Akal Takht Amritsar
The Akal Takht, meaning throne of the timeless one, is one of five takhts (seats of power) of the Sikhs. It is located in the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) complex in Amritsar, Punjab. The Akal Takht was built by Guru Hargobind as a place of justice and consideration of temporal issues; the highest seat of earthly authority of the Khalsa (the collective body of the Sikhs) and the place of the Jathedar, the highest spokesman of the Sikhs. The current Jathedar of Akal Takht is Dhian Singh Mand.
History of Akal Takht
Originally known as Akal Bunga, the building directly opposite the Harmandir Sahib was founded by sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind, as a symbol of political sovereignty and where spiritual and temporal concerns of the Sikh people could be addressed. Along with Baba Buddha and Bhai Gurdas, the sixth Sikh Guru built a 9 foot high concrete slab. When Guru Hargobind revealed the platform on 15 June 1606, he put on two swords: one indicated his spiritual authority (piri) and the other, his temporal authority (miri). In the 18th century, Ahmed Shah Abdali and Massa Rangar led a series of attacks on the Akal Takht and Harmandir Sahib. Hari Singh Nalwa, a general of Ranjit Singh, the maharaja, decorated the Akhal Takht with gold. On 4 June 1984, the Akal Takht was damaged when the Indian Army stormed Harmandir Sahib during Operation Blue Star.
How to Reach Amritsar
The Golden Temple can be reached by road, train and air. While in Amritsar, one can easily reach by taking a taxi to the Golden temple. Other forms of local transport here are cycle rickshaws and city buses. Other cities are also well-connected to the Golden Temple. Delhi is 435 km and Chandigarh is 235 km from the Golden Temple. Amritsar is well-connected by rail with Mumbai, Varanasi, Delhi, Kolkata and other major places in India.
Best Time to Visit Amritsar
November to March, Amritsar experiences a chilly weather. The temperatures generally drop below 5°C in December and January. So, make sure that you pack enough warm clothes for the trip. Winters bring out the lively side of Amritsar. You get a glimpse of various festivals and revelries celebrated during this period, such as Guru Nanak Jayanti and Lohri. You can join in the festivities and make your visit memorable. Exploring the culture of the city during this time is something one must experience.