The Golden Temple or Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar, India, is the supreme shrine in Sikhism. Kept within the temple is the Sikh Holy Scripture.
In 1984, the temple complex was the site of a bloody battle between Indian soldiers and Sikh militants hiding inside. The desecration of the shrine and the deaths of many civilians caused great anger amongst the Sikh community, leading to the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. Hundreds of Sikhs lost their lives in revenge killings in the days that followed Gandhi’s death.
Sikh devotees gather around the sacred pool surrounding the Golden Temple during Baisakhi celebrations. Amritsar, India.
Devotees scramble to touch the Holy Scripture and other relics as they leave the Golden Temple for a parade around the city of Amritsar in northern India during the Sikh Baisakhi festival.
This man is a Nihang Sikh, a member of a Sikh military sect which in former times formed the backbone of Sikh military action against foreign rule. They are characterised by their purple and orange attire and the weapons they carry around with them such as spears, daggers or swords. Fortunately these are now mostly for ceremonial rather than actual military use.
Bathing at the Pool of the Nectar of Immortality surrounding the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, is one of the great rituals in the Sikh religion.