Sri Akal Takhat Sahib

The first and the most important one was established by Guru Hargobind in 1609. It is called 'Akal Takht' and is situated just opposite the gate of Harmandir Sahib - The Golden Temple, Amritsar. The Guru established it, because he thought that secular political matters should not be considered in the Golden Temple, which is meant purely for worship of God.

Here the Guru held his court and decided matters of military strategy and political policy. Later on, the Sikh commonwealth took decisions here on matters of peace and war and settled disputes between the various Sikh groups.

It is the most supreme of all the Takhats. The Jathedar of the Akal Takhat is the highest spokesperson of the Sikh Panth and is meant to be a spiritual leader without control or influence from any outside, politically motivated sources.

Guru Hargobind's architectural projects, not surprisingly, reflect his agenda and his personality. On Monday, the fifth day of the light half of Har, Sambat 1663, Guru Hargobind ji laid the foundation of the Takhat Akal Bunga. The original structure of Akal Takht was built by Guru Hargobind ji, Bhai Gurdas ji and Baba Buddha ji, with their own hands.

No other person or artist was employed to build the platform. Guru ji remarked that the seat of guru would serve the panth for eternity. Guru ji raised the height of the platform to twelve feet, defying the royal edict of Jehangir that no other person except the Emperor himself can sit on a raised platform of more than three feet.

Guru Hargobind would regularly sit on the raised platform, Takht, with all marks of royalty and dispence justice for all disputes of Sikhs. The Akal Takhat was built a fraction lower than the Harimandir Sahib, implying the order of importance, that the search for spiritual grace was always to lead.

A similar balancing of assertion and submission was built into Guru Hargobind's daily routine, which alternatively highlighted the shrine, with its spiritual function and self-effacing architectural symbolism, and the throne platform, with its assertion of sovereignty and temporal authority.

It is from the Akal Takhat that Hukamnamas (edics or writs) are announced to provide guidance or clarification on any point of Sikh doctrine or practice. It may lay under penance persons charged with violation of religious discipline or with activity prejudicial to Sikh interests or solidarity.

It may place on record its appreciation of outstanding services rendered or sacrifices made by individuals espousing the cause of Sikhism or of the Sikhs.

Importantly, no individual is above the Akal Takhat. On one occasion the Sarbat Khalsa met at the Akal Takhat and decided to penalize Maharaja Ranjit singh for his misdemeanours with a certain number of lashes on his back.

The Gursikh in Ranjit Singh surrendered to the discipline and presented himself at the Akal Takhat to receive chastisement. However, corporal punishment to the sovereign was converted into a heavy fine.

Today's Akal Takht is a large 5-storey modern structure (3 storeys were added byMaharaja Ranjit Singh) with inlaid marble and a gold-leafed dome, that does not convey the design of Guru Hargobind's simple Takht or plinth.

However, recent restoration work has uncovered a layer of lime plaster, with painted decoration, that may have been part of the original Takhat. That plinth was far higher than the plinth of the Harimandir; yet the absence of a superstructure kept the original Akal Takhat at a level lower than the shrine.

The elaboration of the structure on marble pillars, as a semi-circular platform with an open view to the courtyard, reminiscent of an air-house, must have grown from the use to which the Durbar hall was put.

The gilding of the ceiling with ornamentations like those in the interior of the Hari Mandir is perhaps later than in the holy of holies. The wall paintings apparently belong to a later period, as there are panels showing Europeans.

The total effect of the Akal Takhat and the open courtyard, in front of the Darshani Deori and the view of the Amritsar beyond, is of a unique and noble structure remenisant of the of the piazza Saint Marco in Venice where the Doge's Palace faces the Grand Canal.

Baba Ajit Singh's Katar
Sword of Bhai Jaetha Ji
Sword of Baba Buddha Ji
Baba Jujhar Singh's Katar
Sword of Bhai Bidhi Chand Ji
Guru Hargobind's Paeshkabaj
Chakar Of Baba Deep Singh Ji
Guru Hargobind Sahib's kirpan
Sword of Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Baba Deep Singh's Paeshkabaj
Two kirpans of Baba Deep Singh Ji
Small Chakar of Baba Deep Singh Ji
Pistol of Baba Deep Singh Ji Shaheed
Sword of Baba Karam Singh Ji Shaheed
Two small Khandas of Baba Deep Singh Ji
Medium sized Khanda of Baba Deep Singh Ji
Swords of Guru Hargobind Sahib that represented Miri and Piri
Sword of Bhai Uday Singh Ji, who was with Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Dudhara Khanda (double-edged sword) of Baba Gurbakash Singh Ji Shaheed
Dudhara Khanda (double-edged sword) of Baba Deep Singh Ji
Dudhara Khanda of Baba Nodh Singh Ji Shaheed
Khadag Bhai Vachitar Singh Ji which weighed 10 Saer
Guru Hargobinds Sahib's \"Guraj\" weighing 16 saer. It was given to Dharamvir Jassa Singh by Matta Sundari
A sword like weapon belonging to Guru Hargobind Sahib Guru Hargobind Sahib's Katar
A sword like weapon of Baba Deep Singh Ji Shaheed
Two arrows of Guru Gobind Singh each containing one Toala of gold
Baba Deep Singh Ji's chakar for head decoration

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