Gurdwara is the religious place for Sikhs. The word Gurdwara stands for 'guru – dwara' which means through or by means of guru and can also be called 'the gateway to guru'. A Gurdwara always keeps its doors open for people of all religions and faiths.
The objective is to find inner peace and unite with the Holy Spirit i.e. with god and the guru helps in this process of unison and achieving peace. All Gurdwaras have the holy book of Sikhs “Guru Granth Sahib Ji” placed in it which is the current guru of the Sikh religion.
The origin of Sikhism and Gurdwaras started from the holy city of Amritsar, Punjab and now there are a large number of Gurdwaras all over the world where people of all religions visit and worship. Here is a list of the 10 most famous Gurdwaras in the world.
# Sri Harmandir Sahib
Sri Harmandir Sahib is also known as Sri Darbar Sahib and The Golden Temple, viewing its structure made up of real gold. Here one can find everything, from ceiling to the electric cables, covered in golden color. The name “Harmandir” was given after Hari(God) the temple of God. The Gurdwara was the idea of fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji who wanted to create a central place for all the Sikhs and its construction was done under the supervision of Baba Budha Ji in 1645 with its foundation laid by a Muslim saint Hazrat Mian Mir Ji. Presently, this is the most famous and significant place of worship in the Sikh religion with its doors open from all the sides to people of all faiths.
# Gurdwara Sri Hemkund Sahib
Hemkund, also pronounced as Hemkunt stands for Hem – ice and Kund – bowl. The Gurdwara situated in Uttrakhand is 15000 feet above the sea level in the Himalayan range is a famous center of pilgrimage for not just Sikhs but thousands of devotees of all religions. According to the autobiographic account of the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, he meditated over this place in his previous birth. This shrine is regarded as an epitome of all the principles the Sikh religion believes in.
# Gurdwara Sri Keshgarh Sahib
Often referred as Gurdwara Anandpur Sahib, this Gurdwara is the main shrine of the holy city of Anandpur (the City of Bliss) Sahib. This city was founded by ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji and is a home to many Gurdwaras. Gurdwara Sri Keshgarh Sahib is famous and of great importance since it is also one of the five Takhats and a seat of authority for the Sikhs. The shrine is located in the center of the city which is around 95km north-west of Chandigarh.
# Gurdwara Bangla Sahib
The word “Bangla” means palace and here it refers to the palace of Raja Jai Singh in which the eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji stayed while on his visit to Delhi in 1664. He cured diseases like smallpox, chicken pox and cholera which were an epidemic those days with sacred water. That water now forms a “sarovar” which is present in the centre of the Gurdwara and people take a dip in it to remove all bodily and mental dirt. There is also a famous museum in this Gurdwara which depicts the great Sikh history.
# Gurdwara Ber Sahib
Gurdwara Ber Sahib is named so because of the Ber tree which was planted over here by the first Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Now this Ber tree has grown into a huge tree and the Gurdwara is situated in Kartarpur, Punjab. According to the Sikh history, Guru ji stayed over this place for 14 years, 9 months and 13 days. He used to bathe in the river Kali Bein, also known as Kali Beri, and would meditate for hours. But one day he disappeared while having a bath and returned after 3 days. This was when the Guru Ji decided to begin preaching Sikhism.
# Gurdwara Manikaran Sahib
The Gurdwara Manikaran Sahib is known for its lovely scenic beauty as it is situated in the mountains of Manali. Historically the Gurdwara has enough significance as the first Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji is known to have first visited this place in 1574 along with his disciples Bhai Mardana and Bhai Bala. This place is considered as the first place where Guru Nanak Dev Ji meditated through his journey and he is also known to perform few miracles over here.
# Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha
Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha is not just a famous Sikh temple of Southall but it is also the biggest temple in whole Europe. It is situated on Havelock Road and Park Avenue and is known to be built in 2003 by Sikh immigrants who left India in fifties and sixties and got settled in England. One of the main objectives behind building this Gurdwara was to prevent the decline of Sikhism among the Sikhs in England. Made from granite, marble and stained glass windows along with a gilded dome, this Gurdwara can accommodate around 3000 worshippers. A two-floor gallery, a dining room and a library are few of its attractions.
# Gurdwara Bhatta Sahib
While traveling over Chandigarh highway to Kulu and Kangra valley, in village Kotla Nihang, Ropar, is where one can see this Gurdwara located. History tells that when the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji was returning from Anandpur after winning the battle of Bhangani in 1745, he visited this place and asked the laborers working over there for a place to rest. Since there was no other place, the laborers pointed towards a burning kiln. When Guru Ji took his horse over that place, the red-hot brick kiln cooled down like it welcomed the Guru. To commemorate this visit, Gurdwara Bhatta Sahib was constructed.
# Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Gurdwara
Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Gurdwara situated in Assam, is a historic Gurdwara constructed to mark the visit of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in Assam in the year 1505. While Guru Nanak Dev Ji visited this city, he met Shrimanta Shankardeva, the founder of Mahapuruxiya Dharma in Assam. This also deepens this place’s importance. To mark the martyrdom of Guru Ji, every year in December, many Sikh devotees assemble over here and they call the festival Shahidee Guru Parv.
# Gurdwara Data Bandi Chod Sahib
This Gurdwara located in Gwalior, MP, is given the name Bandi Chod because it signifies the release of 52 Rajput rulers who were imprisoned in the Gwalior fort. The sixth Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind Singh Ji stayed in the Gwalior fort to pray for Jahangir’s health where he met these rulers and decided to help them to get freed. Consisting of 6 storeys made up of entire marble and having doors made up of gold, this Gurdwara was constructed in 1968 and Sant Baba Uttam Singh Ji was given the charge of its construction. The Gurdwara is specifically popular for its beautiful “Palki Sahib” and a Sikh museum 'Darshan Deorahi'.