The History of Guru Nanak’s visit to Assam and meeting Mahapurush Srimanta Shankaradev

The Northeast Dialogue

In the Janamsakhi tradition, Guru Nanak is said to have visited Kamrup, the erstwhile name of present-day Assam, and had met Mahapurush Shrimanta Shankaradev.

Two major books on Guru Nanak's life, “Travels of Guru Nanak” written by Dr Surinder Singh Kohli, and “Jeevan Charitar Guru Nanak Dev” written by Dr Tarlochan Singh, have recorded Guru Nanak's meeting with Shrimanta Shankardev. On the other hand Dr Sanjib Kumar Borkakoti in his book, “Essays on Shrimanta Shankaradev,” mentions that Guru Nanak came to Assam to meet the polymath during the first Udaasi and it is also said that the two saints met in the year 1505 CE when Guru Nanak came to Bardowaa in Assam to meet Shrimanta Shankaradev.

The local Sikhs say that Guru Nanak had visited Naziraa and held discussions with Shrimanta Shankaradev in the temple on the river Dikhow opposite Gaushaalaa. The visit of Guru Nanak to Naziraa is recorded in Twareekh Guru Khaalsaa.

There were meetings between them several times, the first being during Shrimanta Shankaradev’s first pilgrimage from 1481 to 1493, when Guru Nanak was in the age period between 12 to 24 years. He again came to meet Shrimanta Shankaradev, this time in Assam in 1505. It can be observed that Shrimanta Shankardev was throughout with him during his travels in Assam.

At Dhubri, there used to be a huge hillock on the bank of the Brahmaputra River. Guru Nanak is said to have meditated here and held discussions with Shrimanta Shankardev.

The followers of Shrimanta Shankardev known as the Mahaapursh sect to date, consider Guru Nanak as 'Guru Bhaai' of Shri Shankar Deb and attend religious functions in various Gurudwaaras held in honor of Guru Nanak.

Also, Guru Nanak visited the Maa Kamakhya temple during his Kamarupa visit. All these accounts connect to Bharat’s common heritage of teerthayatra and cultural integration.


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