All About Sri Akal Takhat Sahib or Akal Bunga Golden Temple Amritsar


Akal Takhat is one of the five Takhats in Sikhism, holding great importance in the Sikh religion. Situated inside the Golden Temple complex in the holy city of Amritsar, Punjab, India, the name is derived from two words: ‘Akal’, meaning timeless or eternal, and ‘Takhat’, meaning power. Therefore, it can be translated as the seat of the eternal. It serves as the supreme decision-making place where matters related to religious doctrine, community issues, and social concerns are addressed.


Akal Takht Sahib is situated 91 meters away, opposite the Golden Temple, inside the Golden Temple complex. It is a beautifully made three-story building, with each floor reserved for different purposes.

After the destruction inflicted by the Afghans on the Golden Temple, the founder of the Ramgarhia Misl, Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, renovated the Golden Temple and Akal Takht Sahib, and constructed the first floor of Akal Takht.

Later, under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, two more floors were constructed, and the top dome of Akal Takht was made by General Hari Singh Nalwa, one of the bravest generals of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Following its complete destruction in 1984 (during the Indian army’s attack on the Golden Temple), the Sikh community did not accept the building constructed by the Indian Government. Instead, they demolished it and reconstructed their own Akal Takht building, which is seen today.

What is the Architectural Significance of Akal Takhat Sahib?

Akal Takhat is the symbol of power whereas the Golden Temple is the symbol of worship of God. Golden Temple is kept bottom down as compared to Akal Takhat, there is a deep ideology behind this follow this link to know more

Why was Akal Takhat Sahib built?

During Akbar’s rule, the relations between Sikhs and Mughals were quite good. However, after Akbar’s death in 1605, his son Jahangir ascended the throne, and he held views that were starkly different from Akbar’s. Jahangir harbored animosity towards the Sikhs and Guru Arjan Dev ji.

The martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev ji at the hands of Jahangir marked a significant turning point. While the Guru Sahibs had enjoyed a positive relationship with Mughal emperors, particularly Akbar, Jahangir’s communal policies altered this dynamic. Although Guru Arjan was martyred in a peaceful manner, neither Guru Hargobind Sahib nor the Sikh community was willing to accept the next martyrdom passively, as Guru Arjan Dev had done. The Sikhs were determined that if Jahangir sought to martyr the next Guru (Hargobind Sahib) like Guru Arjan Dev, they would not permit it. This resolve led to the establishment of the Eternal Throne, Akal Takhat Sahib.

There is also a second reason that influenced Guru Sahib in constructing this Throne. At that time, there was only one Takhat, situated in Delhi. The Mughals occupied that Takhat, treating ordinary people as slaves and pests. Thus, Guru Sahib constructed Akal Takhat as a supreme court where anyone could come and present their grievances to Guru Sahib.

History of Akal Takhat Sahib


During the times of Guru Hargobind Ji, the place was called Akal Bunga. The building we see nowadays is not the actual one built by Guru Sahib. According to the Bikrami calendar year 1763, in the month of June 1606 AD, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji established the foundation stone of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib.

None of the laborers had been involved in the construction of Akal Bunga. Guru Sahib himself constructed this Eternal Throne. Baba Buddha Ji and Bhai Gurdas Ji helped Guru Sahibs in the construction of the Throne. During construction, Baba Buddha Ji passed the bricks, and Bhai Mani Singh Ji applied Chunna on them while Guru Sahib placed the bricks in a structure.

A well was installed at the back of Akal Takht Sahib, right next to it, and it was named Akal Sir Khuh. This well was to provide water to Akal Takht Sahib.

Adoption of Two Swords Mirri and Pirri

From the times of Guru Nanak and Guru Arjan, whenever the Guruship is transferred, a ceremony is conducted which we call Gureayi Da Tilak. In this ceremony, a sort of thread is tied onto the Turban of the Guru Sahib who is nominated for the Guruship.

However, Guru Hargobind Ji adopted the two swords, Miri and Piri, as Gureayi Da Tilak. Miri symbolizes political power, which means authority in the everyday world, such as governing or leading a community. On the other hand, Piri symbolizes the worship of God, indicating authority in matters of spirituality or religion. Guru Sahib’s royal attire and acquisition of the Guruship in a royal manner greatly inspire the Sikh community.

“IK Miri di lk Piri di”

“IK Azmat di IK Raaj di”

“IK Raakhi Kare Fakiri di”

First Hukamnama to the Sikh Community from Akal Bunga

While seated at the Akal Bunga, Guru Ji issued the first Hukamnama to the Sikh Sangat, stating that a true Sikh of the Guru should bring a good horse and a reliable weapon into the Guru’s presence. This declaration was an explicit call to wage war against the oppression of the Mughals.

