Amritsar is the sacred city of the SIKHS, located in Punjab state. The land was given to the fourth Sikh guru Ramdas by the Muslim Mughal emperor Akbar, and Ramdas shortly thereafter, in 1577, founded a city there. The city was built around a sacred spring, called Amrita Saras, “the flow [saras] of the nectar of immortality [AMRITA).”
   The famous AKAL TAKHT or “eternal seat,” of central importance in Sikhism, is located in Amritsar within the GOLDEN TEMPLE. The Adi-granth, or Granth Sahib, the sacred book of the Sikhs, is enshrined in the temple; it is the sole true guide for the Sikh faith, which no longer recog-nizes any human gurus.
   Further reading: J. S. Grewal, From Guru Nanak to Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Amritsar: Guru Nanak Univer-sity, 1982); W. H. McLeod, The Evolution of the Sikh Community: Five Essays (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1975).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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