(Last Updated on : 02/09/2013)
Gurudwara Baba Atal Sahib was built between 1778-1784 and is situated to the south of the Golden Temple, about 185 metres from Sarai Guru Ram Das. The nine-storey octagonal tower, stands 40 metres high, and is the tallest building in Amritsar.
Originally a samadhi enshrining the remains of Atal Rai (1628), a son of Guru Hargobind, it was transformed into a gurudwara. According to legend Atal Rai, at the age of nine, restored his close friend Mohan, to life after his sudden demise. Guru Hargobind rebuked him on displaying one's spiritual power. Atal Rai chose to take a samadhi for breaking the law. Although he died at the age of nine, he was honoured with the title of Baba. The nine-storey represents the nine years of his life.
The edifice is a double octagonal structure, one rising on the exterior and the other on the interior - forming a circumambulatory in between. The stories on the exterior and with a bigger octagonal base terminate at the sixth level, the interior and smaller octagonal base supports nine stories, and the three upper stories are surmounted by a gilded dome. Within the interior octagonal elevation, the Guru Granth Sahib is kept, enshrined in a beautifully wrought brass canopy, surmounted by an exquisite chhatri. The doors are made of silver and brass with elegantly embossed designs of figures recounting Sikh and Hindu themes. The interior walls of the first floor are adorned with murals many of which have been obliterated with just only 42 panels surviving. The poor and the needy are fed and helped in the gurudwara of Baba Atal.