The first Gurdwara Sahib built by Guru Nanak Dev Ji is not in India but only 1 KM away in Pakistan.
The first gurdwara was built in Kartarpur called Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, on the banks of Ravi River in the Punjab region by the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the year 1521.
It now lies in the Narowal District of west Punjab (Pakistan). Sri Japji Sahib was known to be written by Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji at Sri Kartarpur Sahib. The historic shrine is only 1km from the Indian border in Pakistan. Sikhs for decades have asked for a corridor from the Indian Govt but no talks with Pakistan have occurred.
The worship centres were built as a place where Sikhs could gather to hear the guru give spiritual discourse and sing religious hymns in the praise of Waheguru. As the Sikh population continued to grow, Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh guru, introduced the word ‘gurdwara’.
The etymology of the term ‘Gurdwara’ is from the words ‘gur (ਗੁਰ)’ (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and ‘dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)’ (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning ‘the gateway through which the guru could be reached’. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
Some of the prominent Sikh shrines established by the Sikh Gurus are:
Nankana Sahib, established in 1490s by first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev ji, Punjab, Pakistan.
Sultanpur Lodhi, established in 1499 became the Sikh centre during Guru Nanak Dev ji time Kapurthala District, Punjab (India).
Kartarpur Sahib, established in 1521 by the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev ji, near River Ravi, Narowal, Punjab, Pakistan.
Khadur Sahib, established in 1539 by the second Sikh Guru, Guru Angad Dev ji, near River Beas, Amritsar District, Punjab, India.
Goindwal Sahib, established in 1552 by the third Sikh Guru, Guru Amar Das ji, near River Beas, Amritsar District Punjab, India.
Sri Amritsar, established in 1577 By the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das ji, District Amritsar, Punjab (India).
Tarn Taran Sahib, established in 1590 by the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev ji, District Tarn Taran Sahib, Punjab (India).
Kartarpur Sahib, established in 1594 by the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev ji, near river Beas, Jalandhar District, Punjab (India).
Sri Hargobindpur, established by the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji, near river Beas, Gurdaspur District, Punjab (India).
Kiratpur Sahib, established in 1627 by the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind ji, near river Sutlej, Ropar District, Punjab, India.
Anandpur Sahib, established in 1665 by the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, near river Sutlej, Punjab, India.
Paonta Sahib, established in 1685 by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, near river Yamuna, Himachal Pradesh India.
By the early 20th century, a number of Sikh gurdwaras in British India were under the control of the Udasi mahants (clergymen). The Gurdwara Reform Movement of the 1920s resulted in Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee taking control of these gurdwaras