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Achal Sahib.This shrine was built in memory of a visit by Guru Nanak Dev Ji in A.D. 1530. Achal is a town situated in Gurdaspur.

Adi Granth.The holy Granth is the holy book of the Sikhs. The Granth contains hymns and prayers. The Granth is a Guru for the Sikhs. The tenth master Guru Gobind Singh Ji ordered that on his death all Sikhs were to follow the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib .

Ajit Singh Sahibzada. 1743 - 1761Ajit Singh was the eldest son of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Mata Sundri. He died when 18 years old whilst fighting in the battle of Chamkaur.

Akal Eternal and immortal. A term used to describe God.

Akali Literally, a worshipper of the Eternal God. Presently the term denotes a member of the Shiromani Akali Dal, the major Sikh political party whose headquarters are in Amritsar.

Akal Bunga.The Akal Bunga is one of the names for the Akal Takht. It is also the name given to the place at Anandpur where the head of Guru Tegh Bahadur was cremated after his martyrdom at Delhi.

Akali Dal.This is the name given to the Sikh political party who operate in Punjab and other Punjabi speaking areas.

Akali Phula Singh was a great Sikh general who served in the army of Maharajah Rhunjeet Singh. He was held in great respect by the Sikhs, he rose to become the Jathedar of the Akal Takht. During his time as Jathedar he administered punishment to Maharajah Rhunjeet Singh. He undertook the construction and improvement of many Gurdwaras. Today a tower Burj Akali Phula Singh exists where once his headquarters were.

Akal Takht. This is one of the five Takhts (Seats of Spiritual power). It is situated opposite the Darshoni Deori in the vicinity of the Golden Temple. The Guru Granth Sahib is kept in the Akal Takht during the night in a room called Kotha Sahib. The Akal Takht has featured in all the historical Sikh struggles.Guru Hargobind issued Hukamnamas(religous edicts) from the Akal Takht. During the misal period all the Sikhs used to meet here and the Sarbat Khalsa (special committee) used to discuss their plans. The famous Maharajah Rhunjeet Singh was punished several times by the head of the Akal Takht. In recent time the Takht has been used by political parties to further their own cause.

Akhand Path.This is the recital of the Guru Granth Sahib without interuptions from the start to the end. Akhand Path's are usually completed in around 48 hours. Reciters of the Granth are allowed to change places during the Path.

Alcohol.The use of alcohol by Sikhs is banned. Rahitnamas instruct Sikhs not to use alcohol and other intoxicants such as cannabis.

Guru Amardas Ji. ( 1563 - 1631) was the third Guru he was a disciple of Guru Angad Dev Ji whom he served with dedication. Guru Amardas appointed devout Sikhs in different regions to teach people the message of Sikhism.

Amrit is sweetened water that is used for the baptism of Sikhs. It is prepared by dissolving sugar in water and stirring with a khanda while reciting verses from the Granth. After its preparation it is administered to the Sikhs.

Amrit Sarowar The reservoir around the Harmandir Sahib.

Amrit Dhari is the name given to Sikhs who have undergone the Amrit ceremony.

Amritsar is the name of the holy city which was started by Guru Amardas. Now it is a large city with major institutions of industry and education. Amritsar contains many Sikh shrines which include the Darbar Sahib and Akal Takht.

Anandgarh started life as a fort built by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It has now been turned in to a Gurdwara. It is situated in Anandpur.

Anand Karaj is the Sikh marriage ceremony. The ceremony is performed in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib. The couple sit in front of the Guru Granth and hymns are recited.

Anandpur is a small town located near the river Satluj. The town was founded by Guru Tegh Bahadur. Anandpur was the place that Guru Gobind Singh administered Amrit to the first Panj Pyaras. Guru Gobind Singh constructed five forts at Anandpur

These forts are now Gurdwara's. Anandpur is now the centre of Holi celebrations, tens of thousands of Sikhs gather at the town to celebrate this occasion.

Guru Angad Ji was the second Sikh Guru. He was born in 1561 in the Faridkot district. He met Guru Nanak in 1589 and quickly became attracted to Guru Nanaks teachings. He became a devotee of Guru Nanak and was installed as Guru in 1596. He died in 1609 at Khadur Sahib.

Antim Ardas are the last rites. Dead bodies are cremated. At the cremation Japji Sahib and the Ardas is recited , blessings from God are sought for the spirit of the deceased.

Ardas is the common prayer of the Sikhs. It was originally written by Guru Gobind Singh to invoke the blessing of God . It has since been modified by Sikhs whenever a major event affecting the Sikhs takes place. The Ardas reminds Sikhs of their religous past and the sacrifices made for mankind.

Guru Arjun Dev Ji was the fifth Guru. He was the son of Guru Ramdas and Mata Bhani. He was born in 1620. He had one son Guru Hargobind. Guru Arjun Dev Ji was installed as Guru in 1638. During his lifetime he got the Tarn Tarn tank constructed and founded the city of Kartarpur. He started the tradition of Daswandh contributing a tenth of income for a good cause. The Guru passed away in 1663 on the banks of the river Ravi, a Gurdwara Dera Sahib has now been constructed at the site.

Arti Worship using oil lamps.

Asa di Var is a collection of hymns which are to be recited at dawn. It is the work of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and there are a few verses by Guru Angad.




Baaz. is the name given to Falcons. A baaz was kept by Guru Gobind Singh and there are many stories about the Guru's baaz.

Baba A term of respect for a father or a holy man.

Baba Atal is a Gurdwara located near to the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Originally it contained the remains of Atal Singh a son of Guru Hargobind. Today the Building is nine storeyed. It is approximately 45 metres high. The first floor of the building contains superb frescoes that depict the life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

Baba Bakala is the village where Guru Tegh Bahadur lived for some time. Today it contains several Gurdwara's which include Bhora Sahib and Manji Sahib.

Baisakhi was originally a seasonal celebration conducted on the 13th April as a thanksgiving at the time when wheat was harvested. Several Sikh events took place on this day these included:

The first assembly of Sikhs at Goindwal in 1567 A.D this was carried out by Guru Amardas Ji.

On the Baisakhi day in 1699 A.D. Guru Gobind Singh created the Sikh baptism ceremony.

