Golden Temple ‘putting to bed’ ceremony
Golden Temple ‘putting to bed’ ceremony, India
The Golden Temple is so striking that our India specialists often deem it just as impressive, if not more so, than the Taj Mahal. The temple is part of a larger complex, known to Sikhs as Sri Harmandir Sahib. It includes the sarovar (pool of the nectar), which glitters with the reflection of the gilded shrine.
The holiest temple in Sikhism, it’s home to the Guru Granth Sahib (the central religious scripture), which is a focus of devotion during the day before being ‘put to bed’ each evening. On this evening visit with a local guide, you can watch the nightly ceremony unfold.
The temple is arguably at its best at night, when it’s illuminated and the central promenade leading to the inner sanctum is lit with strings of lights. Chanting begins as the book is placed upon an embroidered pillow and carried to the Akal Takht, a five-tiered marble building, to rest for the night. Your guide will explain the ritual as you watch the procession pass by.
We recommend returning to the temple the next morning to see the complex in a different light. Many pilgrims bathe in the sacred waters, and up to 100,000 people are fed in the temple kitchen each day. As a visitor, you can help prepare the food, wash up or serve. In keeping with the Sikh belief that all faiths are welcome, anyone can volunteer to help, or sit down to enjoy a freshly cooked meal of rice and dhal.
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