Time-travelling, on the corridor to Kartarpur shrine

The history of Sikhism and Punjab is closely tied to the gurudwara which houses a rare, original copy of the holy Granth Sahib As they sat down to the ‘Guru ka Langar’ or community meal at the Kartarpur shrine after attending the ground-breaking ceremony for the Kartarpur corridor, conducted by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Indian Ministers earlier this week, Sikh pilgrims from India were served more than just a hot meal. The concept of the organised langar , which became a precept of the Sikh faith, was started very near where they sat on the banks of the Ravi, believed to have been instituted by the founder of the Sikh faith Guru Nanak himself. Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life at Kartarpur before his demise in 1539. The present gurudwara was rebuilt in 1925 at a slight distance from the original after it was damaged by floods on two occasions. And it was Raja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, grandfather of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who paid the Rs. 1,35,000 for the reconstruction. Historians say that while the Kartarpur shrine is now in the limelight for presenting an opportunity for engagement between India and Pakistan at a time when there is no dialogue process between them, the corridor to link the shrine to the Indian border just four kilometres away will also focus a much needed spotlight on the history of the shrine itself. “Kartarpur has not been on the radar as much for Sikh pilgrims,” explains Lahore-based Pakistani Art historian and author Fakir Syed Aijazuddin. “It will be good if the corridor brings back that focus, and an understanding of the history the shrine represents.” In particular, says Mr. Aijazuddin, the shrine is the repository of one of the last copies of the original Guru Granth Sahib, which was first described in detail in 1860, three centuries after Guru Nanak died.

Source  :  https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/time-travelling-on-the-corridor-to-kartarpur-shrine/article25645822.ece

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