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THE GOLDEN TEMPLE SUBMITTED BY: PRIYADARSHINI(5301) NISHU SHARMA(5305) SHAINA MEHRA(5306)

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The most renowned Sikh shrine, the Golden temple is situated in the center of Amritsar, one of the most flourishing trading centers of Northern India on the Grand Trunk road. Main Shrine Central Sikh Museum

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The plains of Punjab shimmer in the heat, held to ransom, it would seem , by the midday sun, everything comes to a standstill. Nearly every sound is silenced as the birds and the beasts along with humans, acknowledge the power of this elemental force. The flat agricultural stretch between Beas and Ravi in the province of Punjab, was destined to become home to the founder of a new faith, Sikhism. Here they would establish their sacred shrine and build the holy city of Amritsar around it. Amritsar is derived from a phrase “Amrit sarowar”. In Sanskrit Amrit means “the Elixir of life” –that which bestows immorality. It can also mean water sanctified by the touch of sacred. Sarowar is the pool or the lake. INTRODUCTION S I K H I S M T H E R E L I G I O N Sikhism, as a new faith, grew out of a yearning for an alternative to the fatalism generated by the fanaticism, bigotry and superstition prevalent in the 15 th century. Sikhism ,the youngest amongst the mainstream in the world , has been described as the religion that combines the rationale of thought with the energy of action. Truly ,it is a religion that comprises of a people for whom spontaneity and vigor are keywords. Upholding the Granth Sahib as their supreme Guru, the people are imbibed with a sense of confidence , faith , pride and love that the teachings impart to them. The Sikhism emerged in the Indian scene first as the faith and later as a religion with the various stages in the transformation .so Sikhism as a religion is a recent origin. This is so called a "new religion", is has to be appreciated ,took its birth from the roots of Indian heritage. NISHAN SAHIB: The austere color of saffron fluttering high in the breeze. Framed against the lofty indigo of the sky. The Nishan Sahib (religious flag staff),standing, proud , in front of shrines that glow in marble splendor. The air is rent with the tunes of shabads (devotional hymns) and the passages read from the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of Sikhs).there is a sense of tranquility that flows into one as soon as one enters the Gurudwaras(the house of prayer). The man who gave a sense of direction to the search for such a synthesis was “NANAK”, a contemporary of Babur who founded the Mughal Empire in 1526. The initiated was taken by Guru Nanak (1469-1538) the founder and the first guru of the faith, born in talwandi near Lahore and was from a orthodox family.

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. GURU AMAR DAS took the first step to find a shrine around which the holy city of Amritsar would one day grow. The shrine would become the magnetic centre of the city. According to some accounts he was drawn to the site by the peace and tranquility, he founded in a small pool set in a forested terrain. GURU RAM DAS undertook the building of a pilgrimage centre at the site of the pool. GURU ARJAN DEV JI envisioned a temple that would be made the repository of the Sikh religion, a reflection of its resolution and its strength. It would become the hallowed symbol of the indestructibility of the faith. It would be known as “The Harmandar” The foundation stone was laid by Hazrat Mian Mir of Lahore, a friend and admirer of Guru Arjan,in 1588A.D. The major dates known for construction and reconstruction are as follows: The first construction took place sometimes between 1588 and 1604A.D. Subsequent reconstruction took place between 1764 and 1776A.D., following attacks by Ahmad Shah Abdali. Renovation, and perhaps a major change in the design and fabric, was done by Maharaja Ranjit Singh starting from 1802 and continued through 1839A.D. It evolved into a proper institution of a religion from the time of 5 th Guru Arjun(1582-1607), who is credited with the compilation of the Guru Granth Sahib, the scripture of the faith and with its enshrinement in the Hari Mandir or Darbar sahib of Amritsar which is the best known, and perhaps the earliest monument of Sikhism. HISTORY INFLUENCE: The original structure in the pool was modest in scale and built with simple materials in stunning contrast both the renaissance buildings of that period in Europe, with their ornamentation and richness and to the splendor and scale of those that India’s Islamic rulers were building.

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The interior of the ground floor of the main shrine is divided into a central square hall, side chamber and small pavilion in the four corners , formed by square pillars and semi -circular arches. The central hall, which is 17’X17’ in dimension, the holy SIKH Scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, is placed on the small low bed in its eastern side under a beautiful canopy. The chamber in the north-western corner just below the stairs is occupied by the Temple treasury where day –to-day collection of the donation money is kept, before it is carried over to the main Tosha Khana situated in the second storey of the Darshani Deorhi.The small room or the temple treasury appears to have been added afterwards by converting the corner chamber into a small room. INTERIOR DETAILS……………………………. GROUND FLOOR CANOPY: It was made of rare, rich cloth with embroidery work in gold and silver. It had several frills made of strings and precious pearls of various hues. It was presented to Maharaja Ranjit Singh by the then Nizam of Hyderahad . The Maharaja subsequently presented it before the Golden Temple.