On the Baisakhi day of 1740 A.D. Jassa Singh Ahluwalia organised the Sikh forces to fight the Afghan Ahmad Shah Abdali.

On the day in 1801 A.D. Maharajah Rhunjeet Singh was coronated.

Bala, Bhai. Bhai Bala was a companion of Guru Nanak. He accompanied Guru Nanak Ji on many travels. He died in 1601, his last rites were performed by Guru Angad Ji.

Bala Sahib. This Gurdwara is built at the place where Guru Harkrishan died after contracting smallpox. It is situated near Delhi.

Balwand Bhai. Bhai Balwand was a Muslim who used to recite Kirtan for Guru Angad.

Banda Bahadur was the famous Sikh hero sent to the Punjab by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. He won many battles in the Punjab and bought about a dramatic change for the people of Punjab in the way land was administered. He was finally tortured to death in Delhi in 1716 A.D.

Bangla Sahib is a historical Gurdwara located in Delhi. Guru Harkrishan Ji spent some time at this place. The place where Bangla Sahib is located used to be the bungalow of Mirza Raja Jai Singh.

Bani Verses included in Guru Granth Sahib.

Baoli Sahibis the name given to a well made by a Guru. Many of these exist and include:

Bari Sangat is a Gurdwara located in Calcutta. Guru Nanak and Guru Tegh Bahadur stayed at this place.

Baserke is a village which is connected with Guru Amardas. The Gurdwara Sanh Sahib is situated at this village.

Bedi The clan to which Guru Nanak belonged.

Beni was a great saint and scholar. He criticised the rituals of Brahman. Verses of Beni are included in the Guru Granth Sahib.

Ber Fruit of the Jujube tree.

Ber Sahib is a Gurdwara where Guru Nanak stayed. The Guru also planted a tree (ber) near to the Gurdwara. This tree still exits.

Beri Sahib is a Gurdwara in village Seeloana in Ludhiana. Guru Gobind Singh stayed at this village and rested under a tree (ber) hence the name Beri Sahib.

Bhagat A Devotee of God.

Bhai Brother; in popular usage it also applies to those who perform religious services.

Bhalh Bhatt composed one verse in praise of Guru Amardas which is concluded in the Guru Granth Sahib.

Bhangani Sahib is a Gurdwara built in the village Bhangani which is in Himachal Pradesh. Guru Gobind Singh fought a battle here against the hill Rajas. Relics of the Guru are kept at the Gurdwara.

Bhikha Bhatt. Bhatt Bhilka was a devotee of Guru Amardas. Some of his work is included in the Guru Granth Sahib.

Bhikan was a Muslim Saint. Two of his hymns are included in the Granth Sahib.

Bhog is the name given to the ceremony that marks the finishing of Path.

Bidar is a town situated in Karnataka. Guru Nanak stayed near Bidar whilst on his way to Sri Lanka. A Gurdwara, Nanak Jhira commemorating this visit has been built at the site.

Bole So Nihal is a salutation which means "Any one who speaks will be happy".

Brahmgiani God – illuminated Soul, a man who has realized God.

Brahmin The first caste of Hindu society.

Buddha Baba. Baba Buddha was born in 1563. He met Guru Nanak in 1575, the Guru was impressed by this young man. In 1661 Baba Buddha became the Granthi of the Golden Temple. Baba Buddha died in 1688 the last rites were performed by Guru Hargobind.

Buddha Dal is the name given to the veteran Sikh army. The Buddha Dal is still in existence with its headquarters at Damdama Sahib.

Buddhi Intelligence, wisdom of the mind.

Burj Mata Gujri is a Gurdwara built at the place where Mata Gujri with her two youngest grandsons were imprisoned in 1761. Mata Gujri died at this place after hearing of the execution of her grandsons.

Bunga Rest house, a place of dwelling.



Caste System. Guru Nanak was against the caste system. Guru Nanak told his followers not to differentiate by peoples caste. Despite the teachings of all the Sikh Guru, Sikhs are still using the caste system. Sikhs have divided themselves in to Jats, Khatri Mazhbi etc.. These divisions are against the teachings of Guru Nanak.

Chakra A circular steel weapon; one of the symbols of Sikhism; depicted on the Nishan Sahib.

Chek Fateh Singh Wala is a village in Ferozepur that is connected with Guru Gobind Singh, who visited the village at the request of a disciple.

Chamkaur is a town where Guru Gobind Singh fought against the hill Rajas and Mughals. The Gurus eldest sons Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh died in this battle. Gurdwara Chamkaur Sahib now stands as a mark of respect to all those who died in the battle.

Chandi Di Var is a composition written by Guru Gobind Singh. It is included in the Dasam Granth Sahib.

Chando, Mata. Mata Chando was the mother in law of Guru Nanak.

Chandoa is the name given to the canopy which hangs over the Guru Granth Sahib.

Charan Amrit is the name given to the baptism that was practised during the times of the first nine Gurus. The baptism consisted of drinking water in which the Guru had washed their feet.

Charan Kaul. This is the name of a Gurdwara in the village Jindowal (Jalandhar district) where Guru Hargobind stayed for a few days.

Charhdi Kala signifies in the Sikh tradition a perennially blossoming, unwilting spirit, a perpetual state of certitude resting on the unwavering belief in Divine justice.

Charnauli is a village near Kiratpur which is connected with Guru Hargobind, who used to halt here while on his travels.

Chaupai has two meanings. 1. It is a composition of four lines. 2. It is the name given to religous writings.

Chauri is a bunch of hair attached to a handle that is used to fan the Guru Granth Sahib.

Chaur Sahib Yak hair whisk or peacock feather fan waved as a symbol of respect for the scriptures.

Chief Khalsa Diwan A Sikh organization founded in 1901 in Amritsar.

Chola Sahib is something which has been used by one of the Gurus. Chola Sahib of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh exist in many places.

Chubacha Sahib. This is a Gurdwara built after a visit by Guru Arjun Dev. It is situated around village Sarhali (Amritsar district). The Guru stayed here with his wife.

Chubara Sahib is a Gurdwara at Goindwal. It is the birth place of Guru Arjun Dev Ji. Guru Amardas also stayed at this shrine.



