Largest Gurudwara in India
Golden Temple in Amritsar is the largest Gurudwara in India. In fact, Golden Temple is the largest Gurudwara in the world. Golden Temple is also known as Harminder Sahib and is considered to be the most sacred shrine of Sikhs. Golden Temple was built during the leadership of the fifth guru, Guru Arjan Dev (1581-1606). The temple construction was started in 1588 and was completed in 1601. Golden Temple is surrounded by a small pond of water, known as the Sarovar which consists of Amrit (Holy Water). There temple has four entrances, signifying the importance of acceptance and openness. All devotees are expected to cover their heads as a sign of respect and wash their feet in the small pool of water as they enter the Golden Temple. Drinking alcohol, eating meat, and smoking cigarettes is prohibited in the temple premises.
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Gol Gumbaz, situated in Bijapur district of Karnataka, is the largest dome in India. Gol Gumbaz has a diameter of 124 feet and is the second largest dome in the world, next only to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The dome was built by Muhammad Adil Shah in the year 1656. It has a floor area of 1700 m2 and a height of 51 m. The walls of the structure are 3 m. thick. The dome contains tombs of Muhammad Adil Shah, his two wives, his mistress, his daughter and grandson. Gol Gumbaz is an architectural wonder as it stands unsupported by pillars. The most remarkable feature of Gol Gumbaz is its acoustical system. Even the faintest whisper around the dome echoes several times.
Se Cathedral in Old Goa is the largest church in India. The original building was constructed of mud and stones and straw and was erected in 1510 and was dedicated to St. Catherine. In 1538 the church status was elevated to that of a Cathedral with the establishment of the Diocese of Goa. The Cathedral as it stands today took 90 years to be completed. The Portuguese viceroy, Dom Francisco Coutinho, the Count of Redondo (1561-1564) commissioned its construction. The building work began in 1562 and was completed in 1652. The height of Se Cathedral's front piece including the cross is 115 2/3 feet and its breadth is 100 4/3 feet. The total length of the Cathedral is 250 feet and it breadth id 181 1/3 feet. Externally, Se Cathedral is built in half Tuscan and half Doric style, and internally it is built in the Mosaic-Corinthian style.
Ellora temples in Aurangabad, Maharashtra are the largest cave temples in India. Ellora cave temples are a perfect example of Indian rock cut architecture. Ellora is a World Heritage Site. It has 35 caves. These caves comprise of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cave temples and monasteries, which were built between the 5th century and 10th century. There are 12 Buddhist caves, 17 Hindu caves, and 5 Jain caves. The Buddhist caves were the earliest structures, created between the fifth and seventh centuries. These consist mostly of viharas or monasteries. The Hindu caves were constructed in the beginning of the 7th century. The Kailasanatha Temple in the Cave 16 is the main attraction of Ellora. The temple is designed to recall Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva. The Jain temples reveal specific dimensions of Jain philosophy and tradition.