500-year-old Gurudwara in Pak’s Punjab province opens doors for Indian Sikh pilgrims
A 500-YEAR-OLD Gurudwara in Sialkot in Pakistan’s Punjab province has now opened its doors for Indian Sikh pilgrims, a media report said on Monday. Earlier, Indians were not allowed to visit the Babe-de-Ber Gurudwara which is situated in Sialkot city, about 140 kms from here, ‘The Express Tribune’ reported. Several religious sites in Punjab are frequented by Sikhs from several countries including India. Pilgrims from Pakistan, Europe, Canada and the US were allowed to visit the Gurudwara.
Punjab Governor Muhammad Sarwar directed the province’s Auqaf department to include Sikh pilgrims from India to the list, so they can visit the Sialkot Gurudwara, the report said. Every year, thousands of Indian Sikh devotees visit Pakistan on the birth and death anniversaries of Guru Nanak -- the founder of Sikhism and the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus -- the martyrdom of Guruwar Jin Devji and the Besakhi festival and the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
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 Gurudwara in his remembrance at the site, the report added. In November 2018, India and Pakistan agreed to set up a border crossing linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur - the final resting place of Guru Nanak - to Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district. The Kartarpur corridor is expected to provide visa-free access to Indian Sikh pilgrims to the Gurudwara in Kartarpur Sahib — a small town in Narowal.