Dal Khalsa. The Dal Khalsa is the name given to the united Sikh army that was set up in 1748. The Dal Khalsa was divided in to 11 divisions they were :

Damdama Sahib is the name given to a shrine where the Guru had stayed. There are many such shrines.

Damdama Sahib in village Talwandi Sabo is a shrine at which Guru Gobind Singh stayed. It is now a Takht.

Another well known Damdama Sahib is in Delhi. Here Guru Gobind Singh met the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah.

Darbar Sahib is the name given to the Golden Temple in Amritsar

Darshan Vision of Divine Light, a system of philosophy.

Dasam Granth is the name given to a collection of writings by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It was originally written in many languages including Hindi, Persian and Panjabi.

Daswandh means one tenth. Sikhs are instructed to give one tenth of income to charity.or donation.

Dayala, Bhai is a Sikh hero who was boiled alive by the moghul authorities in 1732.

Deep Singh was a Sikh who fought the Afghans to save the sanctity of the Golden Temple.

Degh Tegh Fateh are Persian words used by Banda Singh Bahadur on his Hukamnamas. The words means "Kettle (feed the poor), Sword (power to protect the weak).

Dehin A form of fresco painting.

Deorhi An entrance gate.

Dera Baba Nanak. This is the shrine where the samadhi (remains i.e urn) is kept. The present shrine was built in the times of Maharajah Rhunjeet Singh.

Dera Sahib is a Gurdwara built by Guru Gobind Singh to commemorate the of Guru Arjun Dev Ji by torture. The shrine was further improved and decorated by Maharajah Rhunjeet Singh. The shrine is located in Lahore.

Dhanna. Three verses of Dhanna are included in the Guru Granth Sahib.

Dhubri is located in Assam. At this site Guru Tegh Bahadur bought about peace between locals and the imperial army. A Gurdwara, Damdama Sahib now stands here.

Dina. After the battle of Chamkaur Guru Gobind Singh stayed at village Dina (Ferozepur district). From here he wrote the famous Zafarnama to Emperor Aurangzeb. A Gurdwara Logarh Sahib now stands here.

Diwali is a festival that the Sikhs as well as Hindus celebrate. Sikhs celebrate it because it was the day on which Guru Hargobind returned to Amritsar after being released from Gwalior jail.

Diwan Sikh religious assembly.

Dukh Niwaran is a Gurdwara in Patiala. It was at this site that Guru Tegh Bahadur rested for a few days.



Elephant. An elephant was presented to Guru Gobind Singh by a Rajah. This elephant was trained to do many tricks. The hill Rajah wanted this elephant and indirectly it led to several wars between Guru Gobind Singh and the Rajah.



Farid known as Sheik Farid was a Sufi saint. 116 hymns written by Sheik Farid are included in the Guru Granth Sahib. The town of Faridkot in named after Sheik Farid.

Fatehgarh Sahib.

Fateh Singh Sahibzada was the youngest son of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. He was born in 1755. He was arrested by the the Governor of Sirhind along with his brother Zorawar Singh and the two were bricked alive by the governor at Fatehgarh in 1761.

Forty Immortals.(Chale Muktae) During the battle of Muktsar on 14 January 1762 A.D. with Mughal forces these forty Sikhs who had earlier deserted the army of Guru Gobind Singh fought heroically and were subsequently blessed the forty martyrs. The forty were

  1. Mahan Singh
  2. Mahla Singh
  3. Darbara Singh
  4. Vir Singh
  5. Mansa Singh
  6. Parsa Singh
  7. Guru Singh
  8. Ajaib Singh
  9. Sher Singh
  10. Naryan Singh
  11. Sant Singh
  12. Parina Singh
  13. Sorja Singh
  14. Bachitar Singh
  15. Mastan Singh
  16. Phula Singh
  17. Champa Singh
  18. Khan Singh
  19. Dip Singh
  20. Makhan Singh
  21. Ganda Singh
  22. Sadhu Singh
  23. Jiwan Singh
  24. Mula Singh
  25. Bhag Singh
  26. Kapur Singh
  27. Mitha Singh
  28. Garu Singh
  29. Jassa Singh
  30. Chuhr Singh
  31. Mani Singh
  32. Bhag Singh
  33. Mansa Singh
  34. Taru Singh
  35. Bishan Singh
  36. Gurbux Singh
  37. Hari Singh
  38. Bulka Singh
  39. Babeka Singh
  40. Ram Singh



Gach plaster of various mixes.

Gadi / Gaddi Throne or seat of the Gurus.

Gaga is a small village near Sunam where Guru Tegh Bahadur stayed.

Gangsar Sahib is a shrine in Kartarpur. Kartarpur was founded by Guru Arjun Dev in 1569 A.D. There was a lack of water and Guru Arjun Dev got a well dug. The well is called Gangsar.

Garna Sahib is a Gurdwara located near village Bodal in Hoshiarpur district. Guru Hargobind Singh stayed in this area whilst on a hunting expedition.

Ghallughara. This is the Punjabi word to describe mass genocide or holocaust. Sikhs remember two Ghallughara. The first was in a fight against Lakhpat Rai and the second was the great Ghallughara caused by Ahmad Shah Abdali.

Ghalughara Holocaust (Great Holocaust); refers to incidents that led to the destruction and loss of Sikh lives at different periods of Sikh history.

Gian Wisdom, knowledge.

Giani A person possessing wisdom or knowledge.

Gobindgarh. Maharajah Rhunjeet Singh built a fort on the outskirts of Amritsar which he named Gobindgarh. The ruler of Patiala also built a fort with the same name. Gobindgarh is also the name of a shrine in village Dodhar near Moga.

Gobind Ghat is a famous shrine in Patna where Guru Gobind Singh spent some of his early life.

Gobindpura is a village which was visited by Guru Tegh Bahadur and at a latter date by Guru Gobind Singh.

Gobind Singh, Guru was the tenth Guru of the Sikhs. He was nine years old when he became the Guru . He bought about many changes which included installing physical power in to Sikhs by encouraging martial sports and activities. At the age of 33 he established the new order of the Khalsa. He was a perfect commander in battle and he helped win many battles with his careful strategic planning. Guru Gobind Singh was killed in 1765. On his death he declared that the Guru Granth Sahib was to be the Guru of the Sikhs.

