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The Background of the Dakkhani Sikhs

The origins of the Dakkhani (also known as Deccani) Sikhs may be traced back to Guru Nanak Dev ji, who traveled through the Deccan with two of his pupils, the Hindu Bala and the Muslim Mardana. at October 1708, while on a visit to the South, Guru Gobind Singh Ji was killed and cremated at Nanded. Although many of his devotees went back to the Punjab, a few remained. Those who remained set up a memorial to the Guru at Nanded, and farmed the land in the vicinity. They converted local ladies to Sikhism, and their children and grandkids grew raised in the faith. Dakkhani Sikhs are those who trace their ancestry back to these first Sikhs.

Sikhs from Punjab migrated south in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, settling in what was then the princely state of Hyderabad. Their descendants, the Dakkhani Sikhs or Sikhs of the Deccan, are a distinct ethnic community dispersed in parts of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Karnataka. Dakkhani Sikhs live in what was formerly Deccan, ruled by the Nizam of Hyderabad, but is today Telengana, Maharashtra, and Karnataka. The highest concentrations of Sikhs may be found in Hyderabad and Nanded.

However, the Dakkhani Sikh group has a few traditions that are different from the Punjabi Sikhs. It is contrary to the beliefs of many Sikhs that a bakra (ram) is sacrificed on Hola Mohalla and Baisakhi inside the gurdwara’s grounds. Even though Guru Nanak stressed the value of grihasta (householder’s life) for all Sikhs, the custom that the chief granthi of the Gurudwara must be a bachelor from among the Dakhani Sikhs remains contentious. The ardaas in the Golden Temple is distinct from the one at the Singh Sabha Gurudwara.

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