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Explained: The procedure to travel to Kartarpur Sahib

How can one apply for pilgrimage to Kartarpur Sahib? The Indian Express explains the process.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Updated: November 13, 2019 6:57:17 am
Explained: The procedure to travel to Kartarpur Sahib A picture of a gallery at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur also called Kartarpur Sahib that was posted by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on his twitter account on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. (Twitter/PTI Photo) 

Even since the Kartarpur Corridor was thrown open on November 9, there has been a lot of confusion among pilgrims regarding paperwork and online forms that are to be submitted if they want to visit Kartarpur Sahib. On Sunday, many devotees were turned away due to various reasons. The Indian Express explains the process:

How can one apply for pilgrimage to Kartarpur Sahib?

One has to log on to https://prakashpurb550.mha.gov.in. The site has separate online forms for Indian citizens as well as OCI (Overseas Citizens of India) card-holders. The e-form is to be filled and submitted online for registration.

What documents are required for applying?

A copy each of passport and Aadhar card are required to fill the form. For OCI card-holders, the OCI card number is required. One has to provide details like passport number, date of expiry, date of birth, Aadhaar number, residential address etc. The registration application also requires scanned copies of these documents. The form and scanned copies of these documents are to be uploaded using Acrobat Reader software, which should be installed on the computer. A scanned copy of a recent passport size picture is also required.

How does one select a date of journey?

The website reflects dates which are available for the journey, which can be selected as per convenience.

Read | Explained: The importance of Kartarpur in the Sikh religion

What are the other formalities after uploading the form?

A police verification. A police team of the relevant city will reach the applicant’s address and get copies of these documents soon after the applicant submits the form. The applicant will also be asked to sign a statement that he/she wants to go to Pakistan only to pay obeisance at Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara.

When will the applicant know he/she has got approval?

Four days prior to the date of the journey, the applicant will get a SMS on his/her registered mobile number with a registration number. The number alongwith passport details will be needed to download an Electronic Travel Approval (ETA). A print out of ETA will be required for the journey.

Is a passport needed to travel?

As of now, yes. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had stated that he had waived off the passport condition. However, for that to be official, both governments need to sit together and make a change in the bilateral agreement that had made the passport mandatory. Once it is done on paper, the passport will not be required.

Will the passport be stamped by Pakistan immigration ?

No. They do not stamp the passport. They issue a green and yellow coloured permit as soon as one reaches their immigration terminal. They stamp that permit. The stamped part of the permit is to be returned to them once the pilgrim reach their immigration terminal after finishing the journey. The Indian side of immigration terminal will stamp the ETA. The stamped ETA will have to be returned to Indian side after completion of the journey.

A man taking a selfie front of Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara. (Express photo by Neeraj Priyadarshi)

Where does one cross over?

One has to reach Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur where a Passenger Terminal Building has been set up. One will have to report to immigration kiosks with the documents. Pilgrims are asked to report at the PTB not later than 10 am. As per the bilateral agreement, they are required to report back at PTB before 5 pm the same day. It is advisable to reach Amritsar a day prior to the journey. There are no place for stay at Dera Baba Nanak yet.

How many pilgrims are allowed everyday? Where all can one visit in Pakistan?

As many as 5,000 pilgrims on a normal day and 10,000 pilgrims on special days like Gurpurab. Pilgrims are allowed only to pay obeisance at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. They cannot go anywhere else.

What after clearing the immigration desk?

Pilgrims will be taken in e-rickshaws till the international border. After crossing the Pakistan gate, they will be taken to their immigration terminal in e-rickshaws and shuttles.

What all can one take along?

A bag weighing not more than 7 kg and a water bottle. Indian currency upto Rs 11,000 is allowed. At the Pakistan immigration terminal, one can exchange currency upto 1600 INR.

What to expect during the pilgrimage.

The pilgrims are taken to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur village of Narowal district, Pakistan. Village Kartarpur is located at the west bank of river Ravi where Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life. It is about 4.5 km from the international border.

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