The history of the gold foil-overlaid Harmandir Sahib – the most holy place of the Sikhs – is as turbulent as it is moving. The Golden Temple was built in Amritsar, India, in the 16th century. The Golden Temple is home to the original holy scriptures of the Sikhs. In the early 19th century, a golden dome was added to the building.
Harmandir Sahib became a place of sorrow and loss in the 1980s – a battleground where many people lost their lives. Following the proclamation of the state of Khalistan, Sikh extremists holed up inside the Golden Temple for two years. 400 troops and 2,000 Sikhs lost their lives when the Indian army stormed the temple in 1984. In response to these atrocities, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards a few months later.
Today, thousands of pilgrims – and not just Sikhs – visit the Golden Temple and its beautifully appointed palace grounds every day. The gates on all four sides of the temple signify the openness of the Sikhs towards all peoples and religions. The Golden Temple stands in the centre of an island on Lake Amrit Sarovar, and has a very special appeal thanks to its unusual golden aura. The interior of the temple is cleaned with milk every day. Pilgrims are allowed to remain below the arcades and in adjacent spaces of the palace for a maximum of three days.
The illumination of this holiest of Sikh sites after sunset and throughout the night is the task of BEGA LED high-performance floodlights. Emanating from their installation points at the four palace gates, their symmetrical, very narrow beam light distribution and a luminaire luminous flux of over 18,000 lumen set the stage for the incredible beauty of this impressive temple architecture. The LED high-performance floodlights have been specially designed for use at high ambient temperatures. The exceptionally high quality of their power supply units means that they achieve unrivalled performance. The warm colour temperature of 2,200 Kelvin emphasises the golden aura of the temple, with its battlements, decorative features and dome.
16th-century construction ordered by Arjun Dev, fifth Guru of the Sikhs
19th-century construction ordered by Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Lighting design Sarvdeep Basur