'The Golden Temple' is instantly recognised, whether you've been to it or not, you know what it looks like.
For those who have been - have you ever wondered what it was like before the live streams, the microphones, the lights - electricity?!! Ever wondered who visited it before it became a tourist hot-spot with direct flights to Amritsar?
For those who haven't (but probably will want to after 'experiencing' this book!) - this book gives you an insight to the evolution of The Golden Temple - how it changed with each decade (from the 1500s to present) and how it was perceived - as captured by the variety of images, through drawings, carvings, paintings, and photographs.
Although, if you are more interested in the origins of images and context - the references are at the back, along with a map of what the Golden Temple complex originally looked like! Its worth mentioning that there are European eye-witness accounts at the beginning, which set the context of this place as a historical landmark as one piece written by Emily Eden describes Maharaja Ranjit Singh's visit from a European's eye! Of course, if you are interested in historical changes in Sikh history and Sikh identity presented in a written history - its worth a look at their previous book 'In the Master's Presence' - fascinating stuff - best of both worlds!
The best thing about this book is that it is not a densely written history of the Golden Temple and its not arguing anything - its universal appeal lies in its use of images - it lets you discover the changes, question them and then leads you to discover even more...
There is no doubt the book looks like treasure, but you'd be a fool to miss out on the many treasures its got wrapped up inside!