sikh places, gurudwara

Akal Takht

Akal Takht, (Punjabi: “Throne of the Timeless One”) the chief centre of religious authority of Sikhism. It is located in the city of Amritsar in Punjab state, northwestern India. Similar seats of authority (takhts) are located at Anandpur and Talwando Sabo (near Bathinda) in Punjab, Patna in Bihar state, and Nanded in Maharashtra state. The Akal Takht is part of the complex of religious buildings centred on the Harmandir Sahib, or Golden Temple, the principal Sikh house of worship. It is situated just beyond a large gateway at the entrance to the causeway across the tank (pool) that leads to the Golden Temple. The building was badly damaged during the assault on the Golden Temple by the Indian army in June 1984. It was subsequently rebuilt. When in 1708 Guru Gobind Singh declared that the line of personal Gurus (religious guides) had come to an end, the authority of the office of Guru was considered to be embodied in the holy scriptures, the Adi Granth. Disputes in interpretation had to be settled by the entire Sikh community. Decisions were made at annual or semiannual meetings in Amritsar, when groups would assemble behind their elected leaders in the open area in front of the Akal Takht. Resolutions had to be carried unanimously; they then became gurmatas (decisions of the Guru) and were binding on all Sikhs. Both political and religious decisions were taken at Akal Takht meetings up until 1809, when Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the leader of the newly unified Sikh state, abolished political gurmatas and began to seek counsel from both Sikhs and non-Sikhs. Resolutions of local congregations on nonpolitical matters relating to the interpretation of Sikh doctrine or rules of conduct now can be appealed to the Akal Takht; decisions taken there are conveyed in the form of hukamnamas (orders). A hukamnama issued from the Akal Takht is considered mandatory for all Sikhs.

The Akal Takht Gurudwara is located in Amritsar, Punjab, India. Here are some ways to reach the gurudwara:

  1. By Air: The nearest airport is Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport in Amritsar. From there, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach the gurudwara, which is approximately 15-20 minutes away.

  2. By Train: The Amritsar Railway Station is well-connected to major cities in India. From the station, you can take a taxi or an auto-rickshaw to reach the gurudwara, which is around 15-20 minutes away.

  3. By Bus: Amritsar has a well-connected bus service, and you can take a bus from nearby cities to reach the Amritsar Bus Stand. From there, you can take a taxi or an auto-rickshaw to reach the gurudwara.

  4. By Car: You can also drive to the gurudwara if you have your own vehicle or have rented one. The gurudwara is located in the heart of the city, and you can easily find it on the map.

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