Throne of the Timeless One
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.
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 are taken there are conveyed in the form of hukamnamas (orders). A hukamnama issued from the Akal Takht is considered mandatory for all Sikhs.
Design : Interior of Akal Takht
The Akal Takht was built on a site where there existed only a high mound of earth across a wide open space. It was a place where Guru Hargobind played as a child. The original Takht was a simple platform, 3.5 metres (11 ft) high, on which Guru Hargobind would sit in court to receive petitions and administer justice. He was surrounded by insignia of royalty such as the parasol and the flywhisk. Later, there was an open-air semi-circular structure built on marble pillars and a gilded interior section. There were also painted wall panels depicting Europeans.
The modern building is a five story structure with marble inlay and a gold-leafed dome. Three of the stories were added by Ranjit Singh in the 1700s. Contemporary restoration work found a layer of paint decorated lime plaster that might have been part of the original structure but later than the time of Harminder.
What is the meaning of Akal Takht?
Akal Takht is one of the five seats of Sikh religious authority. … Literally, Akal Takht means ‘Throne of the Immortal’, in which ‘Akal‘ refers to the Timeless One and ‘Takht‘ means the throne. The stone of this building was laid down by Guru Hargobind Sahib on June 15, 1606.
Although the Sikh God is beyond description Sikhs feel able to pray to God as a person and a friend who cares for them.
Sikhs regard prayer as a way of spending time in company with God.
For prayer to be really effective a person tries to empty themselves of everything of this world so that they can perceive God.
Guru Arjan wrote of the importance of prayer.
The praising of His Name is the highest of all practices. It has uplifted many a human soul. It slakes the desire of restless mind. It imparts an all-seeing vision.
How To Reach Akal Takht
Akal Takht is located within the Harmandir Sahib area, opposite to the Darbar Sahib. Being the most important place in Punjab, Akal Takht can be easily reached using available means of transport like Akal Takht train, bus, or cab. The special Akal Takht express runs from Kolkata to Amritsar passing through a number of cities. For local transfers from railway station to Akal Takht, one can hire a tuk tuk, a cab, or board a local bus.
Akal Takht opening
Akal Takht is open for the publice in 2:30 am to 10pm at night.