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Old 16th May 2024, 14:34   #1
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Trip through Kartarpur Corridor

Ever since the idea of Kartarpur Corridor was conceived, built and inaugurated, it had created great enthusiasm among people of both countries. Each one with his own interest. Religious minded for pilgrimage to visit the Holy place of the Gurudwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur, Pakistan. Business minded for a little trade and even business meeting with their counterparts in Pakistan. Old ones to rekindle with their roots torn between the boundaries of two countries but same culture. And lastly as a Tour for Visitors. The fact that the Passports are not stamped by Pakistan immigration, gives a little mental relief to Globetrotters to expect no extra screening on Arrival at other countries.
There are many rules set by the two Governments for visiting this Kartarpur which are very well elaborated on various Websites. However, there are a few facts which are not written anywhere except in the minds of those who have gone through this. On this Forum itself, a very well detailed T/L is available ' Pilgrimage to Pakistan' which may be consulted. Many Youtubers have uploaded their videos on net, I share my observations here.

The website by Ministry of Home Affairs https://prakashpurb550.mha.gov.in is very elaborative and includes the Registration Form to apply for visiting Kartarpur Corridor. Though is states a daily intake of 5,000 pilgrims a day, in actual it is only 500 pilgrims a day. Visitors are supposed to apply minimum 15 days in advance from their intended visit. Once a registration form is submitted successfully, enquiries by various security agencies are expected. However, in my case (registered twice on two different dates), no enquiry was done and received my ETA (Electronic Travel Advice) directly.

The only problem in receiving ETA is that it is generally issued a few days before the date of travel leaving very little time to make arrangements. So, it is advised to proceed with all necessary arrangements e.g. Leave, Travel, Lodging, Bookings etc. Though not very clearly instructed, Negative COVID Test report is asked for. Besides this, valid Passport and copy of ETA is required to cross over. Each visitor is allowed a maximum of Indian Rs. 11,000/- which in my opinion, is more than what could be bought at the shops in Kartarpur.

As we drive to the Immigration, there are number of check points where documents are checked. The Security Check at this place is different from any other similar checks prior to International Departures. While there is hardly any luggage involved, the Wallets are searched through each of its pockets. I do not know why but did see some visitors holding International Currency returning back to keep them in their vehicles. Although US $ commands better value at the shops and maybe be carried in the best way it can be concealed.

A brief is given to the visitors explaining what is prohibited from bringing back to India. Pakistan Currency, any Seeds or fruits with Seeds are prohibited. I had seen a YouTube Video where a fanatic devotee shows carrying Soil from the land where our Guru tilled his Fields. It is now prohibited to bring soil from there. (A good move, otherwise, it will be a place 'Below Sea Level' in near future.

As we approach Pakistani Immigration Hall, we are swarmed with Currency Exchange Shops selling Pakistani Currency. Unless one is sure of the amount set for shopping, it is not necessary to exchange currency here. It can be done at the Shopping area too and in actually required amount.

Having shared all above information, I now jump forward to Pictures

Some from the Immigration Departure, Indian Side.

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A short walk between India to Pakistan through Border Gate. Drop off by Indian side Electric Buggy and Picked up by Pakistan side Buggy.

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Pakistan Immigration Building.

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Entrance to the Gurudwara for Visitors from India.

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Signages in Gurudwara Entrance Hall. A briefing is given to Visitors detailing the various parts of the complex.

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Long galleries, immaculately clean

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Last edited by Aditya : 18th May 2024 at 18:14. Reason: Spacing
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Old 16th May 2024, 15:01   #2
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Re: Trip through Kartarpur Corridor

First glimpse of Gurudwara from entrance side.

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Mesmerizing Landscaping in the vicinity of the Gurudwara.

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Some more Pics of the Gurudwara

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Old 16th May 2024, 15:18   #3
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Re: Trip through Kartarpur Corridor

Original Building is constructed of Bricks and Painted White.

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Rear side of Gurudwara

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The place revered by Muslim community considering Baba Nanak as Saint.

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Well and its ancillaries thought to be of the time and used by Guru Nanak Dev ji for tilling his fields

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Dewan Hall - Rooms are constructed, though locked at present. Probably for large congregation of Pilgrims, maybe in future Insha'Allah !

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Walking towards the Fields 'Baba Jee ke Baag' and 'Kheti Sahib' from Gurudwara.

