'Takht' which literally means a throne or seat of authority is a result of historical growth of Sikhism. There are five Takhts. The first and the most important one was established by Guru Hargobind in 1609. It is called 'Akal Takht' (the Throne of the Timeless God) and is situated just opposite the gate of Harmandar Sahib - The Golden Temple, Amritsar. The Guru established it, because he thought that secular political matters should not be considered in the Golden Temple, which is meant purely for worship of God. Here the Guru held his court and decided matters of military strategy and political policy. Later on, the Sikh commonwealth (Sarbat Khalsa) took decisions here on matters of peace and war and settled disputes between the various Sikh groups. The Sarangi singers sung the ballads of the Sikh Gurus and warriors at this place and robes of honour (saropas) were awarded to persons who rendered distinguished services of the community of men in general. The second seat of authority is called "Takhat Sri Patna Sahib". The Five Takhts are the five gurudwaras and these have a very special significance for the Sikh community. Takht means a throne. They are considered the seats of Sikh religious authority. The important decisions concerning the religious and social life of the Sikh community have been taken here.Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib
Sri Akal Takht Sahib
Akal Takht literally means Eternal Throne. It is part of the Darbar Sahib Complex in Amritsar. The Akal Takht is situated on the one end of the causeway connected to the Harmandar Sahib. It's foundation was laid by Guru Hargobind. The building of the Akal Takht opposite Harmandar Sahib has a special meaning. While Harmandar Sahib stands for spiritual guidance, the Akal Takht symbolizes the dispensing of justice and temporal activity. Traditionally, all Sikh warriors sought blessings here before going to battle. During the 18th century while Sikhs were fighting a guerrilla war in the forests they used to gather at the Akal Takht on special occasions such as Vaisakhi and Diwali. Here the community used to have general meetings and approve policy resolutions. The Akal Takht is the oldest of the Five Takhts and the only one sanctified by the Guru. The Akal Takht building was destroyed by the Indian government when the army was sent in to invade in 1984. The new building is complete, but the Sikhs cannot forget that the building destroyed in 1984 by the Indian government was built by the sixth Nanak, Guru Hargobind, and two of the most venerable Sikhs, Baba Budha and Bhai Gurdas, with their own hands.
Takht Sri Damdama Sahib
Damdama Sahib is situated in the village of Talwandi Sabo near Bathinda. This is where Guru Gobind Singh stayed for nearly a year and compiled the second edition of Guru Granth Sahib known as the Damdami Bir in 1705. The only difference in this Bir and the Bir compiled by the fifth Nanak, Guru Arjan, was that the Bani of the ninth Nanak, Guru Tegh Bahadur, was added to it
Kesgarh Sahib is situated at Anandpur. It is the place where Khalsa came into being. The concept which Khalsa embodies, was revealed here by Guru Gobind Singh on the Vaisakhi of 1699. Some of the weapons of Guru Gobind Singh are displayed here in the Gurdwara. The most precious of these is the actual Khanda (double edged sword) used by Guru Gobind Singh to prepare amrit used in the first Khalsa initiation ceremony
Takht Sri Hazoor SahibTakht Sri Patna Sahib
Hazoor Sahib is on the bank of River Godavari in Maharashtra. This is where Guru Gobind Singh died. The inner room of the Gurdwara is called Angitha Sahib and is built over the place where Guru Gobind Singh was cremated in 1708. The Gurdwara has fallen prey to designs of forces inimical to Sikhs. As a result, many rituals have crept into the service of the Gurdwara which are totally against the Sikh worldview
Takht Sri Patna Sahib is situated in Patna, the capital of present-day Bihar state. It was here that Guru Gobind Singh was born in 1666 and spent his early years before moving to Anandpur. Besides being the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, Patna Sahib has also been exalted by visits from Guru Nanak and Guru Tegh Bahadur. Like Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib, here too the anti-Sikh forces have succeeded to a great extent in bringing in practices completely against Sikh worldview.