All religions have temples where people can gather together to contemplate on God and pray. The Sikh temple is called a Gurdwara. The word 'Gurdwara' means 'Gateway to the Guru'. In Sikhism ones personal dedication to living a good life is important but another important aspect of Sikhism is the Sangat (congregation). Not only should one meditate on God on their individual level but also on a corporate level. There are thousands of Gurdwaras throughout Punjab and the rest of the world. They serve as community centers for the Sikh's. There are no restrictions on who may enter a Gurdwara for prayer. People of all religions are welcome to attend. Another common feature of all Gurdwaras around the world is Langar, the free community kitchen. Here food is served to all people who sit together to enjoy a communal meal. It is a symbol of the Sikh belief in a non-sexist, non-racist society where all people of all casts, religions are equal and can share a common meal in the true spirit of unity.
The first gurdwara was built in Kartarpur, on the banks of Ravi River in the Punjab region by the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the year 1521. It now lies in the Narowal District of west Punjab (Pakistan). The worship centers were built as a place where Sikhs could gather to hear the Guru give spiritual discourse and sing religious hymns in the praise of Waheguru. As the Sikh population continued to grow, Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh guru, introduced the word 'gurdwara'.
The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
Although most Sikhs spell "Gurdwara" and refer it as the House of the Guru, that may not be the accurate spelling and meaning, the word could also be spelt "Gur-duara." The word 'Dwara' means place or home, but 'Duara' means through or by means of. So the another definition of a "Gurduara" would be through or by means of our Guru. For a Sikh, every thing is achieved by means and by grace of the Guru.