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Know who is the 11th and eternal successor of Guru Nanak on his 550th birthday

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Why 550th birthday is special
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Why 550th birthday is special

Millions of Sikhs mark the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of their religion, the Guru Nanak. The annual celebration has been given extra significance this year with the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor, a secure, visa-free passage between arch-rivals India and Pakistan that gives Indian Sikhs access to the place where the guru died in 1539, now one of the religion's holiest sites.

(In pic: Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur)

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Signs of divinity
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Signs of divinity

Guru Nanak was born in 1469 to a Hindu family at Nankana Sahib, a Pakistani city about 80 kilometres from the eastern city of Lahore.

Some legends say there were signs of divinity around him from the start, such as the time a cobra was found rearing over his head -- not to attack him, but to shade him from the sun as he napped.

(In pic: Portrait of Guru Nanak)

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Equality and one God
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Equality and one God

As he grew older the Guru began travelling, preaching a faith based on equality and one God.

He died in 1539 in the Punjabi town of Kartarpur, in modern-day Pakistan, where his remains are buried.

(In pic: Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur)

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Successor
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Successor

Nine gurus followed Guru Nanak and there is no living human successor, but the Guru Granth Sahib -- the Sikh holy book -- is considered the 11th and eternal.

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Celebrations
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Celebrations

Sikhs around the world, but especially on the subcontinent, will come together to sing, pray, eat and hold sprawling processions to different gurdwaras.

Some of the biggest celebrations will be the site of one of their holiest shrines, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India.

(In pic: Golden Temple in Amritsar)

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Coming together for religion
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Coming together for religion

In Pakistan, thousands of Sikhs mark the occasion at Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur.

Apart from it being the 550th anniversary, this year also saw the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor -- a secure land link allowing Indian Sikhs to visit the gurdwara in the Pakistani town where the Guru died.

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