There are no other words to describe it other than “mind-blowing”. While traveling in Punjab recently, a friend told us he would take us to a very special place IF we had about 3 hours to spare. When I hear the word “special”, I automatically jump with joy (yep, I am crazy that way). So, after wrapping up our Amritsar trip, we headed towards the Kartarpur Corridor.
Where is Kartarpur and why is it special?
Kartarpur is a town located in Pakistan, about 4 kms from the Indian border near Dera Baba Nanak. It is believed that Guru Nanak, the first guru of Sikhism established the first Sikh commune there. It is also believed that he spent his last days there. It is a very important holy site for followers of the Sikh religion. Unfortunately, we were not aware of the history till that morning. Currently, anyone who wants to visit the Kartarpur Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in person has to obtain a visa and travel by road to Kartarpur via Lahore in Pakistan.
Kartarpur Corridor is an unique joint India-Pakistan project that is currently under construction. When completed, it will allow Sikh pilgrims (conditions apply) to travel directly from Dera Baba Nanak to Kartarpur instead of taking a detour via Lahore in Pakistan. As this project is still underway, a lot of operational details are not known.
Reaching Kartarpur Corridor and Dera Baba Nanak
After wrapping up our Golden Temple trip in Amritsar, we headed towards Dera Baba Nanak. Along the way we saw beautiful fields (they seriously look as vibrant as the fields they show in Bollywood movies : )). Due to the several construction detours, we reached Dera Baba Nanak after about 1 1/2 hours. We first headed towards the corridor which is about 2 kms from Dera Baba Nanak at a place called Darshan Sthal. Currently, while the Kartarpur corridor is under construction, this is the place to go to view the famous Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur on the Pakistani side. Once you reach this area, you can view the Gurudwara via a telescope that is aimed directly at the building on the other side (4 kms inside Pakistan). It was truly unbelievable! There are no words to describe the feeling one gets as you stand close to the border looking 4 kms into another country to get a glimpse of the Gurudwara located at the place where the founder of the Sikh religion spent is final days. Amazing!
Next, we spent some time at Baba Sidh Sahib Gurudwara located there before heading to Dera Baba Nanak
Dera Baba Nanak
There is a lovely Gurudwara at Dera Baba Nanak that you can visit as well. It is currently under renovation but the work done so far makes the place look amazing. This place also has a special connection with Guru Nanak ji. Currently, you can visit the sacred tank, the sacred well and the area where the Guru Granth Sahib is kept. It was lovely.
After a very satisfying visit, we left the area and headed back to Amritsar where we had a late lunch and then headed to the airport to catch a plane to our next destination.
I am looking forward to seeing the successful completion of the corridor. However, I am not sure if the Kartarpur Gurudwara will remain visible from the Indian side if that entire area develops within Pakistan (right now it is just fields).
One day, I hope to revisit the area and experience the changes first hand. I hope by then they will allow others (i.e. non-followers of Sikh religion) also visit the Gurudwara on the other side. Till then I will continue to treasure these memories : )