Three main functions are carried out in all public Gurdwaras. One is Kirtan which is the singing of hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib, another is Katha which is reading of the Guru Granth Sahib and explanations. The third main function which is carried out at every Gurdwara is the Langar, free community kitchen for all visitors of all religions.
During the times of the early Gurus, Sikh places of worship were referred to as dharamsalas. They were a place where Sikhs could gather to hear the Guru speak or sing hymns. As the Sikh population continued to grow Guru Hargobind introduced the word Gurdwara.The holy congregation in Gurudwara is termed as the Sadh Sangat.
The Five Holy Takhts:
There are Five Gurdwaras known as the Five Takhts (Thrones) which have a very special significance for the Sikh community. They are considered as the seats of Sikh religious authority. Many important decisions concerning the religious and social life of the Sikh community are made here.
Gurudwara Sri Akal Takhat Sahib, Amritsar
Akal Takht means Eternal Throne. Akal Takht Sahib is located in the Golden Templen complex in Amritsar, Punjab. The Akal Takht Sahib was initially built by the sixth Guru of Sikhs, Guru HarGobind Sahib ji. The building of the Akal Takht opposite the Golden Temple has a special meaning. While the Golden Temple stands for spiritual guidance the Akal Takht symbolizes the dispensing of justice and temporal activity. During the day the Guru Granth Sahib is kept in the Golden Temple, while at night it is kept in the Akal Takht. Traditionally all Sikh warriors sought blessings here before going to battle. During the 18th century while Sikhs were fighting a guerrilla war in the forests they used to gather at the Akal Takht on special occasions such as Baisakhi and Diwali. This is First of the five Takht Sahib of sikh religion.
Takht Sri Damdama Sahib
Damdama Sahib is situated in the village of Talwandi Sabo near Bhatinda. This is where Guru Gobind Singh stayed for nearly a year and compiled the final edition of the Guru Granth Sahib known as the Damdama Sahib Bir in 1705.
Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib
Keshgarh Sahib is situated at Anandpur. It is considered the birthplace of the Khalsa. The Khalsa order was founded here by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699. Some of the weapons of Guru Gobind Singh are displayed here. The most precious of these is the actual Khanda (double edged sword) used by Guru Gobind Singh to prepare the amrit (sweet water) used in the first Khalsa initiation ceremony.
Takht Sri Hazur Sahib
Hazur Sahib is on the banks of Godavari in Maharashtra. This is where Guru Gobind Singh left this world. The inner room of the temple is called Angitha Sahib and is built over the place where Guru Gobind Singh was cremated in 1708.
Takht Sri Patna Sahib
Patna Sahib is situated in Patna the capital of Bihar. It was here that Guru Gobind Singh was born in 1666 and spent his early years before moving to Anandpur. Besides being the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, Patna was also honoured by visits from Guru Nanak as well as Guru Tegh Bahadur.
|1||Golden Temple ,Amritsar||The famous Golden Temple or Darbar Sahib Gurudwara is situated,in,Amritsar, Punjab, is regarded as the most sacred temple for Sikhs.,The,Gurudwara is the symbol of the magnificence and strength of the,Sikh,people all over the world.|
|2||Shri Tarn Taran Sahib||24 Kms south of Amritsar. Founded by the 5th Prophet Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji the impressive Gurudwara with gold plated dome has a holy pool. The gurdwara Sahib has one of the largest tanks and resembles the golden temple, except that it is built on the side of the tank and has a marble exterior. Guru Arjan Dev ji also established the first home for lepers in india at Tarn Taran.|
|3||Shri Fatehgarh Sahib||Another of the important Gurudwaras for Sikh pilgrims is at Sirhind -,Fatehgarh Sahib Gurudwara. The shrine stands on the site where the two,sons of Guru Gobind Singhji were buried alive by the Mughals. It stands,as a commemoration site for the martyrdom and to pay holy offerings to,them and to their Guru.|
|4||Shri Anandpur Sahib||Anandpur Sahib-the holy City of Bliss-is one of the most important,sacred places of the Sikhs and is closely linked with their religious,traditions and history. It is located on the lower spurs of the great,Himalayas surrounded by picturesque natural scenery, with the river,Satluj forming a shimmering and shiny blue border on the south west,barely four miles away.|
|5||Gurudwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib Patiala City||Marks the site where the 9th Prophet,Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji had rested while proceeding to Delhi to embrace martyrdom to uphold man's right to worship according to his belief.|
|6||Gurudwara Baba Atal Sahib||Gurudwara Baba Atal Sahib was built between the year 1778-1784 and is,situated to the south of the Golden Temple, about 185 metres from Sarai,Guru Ram Das. The nine-storey octagonal tower which stands 40 metres,high, and is the tallest building in Amritsar.|
|7||Gurudwara Manji Sahib||Punjab, a historical and a heritage city, having a definite identity,,houses the famous Gurudwara Manji Sahib. This Gurudwara is exactly,located at Alamgir in Ludhiana. This particular gurudwara is one of the,renowned Gurudwaras in Punjab and here the 10th Sikh Guru, known as Guru,Govind Singh spent a few days to refresh himself.|