Sri Harmandir Sahib, also known as Sri Darbar Sahib or Golden Temple, (on account of its scenic beauty and golden coating for English speaking world), is named after Hari(God) the temple of God. The Sikhs all over the world, daily wish to pay visit to Sri Amritsar and to pay obeisance at Sri Harmandir Sahib in their Ardas.
Guru Arjan Sahib, the Fifth Nanak, conceived the idea of creating a central place of worship for the Sikhs and he himself designed the architecture of Sri Harmandir Sahib. Earlier the planning to excavate the holy tank (Amritsar or Amrit Sarovar ) was chalked out by Guru Amardas Sahib, the Third Nanak, but it was executed by Guru Ramdas Sahib under the supervision of Baba Budha ji. The land for the site was acquired by the earlier Guru Sahibs on payment or free of cost from the Zamindars (landlords) of native villages. The plan to establish a town settlement was also made. Therefore, the construction work on the Sarovar(the tank) and the town started simultaneously in 1570. The work on both projects completed in 1577 A.D.
Unlike erecting the structure on the higher level(a tradition in Hindu Temple architecture), Guru Arjan Sahib got it built on the lower level and unlike Hindu Temples having only one gate for the entrance and exit, Guru Sahib got it open from four sides. Thus he created a symbol of new faith, Sikhism. Guru Sahib made it accessible to every person without any distinction of Caste, creed, sex and religion.
– source: sgpc.net
i liked walking around the temple in the dusk. the marble felt toasty to the feet, and the wind was not burning. teenage boys were bathing in the holy waters. people were beginning to lay down on the floor after a long, hot day. amid the grandeur of the gilded temple and the weather-worn floors, it felt curiously like a home, a sanctum sanctorum for people who had lost their way and come here to find their way back. i felt grotesquely fraudulent walking around in such a holy place. i was unsure if people were looking at me because i was a different colour or because they could feel my irreverence. i wanted to repent, but i wasn’t sure who would listen to me. in hindsight, i probably should have. i washed my feet and left before anyone else sought me out.