Over 2,300 Sikh pilgrims today left for India from Pakistan by special trains after attending the 549th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev at his birthplace in Nankana Sahib in the Punjab province.
Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Siddiqul Farooq gave the pilgrims a warm send off at the Lahore railways station, an official said.
"As many as 2,361 Indian Sikhs today returned to their homeland. Evacuee Trust Property Board chairman Saddiqul Farooq gave them warm send off at the Lahore railways station," ETPB spokesman Amir Hashmi told PTI.
He said the pilgrims were brought to the railways station in high security.
During their 10-day stay in Pakistan, the pilgrims visited Gurdwara Janamesthan Nankana Sahib, Gurdwara Panja Sahib Hasan Absal and Gurdwara Kartar Sahib Narowal.
"We are establishing Baba Guru Nanak University in Nankana Sahib and Sikhs from all over the world are ready to fund it," Farooq said, adding that the founder of the Sikh religion gave the message of peace.
He said the board had also set up an online charity system for donation.
Sardar Gurmeet Singh, a group leader of the pilgrims, said the Sikh devotees always bring message of peace, friendship and harmony to Pakistan.
"Pakistan is the land of Sikh Gurus, so Sikhs love this land," Singh said.
Every year, devotees from all over the world gather at Gurdwara Punja Sahib in Hassanabdal to celebrate Baba Guru Nanak's birth anniversary.
The celebrations last for more than a week during which sacred rituals are performed at the Gurdwara and sweets and langar are offered, irrespective of religious orientation.
Guru Nanak Dev was born at Rai Bhoi Ki Talvandi (present day Nankana Sahib), about 80 kilometres from Lahore.
He spent the last years of his life at Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, about three kilometers from the International Border that separates India and Pakistan.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)