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3 Reasons why you need to visit the Kartarpur Corridor in Amritsar

3 Reasons why you need to visit the Kartarpur Corridor in Amritsar
ADVENTURE

By Netra Sadhale

12 Jun, 2024

Planning your next trip to Amritsar? Whether you're setting out for a thrilling backpacking adventure or embarking on a soul-searching quest, there's one destination you shouldn't miss: 'The Kartarpur Corridor.' Opened in 2019 as a gateway to the world's largest Gurudwara – Kartarpur Sahib, this corridor is not just an ordinary route that takes you to a pilgrim site but a journey that teleports you back to the roots of India and Pakistan's shared history.

Imagine traveling a path where everything seems to stand still, the past meets the present, borders fade away, and people's voices echo in the background with only one hope - 'reunion'. The once unthinkable has now finally become a reality. Embark on a journey with us as we unveil three thrilling experiences in Kartarpur that will surely compel you to make it a top spot on your next Amritsar Itinerary.

1. Crossing the Indo-Pak border by foot

Yes, you heard it right. While the mere spectacle of the last-over Indo-Pak cricket match can bring shivers down your spine, this experience can be even more nerve wracking. Located just at a distance of 50km from the Golden City - Amritsar, The Kartarpur Corridor offers an incomparable experience of crossing international borders and stepping into Pakistan.

Scared at just the mere thought of it? Haha, don’t worry; you won’t end up in a dreadful situation like poor Jethalal from Taarak Mehta. Crossing the Indo-Pak border by foot through the Kartarpur corridor is extremely safe. And what’s even more captivating is its exclusive visa-free entry, making Pakistan another visa-free country for Indians to travel to.

It was amidst the auspicious occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Ji that the governments of both countries decided to fling open the doors of the Kartarpur Corridor. This once-in-a-l ifetime cross-border experience is undoubtedly a must-do as you get a chance to traverse the threshold between two nations that share echoes of the historic events of 1947.

Open gates at Kartarpur corridor for tourist to cross the border

Gates opened at the border for tourist to enter Pakistan. (Credits: mrlikrsh.medium.com)

2. Savoring the flavourful delights of organic langar:

Join the Pakistanis in the communal dining at world’s largest Gurudwara and immerse yourself into the flavorful delights of Kartarpur’s langar. From hot Mah ki daal to mouth-watering rice kheer and Kada Prasad every bite will seem to be a bliss in Guru Nanak Ji’s blessed land. But do you know what’s so different about Kartarpur’s langar?

All the ingredients used in the langar while cooking are sourced locally from the 64-acre land which is right behind the Gurudwara. This is also known to be the land where Guru Nanak Ji once tilled the soil. What’s even more remarkable is that these farm-fresh goodies are completely organic and pesticide-free, making every bite an absolute delight for not only the senses but also the body and soul.

And to top it all, you can also bring these organic veggies back to your home in India as a form of Prasad. So, make sure you don’t miss a chance to partake in this communal dining, where you enjoy a nourishing meal and honor the legacy of Guru Nanak Ji’s teachings of sustainability and community.

3. Indians shopping with Pak Currency

While shopping with foreign currencies like US dollars or Dirhams often means paying extra out of your pocket, the scenario can be quite different in Pakistan. Pakistani rupees are much cheaper than Indian rupees, which means that you can splurge on amazing Pakistani souvenirs without breaking the bank.

Remember Preity Zinta's charming pastel-coloured Pakistani suits from Veer Zaara? Well, now you have the chance to buy them! Located just outside the Kartarpur Gurudwara, this Pakistani bazaar beckons a vibrant shopping experience. From intricately embroidered Pakistani suits to mouth-watering delicacies of Multani Sun Mithai, this bazaar blends you into the taste of Pakistani culture. And, of course, Indian currencies won’t work here, so do remember to exchange them for Pakistani rupees at the currency exchange counter.  

Moreover, you can also try grabbing some unique Kurkure flavors, like the Toofani Mirch and Chutney Chaska, from Pakistan, that you won’t find in India. So, why not savor the thrill and binge on this exciting cross-border shopping experience?

People shopping in the market situated outside the Kartarpur Gurudwara

People shopping in the market situated outside the Gurudwara (Credits: anindiantraveler.com)

Next time you plan a visit to Amritsar, before ticking off the renowned Golden Temple on your bucket list, try stumbling upon the essence of your own reflection mirrored in the name of another land, experience the thrill of crossing international borders and savor some organic delights in Guru Nanak Ji’s blessed land. And once you return from this journey, don’t forget to check into The Hosteller Amritsar to enjoy the feel of modern comfort and hospitality.

Traditional charm of The Hosteller Amritsar

Punjab's traditional charm at The Hosteller Amritsar (Credits: The Hosteller)

Frequently asked questions:

1)What documents are required for the Kartarpur Corridor? An ETA form and a passport are the two documents that you will require to carry to Pakistan. You can also fill the ETA form online on the government website portal here. 

2)Does the passport get stamped for Kartarpur? Passports do not get stamped for the Kartarpur Corridor. The corridor was established to facilitate visa-free travel for Indian Pilgrims to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan. Indians are required to carry a valid passport, but it is not stamped as part of the crossing process.

3)Can Indians stay at Kartarpur Sahib? The Kartarpur Corridor is primarily established to allow Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit the Gurdwara for day trips without requiring a visa. Visitors are typically allowed to enter Pakistan through the corridor, visit the Gurdwara, and return to India on the same day before sunset.

4)Can Indians and Pakistani meet in Kartarpur? Yes, Indians and Pakistanis can meet at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur. This corridor allows Indians to meet and interact with Pakistanis and also indulge in different religious activities bearing the rules in mind.

5)What are the luggage weight limits for Indian travelers heading to Kartarpur? Each pilgrim can carry one baggage up to 7kg weight including drinking water and dry eatables if any during the travel.

6)What is the maximum amount of cash allowed to be carried through the Kartarpur Corridor? Pilgrims to Kartarpur Gurudwara can carry up to Rs.11000.

7)How long before going to Kartarpur should I apply for the ETA form? Pilgrims should apply for the ETA Form 14 days prior to the intended departure date to Kartarpur on the government website.

8)Is it safe to cross the India Pakistan border? Yes, it is extremely safe to cross the India Pakistan border via Kartarpur corridor. This corridor was especially opened for Indians to access the sacred Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.

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