CHANDIGARH: More than 25,000 Muslims visited the Durbar Sahib Gurdwara in Kartarpur after the Pakistan government permitted its citizens to the holy shrine.
Sources said more than 25,000 Muslims visited Durbar Sahib Gurdwara and the ‘Bridge of Peace’, as the corridor is being called, last week. The Muslim pilgrims could only pay obeisance at the grave of Guru Nanak. Only the portion of the gurdwara complex where the Sikh guru was laid to rest by Muslims is open for members of the community to pay obeisance. They are not allowed inside the ‘Sukhasan’ building where the Guru Granth Sahib is kept.
However, they are allowed to pray near the temple complex. The Muslim visitors paid Rs 200 in Pakistani currency as fee and had to flash a valid identity card before they were allowed inside the temple complex. Sikhs and Hindus from Pakistan, have, however, been exempted from paying this fee.
Sources said as many as 1,462 pilgrims visited the shrine on November 24, the biggest single-day footfall recorded so far. Before November 24, the pilgrims numbered in their hundreds. A total of 562 pilgrims visited Kartarpur Sahib on November 9, the day the corridor on the Indian side was opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On November 10, 11 and 12, the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the pilgrims numbered 229, 122 and 546 respectively.
While the number of Indians taking the trip across the border has seen a steady climb since the Pakistan government opened the Kartarpur corridor, the Indian Army has issued guidelines for its personnel visiting the Sikh shrine.
The Army has advised its jawans to be extra cautious while visiting the shrine across the border, as they would run into Pakistani security personnel and other foreigners.