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Four Things to Know Before Visiting Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib from Lahore

Photo of Kartarpur Sahib while under renovation in 2019.

Note:This blog post is intended for NRI Sikh Yatrees visiting Kartarpur Sahib from the Pakistan side.

Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib marks the location where Guru Nanak spent the last eighteen years of his life until he passed away in 1539. It is one of the major Sikh sites in Pakistan alongside Gurdwara Janam Asthan at Nankana Sahib, Gurdwara Panja Sahib and Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore. We include Kartarpur Sahib in all of our tours. Here are four things you should keep in mind when planning to visit: 1. Prepare to have your passport, visa and entry fees with you. Kartarpur Sahib's unique status as accessible to pilgrims from both India and Pakistan means visitors need to go through an additional level of security. Your passports and visas will be checked. As of February 2024, international visitors entering from Pakistan are required to pay PKR Rs. 1500 per person as entry fees. 2. Security may or may not allow you to carry your water and eatables inside. There have been times when we had groups take their water and snacks inside without any trouble, and other times when each item is inspected and all food items and water prohibited inside. This can become a problem when you are particular about what water you drink (as you should be when you are an overseas visitor to South Asia). This is even more relevant if you're planning to spend the night there.

3. Depending on where you are staying in Lahore, it takes about three hours to reach Kartarpur Sahib one way. There are no clean rest rooms or decent restaurants on the way. The road passes through a predominantly rural region with some major towns like Narowal. For bigger groups we book one of the marriage halls for convenience. If you're with a small group or on your own, avoid using the rest rooms at petrol pumps/gas stations unless it's an emergency. 4. It's absolutely worth it to spend the night at Kartarpur Sahib. The infrastructure and quality of accommodation at Kartarpur Sahib is newer and better (remember it's all relative!) than all other Gurdwaras in Pakistan. With very limited numbers of local Sangat - and visitors from India and Pakistan leaving by 5 pm, in the evenings and night time you will practically have the entire space to yourself. This can be a very unique and once in a lifetime experience. Keep in mind that only Sikh and Hindu Yatrees can stay the night at the Gurdwara. If you're with a local Muslim tour operator or guide, they will have to make independent arrangements. I hope you found this information useful. Wishing you a pleasant and fulfilling journey to Kartarpur Sahib! Jahandad

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