Following Guru Ji’s directive, the Sikh Sangat armed themselves and began arriving to meet Guru Hargobind Ji, presenting gifts such as advanced weapons or horses. Soon, hundreds of armed Sikh cavalry members assembled.

Attacks in Akal Takht Sahib

Vadda Ghalughara(1762)

Ahmed Shah Abdali had already attacked India multiple times. However, this marked the sixth instance of his invasion, with the Sikhs being the primary targets at that time. The attack was focused around the area of MalerKotla. Upon reaching the village of Kup Rahira, a fierce battle ensued between Abdali’s forces and the Dal Khalsa. Accompanying the Dal Khalsa were their families, which diverted their attention from Abdali as they had to protect their loved ones. Consequently, the Singhs suffered heavy casualties in the battle, with approximately thirty thousand Singhs, along with their children and women, losing their lives. Following this devastating encounter, Abdali proceeded to completely demolish the Golden Temple and desecrate the holy tank by filling it with skulls, garbage, and an abundance of dirt. Additionally, he destroyed the Akal Takht Sahib, originally constructed by Guru Hargobind Ji, known as Akal Bunga or Thara Sahib.

30 Singh’s martyrdom in Akal Takht Sahib(1764)

This was the 7th time Abdali attacked the Sikhs. He captured Lahore as soon as he arrived. Upon learning this, the Dal Khalsa vacated the Amritsar and Lahore areas. Gurbaksh Singh was the Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib. He had vowed not to leave Takht Sahib empty. Twenty-nine other Singhs stayed with him. These 30 Singhs fought bravely against Abdali, but in the end, they were all martyred. Abdali once again defiled the dignity of the Golden Temple.

Operation Blue Star (1984)

It was an Indian Army operation that lasted from 1st June to 10th June. During this operation, many men, women, and children were killed. The Akal Takht Sahib was completely destroyed.

After this, the building was renovated by the Indian Government, but the Sikh community did not accept that building and demolished it to construct their own.

In today’s time, the SGPC still keeps the destroyed building of Akal Takht Sahib from the events of 1984 so that others and the new generation come to know what the government had done to this shrine.

What to see in Akal Takhat Sahib?

At Akal Takhat Sahib, there are many interesting things to see that tell the history. When you go inside Akal Takhat Sahib, on the left side, there’s a room where Guru Granth Sahib Ji from Sri Harmandir Sahib and Akal Takhat Sahib are kept after Sukhasan at night. On the right side, there’s a gold cabin displaying the old weapons of Guru Harobind Ji. You can visit to see these weapons in the evening after Rehraas Sahib, around 6-7 pm. The Granthi Singh there explains the significance of these weapons. For a better view, sit in the front outside of Akal Takhat. In the basement, there’s an old well built by Hargobind Ji. The pillar, also built by Hargobind Ji, is well-preserved behind glass. You can see this pillar in front of Akal Takhat Sahib. The original wall made with old Nanaksahi bricks is carefully kept intact.


No, both are different. In Sikhism Golden temple is the symbol of Worship of God whereas Akal Takhat is the symbol of power and sovereignty. In Sikh religion always holds the 1st place and power always at 2nd place.

There are total of 5 Takhats in Sikhism:

  • Akal Takhat Sahib (Amritsar, Punjab, India)
  • Takhat Sri Keshgarh Sahib (Anandpur Sahib, Punjab, India)
  • Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib (Talwandi Sabo, Punjab, India)
  • Takhat Sri Patna Sahib (Patna, Bihar, India)
  • Takhat Sri Hazur Sahib (Nanded, Maharashtra, India)

Sri Harmandir sahib symbolises the worship of god whereas Akal Takhat sahib symbolises power and sovereignty. In the sikh community Religion always comes first and power second.

Akal Takhat is one of the five takhts in sikh religion. In Sikhism Akal Takhat sahib is the symbol of Power of Sovereignty.It is the supreme decision making place where matters related to religious doctrine, community issues, social concerns are addressed.

Akal Akal Takhat has been attacked many but mainly there 2 attacks in history in which mostly historians talk about

  • Abdali attacks in 1762

Operation blue star 1984

As we all know that Golden Temple is the symbol of Humility and worship of God whereas Akal Takhat symbolises Power and Sovereignty. If you notice from the golden temple the akal takhat sahib is not visible but from the akal takhat the golden temple is visible as per sikh ideology Religion always comes first and power is always at 2nd that’s Akal Takht is built at an angle.

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