New Delhi: With nearly 500 Indian pilgrims setting foot for Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the venerated shrine, establishing a religious link after over seven decades between the two neighbours.
Donning saffron turban at the function arranged by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) at the Integrated Check Post at Kartarpur Corridor, PM Modi expressed his gratitude to Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan for respecting “the sentiments of India” and “respecting and working in the way to the construction of the Kartarpur Corridor within time frame”.
The Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, better known as Kartarpur shrine, is among the holiest of holy shrines for Sikhs and is believed to be the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh religion. Notably, Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary falls on November 12.
While the Gurdwara has been opened for Sikh pilgrims, a number of rules and restrictions are to be kept in mind.
Here’s a list of dos and don’ts for pilgrims to enter the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor:
- The corridor will remain open from dawn to dusk and Indian pilgrims of all faiths as well as other persons of Indian origin can use the corridor.
- Registration is must for all visitors in order to visit to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. Pilgrims must register themselves online for the Integrated Check Post on the official portal, i.e., prakashpurb550.mha.gov.in.
- The travel will be visa free but pilgrims need to carry a valid passport.
- Persons of Indian origin who stay abroad must carry OCI card along with the passport of their country.
- Pilgrims travelling in the morning will have to return on the same day.
- The corridor will be operational throughout the year, except on notified days which will be informed in advance.
- Pilgrims can choose whether to visit the shrine as individuals or in groups. They can also choose to travel on foot.
- Pilgrims who apply will receive a confirmation four days before the travel date. Meanwhile, India will send the list of pilgrims to Pakistan 10 days ahead of their travel date.
- Pilgrims will receive an SMS and email confirmation following which an Electronic Travel Authorisation will be generated. Pilgrims must carry the authorisation along with their passport when they arrive at the Passenger Terminal Building.
- Each visitor will have to pay a service fee of $20 imposed by Islamabad.
The 4.2-km Kartarpur corridor that connects Dera Baba Nanak from Amritsar-Gurdaspur Highway has been constructed at a cost of Rs 120 crore on 15 acres.
The fully air-conditioned building akin to an airport has over 50 immigration counters for facilitating about 5,000 pilgrims a day.
Robust security infrastructure has been put in place with CCTV surveillance and public address systems and a 300-feet national monumental flag is also being hoisted at the International Border.