As advised by Sri Guru Amar Dass Ji (third Sikh Guru), Sri Guru Ram Dass Ji (fourth Sikh Guru) started the digging of Amrit Sarovar (holy tank) of Sri Harmandir Sahib in 1577 AD, which was later on brick-lined by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji (fifth Sikh Guru) on December 15, 1588/ and he also started the construction of Sri Harimandir Sahib.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib (scripture of the Sikhs), after its compilation, was first installed at Sri Harimandir Sahib on August 16, 1604 AD.

Here are the ten facts about the Golden Temple:

1. The foundation of the Golden Temple was laid down by a Muslim saint Mian Mir. The present-day gurdwara was rebuilt in 1764 by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia with the help of other Sikh Misls.

2. In the early nineteenth century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh secured the Punjab region from outside attack and covered the upper floors of the gurdwara with gold.

3. There are four doors to get into the Harmandir Sahib, which symbolize the openness of the Sikhs towards all people and religions. The stairs entering the temple go down, rather than up like traditional holy places. They are deliberately designed in such a fashion to bring a sense of humbleness and eradicate arrogance in visitors.

4. The holiest text of Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahib, is always present inside the gurdwara.

5. Its construction was mainly intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religions to come and worship God equally.

6. Over 100,000 people visit the holy shrine daily for worship and around 35,000 people are fed everyday for free by temple volunteers in langar.

7. The gurdwara is surrounded by the Sarovar, a large lake or holy tank, which consists of Amrit (holy water or immortal nectar) and is fed by the Ravi River.

8. All the gold and exquisite marble work were conducted under the patronage of Hukam Singh Chimni and Emperor Ranjit Singh, Maharaja of the Sikh Empire of the Punjab.

9. The Harmandir Sahib is open to all persons regardless of their religion, colour, creed, or sex.

10. The Government of India has repeatedly tried for inclusion of Harmandir Sahib in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 2005 and April 2014. Previously, Punjab government has asked for its inclusion in the list in 2003.

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