KARTĀRPUR, village on the right bank of the River Rāvī in the present Siālkoṭ district of Pakistan and usually called Kartārpur Rāvī to distinguish it from another town of the same name in Jalandhar district of Indian Punjab, is sacred to Gurū Nānak (1469-1539) to whom it owed its origin and who settled here at the end of his long peregrinations in India and abroad to preach the word of God. Gurū Nānak spent the last two decades of his life with his wife and children at Kartārpur which became the principal seat of the Sikh faith. It was here that Bhāī Lahiṇā, later Gurū Aṅgad, came to receive instruction and it was here that, after nominating (Gurū) Aṅgad his spiritual successor, he passed away on Assū vādī 10, 1596 Bk/7 September 1539. Most of the habitation was washed away by the ever-encroaching Rāvī whereupon the Gurū's descendants and followers moved to Ḍerā Bābā Nānak, a new town they had raised on the other side of the river. The three-storeyed tall building of Gurdwārā Kartārpur Sāhib Rāvī Pātshāhī I erected later at Kartārpur can still be seen from the high embankment marking the Indo-Pakistan boundary north of Ḍerā Bābā Nānak, but it has been inaccessible to visitors and pilgrims from India since the partition of 1947.


  1. Kohlī, Surindar Siṅgh, ed., Janamsākhī Bhāī Bālā. Chandigarh, 1975
  2. Vīr Siṅgh, Bhāī, ed., Purātan Janam Sākhī. Amritsar, 1982
  3. Giān Siṅgh, Giānī, Twārīkh Gurduāriāṅ. Amritsar, n.d.
  4. Tārā Siṅgh, Srī Gur Tīrath Saṅgrahi. Amritsar, n.d.
  5. Harbans Singh, Guru Nānak and Origins of the Sikh Faith. Bombay, 1969

Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)