Kartarpur Corridor: History of Gurudwara and Facts
On the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Kartarpur Corridor will be opened to visit Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara. No doubt it is a historic move by the government of India and Pakistan.
Let us tell you that, on 24 October 2019 India has signed the agreement with Pakistan on the modalities of the operationalisation of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor at Zero Point, the International Boundary, Dera Baba Nanak.
On 22 November 2018, the Union Cabinet passed a resolution to celebrate the historic occasion of the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji across the globe.
About Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara
Kartarpur Sahib was established by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the Sikh Guru in 1522. On 22 September 1539 Gurunanak Dev Ji took the last breath in this gurudwara and spends around 18 years of his life. The Gurudwara was washed away by floods of the river Ravi (Rabi) and the present Gurudwara was established by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Kartarpur Sahib is located in Narowal district of Pakistan. It is three to four kilometres away from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district of Punjab, India and about 120 km from Lahore. The langar was first started in Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The Langar tradition is also known as ‘Guru ka Langar’, the Gurus Kitchen. Whoever came here, Guru Nanak Dev Ji did not allow him to go without eating.
Some facts about Kartarpur Corridor
- Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara is located on the bank of river Ravi (Rabi) in Pakistan.
- The foundation stone was laid in Gurdaspur on 26 November, 2018 and marks the initiation of Kartarpur Corridor. Further, on 28 November 2018 in Pakistan, the foundation stone was laid down. No doubt, Kartarpur Sahib has a rich history of nearly 500 years.
- The 4.10 km approx long Highway connects Dera Baba Nanak from Gurdaspur-Amritsar Highway to the International border.
- 5,000 pilgrims will be allowed to visit Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara by using the corridor every day. On special occasions, around 10,000 additional pilgrims will be allowed to visit the Gurudwara.
- Persons of not only Indian nationals but also the Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) holding OCI cards will also be allowed to use the Kartarpur Corridor facility.
- Devotees coming from India to the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara have to pay a service fee of USD 20 (about 1420 rupees) which is decided by Pakistan government.
- A maximum of Rs 11,000 Indian currency and baggage of 7 kg is allowed to the devotees to carry to visit Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara. And devotees are not allowed to go beyond the Gurudwara. It is estimated that around 18 lakh Sikh devotees would visit Kartarpur Sahib every year, then Pakistan government will get approx 259 crore revenue.
- It is a visa-free travel but devotees have to show a valid passport.
- Pilgrims can register online on prakashpurb550.mha.gov.in and can choose any day for travel. Pilgrims will be informed through SMS and email about the confirmation of registration 3 to 4 days in advance of the date of travel. An Electronic Travel Authorization will also be generated which the pilgrims have to carry along with their passport when they arrive at the Passenger Terminal Building.
- In 1999, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee proposed to build the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor for the first time when he travelled by bus to Lahore.
How Indian devotees were able to visit or see Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara?
At the time of the partition of India-Pakistan, gurudwara moved to Pakistan, so citizens of India need a visa to visit Kartarpur Sahib. Those who are not able to go to Pakistan, they see with the help of binoculars in the Gurudwara Shaheed Baba Sidh Saun Randhawa located at Dera Baba Nanak in the Indian border. Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara is visible from the border towards India. In Pakistan, the government takes care that the grass does not accumulate around this gurudwara, so it keeps cutting and pruning around it so that it can be seen well from India and there is no problem for the devotees.
So we can say that Kartarpur Corridor is a historic move by India and Pakistan government for the devotees to visit Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara situated in Pakistan.