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Interfaith Harmony: Indian Sikhs Allowed to Visit 500-Yr-Old Gurdwara in Sialkot

The initiative forms part of the new government’s focus on religious tourism and road to peace.

DESPARDES — A 500-year-old gurdwara in Sialkot has been opened for Indian Sikhs following opening of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur – the final resting place of Guru Nanak.

Every year, thousands of Sikh devotees visit Pakistan on the birth and death anniversaries of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism– mostly from India, Europe, Canada and the US.

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 gurdwara in his remembrance at the site.

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In November 2018, Pakistan set up a border crossing linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur – the final resting place of Guru Nanak – to Dera Baba Nanak in Indian Punjab’s Gurdaspur district.

The Kartarpur corridor will provide visa-free access to Indian Sikh pilgrims to the gurdwara in Kartarpur Sahib, a small town in Narowal, four kilometers from the Pakistan-India border, where Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life.

The PTI-led government will build the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur up to the border will be constructed by India.

The initiative forms part of the new government’s focus on religious tourism and road to peace.