Based on data recorded in the last three months, this religious place in India has been titled as the most visited place in the world.
In Amritsar, a city in the north Indian state of Punjab, the Golden Temple or Sri Harmandir Sahib is a central religious place for Sikhs (people from the religious sect of Sikhisim). Not confined only to those from the group, the temple welcomes devotees, visitors, tourists from across the globe and irrespective of their beliefs. Its four entrances at four directions are symbolic of the fact. The temple being awarded as the most visited place of the world is a further assurance.
‘World Book of Records’ (WBR), a London-based organisation that catalogues and verifies world records, has awarded the Golden Temple with the ‘most visited place of the world’ position.
The award was presented to Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the chief secretary Roop Singh and other senior officials by the general secretary of India chapter, Surbhi Kaul, and president of Punjab chapter, Randeep Singh Kohli.
Kaul said the organisation presents the award after every three months and the Golden Temple has been conferred with it on accounts of observations made September onwards.
“Hundreds and thousands of devotees visit this holy shrine, and the footfall is increasing by the day. This is why the WBR has awarded it,” she said, adding, “So far, eight places, including Shirdi Sai Baba, Vaishno Devi and Mount Abu, have received this award.”
The Golden Temple was recommended by the Punjab chapter two months ago to the president of WBR in India, Santosh Shukla. “This award is like paying obeisance here, said Shukla.
Kohli said it is also being considered to give these awards to Durgiana Temple at Amritsar and Attari-Wagah border, which also witness an impressive footfall.
Speaking on the occasion, the SGPC chief secretary said though the shrine has been hugely popular ever since its foundation, the footfall has increased since the live telecast of gurbani kirtan (hymns in the central text of the Sikhs). He said on an average more than one hundred thousand devotees visit the shrine every day.
“The heritage street, a project of the SAD-BJP government, has contributed a lot to attracting devotees and visitors to this holy shrine,” he added.
Later, he honoured the WBR team with siropas (an honourary garment) and a model of the Golden Temple.