The Gurdwara is a a Sikh place of worship.

 

  • The Sikh place of worship is called the gurdwara. This means ‘Guru’s door’ – God’s house.

 

  • It doesn’t have to be a special building. They can be in ordinary houses or in other buildings.

 

  • The important thing is not the building, it’s the fact that the Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh holy book) is there.

 

  • If it’s a big building then there is a small room where the Guru Granth Sahib is kept when its not being read.

 

  • There is a kitchen so that a meal can be eaten after the services.

 

  • There are separate rooms at the entrance to the Gurdwara where men and women can wash their hands and feet and a place where they can leave their shoes.

 

  • On the outside of the building there is a yellow flag. It is yellow with the Sikh symbol on it. It is called the Nisan Sahib.

  • The name for the worship hall is the diwan hall. It is often decorated with tinsel and small lights. There may be pictures of Guru Nanak and the other Gurus on the walls.

 

  • All worshippers sit on the floor in the diwan hall. This is a sign that everyone is equal.

 

  • The most important part of the room is the platform at the end. It is called the Takht which means throne.  The Guru Granth Sahib is placed upon it on a special stool called a manji. This shows that the book is treated with respect.

 

  • In front of the takht is a place where people can leave gifts of food and money.

 

  • At the end of the service there is always a meal called the langar. It is free and it is a symbol that everyone is equal and everyone eats together.

 

  • Any Sikh who is respected by the others may lead the service. However there is usually one person in each Gurdwara whose job is to read the Guru Granth Sahib. This person is called the Granthi. He or she sits behind the Guru Granth Sahib  facing everyone else.

 

  • Sometimes the granthi waves a chauri over the Guru Granth Sahib. This is a special fan made of hair or feathers. It is the same kind of fan that is waved over kings in India. So by waving it over the book it shows the same respect.

 

  • Before they enter the worship room everyone takes off their shoes. They may wash their hands and feet or have a bath at home before coming to the gurdwara. Any man who is not wearing a Turban covers his head. These things all show respect for the Guru Granth Sahib.

 

  • When they go into the room the people kneel or bow in front of the Guru Granth Sahib and. They leave offerings of food or money. As they go to sit down they are careful not to turn their back on the Guru Granth Sahib as this shows a lack of respect.

 

  • Men and women usually sit on different sides of the room.

 

  • Services are usually held in Punjabi, the language spoken by most Sikhs.

 

  • Most services consist of reading and singing of hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib. The singing of the hymns is called the kirtan  and is very important. It is done by the musicians called ragis.

 

  • All services end with the Ardas, a special prayer. The prayer leads everyone to remember God and the ten gurus.

 

  • The Karah parshad is stirred while the Ardas is being said. Karah Parshad is a special pudding, made from flour, sugar and ghee (special butter) and mixed in an iron bowl. Everyone in the gurdwara is given a piece to show that everyone is equal. Then they share the langar.

P.S. Unfortunately, I can't remember the source of this info. I had in the PDF format and there is no info on who created it :(

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Thanks Harman Ji

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