God. Sikhism teaches us that God is formless, colorless, caste less, classless and creed less.

Goindwal is a region which is associated with Sikh history. It was here that Guru Angad Dev was born. Guru Amardas and Guru Ramdas also lived here.

Golden Temple is the English name for the Harmandir Sahib. The Harmandir Sahib is located in Amritsar. The gold gilded temple stands in the centre of a 150x150 metre tank. The temple has four doors. Internally the temple is decorated throughout in places precious stones are used. Guru Ramdas started the building in 1634, the building was finally completed by Guru Arjun Dev in 1645. The temple was desecrated by Massa Ranghar in 1797, he was finally killed by Mahtab Singh. In 1818 Ahmad Shah Abdali desecrated the shrine and blew it up. Baba Deep Singh gave his life to save the Gurdwara. In 1821 the building programme was again started by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia. The present gold covering was done by Maharajah Rhunjeet Singh. In 1984 the Indian government sent the army in to the Golden Temple complex. Shots were fired at the temple and bullet marks were visible.

Granth A compilation of the sacred scriptures.

Granth Sahib is another name for the Sikh holy scriptures.

Granthi is the name given to a person who recites the Guru Granth Sahib.

Gujjarwal is a village near Ludhiana with a Gurdwara associated with Guru Hargobind.

Gujranwala is the birth place of Maharajah Rhunjeet Singh. It is currently located in Pakistan.

Gujri,Mata was the wife of Guru Tegh Bahadhur and the mother of Guru Gobind Singh.

Gurbani The scriptures compiled by the Gurus.

Gurdas, Bhai wrote the Adi Granth by dictation from Guru Arjun Dev. He died in 1629 A.D.

Gurditta, Baba was the eldest son of Guru Hargobind. He was the father of Guru Har Rai.

Gurdwara is the name given to a Sikh place of worship. any person regardless of religion creed and caste can visit a Gurdwara and eat langer (food) .

Gurmata The intention, resolution or will of the Guru expressed in a formal decision made by a representative assembly of Sikhs; a resolution of the Sarbat Khalsa.

Gurmukh is a person who is inclined towards the Guru.

Gurmukhi is the name given to the Punjabi script.

Gurne Kalan is a village near Sunam which has a shrine associated with Guru Tegh Bahadur.

Gurpartap is a Gurdwara in a village called Guru Ka Chak in Jalandhar district.

Gurpurb is the name given to days which fall on Guru's birthdays ,anniversary days of Guru's assuming responsibility as Guru (Gurgadi) and days on which the Gurus left for their heavenly abode.

Guru means teacher. There were ten Sikh Guru's. The present Guru is the Guru Granth Sahib. ( GU means Darkness and RU means divine light (JOT) )

Guru Ka Bagh is the name given to a garden visited by a Guru.

Guru Ka Chak was the name of Amritsar. This is also the name of a village in Jalandhar.

Guru Ka Mahal means the Gurus palace. It is usually given to places where the Guru stayed. These include:

Gurusar is a tank (water) made by a Guru.

Gutka is a small Sikh prayer book which contains all the main prayers.

Gwalior contains a fort where Guru Hargobind was imprisoned.

Gyani is the name given to some one who has a good knowledge of the Sikh scriptures.



Handi Sahib is a Gudwara situated near Patna (Bihar State). Guru Gobind Singh stayed here in 1728.

Hans Ram was a poet who served Guru Gobind Singh. He also translated part of the Mahabharata in to Hindi.

Hargobind, Guru. Guru Hargobind was the sixth Guru. He was the son of Guru Arjun Dev. Guru Hargobind was invested with the Guruship in 1663. He carried two swords one to signify spiritual power (Peeri) and the other to signify military power (Meeri). He was imprisoned in Gwalior fort by Emperor Jehangir. Guru Hargobind also started the construction of the Akal Takht in 1665. He died in 1701.

Hari Chand was the father in law of Guru Hargobind Ji.

Hari Singh Nalwa was a famous Sikh general in the forces of Maharajah Rhunjeet Singh. He had a great military mind and won many battles. He served as governor of Kashmir for a short spell. He died fighting in 1894.

Harkrishan, Guru. Guru Harkrishan was the eighth Guru. He was the younger son of Guru Har Rai. He was appointed Guru in 1718 at the age of five. He was taken to Delhi on the orders of Aurangzeb and stayed at the bungalow of Raja Jai Singh. The Guru was taken ill and died in 1721. Gudwara Bala Sahib now stands at the place where the young Guru was cremated.

Harmandir Literally, "the house of God"; the central Sikh shrine in Amritsar.

Har Rai, Guru. Guru Har Rai was the seventh Guru he was the Grandson of Guru Hargobind. He became Guru in 1701. He continued the upkeep of armed followers as introduced by Guru Hargobind. He made his headquarters at Kiratpur. He chose his young son Harkrishan as his successor and passed away in 1718.

Hatt Sahib is a Gudwara sited on a store where Guru Nanak was employed. Guru Nanak worked at this provision store where he looked after supplies for the palace and military.

Hazare Shabad is the name given to seven shabad from the Adi Granth and 10 from the Dasam Granth.

Hazur Sahib is one of the five Takhts. It is situated in Maharashtra. This is the place where Guru Gobind Singh died in 1765.

Hemkunt is a Gudwara located in the Garhwal hills of Uttar Pradesh. The site is mentioned by Guru Gobind Singh, he meditated at the mentioned site for a long time in a previous life.

Hola Mohalla is the name of a large fair that is held avery year at Anandpur. It was on such a day that Guru Gobind Singh used to hold military exercises at Anandpur.

Holgarh is the name of a fort that was constructed by Guru Gobind Singh in 1746. It is now a Gurdwara.

Hukam Order, command.

Hukamnama is the name given to an order that is issued to Sikhs. Hukamnamas have been issued by the Guru and nowadays are issued by the Jathedar of the five Takhts.



Ik Onkar means one God. Ik Onkar are also the first words in the Adi Granth.



Jaidev was a Bhakt. Two of his hymns are in the Adi Granth.

