Amritsar, Apr 11 : Over a thousand Sikhs have begun a pilgrimage to gurdwaras in Pakistan, ahead of Baisakhi, the Sikh New Year.
The three-day programme will commence on Saturday by three trains.
Pilgrims will arrive at the Wagah border and proceed to the Gurdwara Panja Sahib at Hassan Abdal.
The group of 1413 pilgrims is scheduled to visit the Gurdwara Punja Sahib, Nankana Sahib, Sucha Sodha, Gurdwara Dera Sahib, Rorri Sahib, and Kartarpur.
Avtar Singh Makkar, the president of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), greeted pilgrims on the occasion.
"I pray for their successful pilgrimage and blessings," he said, and requested the Government to arrange for visas for other pilgrims who could not make part of the trip.
The Pakistan Government has reportedly made adequate arrangements for the accommodation of Indian pilgrims to ensure a peaceful journey.
Devotees appeared enthusiastic about the visit and hoped for better relationship between the two countries.
"We are privileged to be part of this pilgrimage. It will be a tryst with our lost traditions and history," said Sagat Singh, a devotee.
Gurudwara Punja Sahib holds immense importance for Sikhs, as it is believed that the founder of the Sikh Faith, Guru Nanak created the spring of water near the shrine.
Similarly, Nankana Sahib is the place where Guru Nanak was born.
About 12,000 pilgrims from across the world are expected to attend the Baisakhi festival. These include pilgrims from Afghanistan, UAE, Iran and Europe.