Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Guru Nanak in Turkey 3


Dr Trilochan Singh has reported that Qazis and Hajjis addressed Guru Nanak as ”Nanak Hindvi" or ”Nanak Hind ki". The first line of the inscription clearly indicates that it is related to Guru Nanak who has been addressed as "hind da banda, rab da Nanak". Therefore, it becomes imperative for scholars and the Sikhs at large to decipher rest of the inscription to find out:

  • Is this inscription about Guru Nanak‘s visit to Turkey?
  • If the inscription is about Guru Nanak then what is the complete message?
  • Is it a memorial constructed in commemoration of Guru Nanak? And soon.
The Institute for Understanding Sikhism has taken up this research project to study the history of this discovered monument dedicated to Guru Nanak on the following lines:
  1. To relocate the site of the monument and the importance of that site to the tourists visiting Istanbul.
  2. To discover the original inscription of that monument and deciphering it into English and Punjabi.
  3. To discover any information related to the visit of Guru Nanak in Turkey.
  4. To visit various shrines of Hazrat Moulana Jallaluddin Rumito discover the possibilities of discourse of Guru Nanak with the then religious leaders of those shrine of that time.
  5. To search for evidence of meeting of Guru Nanak with the Emperor of Rum, Salim in Istanbul.
  6. To discuss the matter with the Archaeology Department and the Municipality of Istanbul about the future maintenance of this monument and to discuss the possibilities to erect similar monuments with English and Punjabi translations of the original inscription of Turkish.
  7. To deliver a talk on ”Travels of Guru Nanak in India and the Middle East to the faculty and students of the Department of Archaeology, University of Ankara.
  8. To discover the return route followed by Guru Nanak after visiting Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
  9. Finally to publish a Report about the findings of research conducted and then writing a book, Travels of Guru Nanak, with special reference to discovery of this monument.


I am already in contact with Mr. Tugrul Biltekin, First Secretary in the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Ottawa,Canada. He is ready to help me to conduct research on this project and allow me to consult the concerned documents in the Department of Archaeology in Ankara and its branch in Istanbul and also the municipality of Istanbul. Meeting with the religious leaders of shrines of Sufi Rumi in Konya, Turkey will also be arranged by him to discover the possibility of visiting this shrine by Guru Nanak.


Deciphering of the whole inscription on this new discovered monument will confirm the visit of Guru Nanak to Turkey.
  1. The confirmation of connection of this monument with Guru Nanak will further strengthen the possibilities of visits of Guru Nanak to Cairo (Egypt), Jerusalem (Israel), Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey (dotted lines) covering the whole Middle Easts in the visit to Mecca, Baghdad, Tehran, and Kabul(solid lines) has already been confirmed.
  2. The location of the Monument on a public park on the shore of the Straits of Bosporus towards Istanbul, Turkey on European Continent enhances its importance for the tourists of the world.
  3. The above achievements, on completion of this research project are going to prove the travel of Guru Nanak to the end of Middle East (Turkey) and beginning of the Europe (Istanbul) and establishment of a new shrine (A place or structure esteemed for its importance or centrality in Sikh history and as a memorial to Guru Nanak) - - A pride for every Sikh.


The original monument is to be preserved as such with its damaged inscription. A similar monument is to be constructed with the original inscription, which would be clearly legible. Still another such monument is to be constructed on which the translation of the original inscription in Punjabi to be in scribed on one side and English translation on the other side. This will become an historical pilgrimage for the Sikhs in Istanbul on the shore of Straits of the Bosporus on the European Continent where the West meets the East. The role of UNESCO in maintaining this monument as World Heritage will be explored after deciphering the inscription on the newly discovered monument of Guru Nanak.


The estimated funding required to complete the first phase of this research project is about $50,000. The devout Sikhs and Gurdwaras are requested to mail their checks (in the name of ”Institute for Understanding Sikhism") to the Institute for Understanding Sikhism, 4418 Rue Martin-Plouffe, Laval, Quebec, Canada H7W 5L9. The Institute for Understanding Sikhism is charitable organization federally incorporated in Canada. Receipts for donations are issued for Income Tax deductions.


The author is grateful to Drs Avtar Singh Dhaliwal, Sarjeet Singh Sidhu, Balbir Singh, Baldev Singh, Teja Singh, Kulbir Singh Thind and Dr (Mrs) Khushdev Thind for their helpful suggestions to improve its presentation. My special thanks are due to Dr Parminder Singh Chahal, my son, for preparing Figures.

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