For whose sake India and Pakistan, warring for many decades, agreed to open their border
For whose sake India and Pakistan, warring for many decades, agreed to open their border

One of the Sikh shrines is the gurudwara (prayer house) Kartarpur Sahib in the Pakistani province of Punjab, the place of death of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak. The province itself was divided into two parts during the division of British India in 1947: the state of Punjab is located in India, and in Pakistan - the province of the same name. For many decades, India and Pakistan were in a state of enmity, survived three wars. Armed clashes constantly arose at the border. Until now, all this has served as an insurmountable obstacle for those who want to visit the temple.

The temple of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Jayanti, is located in Kartarpur, a small town just four kilometers from the border. Where he is supposed to have died. This place is one of the sacred places of the Indian Sikh religion. The shrine is located so close to the Pakistani-Indian border that the four domes of the temple are visible to the Sikhs.

This white-domed building is so enticingly close, and at the same time, unattainably distant. For several decades, due to enmity between states, pilgrims from India could not visit their sacred place.

And now, it happened! So many years later, the Pakistani government opened the Kartarpur Corridor to allow Sikh pilgrims to visit their holy site. The opening of this corridor is certainly an invaluable gift for the entire Sikh community. In addition, such a step will be appreciated all over the world and, no doubt, will significantly improve the image of Pakistan.


In addition to improving the country's image in the international arena, the opening of the Kartarpur corridor is very beneficial for the Pakistani economy. Indeed, according to a government decree, the fee for visa-free visits to shrines for Sikhs will be $ 20. In a year, according to preliminary estimates, this will allow Pakistan to replenish the country's budget by more than $ 36 million.

Opening of the overland visa-free corridor to the Sikh shrine

Hundreds of Indian Sikhs have already made their historic pilgrimage to the Guru Nanak temple. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi commented on the opening of the corridor: “I would like to thank the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, for respecting the traditions of India. I thank him for his assistance in establishing friendly relations between our countries."

Hundreds of Sikhs have already visited the temple of Guru Nanak

“We no longer even hoped that what we had dreamed of for so long would come true! It is simply impossible to believe it!”Said Manis Kaur Wadha, an Indian pilgrim who came to Pakistan. Before these events, he managed to obtain a visa for himself. “Since childhood, our elders have told us many stories about Pakistan. They left here. But we never imagined we could see it all again. It is difficult for me even to describe the feelings I have experienced!”- says the pilgrim.

Inauguration of the Kartarpur Corridor

People on both sides of the border express a timid hope that the corridor is not just an easy thaw between India and Pakistan, but also a guarantee of future strong friendly relations between the countries. “Life is short … Each of us will leave someday … So why not enjoy life and make this world a paradise? I think this wonderful initiative is just the beginning.”Narendra Modi accompanied the first group of pilgrims, and Imran Khan welcomed them to the temple.

The Prime Minister delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the corridor

This landmark event took place a few days before the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak on November 12, an anniversary of immense significance to the global Sikh community.

A line of pilgrims who came to the temple in Kartarpur

Sikhs from all over the world, including some from India who entered through the main border crossing at Wagah after receiving a visa, arrived in Pakistan ahead of the celebration. Pilgrims could be seen preparing for the inauguration of the corridor on both sides of the border. Those who were already in the temple washed their feet and stood in line. Workers laid out dozens of colored pillows that stand out against the white background of the building, and the Pakistani government has hired hundreds of workers to decorate the temple. The Pakistanis have opened a new border checkpoint especially for Sikh pilgrims to cross the border. They built a bridge and expanded the site; some residents of Kartarpur even complained that the government wanted to deceive them, illegally take their land away from them in order to expand the complex. Habib Khan, the 63-year-old imam of a small mosque near Gurdwara, said he fully understands their concerns, but the Sikhs have "every right" to visit their age-old shrine, which for so long has been virtually inaccessible to them. "This land is sacred to them.", - he said.

Guru Nanak preached universal equality, which attracted masses of ordinary people

The Sikh faith dates back to the 15th century. Then, in the Punjab, a region including Kartarpur, which today is divided between India and Pakistan, Guru Nanak began to preach. Nanak strongly opposed caste enmity, caste discrimination and complex religious ritual of the Hindus, as well as against the fanaticism and intolerance of Muslim rulers. The basis of his teaching was the non-recognition of the division of people into castes. The Guru preached the universal equality of people before God. This immediately attracted the peasants to the new doctrine and turned Sikhism into a powerful force.

Guru Nanak

Nanak affirmed the idea of ​​the existence of one God, while recognizing the Hindu doctrine of the transmigration of souls. The religious leader condemned idolatry. Therefore, in Sikh temples there are no sculptural images of people or gods. However, unlike Islam, Sikhism permits the painting of both deities and people for decorative purposes. Statistically, there are about 20,000 Sikhs left in Pakistan. Millions of people fled to India. This massive migration, the largest in human history, was triggered by unprecedented bloody violence. Religious divisions and divisions have resulted in the deaths of more than a million people.

The populations of India and Pakistan welcome the warming in relations between the countries

Today, both the population of both countries and their governments are determined to turn this unsightly page in the history of their relations and build new ones. Free from violence and imposition of religious beliefs If you are interested in this topic, you can read another our article about this.

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