of Kartarpur Sahib
Kartarpur is situated in the Pakistan about 2Km. from Indo-Pak border on the right bank of river Ravi. The shrine building stands out singly as there is no habitation around. Though there is a railway connection to it and the station is named ‘Darbar Sahib Kartarpur’ on the Lahore- Chak Amru line. It lies in the tehsil Shakkar Garh district Narowal of West Punjab and is about 60Km from Lahore.
Opposite nearest town on the Indian side is Dera Baba Nanak [1Km. from Border] in the district of Gurdaspur. Dera is duly connected by road and rail and is about 50 km from Amritsar, 39 Km from Gurdaspur and 35 Km from Batala. Another historic town Kalanaur is at a distance of about 10 Km only.
· Adjoining Dera Baba Nanak is the historic village Pakhoke where our lord Guru Nanak used to visit his devotee Ajita Randhawa. Governor of the area Duni Chand met Guru Nanak at Pakhoke and donated 100 Acre land to Guru Sahib. This land is on the right bank of river Ravi. On the Guru’s acceptance of land Guru decided to settle there and building or hut was constructed. Kartarpur thus became the first Sikh centre. There is a reference in the historical books that Guru formally laid the foundation of Kartarpur on Magh 13, 1572 Bikrmi year [1515AD]. Apart from Duni Chand, Guru’s disciple Doda was also helpful.
· At Kartarpur the Guru shed whatever his hermitage dress and wore Punjabi farmer’s dress and started cultivation. His family; father, mother, wife and sons also arrived at Kartarpur. Here the Guru lived the life of a householder for 18 years. The Sikh history is replete with pleasant stories connected with Guru’s pious deeds at Kartarpur. Guru set up a Langer the common kitchen and a sarai the inn here. Sangat the congregation gathered here daily to listen to kirtan the Gurbani music and the Guru’s discourse. It was for the first time in the history of Indian sub-continent that people dined together irrespective of their caste and creed.
· It was here that Guru Nanak appointed Lehna his spiritual successor after severe tests and made him the second Guru of Sikhs on July 14, 1539 AD. Lehna was called Angad the one born from Guru’s own limb. Guru also handed over a pothi the book of hymns to Angad.
· On Asu sudi 10, 1596 Bikrmi [Monday Sept. 22, 1539 AD] Guru breathed his last here. Since both Hindus and Muslims were his followers they started argument. Each claimed his body. Ultimately it was mutually decided that overnight, flowers be placed by both on his body and whose flowers found withered the next morning would loose claim. Next morning when the cloth sheet was removed body was missing and flowers of both communities were found as fresh as they were overnight. The two communities then decided to divide the cloth sheet one burying it and the other consigning it to the fire. Therefore both a grave and a smadh exist here.
· Guru Nanak undertook four major tours [Udasis] of the countries. Many sources tell us that except the first journey Guru commenced it all from here. Kartarpur had thus become the headquarter of the Sikhs and the Guru.
· Karori Mal the Governor of Kalanaur [about 14 Km from Kartarpur] cultivated jealousy against the Guru as many Hindu Jogis and Muslims were converting to Sikhism. He set out to arrest the Guru but when he was to ride the horse he fell on the ground, his turban rolling down to the feet of people around. On his second attempt; tradition has it that he became blind and ultimately fell at the feet of the Guru and apologised for his past ill will. The Guru blessed him notwithstanding and he became a devote Sikh of Guru and donated 100 acres of land on the bank of river Ravi where Guru founded Kartarpur.
· Some historians have named Karori Mal as Duni Chand who was grand son of Jawahar Mal. There is a street in Lahore on Jawahar’s name.Bakshi Bhagat Ram a minister in Maharaja Ranjit Singh court is in the linage of Duni Chand / Karori Mal.
· There are instances in the old history books[Janam Sakhis] how the Guru started the institution of Langar the free kitchen for all.