New Delhi: As many as 555 Sikh devotees from the national capital will visit Pakistan via Wagah border in April to celebrate Baisakhi at the historic Gurduwara Panja Sahib, Delhi Sikh Gurduwara Management Committee (DSGMC) President Manjinder Singh Sirsa said on Sunday.
The Sikh devotees will leave from Delhi on April 11 and will return on April 21. The DSGMC has asked devotees interested in undertaking the pilgrimage to deposit their passports with the committee by February 15.
Sikhs and 'Sahajdhari Sikhs' living in Delhi having valid identity proof like Aadhaar card, PAN card, and passport with at least one year validity can deposit their applications in DSGMC office at Guru Gobind Singh Bhawan based in Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib Complex February 15, Sirsa said.
"Sikh devotees will cross Attari Wagah border on April 12 and will reach the holy shrine at Panja Sahib through special train on the same day. The Sikh pilgrims will celebrate Baisakhi at Gurduwara Panja Sahib on April 13-14 following which they would leave for Nanakana Sahib through special train on April 15.
"The pilgrims will pay obeisance at Gurudwara Nankana Sahib, Gurudwara Sacha Sauda, Gurudwara Dera Sahib (Lahore), Gurudwara Rori Sahib (Aminabad) and Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib (Narowal), Janamsthan (birthplace) Guru Ram Dass Ji, Shahi Kila, Samadhi of Maharaja Ranjit Singh ji and other local Sikh pilgrims or heritage sites before returning from Lahore to Amritsar on April 21," Sirsa said.
Each pilgrim is required to pay visa processing fees of Rs 200 with four latest passport size photographs and valid identity proof and Indian passport having one year validity. Required documents will be deposited with External Affairs Ministry by February 25 which will be forwarded to Pakistan High Commission and the pilgrims will be provided visa after necessary scrutiny by Indian as well as Pakistani agencies.
"DSGMC will also send 'gutkas sahib', cloth for Nishan Sahib and other religious books for Sikhs of Pakistan. The committee had borne all expenditures of the Sikh devotees for Baisakhi Yatra during last three years in commemorations of 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikh religion Guru Nanak Dev ji."
This year a total quota of 3,000 pilgrims has been allocated from Indian side out of which state-wise quota has been fixed, said Sirsa.
Of the total, Punjab has been allocated maximum quota of 1,800 pilgrims followed by Delhi (555), Haryana (200), Maharashtra (90), Rajasthan (50), Chandigarh (45), Jammu & Kashmir (40), Uttar Pradesh (35), Andhra Pradesh (25), Chhattisgarh (20), Jharkhand (16), 15 each for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, Bihar (14), 10 each for Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Odhisha (10), and West Bengal (5).