News and Current Affairs

Kartarpur Gurdwara – An Architectural Marvel

Nov 13, 2019

The Kartarpur Corridor was formally inaugurated by PM Imran Khan on 9th November, 2019. This date will be etched in the memories of Sikhs for perpetuity, as Imran Khan effectively bridged the gap between Sikhs and their spiritual leader – Guru Nanak.

By paving the way for an entire religion, Pakistan has achieved a sizable diplomatic victory over India in these turbulent times. It is important to note that Sikhs are not only limited to India, in fact, they are dispersed as far as Northern America. This initiative will project a positive image of Pakistan as a nation which celebrates diversity and inclusion.

Last year, I got the chance to visit the Gurdwara as part of my friend’s thesis project, and it was a spiritual experience. I met the most hospitable and beautiful people, in a place where I least imagined such an encounter. However, what struck me the most was the architecture of the shrine.

The Gurdwara

With that said, let’s talk about the Gurdwara of Guru Nanak, where he settled and preached the message of Sikhism. The site is located in the town of Kartarpur, located in Narowal District, Punjab. It is spread over a vast acre of land to accommodate the pilgrims. Just recently, the government of Pakistan carried out major renovation work on the corridor, and it looks inviting.

The Gurdwara itself is clad in white marble, a true homage to the Mughal design of architecture. What’s remarkable about the shrine, as with all others is the entrance. The shrine has entrances on all four sides. This is to reiterate the Sikh belief that people from across all continents are welcome – regardless of any form of discrimination.

The Dome

The dome, supported by 4 large and 4 small minarets stand tall – adjoined by a veranda. Pilgrims often congregate in the veranda after ritual processions. There were people in tears, little kids kissing the ground, the dome and the walls. It opened my eyes, and made me realize every religion has a devout following – you just need to open your eyes!

Talking about the dome, what I noticed was a golden spear, that added to the splendor to the shrine. Much love to the local Muslims who never deserted Nanak Sahab and his legacy.

Inside The Shrine

At a glance, the structure might look small and compact, but trust me, it could easily accommodate more than 200 people at a time! The walls were inscribed with mural art, and mind-bending scriptures. In the middle, Sikh women singing religious hymns was the most serene music I had head for a long time. It was a once in a lifetime experience.

I think the Kartarpur Corridor will serve the best interests of Pakistan and India and will help to promote peace and harmony between believers of different faith. Let’s hope this beautiful initiative does not fall prey to dirty politics.

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