Email

In pictures: Spruced up Gurdwara Darbar Sahib set to welcome Sikh pilgrims from around the world

The first group of Sikh pilgrims will be welcomed by Prime Minister Imran Khan when the corridor opens tomorrow.
Updated Nov 09, 2019 11:55am

Sikhs from across the world are giddy with anticipation days ahead of the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor, which will allow pilgrims to cross from India into Pakistan to visit one of the religion's holiest sites.

In this picture taken on November 6, Pakistani security officials (R) and Sikh pilgrims walk in front of the Shrine of Baba Guru Nanak Dev at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib ahead of its opening, in Kartarpur. — AFP
In this picture taken on November 6, Pakistani security officials (R) and Sikh pilgrims walk in front of the Shrine of Baba Guru Nanak Dev at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib ahead of its opening, in Kartarpur. — AFP

The Kartapur Corridor will be opened on Saturday. — Photo provided by Adnan Sheikh
The Kartapur Corridor will be opened on Saturday. — Photo provided by Adnan Sheikh

The first group of Sikh pilgrims will be welcomed by Prime Minister Imran Khan when the corridor opens on Saturday. — Photo provided by Adnan Sheikh
The first group of Sikh pilgrims will be welcomed by Prime Minister Imran Khan when the corridor opens on Saturday. — Photo provided by Adnan Sheikh

In this picture taken on November 6, a worker walks in front of the Shrine of Baba Guru Nanak Dev at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib ahead of its opening in Kartarpur. — AFP
In this picture taken on November 6, a worker walks in front of the Shrine of Baba Guru Nanak Dev at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib ahead of its opening in Kartarpur. — AFP

The first group of Sikh pilgrims will be welcomed by Prime Minister Imran Khan when the corridor opens on Saturday at the shrine marking the grave of Sikhism's founder Guru Nanak Dev at Kartarpur, just four kilometres from the border.

“They are very excited,” custodian of the Kartarpur shrine Ramash Singh Arora told AFP on Thursday, saying he hoped the initiative would pave the way for similar access to other Sikh sites in Pakistan in the future.

“If you look at the history, the foundation of Sikhism is from Pakistan.”

Buses outside the Shrine of Baba Guru Nanak Dev at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. — Photo provided by Adnan Sheikh
Buses outside the Shrine of Baba Guru Nanak Dev at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. — Photo provided by Adnan Sheikh

A policeman keeps vigil outside the shrine in Nankana Sahib, some 75 km west of Lahore on November 7. — AFP
A policeman keeps vigil outside the shrine in Nankana Sahib, some 75 km west of Lahore on November 7. — AFP

Sikh pilgrims pray as they take part in a ritual procession at a shrine in Nankana Sahib, some 75 km west of Lahore, on November 7. — AFP
Sikh pilgrims pray as they take part in a ritual procession at a shrine in Nankana Sahib, some 75 km west of Lahore, on November 7. — AFP

In the months leading up to the opening, Pakistan employed hundreds of labourers to spruce up the shrine, including building a border immigration checkpoint and a bridge, as well as expanding the site's grounds.

The opening comes just days ahead of Guru Nanak's 550th birthday on November 12, which is marked with celebrations by millions of Sikhs around the world.

In this picture taken on November 6, workers clean the floor at the Shrine of Baba Guru Nanak Dev at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, ahead of its opening in Kartarpur. — AFP
In this picture taken on November 6, workers clean the floor at the Shrine of Baba Guru Nanak Dev at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, ahead of its opening in Kartarpur. — AFP

In this picture taken on November 6, workers shine a floor at the Shrine of Baba Guru Nanak Dev at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, ahead of its opening in Kartarpur. — AFP
In this picture taken on November 6, workers shine a floor at the Shrine of Baba Guru Nanak Dev at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, ahead of its opening in Kartarpur. — AFP

Sikh pilgrims prepare food for devotees at a shrine in Nankana Sahib, some 75 km west of Lahore, on November 7. — AFP
Sikh pilgrims prepare food for devotees at a shrine in Nankana Sahib, some 75 km west of Lahore, on November 7. — AFP

The opening comes just days ahead of Guru Nanak's 550th birthday on November 12, which is marked with celebrations by millions of Sikhs around the world.

“For over 70 years, pilgrims haven't had the chance to cross over, to come over, and that is just... it's just... it's going to be a really emotional moment,” said Karan Deep Singh, a pilgrim from Malaysia.

Sikh pilgrims prepare bread for devotees at a shrine in Nankana Sahib, some 75 km west of Lahore, on November 7. — AFP
Sikh pilgrims prepare bread for devotees at a shrine in Nankana Sahib, some 75 km west of Lahore, on November 7. — AFP

Sikh pilgrims visit the shrine in Nankana Sahib, some 75 km west of Lahore, on November 7. — AFP
Sikh pilgrims visit the shrine in Nankana Sahib, some 75 km west of Lahore, on November 7. — AFP

Sikh pilgrims have their lunch at a shrine in Nankana Sahib, some 75 km west of Lahore, on November 7. — AFP
Sikh pilgrims have their lunch at a shrine in Nankana Sahib, some 75 km west of Lahore, on November 7. — AFP

In this picture taken on November 6, Sikh pilgrims take selfies in front of the Shrine of Baba Guru Nanak Dev at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib ahead of its opening, in Kartarpur. — AFP
In this picture taken on November 6, Sikh pilgrims take selfies in front of the Shrine of Baba Guru Nanak Dev at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib ahead of its opening, in Kartarpur. — AFP