Takht is a Persian word which means throne. Literally, Takht means throne or seat of spiritual or temporal authority. In Sikhism, five significant Gurdwaras are named as seats of religious and temporal authority. They are elevated as Takhts and held in high esteem by the Sikhs. Although all the Takhts are equal in sanctity, yet the foremost significant of the Takhts is Sri Akal Takht Sahib, located at Amritsar. This Takht is the central authority of the Sikhs and enjoys a special status. The issues concerning the Sikhs are discussed and debated at the Takht. The edicts in the best interest of the Sikh nation are issued to the Sikh Sangat. The Gurmatas and Hukamnamas (Decrees) issued from Sri Akal Takht Sahib are binding on all the Sikhs, all over the world. All the five Jathedars of the Takhts are ex-officio members of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Amritsar.
There are five seats/Takhts of Sikh religious and temporal authority.
- Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Amritsar (Punjab)
- Takht Sri Harmandar Sahib, Patna (Bihar)
- Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib, Anandpur (Punjab)
- Takht Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded (Maharashtra)
- Takht Sri Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo (Punjab)
A journey to these five Takhts unfolds the long history of the Sikh ethos.