Guidelines to follow for a respectful visit to Gurudwara. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded in India’s Punjab region and based on the teachings of Guru Nanak and his successors.The Sikh philosophy focuses on the equality of all people, and is said to be summed up by Guru Nanak as, “Realization of Truth is higher than all else. Higher still is truthful living.”
The Sikhs are extremely gracious in welcoming visitors and helping them to understand the Sikh religion and customs. Visiting a gurdwara, the Sikh meeting place for worship, is open to everyone – regardless of beliefs, caste or color.Based on my experience, here are some guidelines to follow for a respectful visit, and notes about what to expect.
Like any other sacred space, you will want to plan on dressing modestly when visiting a Sikh temple.It’s best to wear loose-fitting clothing as you may sit with others on the floor in the main prayer hall.
Check-in before entering.
Cover your head.
Everyone must cover their heads before entering the gurdwara. Sikh men customarily wear turbans, while Sikh women typically wear head scarves as part of their traditional dress.If you do not have a head covering, inquire about borrowing one when you arrive at the temple. During my visit in Delhi, there were large bandanna-like cloths available to use.
Remove your shoes and wash your hands and feet.
Many gurdwaras have a fountain or small moat just outside the entrance of the main prayer hall. It is customary to remove your shoes here and place them on the shoe racks provided, and wash your hands and feet.
In the main prayer hall, be aware of the Guru Granth.
Musicians playing traditional Sikh devotional music filled the room with a beautiful sublime song. Many sat and prayed on rugs on the floor, while others bowed and placed offerings before a raised platform containing the Guru Granth (the holy book).
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