Golden Temple in Sacred Tank, Umritsar.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Golden Temple at Amritsar by an unknown photographer in the 1860s, from the Crofton Collection: 'Topographical and architectural views mostly in India'.
The Hari Mandir or Golden Temple at Amritsar was constructed from the 18th century onwards. It stands in the middle of a tank known since the time of the fourth Guru Ram Das (1574-81) as the Amrit Sarovar or ‘Pool of Immortality-Giving Nectar’. Sikh devotees regard the temple as an important pilgrimage site and come to bathe in the purifying waters of the tank, view the temple deity and receive religious teachings from the original Sikh holy book, the Adi Granth. The building is constructed of marble and is influenced by late-Mughal architecture with elements such as colonnades, niches, balconies, parapets, turrets and a gilded central dome. Inside, the temple is decorated with gold leaf, inlaid marble, carved woodwork, ivory mosaic and embossed gold and silverwork. Surrounding the tank are offices, stores, a dining-hall, kitchen, guesthouse and watchtowers.