Akal Takht (Throne of the Immortal) is the highest political institution of the Sikhs, founded by the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind in 1606. Located in the famous Golden Temple complex of Amritsar, the Akal Takht is one of the five Takhts of the Sikhs. These Takhts are seats of power and authority among the Sikh community, and the place of the Jathedar, the highest spokesmen among them. The Akal Takht is meant to be a symbol of political sovereignty and justice, where the spiritual and earthly concerns of the Sikh people could be addressed and examined.
Situated directly opposite the Harmandir Sahib, this creation was originally a 9-foot high concrete slab built by Guru Hargobind, Baba Buddha and Bhai Gurdas without any external help. The two tall flags symbolise the two swords of Guru Hargobind representing his spiritual authority (Piri) and earthly power (Miri) by the Akal Takht.Today, the structure is a modern five-story building with marble inlay and gold-leafed dome. The marvellous construction has been compared to the famous Piazza Saint Marco in Venice. The elevated platform inside stands as a symbol of rebellion against Emperor Jehangir, who had ruled that only an emperor can sit on a raised platform. Devotees can witness the Guru Granth Sahib being carried from the Golden Temple to the Takht at night, an age-old tradition practised at this site. Guru Arjan Dev used to sleep under the cot meant for the Guru Granth Sahib, now known as Kotha Sahib.
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