DARBAR, a Perisan word meaning “a house, dwelling; court, area; court or levee of a prince; audience chamber,” is commonly used in Punjabi to signify a royal, princely or any high ranking officer`s court (as distinguished from courts of justice) where dignitaries granted audience to the common people, listened to their grievances, or deliberated with their darbaris (courtiers) on matters of public interest. In Sikhism the term came to have extended meaning as Guru Nanak and his holy successors introduced terms such as sacha patisahu, True Emperor (GG, 17, 18, 463 etal.), siri saha patisahu, at the head of kings and emperors (GG, 1426) for God Almighty.
Later, the Gurus themselves came to be called sachcha patshah. The Guru`s court, therefore, also comes to be called gurdarbar or the guru`s darbar. In a hymn by Guru Arjan addressed, according to tradition, to his father, Guru Ram Das, the Guru`s presence is referred to as g`urdarbar (GG, 97). After Guru Gobind Singh had discontinued the institution of human guru replacing it by sabdaguru (the Word as Guru) and passed on the guruship eternally to the Guru Granth Sahib, the Holy Book itself as well as its court, the gurdwara, came to be popularly called Darbar or reverently, Sri Darbar Sahib.
This name is particularly given to the gurdwara complexes at Amritsar and Tarn Taran, as also officially to some other historical gurdwaras such as the principal shrine at Dera Baba Nanak and the shrine raised over the cremation site of Guru Arigad at Khadur Sahib. The Sikh usage of the term darbar for holy places has since spread to other communities so that Hindu devotees of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu region also refer to temples raised to their goddess as Mata da Darbar, the court of the Mother Goddess.