The much-awaited historic pilgrimage to Sri Kartarpur Sahib began on 9 November with hundreds of Sikhs from India crossing the India-Pakistan border and visiting the Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan through the Kartarpur Corridor.
The Kartarpur Corridor is a safe passageway between two gurdwaras in the two Punjabs – Dera Baba Nanak in India and Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan.
Gurdwara Dera Baba Nanak is about 1 km from the Indo-Pakistan border and on the east bank of river Ravi in India.
Where is Kartarpur?
Kartarpur is a town located at Shakargarh tehsil in Narowal district of Punjab in Pakistan. It’s on the west bank of river Ravi in Pakistan and is where Guru Nanak Dev spent last 18 years of his life.
Where’s Sri Kartarpur Sahib located?
Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib is situated in the abovementioned Narowal district in Pakistan, about 4.5 km from the international border. On the other side, the historic town of Dera Baba Nanak, Gurdaspur district, Punjab is about 1 km from the Indo- Pakistan border.
The Indian part of Dera Baba Nanak, Sri Kartarpur Sahib Corridor involves a 4.1 km-long four-lane highway from Dera Baba Nanak to the international border and a Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) at the international border. The followers of Guru Nanak built the town and named it Dera Baba Nanak after their great ancestor
What makes Sri Kartarpur Sahib so special?
Kartarpur marks the most significant phase in the life of Guru Nanak Dev – the founder of Sikhism and first of the ten gurus of the sect. It’s here on the banks of river Ravi that he laid the foundations of a new faith. He came to this town between 1520 and 1522 and spent the last 18 years of his life.
It’s at Kartarpur, Guru Nanak 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.
How to apply for the pilgrimage to Kartarpur Sahib?
• Applicant must have a valid Indian passport.
• Log on to https://prakashpurb550.mha.gov.in on computer or laptop with Acrobat Reader software. In case you don’t have the software, the facility can be availed on the official website of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) (link given).
• The site has separate online forms for Indian citizens and OCI (Overseas Citizens of India) cardholders.
• The e-form needs to be filled and submitted online for registration.
• There is no registration fee for online application for travel.
• Registration does not confer a right to travel.
• A copy of both the Passport and Aadhar card is required with the form.
• Details of passport number, date of expiry, date of birth, Aadhar number, residential address, etc need to be furnished, along with scanned copies of these documents. (Scanned copies should be uploaded using Acrobat Reader software.)
• A scanned copy of recent passport size photo to be uploaded.
• Police verification of these documents is required. Once the form is submitted online, a local police team will visit the applicant’s place and verify the documents.
• The applicant shall have to sign a statement undertaking that he/she wants to go to Pakistan to pay obeisance at Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara.
Approval for the journey
Four days before the date of the journey, the applicant will get an SMS on the registered mobile number with a registration number. The registration number along with passport details will be needed to download an Electronic Travel Approval (ETA). A print out of ETA will be required for the journey.
Approval by Pakistan immigration
Pakistan authorities don’t stamp the passport. They issue a green and yellow coloured permit as soon as one reaches their immigration terminal. They stamp that permit. The stamped part of the permit is to be returned to them once the pilgrim reaches their immigration terminal after finishing the journey.
The Indian side of the immigration terminal will stamp the ETA. The stamped ETA will have to be returned to the Indian side after completion of the journey.
How to reach your destination?
After reaching Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur (Punjab), where a Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) has been set up, one shall have to report to immigration kiosk with documents. Pilgrims should report PTB not later than10 am and they should report back before 5 pm the same day. There is no place to stay at Dera Baba Nanak, so one should reach Amritsar a day before.
Pilgrims are taken to International Border by e-rickshaw. After crossing the Pakistan gate, they will be taken to Pakistan’s immigration terminal by e-rickshaw and shuttles.
Number of pilgrims allowed
As many as 5000 pilgrims on a normal day and 10,000 on special days like Guru Purab are allowed. Pilgrims are allowed only to pay obeisance at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. They can’t go elsewhere.
Instruction for the pilgrims: Dos and Don’ts
• Eco-friendly material, preferably cloth bags should be used & surroundings should be kept clean.
• Currency as per RBI regulations must be followed.
• Only one baggage up to 7 kg weight including drinking water may be carried.
• Indian currency up to Rs 11,000 is allowed and one can exchange currency at Pakistan immigration terminal up to Rs 1600.
• Do not carry any item like firearms, explosives, narcotic drugs, counterfeit currency, satellite phone, etc as given in the negative list mentioned in the website meant for registration.
• Smoking, drinking and use of tobacco are not allowed inside PTB Complex.
• Do not touch any unattended article. Inform about anything suspicious to the authorities.
• Playing loud music and photographing others without permission may not be done.
Caveat: Pilgrimage fee
No pilgrimage fee has been mentioned on the official website. Registration is free. However, there was news about $20 fee being charged by Pakistan authorities initially, but there’s no clarification on this.
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Updated Date: Nov 19, 2019 14:21:09 IST