NAROWAL: The festivities of the Baisakhi Mela have begun at the revered Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, drawing thousands of Sikhs from across the globe, including India.

The occasion saw 2,475 Sikh pilgrims, arriving from India via the Wagah border. Indian Sikh pilgrims arrived in Narowal by a train from Lahore, marking a historic first.

They were greeted by a warm reception, led by Sardar Anderjeet Singh, a member of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, along with Deputy Commissioner Syed Hasan Raza and representatives from Anjuman Shahriyan and traders.

The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee welcomed the guests with bouquets and garlands, while the Interfaith Harmony Organisation showered them with floral greetings.

Refreshments were served, and arrangements for transportation to the Gurdwara were organised.

Security measures were implemented along the 17-kilometre route from Narowal railway station to Kartarpur. The festivities will continue for three days.

Sikh pilgrims utilising the Kartarpur corridor are not allowed overnight stay as they are to take up return journeys to India before 5pm. Meanwhile, arrangements for accommodation, meal and religious observances have been meticulously prepared at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur.

Pilgrims thanked Pakistan for extending warm hospitality and ensuring their comfort throughout their visit. They also danced bhangra in the joy of Baisakhi Mela at the Narowal railway station.

Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz is expected to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib on Thursday (today).

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2024

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