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Last edited by Aditya : 18th May 2024 at 18:16. Reason: Spacing
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Old 16th May 2024, 15:29   #4
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Re: Trip through Kartarpur Corridor

A view of Gurudwara across this commemorative monument

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Walking towards Langar Hall and a Museum containing Paintings related to Sikhism

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Inside Langar Hall

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The Langar Preparation and Services Area

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Old 16th May 2024, 15:47   #5
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Re: Trip through Kartarpur Corridor

A small Walk to the Shops from the Gurudwara. Being similar culturally, the shopping here also, bargaining prevails. The vendors quote price in Pakistani and Indian Currency simultaneously. Any transaction other than in Pakistani currency is handled through an Exchange Shop withing the Shops. Assistant boys of the Shops accompany you to this Exchange house. The Shops deal in mainly Ladies Dresses, Snacks, Dry Fruits, Sweets and Handicrafts. While shopping, ensure to spend entirely in Indian Currency as no leftover Pakistani Currency is allowed to be taken back to India.

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Back towards India - At the Border Gate from Pakistan to India

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Arrival at Indian Immigration Hall

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Monuments outside Immigration Terminal

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That concludes this Trip.

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Old 18th May 2024, 18:20   #6
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Re: Trip through Kartarpur Corridor

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 19th May 2024, 11:43   #7
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Re: Trip through Kartarpur Corridor

Sat Sri Akal.

What a beautiful thread on the holiest of shrines. Thank you for the numerous photographs especially where Sant Guru Nanak ji's flowers & cloth are buried and of course the water wheel.

Would you know who pays for the maintenance and langar etc. - Govt of Pakistan, Govt of India or the Sikh community worldwide.

It is to the credit of the small number of courageous Sikhs who stayed back in 1947 to protect this holiest of shrines that it stands today in such a well maintained form and true to the Sikh religion. Their lives must have been very challenging in the last 75 years. This shrine is roughly 5 kms in Pakistan from the Indian border. Just 5 kms!!! When the colonial rulers/occupiers were carving out the border they paid zero attention to the realities on the ground. Considering that at Partition India was to be the home for Sikhs, Hindus and other religions they could have put this Temple on the Indian side. But they did not.

Jai Guru Nanak Dev ji ki.

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Old 19th May 2024, 12:27   #8
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Re: Trip through Kartarpur Corridor

I have seen lot of videos of Kartarpur corridor on YouTube and I am quite fascinated with this place. Want to go there at least once in my life.
Yeah, Pakistan not stamping the passport is really good.
No YouTube video has covered the place so well. Your pictures are very good and do justice to the beautiful holy place. _/\_
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Old 19th May 2024, 12:38   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Sat Sri Akal.


Would you know who pays for the maintenance and langar etc. - Govt of Pakistan, Govt of India or the Sikh community worldwide.
This information is known only to those on high level. However, we understand $20 charges by Pakistani authorities go towards this maintenance. Initially, daily intake of devotees was 5,000 (as per website) which practically is 500 now.
I am afraid that this difference in feasibility and practical may affect somewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draunzer21 View Post
Your pictures are very good and do justice to the beautiful holy place. _/\_
I use DSLR, and not Mobile Phone. It was so sunny that it was quite difficult to read the settings on the screen.
Thanks for appreciation.

Last edited by Turbanator : 19th May 2024 at 15:33. Reason: Back to back posts merged.
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Old 19th May 2024, 13:38   #10
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Re: Trip through Kartarpur Corridor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amrik Singh View Post
This information is known only to those on high level. However, we understand $20 charges by Pakistani authorities go towards this maintenance. Initially, daily intake of devotees was 5,000 (as per website) which practically is 500 now.
I am afraid that this difference in feasibility and practical may affect somewhere.
Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Sat Sri Akal.

Would you know who pays for the maintenance and langar etc. - Govt of Pakistan, Govt of India or the Sikh community worldwide.
I was under the impression that the Pakistan Sikh Gurudwara PrabandhaK Committee (Pakistan’s version of SGPC) was responsible for the upkeep and langar. Of course, there has to be ample support from the Pakistan Government as well.

