The Hush Post | 17:05 | Two-minute read
A 500-year-old gurudwara in Sialkot in Pakistan’s Punjab province has now opened its door to Indian Sikh pilgrims.
According to a media report on Monday, Punjab Governor Muhammad Sarwar has directed the province’s Auqaf department to include Sikh pilgrims from India to the list, so that they can visit the Sialkot gurudwara.
Earlier, Indians were not allowed to visit the Babe-de-Ber gurudwara which is situated in Sialkot city, about 140 km from Lahore. On the other hand, pilgrims from Pakistan, Europe, Canada and the US were allowed to visit the gurudwara.
Several religious sites in Pakistan’s Punjab province are frequented by Sikhs from several countries, including India.
Thousands of Indian Sikh devotees visit Pakistan every year on the birth and death anniversaries of Guru Nanak, the Baisakhi festival and the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
According to the Sikh tradition, when Guru Nanak arrived in Sialkot from Kashmir in the 16th century, he stayed under the tree of Beri. Sardar Natha Singh then built a gurudwara in his remembrance at the site.
In November 2018, India and Pakistan agreed to set up a border crossing linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur to Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district.
The Kartarpur corridor is expected to provide visa-free access to Indian Sikh pilgrims to the gurudwara in Kartarpur Sahib- a small town in Narowal, 4 km from the Pakistan-India border, where Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life.
Pakistan will build the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurudwara Darbar Shaib in Kartarpur, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur up to border will be constructed by India.