Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, Pakistan.
Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, Pakistan.(Photo Courtesy: discoversikhism.com)
  • 1. Religious Significance and Legends
  • 2. Geography and Border Significance
  • 3. Architecture, Destruction and Reconstruction
  • 4. Abandoned by Sikhs and Hindus for 50 Years
  • 5. The Proposed Corridor
  • 6. History of Corridor Talks and Indo-Pak Relations
  • 7. Corridor Talks Revived
Darbar Sahib Kartarpur: Will the Pak Gurdwara Herald Better Ties?

The prayers of Sikh pilgrims seem to have been answered ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, as the the Narendra Modi government on Thursday, 22 November, approved the opening of Kartarpur corridor across the LoC between India and Pakistan. The corridor will pave the way for Indian pilgrims to visit the Darbar Sahib Kartarpur Gurudwara in Pakistan – the final resting place of Guru Nanak.

Located just 3 kilometres away from the Indo-Pak border in Pakistan’s Punjab, devotees can see the gurdwara from the Indian side.

The latest trigger for the corridor had been Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s hug to Pakistan’s Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, which not only gave the two nations political fodder to subsist on for days, butalso gave lakhs of Sikh pilgrims in India hope that they might visit the Darbar Sahib Kartarpur Gurdwara in Pakistan by foot.

After his return from Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony, Sidhu announced that Bajwa had assured him of opening the much-awaited Kartarpur corridor from Gurdaspur in India to Kartarpur in Pakistan, so that Indian Sikh pilgrims could walk across the border to pay obeisance at Darbar Sahib Kartarpur.

Here are some reasons the religiously crucial gurdwara is also politically significant for Indo-Pak ties.

  • 1. Religious Significance and Legends

    Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, Pakistan.
    Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, Pakistan.
    (Photo Courtesy: discoversikhism.com)

    Darbar Sahib Kartarpur is one of the most religiously significant gurdwaras, as Guru Nanak is said to have spent the last 18 years of his life there until his death on 22 September, 1539 (AD).

    According to legend, after Guru Nanak’s death, there was a conflict between his Hindu and Muslim devotees over the way he should be laid to rest. While the Muslim devotees wanted him buried, Hindu followers wanted him cremated.

    Nanak miraculously appeared as an old man before his devotees and suggested they postpone the decision till morning. The following morning, his body had disappeared and a pile of flowers were found instead. The Hindus then took half of the flowers to cremate and the remaining half were buried by Muslims.

    Sikh jathas are known to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib on four occasions every year – Guru Nanak's birth anniversary, Baisakhi, Guru Arjan Dev's martyrdom day and Maharaja Ranjit Singh's death anniversary.

    “This has been a long-standing demand of the Sikhs in India to pay obeisance to the final resting place of Guru Nanak.” 
    Amandeep Sandhu, Senior Journalist to The Quint
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