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God is everywhere and he never leaves us. Yet he is sometimes present and sometimes absent in our lives. And for people who feel this absence of the almighty, going places to find his godly teachings becomes imperative. This is the reason so many temples and places of worship have been founded in this world. If you believe that you can find God anywhere and you don’t need to go to a place of worship, ask yourself these questions-
Why do you find immense inner peace amidst the walls of a temple? Why do you love that fragrance of incense and flowers coming from a place of worship against the deity of God? Why do you start believing in yourself once you enter a divine place? Why do you feel that sudden change of motion from negative to optimistic on seeing a huge diety of your beloved God? We surely made you ride a spiritual wave right? Well, that was our purpose.
In this piece of writing, we shall portray a perfect instance of how far people go to find the ultimate doctrinal in a holy place. To reach here, you have to cross borders, go through official documentation, face strict security protocols and have totake a ride with army professionals. Brace yourselves as we take you on a joyful and spiritual ride to Kartaripur Gurudwara Sahib.
The inception of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor
Amidst a time of escalated tensions with our Islamic neighboring country Pakistan, a ray of hope was seen on November 28th, 2018. The corridor’s first foundation brick was kept by Imran Khan on November 28, from Pakistan’s side while the same was done by our honorable President Ram Nath Govind on November 26th, 2018.
A year later on November 9th, 2019, the day witnessed anaccord in the power of divinity with the opening up of the Kartarpur Corridor by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. With just a few days to the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the timing was just perfect. We know what you are thinking. What is so amusing about the opening of a Gurudwara Sahib in Pakistan? We would never be able to visit it right? This is where the story of coming close of two nations through a spiritual corridor begins.
Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara- sacred steps to follow
Before dwelling into the interconnecting Corridor, we shall take a small glimpse at the grandeur of Kartarpur Gurudwara Sahib. The shrine is located near the holy river of Ravi in Pakistan. It lies only 4 km away from Dera Nanak in Punjab, India and is 120kms away from the city of Lahore. It is believed that the first Guru of the Sikh religion spent their last days in this Gurudwara, living forthe last 18 years here.
The place is the second holiest spot in the entire Sikh religion, after Gurudwara Janam Asthan, the birthplace of Guri Nanak Dev.It is believed that Shiri Guru Nanak Dev took his last breath in 1539 at this blessed place.
Facts, figures and beyond
There are several bewildering facts related to Kartarpur Sahib. For a start, believe that the shrine can be seen from India without crossing the border. Yes, the Gurudwara which is only 4 kms away from the border is regularly observed from telescopes and Bianauculars from India. The devoutness of the people is further respected by the Government authorities of Pakistan. This is evident as the elephant grass that lies in the lands between is regularly trimmed so that the devotees can enjoy a clear view.
The main location of Gurudwara is a result of the 1947 partition. During that time, the Redcliff line that divided the nations into two parts, resulted in Gurdaspur coming into the lands of India and Shakargarhgoing to the Pakistan area. The Kartarpur Sahib was located in Shakargarh and hence, it would be situated across the Indian borders.
Even after the partition, the government maintained the holy place’s conscientiousness through dedicated efforts. The devotees used to come here from Dera Nanak by crossing the bridge at the Ravi river. This religious travel was short-lived as the bridge was demolished in 1965 during the war between two countries.
After that, there have been plenty of efforts from the All-Sikh Akali dal, where the leaders urged the Indian government to take back both the prime Gurudwaras into the Indian Punjab area. However, there were no results of such demands as the disputed lands had to face harsh circumstances if divided. Adding to the irony is the fact that Kartarpur Sahib was left unnoticed and remained undeveloped till the year 2003. It was after that time that Pakistan finally started to rebuild the Gurudwara, taking the charge of its reconstruction.
Ways to reach
Earlier, pilgrims used to travel to Lahore city first, and then they had to travel 125 km further back to visit the Gurudwara. Earlier, you needed to go through strict and regular immigration procedures. Needless to say, all sorts of documents including a passport and travel Visa was required.
As of now, with the recent developments, the process of visiting the shrine has been made fairly easier by the government of both countries. You need to fill in an application on the official online portal. If your documents are valid and liable, you will be granted permission to visit the Gurudwara. You will be sent an Electronic Travel Authorization whose copy will be submitted on the Dera Baba Nanak immigration check post. You will be transported by the Pakistan Army to the Gurudwara through the newly opened corridor and will be carried back in the same manner.
Kartarpur Gurudwara Sahib- A beautiful feast of Hindu-Sikh and Muslim unity
The shrine is not just important in terms of history but also features a beautiful dance of cultural amalgamation. You can see Muslim people sharing their bit in offering services at the Gurudwara. Infact, the Pakistani Army can be seen collecting wood for the free feast that occurs now and then in the shrine, also called Langar in the common language.
This is a place that unites all religions, not just Hindus and Muslims. The large spread of marble floor enables you to enjoy the serenity of this beautiful place. On the other hand, the holy spots will make you feel like you have had a vision ofGuru Nanak himself.
It is said that Guru Nanak Dev spent the last of his days in Kartarpur Sahib. After his demise, the body vanished and there were only flowers left in the place where the body was kept. These flowers were then burnt as per the religious rituals of Hinduism.
Another beautiful thing is that this is the only Gurudwara that has both shrines as well as Mazar of Guru Nanak. This signifies that Muslims are also keen on preserving the pious aspects and might of the Guru of Sikhism.
Then there is thisastounding tale is of an unexploded missile bomb which can be seen encased in this Gurudwara. It is believed that during this war, the bomb failed to explode, portraying the power and impact of Guru Nanak Dev in this particular spot of the world. To date, it remains unexploded and is a popular sign of peace in this place.
Should you visit?
If you want to witness a common tourist spot, crowds from all around the world, a variety of markets to shop, eateries to try out new food, then this is not the place for you. However, if you want to witness how an enshrined tomb can unite countries, how people from all religions believe in the power of one God, how you can feel the air of the holy spirit touching lives and how religion is respected by everyone, this is the perfect next go-to destination.
With the process of visiting made easier now, you can vouch for the application and make a travel tour from Punjab.
Who knows you might discover much more in Kartaprur Sahib-may be the original you which was lost in this speedy race of life.Add to favorites