Akal Takht Initiation Day

Photo by Amarpreet Singh, from Wikimedia Commons.

The formation of the Akal Takht is commemorated annually on July 2.

“Akal Takht” means “Throne of the Immortal” and is the highest political institution of the Sikhs. The Akal Takhat is an impressive building that sits directly in front of the causeway leading to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India.

The Akal Takhat was founded by Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh Guru, on June 15, 1606 (now celebrated on 2 July), and was established as the place from which the spiritual and temporal concerns of the Sikh community could be acted upon.

The Akal Takht stood as a symbol of political bulwark against the Mughal Emperors in the 17th and 18th century. Various attacks on the Akal Takhat and the Golden Temple have been led in past by Ahmed Shah Abdali and Massa Rangar in the 18 century. On June 4, 1984, the Indian Army did more than just damage the outer facade of the Akal Takhat, they destroyed the sancitity of the Akal Takht with tanks and reduced it to rubble, while attempting to take out Sikh militants in a controversial military operation known as Operation Bluestar.

The Jathedar of the Akal Takht is the highest spokesperson of the Sikh community, and is meant to be a spiritual leader without control or influence from any outside, politically motivated sources.

~Resource: “History of the Akal Takhat,” SikhNet.