Jaito is a village between the railway line that runs from Bhatinda and Ferozepur. A Gudwara linked to Guru Gobind Singh is located here.

Jalap. Bhatt Jalap composed five swayas that are included in the Adi Granth.

Jaikara The sikh cry – "Jo Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal".

Janam Sakhi is the name given to a biography.

Jand Sahib. A Jand is a tree and threfore Jand Sahib is the name given to trees which have been enriched with a visit by the Guru. There are many Jand Sahibs these included:

Japji is the prayer recited by Sikhs in the morning. The Adi Granth Starts with the Japji Sahib. It was written by Guru Nanak.

Jap Sahib is like the Japji and is recited in the morning. It was written by Guru Gobind Singh.

Jaratkari The technique of inlaying colored stones in marble.

Jaspal Bhaike is a village near Ludhiana. There is a shrine here dedicated to Guru Har Rai. A few articles of the Guru are also kept here.

Jassa Singh Ahluwalia was the leader of the Ahluwalia missal (confedracy). He was also the Commander in Chief of the Sikh forces. He was born in 1718 A.D in village Ahlu near Lahore. His father died when he was young and his mother took the young Jassa Singh to Mata Sundri. He stayed in Delhi for seven years. In 1728 A.D Nawab Kapur Singh took Jassa Singh under his wing. In 1748 the Dal Khalsa was formed, Jassa Singh was chosen as the Dal leader. During the invasions of Ahmad Shah Jassa Singh helped liberate Indian prisoners and was given the name Bandi Chor. During his lifetime he founded Kapurthala State. Jassa Singh passed away in 1783 A.D. He was cremated at Baba Atal Sahib in Amritsar where his centoaph still exists.

Jassa Singh Ramgarhia was the leader of the Ramgarhia missal. He helped in many of the Sikh battles. He was known as Ramgarhia beacause he extended the Ram Rauni fortress at Amritsar.

Jassi is a village near Bhatinda. A Gurdwara connected with Guru Gobind Singh is located here.

Jathedar is the name given to a leader in charge of people or the leader of a jatha (group).

Jhar Sahib.Jhar is a tree and therefore Jhar Sahib is a shrine with a tree connected with the Guru's. Jhar Sahibs include

Jhatka. is a method of killing animals. Jhatka involves killing an animal with one stroke of the sword.

Jhira Sahib is the name of a village near Anandpur which is associated with Guru Hargobind. A Gurdwara in Kanjle village near Dhuri which is associated with Guru Hargobind has the same name.

Jind Kaur was a wife of Maharajah Rhunjeet Singh and mother of Dalip Singh. She also ruled Punjab for some time with the aid of her brother Jawahar Singh. This eventually led to her down fall. Jawahar Singh murdered a son of Maharajah Rhunjeet Singh whom he considered a threat to his position. Jind Kaur died in England in 1861 A.D.

Jito, Mata was one of Guru Gobind Singhs wives. She was also the mother of Jujhar Singh, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh.

Joga Singh, Bhai was a devotee of Guru Gobind Singh. He was baptized by Guru Gobind Singh.

Johar Sahib is a Gurdwara near Dharampur in Himachel Pradesh. Guru Nanak stayed here during his travels.

Jujhar Singh, Sahibzada. Sahibzada Jujhar Singh was the second son of Guru Gobind Singh. He was born in 1747 and died in 1761 whilst fighting in the battle of Chamkaur.

Jyoti Swarup is a Gurdwara in Sirhind near Fateh Garh Sahib. The remains of Mata Gujri and Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh were cremated here.



Kafila Caravan.

Kabir was the leader of the Bhakti movement. 534 verses of Kabir are included in the Adi Granth.

Kakars. Guru Gobind Singh told the members of the Khalsa to wear the five Sikh symbols these were

Kalsahar, Bhatt. Kalsahar was a famous Bhatt. 54 of his Swayyas are included in the Adi Granth.

Kalu, Baba. Baba Kalu was the father of Guru Nanak. He was born in 1497 and died in 1597.

Kanahia, Bhai. Bhai Kanahia is a well known Sikh who during a battle served water to all regardless of religion. Guru Gobind Singh was very pleased with this act.

Kandh Sahib is a Gurdwara near Batala connected with Guru Nanak. It was here that Guru Nanak got married.

Kapur Singh, Nawab. Nawab Kapur Singh was a Sikh hero who was given the title of Nawab. He is well known for forming the Dal Khalsa and for grooming Jassa Singh Ahluwalia. He was in charge of the Singhpura missal. He fought in many battles and finally died in 1759 A.D. at Amritsar.

Karah Parshad A sacramental food offered to God, then distributed to all present at Sikh religious gatherings. It is made of flour, sugar and ghee (clarified butter).

Kar Seva The voluntary operation of cleansing and desilting the holy pool (Amrit Sarowar) at the Golden Temple. (Also spelled "kar-seva".).

Kartarpur is a small town near Jalandhar. It was founded by Guru Arjun Dev in 1596 A.D.

Kartarpur is a town that was founded by Guru Nanak. It is currently situated in Pakistan.

Katha is the term given to the reading of hymns and then explaining the content of the hymns.

Katra Neighborhood.

Kaur. is the last name of Sikh ladies as Singh is for the men. this means lioness or princess

Keshdhari. A Sikh who has uncut hair is called a Keshdhari Sikh.

Keshgarh Sahib is one of the five Takhts. It is located at Anandpur. It was here that Guru Gobind Singh started the Sikh Amrit (baptism) ceremony. The current Gurdwara houses some weapons of Guru Gobind Singh.

Khadur Sahib is a village near Amritsar. It is here that Guru Angad spent some time, Guru Angad also died at this place. A Gurdwara stands at the site.

Khalsa The pure ones; the brotherhood of initiated Sikhs; also used as a collective description of the Sikh community. (See also Chief Khalsa Diwan.).

Khalsa Panth The Sikh community, the organization founded by Guru Gobind Singh.

Khalsa, Sarbat. Sarbat Khalsa is used to describe a meeting of Sikhs. The Sarbat Khalsa still exists, its hey days were during the missal period, when all the Sikh Sirdars used to meet at the Akal Takht to discuss and plan future campaigns.

