Sikh pilgrims from India have come to Pakistan to celebrate the birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak

On Sunday, a significant assembly of nearly 3,000 Sikh pilgrims arrived in Lahore from India via the Wagah Border to partake in the festivities commemorating the 554th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the revered founder of Sikhism.

For the Sikh community, Pakistan holds special significance as the birthplace of their religion, with Guru Nanak born in 1469 in Nankana Sahib, a village near Lahore. The white-domed shrine in Kartarpur, just four kilometers inside Pakistan, is particularly revered as the site where Guru Nanak is believed to have passed away.

The inauguration of a border crossing in November 2019 marked a historic moment of collaboration between India and Pakistan, allowing visa-free access from India to Kartarpur. This breakthrough, amid the often tense relationship between the two nuclear-armed nations, facilitated pilgrimages for Sikhs to their sacred sites.

During their 10-day stay in Pakistan, the Sikh pilgrims have planned visits to various holy sites, including Gurdwara Janamasthan Nankana Sahib, Gurdwara Punja Sahib Hassanabdal, Gurudwara Sacha Sauda, Gurdwara Dera Sahib Lahore, Gurudwara Rohri Sahib Aimenabad, and Gurudwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur Narowal. The main ceremony is scheduled at Janam Asthan Nankana Sahib on Monday.

Sikhism, originating in the 15th century in the Punjab region, now spanning India and Pakistan, is characterized by Guru Nanak’s teachings emphasizing equality. Following the religious violence triggered by the partition in 1947, millions of Sikhs migrated to India, leaving an estimated 20,000 Sikhs in Pakistan today. The pilgrimage and celebrations stand as a testament to the enduring cultural and religious ties between the Sikh community and the historical roots of their faith in Pakistan.

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