Monument of love, peace in Kartarpur welcomes followers

Monument of love, peace in Kartarpur welcomes followers

Gurdwara Baba Guru Nanak, as a monument of love, peace and affinity, awaits his followers from around the globe to arrive at the soil of Pakistan.

As it will be a lifelong cherished dream as Sikhs from India and other parts of the world set foot in their holiest site. Today on November 9, the first batch of 10,000 pilgrims is set to perform their rituals within the compound of the Gurdwara after seven decades on the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who envisioned a year ago the construction of Kartarpur Corridor between Pakistan and India to facilitate the Sikh community, will inaugurate the much-anticipated overland passage linking the Dera Baba Nana shrine in northwest India’s Gurdaspur with the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.

Dubbed as Zero Point, the corridor including a bridge stretches for one-kilometer over the Ravi River flowing between the two countries. Pakistan has announced to allow the visit of 5,000 pilgrims to the shrine every day with additional numbers on special occasions, subject to capacity expansion of facilities.

As a special gesture, the government also waived off the requirement of passport and 10-day advance intimation for the whole year, a move that has not received a warm welcome by India. The stunning white-colored edifice of Gurdwara Baba Nanak stands tall as a symbol of peace and harmony.

The inauguration on November 9 coincides with the birthday of the country’s national poet and philosopher Allama Muhammad Iqbal, who in his poem ‘Nanak’ written in book Baang-e-Dara, holds the Sikh spiritual leader in high esteem for his monotheist beliefs. In his verses

Phir akhir uthi sada Tauheed ki Punjab se

Hind ko ik Mard-e-Kaamil ne jagaya khwaab se

The voice of belief in Oneness of God rises from Punjab as a man with perfect attributes awakens the land of Hind from deep slumber’

The package of facilities has been set in place for the visitors, including a nine-marque village to accommodate Sikh pilgrims coming from across the world. The regular visitors will be given a one-day pass and they will return the same day.

A Langar Khana inside the complex has a capacity to house around 2,500 pilgrims, who will arrive in after biometric registration at counters set up by the Federal Investigation Agency. The government had acquired around 800-acre land and handed over the same to the Gurdwara management as a gift.

Out of which, 42 acres were allocated for the construction of the Gurdwara Complex and 62 acres for the agriculture purpose to meet the needs of the Langar Khana. The Gurdwara has been built in a record time of 10 months, with high-quality construction along with white marble and imported tiles.

The visitors will have a glance at Sikh’s history at the museum set up in the vicinity where the photographs of Sikh religious leaders have been put on display. A 12-bed hospital has also been established for any health emergency for the pilgrims. Around 1,500 staffers have been assigned for the facilitation of the pilgrims.

Born in Lahore, Minhas Justin is a freelance writer and journalist who writes for The Wallet. He is a graduate of Lahore Leads University with BS Honors in Mass Communication. He also holds a diploma in journalism from Beijing-based Renmin University of China. Twitter: @minhasjustin

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