8 reasons why the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor is important to Sikhs

Ishita Srivastava
Ishita SrivastavaNov 17, 2021 | 17:09

8 reasons why the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor is important to Sikhs

The Kartarpur Sahib Corridor between Pakistan and India has reopened for

The Kartarpur Sahib Corridor between Pakistan and India reopened for "Holy Darshan" on November 17, after 20 months of closure. India and Pakistan have agreed that devotees with fully vaccinated certificates will be allowed to undertake the pilgrimage. This means that devotees will have to carry a negative RT-PCR report and Covid-19 vaccination certificates.

The Kartarpur Sahib Corridor links Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, which is the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab's Gurdaspur district. This announcment comes at an important time for Sikhs as it is Guru Nanak Dev's birthday anniversary on November 19. 


The Kartarpur Sahib Corridor
The Kartarpur Sahib Corridor. Photo: Parmeder Singh/India Today

Here is why the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor is significant in Sikhism: 

1. The Corridor is known as Kartarpur Sahib since Kartarpur, a town in Narowal, Punjab, Pakistan (originally known as the village Pakhoke) is located on the west (left) bank of the river Ravi, where Guru Nanak Dev spent the last 18 years of his life. 

2. Gurudwara Darbar Sahib, also known as Sri Kartarpur Sahib, is an especially important location as Kartarpur is where Guru Nanak Dev first practised the three pillars of Sikhism - 'Kirat Karo (working hard at whatever task one undertakes and an honest living), Vand Chhako (share wealth, possessions and talents with others) and Naam Japo (meditation through reciting, chanting and singing)' as the path to liberation. 

Gurudwara Darabar Sahib in Kartarpur
Gurudwara Darabar Sahib in Kartarpur. Photo: India Today

3. Dera Baba Nanak is a town that is situated on the east (right) bank of the river Ravi. After Pakhoke was renamed as Kartarpur, the Bedis, who are descendants of Guru Nanak Dev, built a new town and named it Dera Baba Nanak after their great ancestor. The town has two famous Gurudwaras, Sri Darbar Sahib and Sri Chola Sahib. 

4. The Corridor allows devotess in India to visit Gurudwara Darbar Sahib without a visa. The gurudwara is 4.7 kilometres from the India–Pakistan border, on the Pakistani side. 


Gurudwara Darabar Sahib in Kartarpur. Photo: Getty Images
Gurudwara Darabar Sahib in Kartarpur. Photo: Getty Images

5. It is widely believed that it is Kartarpur where Guru Nanak Dev composed many hymns of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs, including the japuji sahib. The community meal, known as guru ka langar, also began in Kartarpur and ultimately became an important aspect of Sikh tradition. 

6. Legend says that there is a reason why two different shrines were built by Hindus and Muslims for Guru Nanak Dev. It is said that when Guru Nanak Dev passed away in Kartarpur, his devotees placed a cloth over his body and later, when they returned, found that Guru Nanak Dev's body had disappeared and the cloth was all that was left. It was then that a conflict broke out over Guru Nanak Dev's cremation, and it was decided that the cloth would be cut into two pieces.

The Muslim devotees buried their half of the cloth and built a shrine, and the Hindu devotees burned their half of the cloth and built another shrine. These shrines were later washed away in floods and were rebuilt.

Gurudwara Darabar Sahib in Kartarpur. Photo: Getty Images
Gurudwara Darabar Sahib in Kartarpur. Photo: Getty Images

7. The foundation stone of the Gurudwara Darbar Sahib was laid by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1572 and he covered its dome with gold. The most recent reconstruction of the Gurudwara took place in the 1920s during the reign of the then Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh, at a cost of Rs 1.35 lakh.


8. The creation of the Corridor was first proposed by ex-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in February 1999, when he was on a bus ride to Lahore during a peace initiative with Pakistan. It was intended to connect two important places of worship in Sikhism that had been seperated by the Radcliffe Line during Partition. 

Last updated: November 17, 2021 | 17:09
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