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Darbar Sahib, Golden Temple is the holiest shrine in Sikhism. It was officially renamed Harmandir Sahib (meaning Divine Temple) in March 2005. The temple (or gurdwara) is a major pilgrimage destination for Sikhs from all over the world, as well as an increasingly popular tourist attraction for its immense beauty and inspiring harmony.


Harmandir Sahib, the main temple, built in the midst of a lake(AMRIT SAROVAR), is a two-story marble structure with an imposing dome of pure gold. Construction of the Golden Temple began in 1574 on land donated by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. It was initiated by the fourth guru, Guru Ram Das and completed by his son, Guru Arjan Dev. The temple had to be substantially rebuilt after it was sacked in the 1760s, and in the early 19th century 100 kilograms of gold were applied to the inverted lotus-shaped dome and decorative marble was added. All the gold and marble work took place under the patronage of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The legendary warrior king was a major donor of wealth and materials for the shrine and is remembered with much affection by the Sikh community and Punjabi people.


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Taken on March 1, 2009