPSU, Chandigarh, U.P., J & K, Rajasthan and private operators. From the Bus Stand, there are regular buses plying to and fro all the districts of the state as well as outside the state. A number of Private buses also ply. There are A/c buses running between Amritsar and Chandigarh, Delhi and Jammu. Most of these buses depart from outside Hall Gate or from outside the Railway station. Auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are easily available at the bus stand. Horse-drawn tongas are also available. It takes just 10 minutes to reach Golden Temple from bus stand.

Route: New Delhi-Ambala-Jalandhar-Amritsar, Distance: 456 Kms.