What is Kartarpur Corridor?
India and Pakistan are not friendly neighbours. There’s always tension across the border. But there are times of peace and harmony too. And Kartarpur Corridor is trying to achieve just that. Let’s read what it is all about…
India and Pakistan have signed a deal that will allow pilgrims from India to visit one of Sikhism’s holiest shrines in Pakistan without a visa.
The Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistani Punjab is built where the Guru Nanak assembled a Sikh community and lived for 18 years until his death in 1539.
It is about four km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine, and about 120 km northeast of Lahore.
Now the Kartarpur Corridor which would be open to pilgrims from this month would allow Indians to visit this holy shrine without a visa but with a fee of $20.
The gurdwara was opened to pilgrims after repairs and restoration in 1999, and Sikh jathas have been visiting the shrine regularly ever since.
The Indian and Pakistani governments signed a deal last year to build this corridor which starts at Indian border and opens directly near the Gurudwara.
India built the corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district to the International Border.
The bridge is constructed on river Ravi, one of the holy rivers of Punjab.
The visitors must apply online for a permit, which will then need to be approved by both India and Pakistan.
Sikh jathas from India travel to Pakistan on four occasions every year- for Baisakhi, the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev, the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev.
India had first proposed the Kartarpur Sahib corridor in 1999 when the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee took a bus ride to Lahore.