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First floor The architectural arrangement of first floor is almost the same as that of the ground floor with the exception that there is no roof on the central hall, hence the side chambers and corner pavilions form a kind of gathering on all the sides through devotees go round to perform the parikarma , which is the ritual circumambulation. The roof of gallery is supported by four piers and big vaults on all sides, there are three openings in each side . But only the two on eastern side are being functional ,the third one is closed and decorated with mirrors of different sizes, all these opening are formed by squared pillars and nine crusted arches within their individual rectangular areas in the internal side , i.e. in the hall. These square pillars have tapering pilasters on them, marble slabs have been put up in each opening at the bottom towards the central hall. There is a small pavilion known as sheesh mahal , a hall of mirrors ,on this floor (including the HAR KI PAUDI) which is the place where ,it is believed ,GURU ARJAN DEV used to sit for contemplation.

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BEAUTIFICATION AND EMBELLISHMENT The Harmandir is decorated in such a marvelous manner that there is no other building which can be compared to its grandeur. The beautification of the Harmandir was taken in hand by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The whole work of gold plating was executed by Mistri Mohammad Yar Khan of Amritsar. The lower walls of the whole edifice of the temple are faced with marble slabs with arabesques of conventional flower sprays in precious stones of different colors and shades. The allied arts of decoration, naqashi and frescoes inside the temple display the skilled craftsmanship of the Indian artists of the 19 th century. No building in the world can vie with the Golden Temple where nature and art have been treated in such a harmonious way. The only surviving mural can be seen on the lintel of northern stairways of the first floor. Designs on the walls from the distance look like a hung Persian carpet Marble painting by Mahant Ishar Singh Mural painting depicting human figure on wall In tukri work, pieces of colored and mirrored glass are cut and inlayed into gach to form patterns and textures. It is extensively used on floor and walls. T U K RI W O R K

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Jarat Kari( mosaic work ):It involves the in-laying of colored stone in marble. The designs are prepared by artists and transferred to marble slabs. The multi-colored stones were then cut in that pattern. The mosaic designs and pattern were based on colorful representations of flora and fauna or on themes picked from Hindu mythology. The creative crafts were “GACH AND TUKRI” work. In Gach, the base is formed by mixing crushed gypsum and water and frying the mix to the right temperature until it achieves the consistency of the paste. This is then applied to the surface to be treated, and find steel implementations are used to etch out floral and other designs in the paste before it sets. The next staging was filling of these and treating them with varq(gold and silver sheets). The technique of inlaying colored stones in marble is known as jaratkari in India. Because of his emphasis on the spiritual rather than the material, Guru Arjan Dev Ji chose to build a small structure in burnt brick and lime in the center of the “pool of nectar” and to construct a causeway over the water to reach it, he wanted its design to reflect the directness and calmness that he felt to be characteristic Sikh belief. The gilding, marble, mirror and inlay work were to come much later in 19 th century. Firstly a solid brick and lime foundation above the bed of pool was erected. On it came thick supporting walls. The causeway connecting to the western bank of the pool was built over aqueducts-52 in number. Along the four sides of the pool, the ground was leveled for the parkarma (circumambulation). Gold, marble the principle materials inlayed with a wide range of exuberant and often whimsical design and motifs from geometrics and abstracts to arabesques, flowers, foliage, fish, animals and a few human figures. Onyx, mother of pearls lapis lazuli red carnelian and other semi-precious and colored stones were used for the inlay. The most eloquent testimonials to the quality of this pietra dura work. The color, clarity and the visual appeal remains undiminished. Dehin, a form of fresco that evolves several intricate steps of preparation of surface before the lively and idolized renderings of floral and animal motifs could be painted on them, were greatly in demand. About 300 patterns adone the wall of harmandir.

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Most of the exterior upper portions of the walls of the Golden Temple are covered with beaten copper plates, heavily gilded. The raised decorations are mainly floral and abstract, but there are some panels representing the human figure. On the front side, for instance, are two embossed copper panels, the lower representing Guru Nanak flanked by Bala and Mardana , and the upper representing Guru Gobind Singh on horseback . Flooring of main shrine is made up of marble combination of white marble and yellow jaiselmer in geometric pattern, over which red carpet is placed and the upper storey's are surfaced with copper panels gilded with gold. The plan conceived by GURU ARJAN DEV JI for the Harmandir was designed to reflect the clarity, simplicity and logic of the new movement. Its location in the centre of the pool symbolize the synthesis of “ Nirgun $ Sargun ”- the spiritual and temporal realms of human existence. He reversed the practice of designing high temple plinths as he wanted to emphasis the inner strength provided by the faith rather than draw attention to its external manifestations. It has four entrances as the faith that it would be open to all four castes. PLAN AND ISOMETRIC VIEW