The Delhi Assembly has passed an amendment bill to recognize Takht Damdama Sahib as the fifth Takht of Sikhs.
A Takht represents a seat of temporal authority for Sikhs. Currently there are five Takhts of which three are in Punjab and one each in Bihar and Maharashtra.
The Akal Takht
The Akal Takht is the supreme and oldest among all. It was set up by Guru Hargobind in 1606 after his succession as the Sixth Guru.
It is in form of a raised platform built in front of causeway leading to the sanctum sanctorum of the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple).
It signifies the coming together of temporal authority and the political sovereignty of the Sikh community (miri) with the spiritual authority (piri).
Today, the Akal Takht is a five-storey building. The first storey houses the Guru Granth Sahib.
Takht Keshgarh Sahib
It is located in Anandpur Sahib in Punjab. Khalsa was raised here by Guru Gobind Singh that initiated Sikh warriors, in 1699.
Takht Patna Sahib
Guru Gobind Singh was born here in 1666.
Takht Hazur Sahib
In Nanded, where Guru Gobind Singh spent time and where he was cremated in 1708.
Takht Damdama Sahib
Located in Talwandi Sabo of Bathinda. Guru Gobind Singh spent several months here.
Recognition of fifth Takht
Takht Damdama Sahib was recognised as the fifth Takht in 1999. It was included in the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925 (Punjab Act VIII of 1925).
Role of Sikh Takhts
The Takhts have the powers to issue hukumnamas from time to time on issues that concern the Sikh community.
Only the Akal Takht has the powers to issue any edict or order concerning the entire community since it was created by the Guru himself.
Sikhs or individuals violating the Sikh doctrine and code of conduct are awarded religious punishment through the Akal Takht.
The Takhts in Punjab are directly controlled by the SGPC. They are responsible for appointing the jathedars.