There’s new light on the horizon for Sikh devotees in India, as they can now access Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan via the Kartarpur corridor. This is perhaps the first ever foundation laid for cross-border pilgrimage between the two countries and still feels almost surreal to the most of us.
The Kartarpur corridor is a proposed four-kilometre-long corridor between India and Pakistan connecting the Sikh holy shrine of Dera Baba Nanak Sahib in India to the shrine of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan. It’s right at the border where the route was closed following the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.
This development is going to enable Sikh devotees from India to travel across the border to one of Sikhism’s holiest shrines ever. Dating back to the 16th century, it is here that Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the religion, spent 18 years of his life and it is here that he died in 1539. At on his 550th birth anniversary on November 23, this news was like a blessing to the whole community.
Since the Partition, for the past 71 years, Sikhs from India have been offering their prayers from across the border as the gurudwara is visible in the horizon from Punjab. When the Kartarpur corridor opens in six months, devotees will finally have their prayers answered after decades.
The Union Cabinet approved the construction and development of the Kartarpur Corridor from the Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district to the India-Pakistan border just a day ahead of Guru Nanak Jayanti. The decision was made at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.