The construction of Harmandir Sahib was intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religions to worship God equally.
Accordingly, as a gesture of this non-sectarian universalness of Sikhism, Guru Arjan had specially invited the Muslim Sufi saint, Hazrat Mian Mir to lay the foundation stone of the Harmandir Sahib.The four entrances (representing the four directions) to get into the Harmandir Sahib also symbolise the openness of the Sikhs towards all people and religions. Over 100,000 people visit the holy shrine daily for worship, and also partake jointly in the free community kitchen and meal (Langar) regardless of any distinctions, a tradition that is a hallmark of all Sikh Gurdwaras.
The present-day gurdwara was renovated in 1764 by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia with the help of other Sikh Misls. In the early nineteenth century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh secured the Punjab region from outside attack and covered the upper floors of the gurdwara with 750kg of gold, which gives it its distinctive appearance and its English name. Large portions of the temple were damaged and destroyed in 1984 as part of Operation Blue Star – an Indian military operation to flush the shrine of Sikh separatists.