A delegation comprising 421 Sikh yatrees reached Darbar Sahib Kartarpur from Lahore to perform rituals and pay their respects at the burial site of the founder of Sikh religion Baba Guru Nanak Dev Jee. The Sikh yatrees are on a 10-day visit to attend the 183rd death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Sardar Inderjeet Singh of the Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee extended a warm welcome to the yatrees upon arrival at the Darbar Sahib Kartarpur and members of Sikh Parbhandak Committee. Rose petals were strewn on their path while the yatrees were presented rose garlands. Sardar Inderjeet Singh told APP that the Sikh yatrees would stay overnight at the Darbar Sahib Kartarpur and travel to Samadhi of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh in Lahore after breakfast the next morning. A sumptuous ‘langar’ (communal free kitchen) awaited the yatrees where they were served different dishes. A medical camp has also been set up for the visitors. Maharaja Ranjit Singh established the Sikh empire (1799-1839) at the age of 18 and ruled for forty years the 19th most populous (3.5 million population) country in the world as per records of 1831. Ranijit Singh defeated the invaders. The Sikh empire’s frontiers spread over Khyber Pass in the West to Tibet in the East, and Mithankot in the South to Kashmir in the North. The Samadhi has been built at the site of Ranjit Singh’s cremation and is a holy site for the Sikhs. The yatress will attend rites to commemorate the 183rd death anniversary of the founder of Sikh empire Maharaja Ranjit Singh. They will perform Akhand Path as part of rituals to mark death anniversary at Samadhi of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore on June 29 (Wednesday). The visiting Sikh yatrees told APP they were delighted to visit the Sikh holy sites in Pakistan and the visit was realization of their life’s dream. They said what makes them happier is the hospitality and love of the people of Pakistan who host them like no other. “Love of Paksitanis pulls us here and we return to the Indian Punjab immersed in the care and affection for the years to come,” remarked Urmeet Kaur, adding that the Sikh nation could never reciprocate love of the people of Pakistan. The yatrees also hailed Pakistani government for security provided to the yatrees, adding that the Sikh religious sites have been very well looked after in Pakistan. Habibur Rehman Gilani, Chairman Evacuee Trist Property Board (ETPB), said Samadhi of Maharaja Ranjit Singh is a revered site and has been preserved as per the Sikh traditions. He said the 183rd death anniversary would be observed with religious fervor and all arrangements have been made to facilitate the yatrees. The Sikh yatrees had reached Pakistan via Wagha Border on June 21 and will depart for India via Wagha Border on June 30.