The Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple) was built at a lower level than the city of Amritsar that was constructed around it, symbolizing that religion should serve humanity. Also, it was surrounded by a pool which enabled people of all castes and races to drink together. Within the complex is a langar where people can eat together and serve each other. There are four doors symbolizing openness to all people.

Within all gurdwaras the most important rooms are the langar and the diwan (literally, court) where the Guru Granth Sahib sits on a throne underneath a canopy and is attended by a person waving a whisk. Sikhs bow before the Ruler and make an offering that will be of practical use in supporting a republic of goodness under the guidance of the Word. They sit at a lower level and never turn their back on the Ruler. These protocols reinforce the message sent by the design of the diwan.

There are historic gurdwaras associated with different episodes in the lives of the Gurus.

Download the entire essay here