Having the sacred book ‘Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji’, the current Guru of Sikhism, Gurudwara, which is home to the Gurus or the leaders of the Sikhism, is the religious spot for the Sikhs. The word ‘Gurudwara’, which stands as the combination of the words ‘Guru’ and ‘Dwara’, has its literal meaning the ‘Gateway to Guru’. This holy spot always retains its doors open to all people of all faiths and religions. Sikhism and Gurudwaras originated from Amritsar, the sacred city of Punjab, a state of India. India is home to some of the most popular and best Gurudwaras in the world, which are visited by thousands and thousands of devotees from all over the globe all the year round. Here are the top must visit Gurudwaras in India.
Also popularly known as Shri Harmandir Sahib Ji or Shri Darbar Sahib Ji, the Golden Temple, which is situated in Amritsar, Punjab, is the most renowned Gurudwara in the world. Regarded as one of the most visited religious spots, this magnificent Gurudwara, which was erected in 1577 AD, is plated with pure gold. The temple got its name ‘Harmandir’ from Hari (God), ‘the Temple of God’. Viewing its structure made up of pure gold, this Gurudwara, which has everything covered in golden color from its ceiling to the electric cables, is also home to a renowned Sarovar, an ideal spot for devotees to take a sacred dip. Being the idea of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the 5th Guru of Sikhs, the Golden Temple, which was founded by Hazrat Mian Mir Ji, a Muslim saint, was constructed under the supervision of Baba Budha Ji in 1645 AD. At present, this Gurudwara is the most important and renowned spot of worship in Sikhism with its doors open from all its sides to devotees of all faiths and religions.
Situated at Manikaran amidst the mountains of Manali in Himachal Pradesh, Gurdwara Manikaran Sahib Ji, which is famous for its beautiful picturesque charm, has its much historical importance as the place firstly visited in 1574 AD by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the 1st Guru of Sikhs along with his disciples, Bhai Bala and Bhai Mardana. This spot is regarded as the 1st meditation place of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, during his journey, who is also famous to have performed a few miracles over this spot.
Sometimes called Takht Shri Keshgarh Sahib or Gurudwara Anandpur Sahib, Gurdwara Shri Keshgarh Sahib Ji, which is nestled in the heart of the city approx 95 km north-west of Chandigarh, is the major shrine among the several Gurudwaras of Anandpur (the City of Bliss) Sahib, the sacred city of Punjab, founded by Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, the 9th Guru of Sikhs. Since this Gurudwara is a seat of authority for the Sikhs and one of the five Takhats, therefore it has gained great significance and fame.
Often referred as Takht Shri Harmandir Sahib Ji or Takht Shri Patna Sahib Ji, the Gurudwara of Patna Sahib Ji, which was erected in the 18th century by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the first king of the Sikh Empire, who also constructed several Gurudwaras in India and Pakistan, is situated on the banks of the Ganges River in Patna Sahib. Marking as the site of the Chhoti Sangat, this Gurudwara, which is the major shrine at Patna Sahib and one of the five Takhts or the highest seats of religious authority for the Sikhs, was built in memory of the birthplace of Guru Goving Singh Ji, the 10th and the last Guru of Sikhs, born on the 22nd of December, 1666.
Situated in Connaught Place region of New Delhi and associated with Guru Har Krishan, the 8th Guru of the Sikhs, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Ji, which was erected in 1783 by Sardar Bahgel Singh, a Sikh General, is also home to a Sarovar, present in the center of it and an ideal spot for devotees to take a sacred dip in holy water to cure their several diseases. The word ‘Bangla’ has its meaning ‘Palace’ and it indicates to the palace of Raja Jai Singh, which was used by Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji, the 8th Guru of Sikhs for his stay during his visit to Delhi in 1664. This Gurudwara is also home to a renowned museum, which depicts the great history of Sikhism.
Located on the banks of the Godavari River in Nanded, Maharashtra, Takhat Sachkhand Shri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Gurudwara, which is believed to be the spot of death of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the 10th and the last Guru of Sikhs, is counted among the top Gurudwaras in India. Reckoned as one of the five Takhats in Sikhism, this Gurudwara was erected by Maharaja Ranjit Singh during 1832-37 AD. This superb Gurudwara has a complex inside it, which is called Sachkhand or the Realm of Truth and the room inside the Gurudwara, called Angitha Sahib, is the death spot of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the 10th and the last Guru of Sikhs, Gurudwara Hemkund (Hemkunt) Sahib, which is situated at an altitude of 15,000 feet (4632 meters) above the sea level amidst the Himalayan ranges and surrounded by a glacial lake in Chamoli district (Uttarakhand), is the main center of pilgrimage for the devotees of all the religions and faiths. This star-shaped Gurudwara, which remains unapproachable between October and April, is famous for its wonderful architecture. The word Hemkund, also pronounced Hemkunt, stands for Hem – ice and Kund – bowl. As per the autobiography of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, this spot has been used by him as the meditation place of his former birth.
Nestled in Sirmour district (Himachal Pradesh), Gurudwara Paonta Sahib Ji, which is devoted to Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the 10th and the last Guru of Sikhs, is one of the most charming Gurudwaras in India. Guru Gobind Singh Ji wrote Dasam Granth at this place. On account of being blessed with its scenic charm, this Gurudwara is also popular as a tourist place apart from having its religious significance.
Established in 1627 by Har Gobind Sahib Ji, the 6th Guru of Sikhs, Gurudwara Kiratpur Sahib Ji, which is situated on the banks of the Sutlej River amidst the foothills of Shivalik range along the Nangal-Ropar-Chandigarh Road in Ropar district, is the peaceful Gurudwara in India. The place of the Gurudwara is regarded as the holy place, where the ashes of the dead are immersed in the sacred waters.
Devoted to Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, the 9th Guru of the Sikhs, Gurudwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib is situated along Sirhind Road in Patiala (previously Lehal village). This Gurudwara also has a Sarovar, an ideal place for devotees for taking a sacred dip. On the auspicious occasion of Basant Panchami, thousands of devotees visit this Gurudwara to pay obeisance and take a holy dip in the sacred waters of the Sarovar.