Khandha. The Khandha is the religous symbol of the Sikhs it consists of a double edged sword a quoit and two swords on either side. The double edged sword is also known as the Khandha. The first Khandha that was used to prepare Amrit by Guru Gobind Singh is still preserved at Anandpur

Kirat, Bhatt. Bhatt Kirat has eight swayyas included in the Adi Granth. It is thought that he fought in the army of Guru Hargobind and was killed in a battle against the Mughals.

Kiratpur is on the banks of the river Sutlej near Anandpur. It is linked with many of the Guru's. There are many shrines linked with the Guru here.

Kirpan is the word for sword. It is one of the five items that Guru Gobind Singh prescribed to Sikhs.

Kirtan is the singing of hymns in praise of God. Kirtan is usually set to music.

Kot Bhai is a village near Gidarbaha (Ferozepur) which is linked to a visit by Guru Gobind Singh. Two Gurdwara's stand at this village to commemorate the Guru's visit.

Kotha Sahib is a Gurdwara in village Udeke (Batala). Guru Nanak stayed here while on his way to Batala.

Kothari Sahib, Gurdwara. This Gurdwara is linked to Guru Nanak. When Guru Nanak was working as a storekeeper at Sultanpur Lodhi a complaint was made against his management of the store as a result of this Guru Nanak was arrested and kept in a dungeon. The present Gurdwara stands at the site of the dungeon.

Krodh Anger.

Kuvresh was a poet in Guru Gobind Singh's court.



Lakhmi Chand was the youngest son of Guru Nanak. He was born at Sultanpur Lodhi in 1553 and died in 1612.

Langar is the community kitchen which is attached to all Gurdwara. Here any person irrespective of religion, caste or creed can eat without cost.

Lavan Marriage hymns.

Lehna was the name of Guru Angad.

Lobh Greed, avarice.

Lohgarh is the name given to a fort. There are many forts with this name they include

Lohri is a Punjabi festival that is celebrated by Sikhs. It falls on the eve of Maghi, the day on which the forty immortals are remembered.



Mahal Palace.

Machhiwara is a village (Ludhiana), where Guru Gobind Singh stayed after the battle of Chamkaur. A Gurdwara now stands on the site where Guru Gobind Singh rested.

Maghi is a Sikh festival that is held on January 14th every year. It is held to celebrate the martyrdom of the forty immortals at Muktsar.

Mahant. A peron who controls a Gurdwara is called a Mahant. Nowadays there are not many Mahants as there were once, because there place has been taken by the Shrimoni Gurdwara Prabandak Committee.

Maharaja Literally, "the great king" or "supreme sovereign".

Mahtab Singh was a famous Sikh hero. He could not let the tyrant Massa Ranghar perform atrocious acts in the Golden Temple so he along with his companion Sukha Singh decided to take revenge and they put Massa Ranghar to death in 1797. For this Mahtab Singh was tortured to death by the Mughals.

Maini Sangat, Gurdwara. This Gurdwara is located at a site where Guru Gobind Singh used to play as a child. Maharajah Maini used to feed the Guru and his friends with sweets made from boiled gram. The parsad at this Gurdwara is still made from boiled Gram.

Majnu Ka Tilla, Gurdwara. This Gurdwara is built in Delhi on the banks of the river Yamuna. Guru Nanak and Guru Hargobind stayed at this site.

Mala is the name given to a Rosary.

Mani Singh, Bhai. Bhai Mani Singh was a Sikh who served Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh. He also prepared the final version of the Adi Granth. Bhai Mani Singh was killed for not paying a levy imposed upon him by the Governor of Lahore.

Manji Ecclesiastical district; 22 manjis were established by Guru Amar Das.

Manji Sahib is the name given to a raised platform made for the Guru. The Manji Sahib can be found at:

Manmukh is used to describe some one with the opposite qualities of a Gurmukh person.

Mardana, Bhai. Bhai Mardana was a devotee of Guru Nanak who accompanied Guru Nanak on his four great journies. Three of Mardana's hymns are included in the Adi Granth. Mardana died during a journey through Afghanistan.

Masand. Guru Ramdas appointed Sikhs to preach Sikhism and collect donations. These people became to be known as Masands.

Mata A prefix showing respect for elderly woman.

Mata Sundri, Gurdwara. This Gurdwara has been built in Delhi to remember Mata Sundri. The Gurdwara houses two weapons of Guru Gobind Singh.

Mati Das, Bhai. Bhai Mati Das was a devotee of Guru Tegh Bahadur who was sawed alive for refusing to convert to Islam. This happened in 1732 before Guru Tegh Bahadur was killed.

Meeri Temporal authority in the Sikh religion.

Mela A fair or festival.

MisI A Sikh confederacy in the eighteenth centurv.

Moti Bhag, Gurdwara. This Gurdwara is built in Delhi. It was at this site that Guru Gobind Singh launched an arrow to mark his arrival at Delhi.

Muktsar is a town around 40 km from Faridkot. It was here that Guru Gobind Singh had his last battle. There are many historical Gurdwara's in Muktsar.



Nadaun is a town in Himachel Pradesh. Guru Gobind Singh visited this place and a Gurdwara has been built in memory of this.

Nadha Sahib is a Gurdwara near Chandigarh where Guru Gobind Singh stayed whilst he was traveling to Anandpur.

Nam Divine Name, the holy spirit, the spirit of God.

Namdharis. The Namdharis movement was started by Baba Balak Singh. It was originally started to promote Sikh values and stop Sikhs falling in to Brahmin practices. It achieved its goal but since the death of Baba Ram Singh, who succeeded Baba Balak Singh the followers of the movement started to believe that Baba Ram Singh was a living Guru. Baba Ram Singh issued many instructions stating that he was a follower of the ten Gurus and the Guru Granth Sahib, this was to no avail. The Namdharis still believe in a living Guru.

Nam Karan is the naming ceremony that Sikhs go through in order to name a new born child.

Nanak, Guru. was the founder of Sikhism. He was born at Nankana Sahib in 1526. In 1554 he and Bhai Mardana started out on the Guru's four great journies which took him as far as Mecca. Guru Nanak died in 1596. 947 hymns of Guru Nanak are included in the Adi Granth.