Visiting Kartarpur Sahib is a deeply personal experience for all those who trace their roots back to the Undivided Punjab, and is a unique opportunity to interact freely with people from across the border. We should appreciate this rare opportunity and make the most of it while it lasts. More than religious, it was this cultural significance of the place and the experience that stood out for me.

It is a hard fact that bulk of the visitors to Kartarpur Sahib are Pakistani locals, who outnumber devotees from India like 50:1.

Last edited by Shreyans_Jain : 19th May 2024 at 13:39.
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Old 19th May 2024, 15:25   #11
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Re: Trip through Kartarpur Corridor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post

It is a hard fact that bulk of the visitors to Kartarpur Sahib are Pakistani locals, who outnumber devotees from India like 50:1.
I cannot vouch for the statistics you have quoted. There are many changes in the past. In our group, I did not notice anyone to be particularly intrested in meeting any local counterpart, although this is viable. Nor any significant Pakistani visitors. Possibly because of hot summer.
I am not aware if there is any limit on Pakistani visitors similar to a limit on Indian devotees.
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Old 19th May 2024, 15:50   #12
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Re: Trip through Kartarpur Corridor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amrik Singh View Post
I cannot vouch for the statistics you have quoted. There are many changes in the past. In our group, I did not notice anyone to be particularly intrested in meeting any local counterpart, although this is viable. Nor any significant Pakistani visitors. Possibly because of hot summer.
I am not aware if there is any limit on Pakistani visitors similar to a limit on Indian devotees.
Itís not a stat, itís an observation of two visits. This time, we met a guy who lives in the same locality where my grandfather had his ancestral house! Talk about small world. Every single local we interacted with, it was most cordial and warm. Place is a couple of hours out from Lahore, and seems to be fairly popular. Of course, the heat is brutal nowadays and it obviously affects footfall.

There is a lot of hate and xenophobia on both sides, which kind of seeps in at some unconscious level. Still, the fact that there exists a place like Kartarpur, where everyone who is visiting is out of free will, it stands out as a beacon of love, warmth, mutual coexistence and what could have been.
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Old 19th May 2024, 17:00   #13
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Re: Trip through Kartarpur Corridor

I am a Sikh myself, and do greatly respect the religious sentiments of one and all. But if I can share my personal opinion on this 'project' - it was more about scoring diplomatic, political and financial goals. The 'Gurudwara' or this area was lying in a state of utter neglect and in abysmal conditions till about 2000 or so. Thereafter the Pak government to attract NRI donations and sympathies of the Sikh community abroad mooted the idea of building the complex to coincide with some historical event associated with Guru Nanak (i don't remember which event exactly).

Living just some kilometers away, I have very little desire to visit it. I am pretty sure just like SGPC in India, the PSGPC or more correctly the Evacuee trust property board ( a Pak govt. org that has the control over all the donations) would have done its very best to crush the socio-cultural heritage under those big marble structures.

PS: The 'Mazar Sahib' - doesn't it go against the core ethics of Sikhism? The great Guru in his banis has so eloquently explained what is what and yet...

PPS: Mods please feel free to delete the post, it touched a deeply emotional topic on a hot Sunday. Also no disrespect to the OP whatsoever. Infact I am very thankful for sharing the pictures. I have not seen them elsewhere.
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Old 19th May 2024, 17:32   #14
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Re: Trip through Kartarpur Corridor

On external walls of the Gurudwara, above each arch, a quotation from Gurbani is written in Urdu alongwith its explanation. I have photographed each of them besides some other exclusive Urdu signboards (for local visitors) and have read them but not shared.
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Old 20th May 2024, 15:01   #15
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Re: Trip through Kartarpur Corridor

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Originally Posted by Amrik Singh View Post
Initially, daily intake of devotees was 5,000 (as per website) which practically is 500 now.
I'm amazed by this fact. Indians, specially Punjabis and by extension their Pakistani counterparts, are always the go-anywhere kind.

True to form, we see daily throngs visiting the tasteless Wagah ceremony, no heatwave ever deters people from crowding our temples and shrines, but surprisingly, very little interest in this holiest of places.

There was some reservation by GoI earlier for freely allowing visitors which could have explained the lack of interest, but I dont think anything like that exists anymore.

Is it cumbersome to make the pilgrimage? Well, no amount of arcane tickets, fees and tokens deters the faithful from visiting Tirumala - or the Haj, so what gives?

Curious. That is all I can come up with.
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