Author: Surinder Singh Kohli
Publisher: Punjabi University
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
This work about the journeys of Guru Nanak, throughout the length and breadth of India and also in distant foreign lands, had an encouraging reception, not only during the quincentenary birthday celebrations of Guru Nanak, but also in later years. Therefore this second edition of the book has been published. The great Guru travelled thousands of miles, mainly on foot for about two decades, in all the four directions, enlightening humanity with his spiritual discourses and divine songs. Though more than five centuries have passed the founder of Sikhism is remembered with great reverence, even in the areas inhabited by non-Sikhs.
There are memorials of the Guru in all the States in Indian Union. There are still several traces of his visit in the Middle-East countries, namely Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The account of his visit to Ceylon, inscribed on a slab, is preserved in Archaeological Museum at Anuradhapura. His footprints in various countries could not be preserved long because of either turmoil or neglect. Further researches about the travels of the Guru may bring forth new revelations.
In every age, there have been travelers and explorers, who left their native places for distant countries either as pilgrims or as missionaries. We know of Fa-Hien and Hieun Tsang, the celebrated Chinese pilgrims and explorers, who came to India; of Alberuni, Marco Polo, Ibn Batuta and others who travelled in several countries in the east; of Columbus, Vasco-da-Gama, Albuquerque etc., the noted seafarers and explorers; of David Livingstone, the famous Christian missionary, who penetrated into the interior of Africa. There are many others who have left the account of their travels but very little is known of Guru Nanak as one of the great travelers of the world. This work is an attempt to describe the travels of the Guru Nanak in India and various countries and continents, so that the world may know of him as a great traveler, a great missionary and a great teacher.
Wherever Guru Nanak went, his followers erected a memorial in that place, but, during the past five centuries, there have been several currents and cross-currents which effaced some of the footprints of the great Guru; therefore a good deal of research is required to bring the forgotten memorials to light. Some Sikhs tried to travel along the routes followed by Guru Nanak and were successful in discovering some places connected with the Guru, but since the travels of the Guru were spread to distant lands and hazardous regions, the same person could not cover all the routes or places.
In Janamsakhis (the biographies of Guru Nanak) several old names of places and regions have been mentioned, which cannot be located. Similarly, the names of the kings of some regions are not found in history. This is, in fa6t, puzzling. We are faced with several accounts imbued with supernaturalism and full of miracles, but we have accepted only the scientific interpretation. Our task would have been much easier if some firsthand information had been available.
The Guru himself did not write an account of his travels. We have to depend for source-material on Janamsakhis viz. Puratan Janamsakhi, Janamsakhi Bhai Bala, Sachkhand Pothi of Sodhi Meharhan, Gyan Ratnavali of Bhai Mani Singh based on the first Var of Bhai Gurdas, Mehma Prakash of Setup Das Bhalla, Nanak Prakash of Bhai Santokh Singh, Nanak Suryoday of Mahant Ganosha Singh, Prachin Panth Prakash and Twarikh Guru Khalsa of Gyani Gyan Singh etc. Some other works like Pran 'Sangal and Makke Madine di Goshta have also to be studied in connection with the visit of Guru Nanak to several places. After studying the routes that Guru Nanak followed we are convinced that the Guru travelled along the ancient land-routes. These were highways of traffic and pilgrim-travel as well as of migration and invasion.' In Janamsakhis we find an irregular and mixed-up description of the four journeys of Guru Nanak. His journeys begin from the Punjab and progress towards the east, south, north and west. While journeying towards the east, he passed through Delhi, U.P., Bihar, Bengal, Assam, Manipur, Tripura, etc. and on his return through Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.
During his second journey towards the south, he covered the areas of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnatak, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Ceylon. His northern journey was through the mountainous region of Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Nepal, Tibet, Sikkim, Bhutan and thence to China. When he proceeded towards the west, he travelled through the Middle-Eastern states and countries viz. Aden, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Persia, Russo-Turkestan and Afghanistan.
Prefatory Note to Second Edition
Prefatory Note to First Edition
My Quincentenary itinerary
I: THE FIRST JOURNEY
Guru Nanak in Punjab
II: THE SECOND JOURNEY
Guru Nanak in Rajasthan
III: THE THIRD JOURNEY
Guru Nanak in Himachal Pradesh
Tibet and China
IV: THE FOURTH JOURNEY
Guru Nanak in Sind and Baluchistan
Africa (Egypt, Sudan and Abyssinia)
Turkey and beyond Turkey
Azerbaijan (U. S. S. R.)
North West Frontier Province (Pakistan)
I Legendary Journey No. 1 (Navkhand or nine varshas of Jambu Dvipa)
II Legendary Journey No. 2 (Sapt Dvipas or the Seven Islands)
III Legendary Journey No. 3 (The Ascent of Guru Nanak)
IV Sea-Journeys of Guru Nanak
V Guru Nanak in Uttarakhand
VI Journey in Legendary Mountains
VII Janamsakhis and Deshas (Countries)
VIII Guru Nanak and Ceylon