Nanak Panthis are the followers of the first few Guru. They do not follow the teaching of Guru Gobind Singh.

Nanak Piao is a Gurdwara in Delhi. In 1510 A.D. this site was visited by Guru Nanak who served water to thirsty travellers from a well. The well still exists.

Nanak Shahi is a Gurdwara located in Dacca. It was built in memory of a visit by Guru Nanak.

Nanded is a town near Hazur Sahib.

Nankana Sahib is a place that now lies in Pakistan. It was here that Guru Nanak was born. There are many shrine's at Nankana Sahib that are connected with Guru Nanak.

Naqqash Dehin fresco artist.

Nigara A large drum.

Nihang. During the time of Guru Gobind Singh a force called the Nihangs was started as the army of the Sikhs. There are still various orders of Nihangs in existence today. They are distinguishable from other Sikh by there clothes and weapons. They usually wear blue robes and carry spears and various other weapons. They are very fond of horses. Famous Nihangs include Akali Phula Singh who was the Jatheedar of the Akal Takht.

Nirankaris like Namdharis started as a reformist organisation. It was started by Baba Dayal Das. The followers of Baba Dyal Das believe that he was the eleventh Guru. The Nirankharis continue to believe in a living Guru.

Nirgun Formless; a description of God.

Nirmalas are an order started by Guru Gobind Singh. Several people were sent away to learn sanskrit and on their return they were given the title of Nirmalas.

Nishan Sahib is the flag of the Khalsa. A Nishan Sahib can be found at every Gurdwara.

Nitnem is the name given to the daily reading of prayers by Sikhs. Nitnem consists of :



Pahul is the word used to describe the Sikh baptism.

Palki A palanquin.

Panjokhra is a village near Ambala. Guru Harkrishan stayed here while he was on his way to Delhi.

Panj Piaras means the five beloved ones. The five were the first people to be admitted in to the Khalsa brotherhood by Guru Gobind Singh. The first Panj Pyare were:

Panth Literally, "path"; today widely used to describe the Sikh community, but derived from the "path" taken by the followers of the faith.

Paonta Sahib is situated in Himachel Pradesh. Guru Gobind Singh stayed at this site for a while. A Gurdwara now stands at the site.

Parchar Missionary work.

Parkarma A clockwise ,circumambulatory, walkway around a holy shrine.

Path is a word used to describe the reading of the Sikh scriptures.

Pathar Sahib is a Gurdwara located on the Leh to Srinagar highway. It was built to commemorate a visit by Guru Nanak.

Pathi is the name given to a person who reads the Adi Granth.

Patit is the title given to some one who breaks the rules of Sikhism such as not to take drugs.

Patna is the capital of Bihar State. It was here that Guru Gobind Singh was born in 1723. It has many Gurdwara's one of which is Harmandir Sahib which is a Takht.

Peeri Spiritual authority in the Sikh religion.

Pietra Dura Inlay of colored stones in marble.

Pipa was the King of a state called Gagaraungarh. A hymn of Pipa is included in the Adi Granth.

Punja Sahib is a shrine in Pakistan connected with Guru Nanak. Whilst traveling Guru Nanak came across a Muslim faqir who threw a large rock at the Guru. Guru Nanak stopped the rock with the use of his hands. The Rock still exists and the impression of Guru Nanak's palm is visible.

Pushkar is a town close to Ajmer in Rajasthan. Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh visted this site at various times.



Raga The classical system of Indian music.

Ragi is the name given to some one who sings hymns.

Rahras is a collection of hymns which are recited at sunset by Sikhs.

Rahit is the code of conduct observed by Sikhs.

Rakhi To safeguard.

Raj Karega Khalsa means the Khalsa shall rule.

Rakab Ganj, Gurdwara. This Gurdwara is located in Delhi opposite Parliament House. This Gurdwara is built on the site where Guru Tegh Bahadur was cremated.

Ramdas, Guru. Guru Ramdas was the fourth Guru. He was born in 1591. Guru Ramdas served Guru Amardas and was married to the daughter of Guru Amardas. Guru Ramdas found the city of Amritsar. Guru Ramdas had three sons: Prithi Chand, Mahadev and Guru Arjun Dev. Guru Ramdas died in 1638.

Ram Rauni Originally a mud fortress near Amritsar, later strengthened and renamed Ramgarh after the fourth guru, Ram Das.

Rhunjeet Singh, Maharajah. Rhunjeet Singh was the Maharajah of Punjab. He was born in 1837 at Gujranwala. His father died when he was twelve. He became the head of the Sukerchakia missal and started his great rise. After he had subdued rival chief he was crowned Maharajah in 1858. He was a great servant to the Panth and provided funding to have the Harmindar Sahib decorated with gold leaf. He died in 1896.

Ravidas was a saint. Hymns of Ravidas are included in the Adi Granth.

Reetha Sahib is located in Uttar Pradesh. Guru Nanak and Mardana passed through this site. Mardana was very hungry and Guru Nanak told him to eat the fruit from a soap nut tree. The soap nuts were very sweet. Even today the soap nuts from some branches of this tree are sweet.



Sadh Sangat is a term used to address the congregation in a Gurdwara.

Sahajdharis is the name used to describe followers of the Sikh faith who do not adopt the physical appearance of the Khalsa.

Sahej Path is the reading of the Adi Granth over a period of time.

Sahib A suffix showing reverence for person, place or object.

Sahib Kaur, Mata. was a wife of Guru Gobind Singh. She was cremated at Gurdwara Bala Sahib in Delhi.

Sahibzadas. This is the name used to describe the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh. The sons were

Sangat. This term is used to describe the Sikh congregation.

Sangat Tola is a Gurdwara in Dacca. Guru Tegh Bahadur stayed here while on his way to Assam. Some artefacts of the Guru are preserved here.

Santokhsar is the name of a tank in Amritsar which was constructed by Guru Amardas.

Sairsa (Sirsa) is a small town in Haryana. Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh visted the town and a Gurdwara now stands to commemorate these visits.

Sarbat Khalsa Widely attended gatherings of the Sikhs, which accord collective sanction to all major initiatives.

