The doors of a 500-year-old gurdwara in Sialkot in Pakistan’s Punjab province have now been opened to Indian Sikh pilgrims, according to a recent media report.
According to The Express Tribune, Indians were not allowed to visit the Babe-de-Ber gurdwara. But pilgrims from Pakistan, Europe, Canada, and the US were allowed to visit the gurdwara. It is one several religious sites in Punjab that are visited by Sikh pilgrims from around the world.
Muhammad Sarwar, Punjab’s Governor, instructed the province’s Auqaf Department to allow Sikh pilgrams from India visit the gurdwara in Sialkot.
Thousands of Sikh devotees visit Pakistan on pilgrimages to commemorate the birth and death anniversaries of Guru Nanak (the founder of Sikhism and the first of the 10 Gurus), the martyrdom of Guruwar Jin Devji, the Besakhi festival, and the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
It is believed by Sikhs that when Guru Nanak arrived in Sialkot from Kashmir in the 16th Century, he stayed under a beri tree. The gurdwara in Sialkot was built at this site by Sardar Natha Singh in order to remember Guru Nank.
A border crossing that links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib (the final resting place of Guru Nanak) in Pakistan’s Kartarpur to Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district was set up by both India and Pakistan in November 2018.
It is anticipated that the Kartarpur Corridor will provide visa-free access to Sikh pilgrims from India to the gurdwara in Katarpur Sahib. Katarpur Sahib is a small town in Narowal, about four km from the Pakistan-India border, where Guru Nank spent the last 18 years of his life.
Both countries will construct this corridor from their respective sides. Pakistan will construct the corridor from the India border to the Gudwara Dabar Sahib in Kartarpur, and India will build the part from Derba Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur to the border.
Originally Published by: National Herald India
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