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.
Largest Monastery in India
Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh is the largest monastery in India. The monastery is 3 storey high and occupies an area of 140 sq m. It is enclosed by a 610 m long compound wall. Within the complex there are 65 residential buildings and 10 other structures.
Tawang Monastery is one of the most largest Monasteries of Mahayana sect in Asia. It was founded by the Mera Lama Lodre Gyasto in 17 century AD in accordance to the wishes of the 5th Dalai Lama, Nagwang Lobsang Gyatso. The Monastery is also known in Tibetan as Galden Namgey Lhatse, which means a true name within a celestial paradise in a clear night. The library of the monastery has valuable old scriptures mainly Kanjur and Tanjur numbering 850 bundles.
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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.