Guru Nanak Dev ji standing in the midst of devotees - Unknown, Sikh School - Google Cultural Institute.jpg
Guru Nanak along with his devotees in North India
Total population
c. Unknown
Guru Nanak
Regions with significant populations

Nanakpanthi[1] (Gurmukhi: ਨਾਨਕਪੰਥੀ) is a follower of the teachings of Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the foundational guru of a spiritual community natively known as Nanakpanth while known world-wide as Sikhism. Nanakpanth is an open frontier that references strongly an early Sikh community. Nanakpanthi signifies any person, regardless of any religious affiliation, who follows Guru Nanak and believes in his teachings.

Today a large fraction of the Sindhi Hindus consider themselves not simply as Sikhs, but more precisely as Nanakpanthi, both in Pakistan[2] and in India. Strands of Nanakpanthi culture exists in Pakistan and Afghanistan including Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and remote areas of Punjab province.[3] They generally do not sport beards or wear a turban unlike Amritdhari Sikhs.[4] Even in the 1881 and 1891 Indian censuses, the Sindhi Hindu community could not decide to collectively identify as Hindu or Sikh.[5] In the later 1911 Census Report, Shahpur District (Punjab) reported that 12,539 Hindus (being 20 percent of the total Hindu population) identified as Nanakpanthi along with 9,016 Sikhs (being 22 percent of the total Sikh population).[6] There is no data for the specific number of Nanakpanthis. Karnail Singh Panjoli, member, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, says that there are several communities within the term ‘Nanakpanthis’ too. There are groups like Sikhligarh, Vanjaarey, Nirmaley, Lubaney, Johri, Satnamiye, Udaasiyas who call themselves Nanakpanthis. They along with their religious affiliated books, follow and incorporate the teachings of Guru Nanak.

Within India, some Nanakpanthis are also spread across states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana among others.”[3][7][8] Various number of tribes/sects in India follow the teachings of Guru Nanak and visit gurudwaras along with worshipping Hindu deities at mandirs. The Indian government considers them as Hindus in the official census.

Worldwide there are estimated 30 million Khalsa Sikhs who solely identify their religious affiliation as a "Sikh".[9][10]

Population of Indian Tribes that follow both Sikhism and Hinduism[11][8][12][13][14]
Tribes Population Location/residence
Sikligar Unknown Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu
Banjara Unknown Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh
Nirankari,[15][16] Namdhari,[17][18][19] Radha Soami[20][21][22] 1.5 million (15 lakhs) All over the Indian union
Sindhi Hindus Unknown Specially in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh (Maghar)
Total population Unknown India as a whole

See also


  1. ^ Rose, H. A. (Horace Arthur); Ibbetson, Denzil; Maclagan, Edward (1911). A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province : based on the census report for the Punjab, 1883 vol 3. Wellcome Library. Lahore : Printed by the superintendent, Government printing, Punjab. pp. 152.
  2. ^ Struggling to revive Gurmukhi, Amar Guriro, Express Tribune, OCTOBER 18, 2016
  3. ^ a b "Explained: Who are Nanak Naam Lewa, and why Kartarpur Corridor can't be limited to Sikhs". 10 November 2019.
  4. ^ ETPB could disbar non-Sikh pilgrims from visiting gurdwaras in Pakistan, Times of India, Apr 27, 2018
  5. ^ Empires of the Indus: The Story of a River - Alice Albinia ISBN 978-1-84854-786-5
  6. ^ A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province, Vol. 1
  7. ^ "Navjot Singh Sidhu thinks there are 14 crore Sikhs in India instead of 2.4 crore".
  8. ^ a b "'Sikligar Sikhs in MP face safety issues'".
  9. ^ "Who are Sikhs and what do they believe?".
  10. ^ "Sikhs in Wolverhampton celebrate 550 years of Guru Nanak". BBC News. 12 November 2019.
  11. ^ "Celebrating 550th by uplifting neglected Sikh sub-groups | SikhNet".
  12. ^ "Growing number of banjaras of Andhra Pradesh slowly get drawn into Sikhism".
  13. ^ "Away from Punjab - the south Indian Sikhs". 18 October 2011.
  14. ^ "'Banjaras are the largest ethnic group in India'".
  15. ^ "Who are Nirankaris?". 18 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Rivalry between Sikhs & Nirankaris is almost a century old". 20 November 2018.
  18. ^ "Namdhari | Sikh sect | Britannica".
  19. ^ "A cult in crisis: Faith, feud and fault lines in the Namdharis". 10 April 2016.
  20. ^ "The billionaires and the guru: A family burns through $2 billion". The Economic Times.
  21. ^ "Explained: Who are the Radha Soami Satsang Beas, the 'dera' at the heart of allegations against Singh brothers". 16 October 2019.
  22. ^ "Gurinder Singh Dhillon — the music & film-loving Radha Soami head at heart of Fortis crisis". 16 November 2019.