Sardar A chieftain or headman, presently used as a title for all Sikh men.

Sargun The temporal realm of human existence.

Sarowar A pool or lake.

Sat Guru God.

Sati Self-immolation of Hindu widows on their husbands' funeral pyres.

Satsang Holy Company, prayer meeting, a devotional group .

Sat Sri Akal is the Sikh salutation. It means The Timeless is True.

Sau Sakhi is a collection of stories thought to be written by Guru Gobind Singh. The stories contained in it predict future events.

Seva means service. Sikhs are encouraged to do community service in whatever form they can to help others.

Shabad A hymn of Praise to God..

Shabad Kirtan The vocal and musical renditions from the sacred verses of the Adi Granth.

Sikh. A Sikh is a follower of the Sikh religion. He / she believe in the teachings of the ten Guru and the Adi Granth.

Singh is the name Sikhs use as there last name. This act was started by Guru Gobind Singh to unify Sikhs and to give them a distinct identity. Nowadays however some people have dropped Singh from their names and are using other family names.

Singh Sabha is an organistaion that was set up to regenerate Sikh society.

Sirhind is a town in Punjab. It was at Sirhind that the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh were bricked alive. Mata Gujri, mother of Guru Gobind Singh also died at Sirhind. A Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib stands at this site where the two young ones were killed.

Siropa. This is a present that is given by Sikhs to a person as a mark of respect. The giving of Siropa has now become corrupt and the present management of historical Gurdwara now give them out for political reasons.

Sis Ganj is a shrine at Anandpur where the head of Guru Tegh Bahadur was cremated. The shrine in Delhi where Guru Tegh Bahadur was killed is also called Sis Ganj.

Shisha Glass or mirror.

Shish Mahal A palace or building studded with mirrors or glass-work; sometimes spelled "Sheesh Mahal"

Shishya A disciple or devoted follower.

Sidhis Occult powers.

Sikh The name given to a follower of Guru Nanak.

Sikhya The vernacular form of "Shishya".

Simran Meditation, Constant remembrance of God – Practicing the presence of God.

Singh Lion. At first, all male members of the Sikh community added "Singh" to their names, but now many Sikh women append it to their names as well.

Singh Sabha A movement comprising several Sikh societies dedicated to religious, social and educational reforms within the Sikh community. The first Singh Sabha was founded at Amritsar in 1873.

Sodhi A subcaste of the Kshatriyas. Seven Sikh gurus (from Guru Ram Das to Guru Gobind Singh) were of this caste

Sola, Kirtan. Kirtan Sola is a prayer that is recited at bed time by Sikhs.

Sri Chand was the eldest son of Guru Nanak. He was born at Sultanpur Lodhi in 1551.

Sri Sahab Sword.

Sukha Singh was a famous Sikh hero who along with Mahtab Singh killed Massa Ranghar who was misusing the precincts of the Golden Temple. He died in 1810 while engaged in a battle.

Sukhmani A poetical composition.

Sulakhani, Mata. Mata Sulakhani was the wife of Guru Nanak.

Sultanpur Lodhi is a town in Kapurthala. Guru Nanak worked at this town for 14 years.

Sunder. Baba Sunder was the great grandson of Guru Amardas. A composition of his is included in the Adi Granth.

Sundri, Mata. Guru Gobind Singh married Mata Sundri in 1741. She was the mother of Ajit Singh. She died in 1804. Gurdwara Bala Sahib in Delhi stands where she was cremated.

Swaraj Self-rule, independence.



Tahli Sahib. Gurdwara where the Guru's rested under a Sheesham tree are known as Tahli Sahib. The Tahli Sahib include:

Takht. A Takht is a spiritual seat of authority for Sikhs. There are five Takhts these are :

Talwandi Sabo is a small town in Bathinda state. Guru Gobind Singh spent some time here after the battle of Muktsar. Sri Dam Dama Sahib one of the five Takhts is located here.

Tankhaiya is used to describe a person who has been excommunicated from the Sikh faith.

Tarn Tarn is a town near Amritsar. A Gurdwara stands here that is similar to the Golden Temple. The Gurdwara was constructed by Guru Arjun Dev to honour the memory of Guru Ramdas.

Tegh Bahadur, Guru. Guru Tegh Bahadur was the youngest son of Guru Hargobind. He was born in 1678 at Amritsar. He became the 9th Guru in 1722. During his lifetime he founded Anandpur. Guru Tegh Bahadur married Mata Gujri in 1689 and had one son Guru Gobind Singh. Guru Tegh Bahadur was killed by Aurangzeb in 1732 after he refused to convert to Islam.

Thambh Sahib is a pole associated with a Guru. Well known Thambh Sahib include:

Tibbi Sahib is the name given to a sandy area that has been sanctified by the visit of a Guru. Well known Tibbi Sahib include :

Toka Sahib is a Gurdwara near Nahan where Guru Gobind Singh stayed for a few days after the battle of Bhangani.

Tukri The process in which pieces of colored and mirrored glass are cut and inlaid into gach.



Udasis are an order of Sadhus who preach the Sikh faith. They do not wear the symbols of Sikhism. They carry a begging bowl and avoid women and gold. This sect was founded by the eldest son of Guru Nanak, Sri Chand.



Vaaq The Lord's message. Also known as the Hukamnama

Viah Sahib is a Gurdwara in Batala. The marriage of Guru Nanak was solemnized here.

Viveksar is a Gurdwara in Amritsar that was built by Guru Hargobind.

Vichitra Natak is a composition of Guru Gobind Singh that is included in the Dasam Granth.



Waheguru is the name used for god by Sikhs.

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh is part of the Sikh salutation. It was also used as a war cry. It means The Khalsa belongs to God and victory belongs to him.



Yoga and its beliefs were not to the liking of Guru Nanak.



Zafarnama is a writing of Guru Gobind Singh to Aurangzeb. In it Guru Gobind Singh writes that when all else fails to right a wrong the raising of the sword is just.

Zorawar Singh was the third son of Guru Gobind Singh. He was born to Mata Jito in 1753. He was bricked up alive with his younger brother at Sirhind. A Gurdwara in memory of the two Sahibzadas called Fatehgarh Sahib exists in Sirhind.


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