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You are here: Skip Navigation LinksHome : Introduction to Sikh Faith : Sikh Place of Worship (Gurdwara)

GURDWARA, literally means Guru’s home, is the name given to Sikh place of worship.

The common translation of the term as temple is not satisfactory as, Sikhism possesses no sacrificial symbolism. Sikhs have neither idols nor altars in their holy places. They have no sacraments and no priestly order. The use of the word 'temple' or 'Sikh temple' for a Gurdwara is as much correct or incorrect as to call a church- a Christian temple or a temple as a Hindu Church.

The essential feature of a gurdwara is the presiding presence in it of Sikh scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, living guru of Sikhs. Hence the name Gurdwara (guru+dwara= the guru's door). People of all religious background or of no religious faith are welcomed to Gurdwara.

The main function of the gurdwara is to provide Sikhs with a meeting-place for worship, consisting of listening/singing to the words of the Guru Granth Sahib, and hearing them expounded in katha, or lectures: The gurdwara also serves as a community centre, a school, a guest house for pilgrims and travellers, and a base for local charitable activities.

Gurdwaras in Ireland
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