views updated May 21 2018

Gurdwārā (Pañjābī, gurduārā, ‘gateway of the Gurū’). A building for Sikh congregational worship in which the Ādi Granth is appropriately installed. A gurdwārā is characterized by its function of housing the Gurū, rather than by its architecture. An upstairs room in an ordinary house in which the Ādi Granth has been ceremonially installed can be a gurdwārā. Most famous is the impressive Harimandir, Amritsar. Many gurdwārās have historical associations with the Sikh Gurūs e.g. Rakāb Gañj, Śīś Gañj, and the takhts.

The gurdwārā is primarily the place where the sangat gather daily for kīrtan to worship in the presence of the Gurū as embodied in the Ādi Granth, and it has a vital social function. Gurpurbs and family rites are often celebrated in the gurdwārā.

Inside the gurdwārā prayer hall, furniture is minimal. The scriptures are enthroned on cushions on a mañjī beneath a canopy. The floor is carpeted for the congregation to sit, men on one side, women on the other, facing the Ādi Granth.


views updated Jun 11 2018

Gurdwara (Sanskrit, ‘Guru's doorway’) Sikh temple housing a copy of the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism. There are several historically important gurdwaras, such as the Golden Temple of Amritsar, Punjab.