Kartarpur is located in the tehsil Shakargarh, Narowal District in Punjab, Pakistan, on the right bank of the Ravi River. Kartarpur is located at 32°5′13″N 75°1′0″E. It is located in Narowal District, Punjab, Pakistan. It has an average elevation of 155 metres (511 feet).
It is said to have been founded by the first guru of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, where he established the first Sikh commune.
Kartarpur is close to the India–Pakistan border, and has seen some fighting in the area during 1965 and 1971 wars between the two neighbours.
The first guru of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, founded Khartarpur in 1504 AD on the right bank of the Ravi River. The name Kartarpurmeans “place of God”. Here all people, irrespective of their religion or caste, lived together, representing the first ‘Sikh commune’. After his travels for about 20 years, Guru Nanak settled in Kartarpur along with his family. Following his death in 1539, Hindus and Muslims both claimed him as their own, and raised mausoleums in his memory with a common wall between them.
The changing course of the Ravi River eventually washed away the mausoleums. But Guru Nanak’s son saved the urn containing his ashes and reburied it on the left bank of the river, where a new habitation was formed, representing the present day Dera Baba Nanak.
At the location Gurun Nanak is believed to have died, the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib was built.
During the 1947 partition of India, the region got divided across India and Pakistan. The Radcliffe Line awarded the Shakargarh tehsil on the right bank of the Ravi river, including Kartarpur, to Pakistan, and the Gurdaspur tehsil on the left bank of Ravi to India.
The population Punjabi speaking Punjabi, Urdu and some people also speak English. The ethnic groups include majority Gurjars, Jats and Rajputs.
The population is predominantly Muslim Gujjar. There are several masjids in the town. After the partition of India in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while many Muslims refugees from India settled down in Kartarpur.
Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, also called Kartarpur Sahib, is a gurdwara in Kartarpur, Narowal District, Pakistan. It is built on the historic site where Guru Nanak settled and assembled the Sikh commune after his missionary travels. The present gurdwara is built on the site where Guru Nanak died, on 22 September 1539.
The gurdwara is also notable for its location near the border between Pakistan and India. The shrine is visible from the Indian side of the border. Indian Sikhs gather in large numbers on bluffs to perform darshan, or sacred viewing of the site, from the Indian side of the border
The Shrine is located by the Ravi River within a distance of four kilometres from the Dera Sahib railway station. The gurdwara is located very close to the border with India.
The present building was built in 1925 at a cost of Rs.1,35,600, donated by Sardar Bhupindar Singh, the Maharaja of Patiala. It was repaired by the Government of Pakistan in 1995, and fully restored in 2004, incurring expenditure in crores of rupee. It has a spacious building. Its location beside a forest and river Ravi makes its care difficult.
The gurdwara was built to commemorate the site where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, settled after his missionary work. He assembled a Sikh community there, and lived for 18 years until his death in 1539. The gurdwara is built where Guru Nanak is said to have died.
According to Lahore-based art historian Fakr Syed Aijazuddin, the shrine houses the last copies of the original Guru Granth Sahib. A Sikh pilgrim remarked, “every step here reminds us of the Guru’s life”. Indian Sikhs gather in large numbers on bluffs on the Indian side of the border to obtain darshan, or sacred viewing, of the site.
In May 2017, the US-based NGO “EcoSikh” proposed establishment of a 100-acre “sacred forest” around the shrine.