According to the Puratan Janamsakhi, which is one of the oldest account of the life history of Guru Nanak states that Guru Ji undertook five missionary journeys (udasiya) to far away places like Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Mecca, Baghdad, Kamroop (Assam), and Tashkand etc. Guru ji travelled far and wide to spread the word of Gurbani and covered most of India, present day Bangladesh, Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, South West China, Afganistans, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, West Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan
FIRST UDASI: (1500-1506 AD) Sultanpur, Tulamba (modern Makhdumpur, zila Multan), Panipat, Delhi, Banaras (Varanasi), Nanakmata (zila Nainital, U.P.), Tanda Vanjara (zila Rampur), Kamrup (Assam), Asa Desh (Assam), Saidpur (modern Eminabad, Pakistan), Pasrur (Pakistan), Sialkot (Pakistan)
SECOND UDASI: (1506-1513 AD) Dhanasri Valley, Sangladip (Ceylon)
THIRD UDASI: (1514-1518 AD) Kashmir, Sumer Parbat, Nepal, Tashkand
FOURTH UDASI: (1519-1521 AD) Mecca and the Arab countries
FIFTH UDASI: (1523-1524 AD) Places within the Punjab
A new discovery now suggests that Guru Nanak Dev Ji may have travelled as far as East Africa. A small settlement, a hundred miles from Kampala, Uganda, is named ‘Bamu Nanika’ ( (Bamu may be a short form of Baba Mungu – Mungu means God in Swahili) which the locals there revere for it’s spiritual powers. They say that a holy man, not one of their own, sat on a certain spot there and meditated. The spot is covered in a bark-like material and not shown to anyone. Prayers are done in their traditional way. It is also said that all of Uganda’s Kabakas (traditional kings) visited the ‘shrine’ to receive blessings upon their advent of rule.
The area is arid with no fresh water for miles. But only a few hundred meters away is a small spring of fresh water which the locals do not allow anyone to drink or wash hands with. The water is somehow used like ‘giving amrit’ to devotees who are all africans.
When asked about who they revere the place for, the locals say that, ‘He is not one of ours but there is some great spiritual power here’.
Recently, a number of Gyanis from India visited the shrine to further the discovery. It is even believed that in a sakhi, Bhai Mardana asked Guru Nanak why the locals had curly hair. That faintly suggests Guru Nanak’s visit to Africa.
The locals know not who the Sikhs are. We are strangers to them but with further research, there is a high possibility of adding Africa’s name to the places Guru Nanak travelled to.