The Kartarpur Sahib Corridor

After years of requests, the corridor to one of Sikhi’s holiest sanctuaries has been opened to the general public. It allows pilgrims visa-free access to the Guru’s home in Pakistan, and the birthplace of Sikhi, Kartarpur Sahib Corridor

The Kartarpur corridor stretches from Gurudwara Dera Baba Nanak (Gurdaspur) border leads to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, 4km into Narowal district, Pakistan.

But the weak relations between India and Pakistan had made it extremely hard to access in recent years, as the procedure to travel to Kartarpur was very tiresome.

However, they finalised an agreement over access last month, fulfilling a long-standing wish of the Sikh community.

 

The Kartarpur Sahib corridor was divided in half. A part of Punjab was given to Pakistan during the partition of India in 1947, while the rest was left with India. It has re-opened days before the 550th Parkash Purab.
Parkash Purab celebrates the birth of Sikhi’s founder, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, in November.

The Indian side of the corridor is a 4.1 km (2.4 miles) road from Dera Baba Nanak to the Passenger Terminal Building.
The Passenger Terminal Building carries out the Immigration and customs checking

After the prime minister of both countries inaugurated the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor. Our former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Capt. Amarinder Singh – the chief minister of Punjab, and 150 other people.

Since then, 229 pilgrims visited on November 10, 122 on November 11 and 546 on November 12 as quoted by officials. This low turnout was blamed on the complexity of the online registration process to travel to Kartarpur.

History of the Corridor

Guru Nanak Dev Ji established Kartarpur Sahib in 1522. On 22 September 1539, the Guru took his last breath in this Gurudwara after spending his last 18 years in it. The Gurudwara has washed away due to floods of the river Ravi and the present Gurudwara had been rebuilt by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Kartarpur Sahib is often referred to as the birthplace of Sikhi, where the Guru formed his first Sikh commune.

The concept of ‘langar’ was initiated in Kartarpur Sahib by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. It was also referred to as ‘Guru da Langar’, or the Guru’s Kitchen. Whoever came here, the community did not allow them to go without eating.

After the land was partitioned by the Radcliffe Award, this area was closed down, and the Gurudwara abandoned.

In 1948, Akali Dal demanded that India should get the area around Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur Sahib, but their plea was ignored.

For many years, followers often crossed the bridge over to get to the other bank, as the borders were not enforced until the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965.

The Gurudwara has always been visible from the Indian border and often evoked the desire to travel in its followers. Rebuilding started around 2003.

The Kartarpur corridor was blocked for years, but after requests from the community and activists like Bhabhisan, the corridor has been re-opened as a goodwill gesture.

On 26th and 28th November 2018, the prime ministers of India and Pakistan respectively laid foundation stones on either side.

To travel to Kartarpur all you would need is a passport. While it’s merely 4kms into Pakistan, it is still treated as international travel, and all travellers are requested to abide by a certain set of rules.

A Committee formed by Dera Baba Nanak Development Authority coordinates Kartarpur Sahib corridor

Travelling to Kartarpur Sahib and Registration Process

There are terminals on each side of the border, and a highway to allow easier back and forth travel. The registration process is done through the official website

The terminal is easily accessible from Amritsar (45 km), Batala (24 km) and Gurdaspur (30 km). You can reach either of these sites through Rail, Car and Buses. PRTC operates buses in all of these locations.

Dera Baba Nanak Railway station has also been renovated to accommodate more people.

To make it more accessible, the Punjab state government also plans to provide a shuttle service to the terminal from major cities.

A hotel, apartments, commercial areas and parking lots, Border Facility Area, a power grid, an information centre are in the plan.

Things keep in mind while travelling to Kartarpur Sahib:

  • The registration process to travel to Kartarpur should be taken seriously and filled correctly.
  • Pilgrims wishing to travel to Kartarpur Sahib have to pay a service fee of about 1500 rupees which has been decided by Pakistan government.
  • Only 5,000 pilgrims will be allowed to travel to Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara by using the corridor every day. So prior bookings are a must.
  • Always carry your passport while travelling in Kartarpur.
  • People who don’t hold an Indian Passport, but are Persons of Indian Origin, will also be permitted to travel to Kartarpur with their OCI Cards.
  • Children below 13 years and elderly persons of around 75 years and above should be kept in groups.
  • Eco-friendly material, like cloth bags, should be used & your surroundings should maintain neat.
  • A currency limitation of 11000/- INR must be abided by when travelling to Kartarpur.
  • Only one baggage per Adult (older than 13) of up to 7kg is allowed, including water bottles.
  • Use of tobacco, drinking and smoking is strictly prohibited unless mentioned otherwise.
  • Photography without permission slips is prohibited.
  • Refrain from carrying any prohibited devices during your travel to Kartarpur.
  • Pilgrims have to return by the evening of the day of the visit, abiding by the conditions of the ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) given to them.
    Pilgrims will receive a confirmation by SMS and email 3 to 4 days before travel.
    They must carry all the required documents for verification.
  • The ETA only authorises the pilgrims to travel to the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara and refrains them from going outside.
  • Any item in the negative list, including media against any of the two countries, is prohibited.
    Keeping a check of all belongings while travelling to Kartarpur is a must.

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  1. It was a great content

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