Guru Nanak’s visit to East Africa

Nanak-Africa.jpg
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.

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14 Comments

  1. Navjit Kaur said,

    June 9, 2006 at 3:24 pm

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    Wonderful!! That is the most amazing article I have read, its so magnificent.
    It that why we Sikh’s feel East Africa as our own and the connection with the local people? It’s incredible!!!!

  2. lakhvir said,

    June 9, 2006 at 3:34 pm

    Navjit Kaur,

    GuruFatehJi. I quite agree with you, there’s a certain sense of belonging here. Even our revered Gurudwara Makindu Sahib has so much power on our African soil. Remember the shabad, ‘Sa dharti bhayee haryavali, jithe mera Satgur betha aayee’? There definately is some spiritual connection for the GurSikh here in Kenya – a connection that can be felt by only those with faith and longing for the Guru.

    GuruFatehJi.

  3. Preet said,

    June 13, 2006 at 12:04 pm

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
    Ah a fellow Kenyan! I came across your blog purely by accident, could not resist leaving a comment to say hello and to congratulate you on your remarkable blog. Keep it up.
    I was born and brought up in sunny Kenya, and have sweet memories of the ‘good ol days!’ Now I dodge the hail stones and pelting rain in cold grey London!
    I have dreams of going back and visiting Makindu Gurdwara – the amount of anand there is beyond expression! Needless to say, there is a definite spiritual belonging for Sikhs in Kenya, the locals themselves have a certain respect for the Kalasinga.
    Must say im slightly astounded by this article. Do you have any more info on the subject?
    On a separate note, are there other Kenyan’s that have joined the world of blog?

  4. lakhvir said,

    June 15, 2006 at 11:51 am

    WaheguruJi Ka Khalsa. WaheguruJi Ki Fateh.

    Preet Ji, thank you so much for taking a few moments to go through the Inner Journey blog, hope it helps in some way. About the article on Guru Baba Nanak’s visit to East Africa, we actually have just about the information that’s already been posted. The last time I had come across this story was about 3 years ago and had even planned to drive down to Uganda and get some pictures and personal notes. I guess I need to do that sometime soon.

    About other Kenyans on blog, they are growing by the day, but as far as Sikhs are concerned, I suppose I’m the lone ranger 😉 as the craze for blogs is yet to hit Kenya’s Sikhs.

    I’ve been meaning to post articles on Sikhs in Kenya but only when I put together a spiritual message in it as this blog is about the Inner Journey of who we are – Sikhs. The posts will follow in the next few weeks, so do keep this blog bookmarked and visit regularly.

    Do send us some memories of your younger years when you were in Kenya – any memories linked to Sikhi, Gurudwaras, Makindu, Kericho . . . it would be nice to share it with everyone. Do let your ex-Kenyan Sikhs you may know of this blog so we can expand our network of communication. You could post a link to this website on your blog, if that would be okay with you.

    WaheguruJi Ka Khalsa. WaheguruJi Ki Fateh.

  5. ... said,

    June 19, 2006 at 5:29 pm

    cud u post more abt this plz??

  6. lakhvir said,

    June 20, 2006 at 4:55 pm

    I need to go into research to get more information and hope that some day soon I can make a trip down tothe village where our revered Guru Baba Nanak blessed our soil with his blessed charan.

  7. Khalsa Kaur said,

    June 24, 2006 at 3:34 pm

    one word, just one
    “WAHEGURU”

  8. sohan lal said,

    September 17, 2010 at 10:14 am

    DHAN GURU NANAK,
    guru nanak has traveled to south africa it is true.from suej canal egypt is the gate way to african region.let us talk about the monumnet found in istanbul.
    jahangir jaman,lat hindabd,almajid nanak.
    in english….
    lord of time,resident of india,nanak the man of god,
    pls see the map from madinah egypt is journey of few days.baba might hv traveled that way .othe possibilies are by ship through black sea.i want to bring another place to the notice of sikh world where baba nanak went bt rare sikh visited there.it is on the bank of gungi river in balochsthan in pakistan abot 300 kms away from karachi.name of the temple is hinglaj devi mandir.before some one reach the temple,there are several places like,tir kund,gorakh kund ,ram kund etc and guru nanak kharon.before baba start for mecca.he visited hinglaj temple.hindu visitors from gujrat visited there every year.we must send a sikh there to see the kharon of baba nanak

    • Anonymous said,

      June 17, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      @ Sohan lal ji, Wow. Do keep us all posted on this. So Guru Nanak visited Turkey also. I have heard on TV by a scholar that Guru Nanak visited Romania also where they have his name inscribed in the Church and till date marriages take place keeping Guru Nanak in mind. The same Historian who shares your Sohan Lal also mentioned a bridge in Central Asia which was constructed by Guru Nanak with In Onkar inscribed on one pillar, Christian cross on other , a Jewish cross on the third pillar and an Islamic sign on the fourth pillar signifying God is one and so is all humanity. Keep up the good work even if you are a different person.

  9. sunny said,

    November 25, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    I read somewhere and forgive me if I am incorrect. But Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj not only travelled by foot, as it would take quite some time. There is a sakhi of how Bhai Mardana Ji was asked to close his eyes and upon opening them they were many hundreds of miles further on their Udasi. Can anyone confirm this? If Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj could show the local Pir of Baghdad countless netherworlds and upperworlds, then for sure we do not know even 1/100th of the places he visited in my personal opinion. For all we know, he may have visited countless other places preaching the One True Lord’s Name, Waheguru. Thoughts?

  10. hello there said,

    December 18, 2015 at 2:12 am

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    • hello there said,

      December 18, 2015 at 2:16 am

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  11. Gurvinder Singh said,

    November 24, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Guru Nanak must have visited Andaman too..

  12. jagjeet said,

    December 21, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Bhai Gurdas ji states that Guruji travel in all directions to all continents. This would not all have been done by foot, guru is god anything is possible.


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