A Unique and Offbeat Experience for every Indian – Visit to Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, Pakistan
Whenever we plan a family trip, it is usually to popular hill stations, beaches, road trips to places within India if on a budget or we plan for fancy European or south East Asian destinations if have some extra bucks. Sometimes it can also be to religious places with major focus in India.
But my family, which I call as “Gupta Parivar” has a different approach towards vacation. We try to ditch touristy places and plan for offbeat places, with a motive to spend time together and to have a different experience and understanding of culture.
So, this time we planned for a long weekend trip to Kartarpur Sahib which is Pakistan territory and Amritsar.
So to give a Background, Guru Nanak ji founded the Kartarpur town and lived his last 18 years. A gurdwara is built here, where he is said to have died. Here, Guru Nanak gave the three principles of “Kirat Karo, Naam Japo, Wand Chako” which means work hard for a livelihood, keep remembering the God and share your bounties with the world. It is the second holiest site of the Sikh religion after Nankana Sahib, Pakistan which is the birthplace of Guru Nanak.
Starting from year 2019, Pakistan has allowed visa stamping free entry to Indians to this place which is around 5kms from the last point in India called as Dera Baba Nanak which is in Punjab. The nearest accessible town is Amritsar which is around 50kms.
Registration and ministry approval is required to cross the border as only 400-500 pilgrims are allowed on daily basis.
Login to https://prakashpurb550.mha.gov.in/kpr/basicDetailsa
Fill in required details along with photograph, Aadhar Card, Passport details and their copies.
You will receive an Email for successful registration and an Electronic confirmation (if approved) will be received 3-4 days before your day of departure
Things to remember before visiting Kartarpur:
The place is in actual Pakistan territory and you will be at their jurisdiction. So, over-smartness is absolutely prohibited!!
Passport is mandatory. So, apply for the same first before planning a trip here
It is a day trip and you need to return back to India before 5Pm. There is no accommodation nearby the Kartarpur.
You need to register minimum 1 month in advance in order to get timely approvals
There is an entrance fee of 20$ per individual.
There is no stamping of any kind on the passport. So, it is safe even if you want to apply for visa for other countries in the future.
So, Let’s Start with the itinerary now!!!
Flight till Amritsar available from most of the major cities of India. Else many options of Trains from Delhi and nearby cities.
Hotel in Amritsar. Will give suggestions for them but best is to check at booking.com
Amritsar is actually heaven for foodies and lot of options are available including both vegetarian and Non-vegetarian with focus on authentic north Indian and Punjabi Indian meals which are absolutely delicious.
Itinerary and day wise schedule
Now I should come to itinerary. You can skip few things if you wish to, or add some days in particular city if you like. I went with my Family for 3D-2N from Delhi in a train and hired a day cab for the visit. So, sharing itinerary basis that:
Day 1: Arrive at Amritsar, Sightseeing and stay in Amritsar (400 Kms, 7-8 hours)
We booked Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi and reached Amritsar at around 2Pm in the Afternoon.
"Gupta Pariwar" train journey
We took an Auto-Rickshaw till hotel (have pre booked “Hotel Infa” online through Booking.com). Post freshen up, we visited Jallianwala Bagh and saw the light sound show which starts at 6:00pm. Post that we visited Golden Temple and were amazed to see the glittering especially in the Night. The queue is around 1.5 to 2 hours long during weekends, so plan accordingly.
Golden Temple in Night
Post that, we went for dinner at 100 years old Famous Kesar Dhaba which is famous for their Dal and Lacha Parantha dipped in Butter.
Kesar da Dhaba!!
Day 2: Sightseeing at Kartarpur Sahib and reach back to Amritsar
We woke up early morning as it was a long day ahead. Post having breakfast, we started our journey for Dera Baba Nanak which is the last point at Indian side. We had already booked a Full day cab as there is no public transport available.
Dera Baba Nanak, India Check Post
Post completing all the formalities and immigration at Dera Baba Nanak for both India and Pakistan side, we sat in the bus which is arranged by Govt. Of Pakistan.
We reached the Gurudwara at around 12pm. We spent some quality time at the premises and had lunch in the gurudwara langar kitchen itself.
Post having a little rest, we went to the nearby market near the gurudwara which was a completely out of the world never seen experience.
We returned back to India check post at around 5pm and travelled back to Amritsar for dinner and Night stay (Same hotel: Hotel Infa)
Day 3: Sightseeing at Amritsar and return to Delhi
We kept this as a pretty chill day with places to roam around. Post breakfast, we went to golden temple again.
Post that we had some shopping around the temple which has abundance of shops specially for Phulkari suits, Punjabi Chappals, Famous Papad etc. For lunch we had famous Amritsari Kulcha with Lassi (At Balwant Kulcha Corner) and along with that we have Jalebi with Rabdi (At Jalebi chowk)!!
Post having such delicious lunch, we also visited Durgiana temple which is around 3-4 Kms from the golden temple. Post that we checked-out from our hotel and head back to catch our 5pm Shatabdi train back to Delhi along with lifetime experiences and memories to cherish.
Book hotel in advance and near to the Golden Temple to avoid last minute rush especially.
Start your journey early in the morning in such tourist places as there would be less traffic and more time for you to explore places.
You will easily get lot of things to eat on the way. So, avoid carrying extra stuff to eat as you would need to carry that weight yourself.
Do let me know if I missed anything. You can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me at Instagram @peakandtroughs.
To many more travels,