Gurdwara, lit. The Guru’s portal or the Guru’s abode, is the name given to a Sikh place of worship. The common translation of the term as temple is not satisfactory for, their faith possessing no sacrificial symbol-ism, Sikhs have neither idols nor altars in their holy places. They have no sacraments and no priestly order.

The essential feature of a Gurdwara is the presiding presence in it of Sikh Scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib. Ending the line of personal Gurus, Guru Gobind Singh, Nanak X, had installed the sacred volume in 1708 as his eternal successor. The Holy Book has since been the Guru for the Sikhs and it must reign over all Sikh places of worship where religious ceremony focuses around it. The basic condition for a Sikh place to be so known is the installation in it of the Guru Granth Sahib. Every Sikh place by that token is the house of the Guru. Hence the name Gurdwara (gur+dwara= the guru’s door).

Modesto Gurdwara Sahib is a 501(c) (3) tax exempt nonprofit organization, located in the city of Modesto in Nortern California, USA. It was established in 1978 and is one of the most prominent and influential Sikh Gurdwaras in the world. The Gurdwara sahib is open 7 days a week and holds daily programs for local Sikhs and visitors to pray and seek blessings. It has more than 9000 registered members.

Since its establishment, Modesto Gurdwara has been consistently involved in providing help and sharing (Vand Chakna) with the needy and homeless people around the world, especially during disasters. During Katrina, the Tsunami in Thailand, and the earthquake in South Asia, Modesto Gurdwara donated thousands of dollars, food, clothes, blankets and items to keep up personal hygiene.