Friday, December 09, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

History of Harmandir Sahib

The origin and evolution of the place where the Golden Temple now stands is covered in mystery. Some sources trace its origin from the pre-historic era as an Indian place of worship. The location of the Golden Temple is a low lying area with a big pond surrounded by dense jungle. This piece of land was shred by Sultanwind Tung, Gilwali and Gumtala etc. villages. More over its geographical location was superb. It was next to the city of Lahore, the then capital of Punjab and the highway connecting India and Central Asian countries was also running through this piece of land.

Select Chronology of Harmandir Sahib and Amritsar

1573 AD The construction work of the holy water tank started under the supervision of Guru RamDas Ji.

1577 AD Guru Ram Das Ji laid the foundation of Amritsar (earlier known as Ram Das Pur)

1588 AD The foundation of Harimandir was laid by a Muslim saint Mian Mir.

1604 AD The central shrine completed.

1606 AD The Sikh Guru Hargobind ji adopted two swords, one for religious affairs and another for worldly affairs. Guru Hargobind sahib ji also laid the foundation of Akal Takht.

1621 AD Guru Teg Bahadur ji was born in Amritsar.

1628 AD The first ever Sikh-Mughal armed conflict, and the Sikhs emerged victorious under the command of Guru Hargobind sahib ji.

1634 AD Guru Hargobind sahib ji left for Kiratpur with his devotees to avert possible attack on visiting Sikh devotees.

1665 AD Guru Teg Bhadur visited the Golden Temple after becoming the ninth Sikh Guru but he was denied entry by its priests.

1721 AD Bhai Mani Singh appointed the head priest and administrator of the Golden Temple. After a century long period, the Golden Temple's control was again under the Sikhs.

1725 AD Dispute between the two Sikh sects over the Golden Temple's control. Bhai Mani singh resolved it in a fair manner.

1738 AD The head priest Bhai Mani Singh hacked into pieces for not paying demanded revenue to the Mughal authorities

1739 AD The Mughals negotiated peace and granted independent territory [jagir] to the Sikhs.

1739 AD Persian king Nadis Shah attached the Golden Temple

1740 AD The Sikhs avenged the act of sacrilege by a Mughal administrator named Massa Ranghard. Two Sikh warriors Sukha singh and Mehtab singh chopped his head in the sanctum where he was watching dance under he effect of alcohol with his friends and soldiers.

1745 AD A wave of suppression started to curb the Sikhs.

1757 AD Afghan King Ahmed Shah Abdali attacked the Golden Temple and Baba Deep Singh martyred.

1762 AD After the greater holocaust of Feb 5, 1762 Afghan king Abdali Razed the Golden Temple to the ground and filled its holy tank with debris, rubbish and animal carcasses.

1764 AD Once again Abdali came to Amritsar and ruined what ever he came across. Baba Gubaksh Singh and his thirty comrades were ruthlessly murdered near the Akal Takhat.

1767 AD Udasi saints Nirvan Pritam Das and Mahant Santokh Das brought 35 miles long water canal to fill the holy water tank with the water of river Ravi.

1773 AD Sikh Misal chiefs raised the building of Gurdwara baba Atal near the Golden Temple.

1776 AD Reconstruction of the damaged holy water tank, entrance gate and bridge.

1802 AD Maharaja Ranjit Singh occupied the territory of Amritsar.

1808 AD Amritsar's famous Gobindghar fort was raised to shift Lahore's treasure to Amritsar.

1813 AD Maharaja Ranjit Singh obtained famous diamond "Ko-he-noor", now studded in the English crown, and a great army march past in the streets of Amritsar.

1822 AD Amritsar's fortification wall with twelve gates completed.

1831 AD Gold world of the Golden Temple Reached its final stages.

1839 AD Maharaja Ranjit Singh came to Golden Temple in March 1839, it proved his last visit.

1849 AD The Sikhs lost their rule over the unified territory of Punjab.

1857 AD Amritsar observed a little effect of the mutiny against the British.

1871 AD Kuka [Namdhari] movement rocked Amritsar, Several Muslim butchers were assassinated. British administrators hanged several Kuka disciples to death in Amritsar near Maharaja Ranjit Singh's summer palace.

1873 AD Singh Sabha Movement gained roots.

1881 AD The British government introduced their management agents or managers [Sarbarah] to exercise their full control over the Golden Temple.

1893 AD Khalsa College, Amritsar opened.

1902 AD Pro British chief Khala Diwan Formed.

1919 AD Jallian Wala Bagh massacre took life of several thousands innocent Sikhs and others on the Baisakhi day in Amritsar.

1921 AD The Sikhs took control of several Sikh shrines including the Golden Temple. SGPC like mother body emerged that took its final shape after some years.

1923 AD The first Ka Sewa or cleansing of the holy water tank took place.

1925 AD Sikh Gurdwara Act passed.

1947 AD Amritsar became a border city after India's partition.

1949 AD Sikh Reference library formed.

1958 AD Central Sikh museum formed.

1973 AD The second Kar Sewa of the holy water tank.

1977 AD The city of Amritsar observed its 400th birthday.

1978 AD Sikh - Nirankari conflict took life of thirteen innocent Sikh demonstrators and it changed the Punjab forever.

1984 AD Indian Army invaded Golden Temple under operation "Blue Star", that claimed life of several innocent thousands of lives and resulted into the destruction of the Golden Temple complex.

1988 AD Another Para military action took place this year aimed to flush out Sikh militants from the Golden Temple complex.

1988 AD Several thousand shops and houses generally of the Sikhs were removed to make a corridor around the Golden Temple. It added long awaited beauty and space to the Golden Temple.

1997 AD English Queen Elizabeth II and her husband paid a visit to the Golden Temple.

2004 AD The Golden Temple observed the first Kar Sewa of the 21st century for the purpose of installing water treatment plants. This year also observed the largest ever recorded strength of devotees visiting the Golden Temple at once, on the eve of Quadricentennial Installation celebrations of the Sikh Scripture in September 2004.

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