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The Ten Gurus of Sikh History

A Timeline of the 10 Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib


The era of the ten gurus of Sikhism spans nearly 300 years, from the birth of Nanak Dev in 1469, through the life of Guru Gobind Singh. At the time of his the death in 1708, Guru Gobind Singh bequeathed his title of Guru to the Sikh scripture, Guru Granth. Sikhs regard the 10 gurus of Sikhism as the embodiment of one guiding light which passed from each guru to their successors and which now resides with the scripture Siri Guru Granth Sahib. (Where research shows discrepancies in names and dates, each are given.)

1. Guru Nanak Dev

Guru Nanak Dev
https://archive.org/details/oxfordstudentshi00smituoft/Smith, Vincent Arthur, 1848-1920/Public Domain

Guru Nanak Dev, first of the 10 gurus, founded the Sikh faith, introducing the concept of one God.
Son of: Kalyan Das ji (Mehta Kalu ji), and Mata Tripta ji. Brother of: Bibi Nanaki
Married to: Sulakhani ji.
Father to: sons, Siri Chand and Lakhmi Das.

  • Birthplace: Nankana Sahib (Pakistan), observed October 20, 1469 (April 14, 1469 Nanakshahi)
  • Became Guru: From birth - formally, February 20, 1507 (1499 AD at about age 30)
  • Place of Death: Kartarpur, September 7, 1539 (September 22, Nanakshahi)
  • Age: 70

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2. Guru Angad Dev

Guru Angad Dev
Photo © [Angel Originals]

Guru Angad Dev, second of the 10 gurus, compiled the writings of Nanak Dev, and introduced the Gurmukhi script.
Son of: Pheru Mall ji and Mata Daya Kaur (Sabhrai) ji.
Married to: Mata Khivi ji.
Father to: sons, Dasu, Datu, and daughters, Amro and Anokhi.

  • Birthplace: Harike, March 31, 1504 (April 18, Nanakshahi)
  • Became Guru: Kartarpur, September 7, 1539 (September 18, Nanakshahi)
  • Place of Death: Khadur, March 29, 1552 (April 16, Nanakshahi)
  • Age: 48

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3. Guru Amar Das

Guru Amar Das
Photo © [Angel Originals]

Guru Amar Das, third of the 10 gurus, disavowed caste with the institution of langar, pangat and sangat.
Son of: Tej Bhan ji and Mata Lakhmi ji.
Married to: Mansa Devi.
Father to: sons, Mohan, Mohri, and daughters, Dani and Bhani.

  • Birthplace: Basarke (Amritsar) May 5, 1479, (May 23, Nanakshahi)
  • Became Guru: Khadur, March 26, 1552 (April 16, Nanakshahi)
  • Place of Death: Goindwal, September 1, 1574 (September 16, Nanakshahi)
  • Age: 95

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4. Guru Raam Das

Guru Raam Das
Photo © [Angel Originals]

Guru Raam Das, fourth of the 10 gurus, began the excavation of the sarovar in Amritsar.
Son of: Hari Das ji Sodhi and Mata Daya Kaur ji.
Married to: Bibi Bhani ji.
Father to: sons, Prithi Chand, Maha Dev and Arjun Dev.

  • Birthplace: Chuna Mandi (Lahore, Pakistan) September 24, 1534 (October 9, Nanakshahi)
  • Became Guru: Goindwal, September 1, 1574 (September 16, Nanakshahi)
  • Place of Death: Goindwal, September 1, 1581 (September 16, Nanakshahi)
  • Age: 47

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5. Guru Arjun Dev (Arjan Dev)

Guru Arjan Dev
Photo © [Angel Originals]

Guru Arjun (Arjan) Dev, fifth of the 10 gurus, erected the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) in Amritsar, compiled and contributed to Adi Granth, 1604.
Son of: Guru Raam das and Ji Mata Bhani ji.
Married to: Raam Devi (issueless), Ganga ji.
Father to: one son, Har Govind.

  • Birthplace: Goindwal, April 14, 1563 (May 2, Nanakshahi)
  • Became Guru: Goindwal, September 1, 1581 (September 16, Nanakshahi)
  • Place of Death: Lahore, May, 30 1606 (June 16, Nanakshahi)
  • Martyred age: 43

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6. Guru Har Govind (Har Gobind)

Guru Har Govind
Photo © [Angel Originals]

Guru Har Govind (Hargobind), sixth of the 10 gurus, constructed the Akal Takhat. He raised an army and wore two swords symbolizing secular and spiritual authority. The Mughal emperor Jahangir imprisoned the guru who negotiated release for whomever could hold on to his robe.
Son of: Guru Arjun and Mata Ganga.
Married to: Damodri ji, Nankee ji and Maha Devi ji.
Father to: Sons, Gur Ditta, Ani Rai, Suraj Mal, Atal Rai, Teg Mall (Teg Bahadur), and daughter, Bibi Veero.

  • Birthplace: Guru ki Wadali (Amritsar), June 19, 1595 (July 5, Nanakshai)
  • Became Guru: Amritsar, May 25, inaugurated June 10 - 11 or 25, 1606 (June 11, Nanakshahi)
  • Place of Death: Kiratpur, February 28, or March 3, 1644 (March 19, Nanakshahi)
  • Age: 49

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7. Guru Har Rai

Guru Har Rai
Photo © [Angel Originals]

Guru Har Rai, seventh of the 10 gurus, propagated the Sikh faith, maintained a cavalry of 20,000 as his personal guard, and established both a hospital and zoo.
Son of: Baba Gurditta ji and Mata Nihal Kaur.
Married to: Sulakhni ji (Kishan Kaur) and Daughters of Daya Ram.
Father to: sons, Ram Rai and Har Krishan, and daughter Sarup Kaur.

  • Birthplace: Kiratpur (Hoshiarpur), January 16, or February 26, 1630 (January 31, Nanakshahi)
  • Became Guru: Kiratpur, March 3, or 8, 1644 (March 14, Nanakshahi)
  • Place of Death: Kiratpur, May 30, or October 6, 1661 (October 20, Nanakshahi)
  • Age: 31

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8. Guru Har Krishan (Har Kishan)

Guru Har Krishan
Photo © [Angel Originals]

Guru Har Krishan, eighth of the 10 gurus, became guru at the age of five, and is known for his wisdom and compassion.
Son of Guru Har Rai and Mata Kishan (aka Krishan or Sulakhni) Kaur.

  • Birthplace: Kiratpur, July 7, 1656 (July 23, Nanakshahi)
  • Became Guru: Kiratpur, June 10, July 7, or October 6 - 7, 1661 (October 20, Nanakshahi)
  • Place of Death: Delhi, March 30, 1664 (April 16, Nanakshahi)
  • Age: 8

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    9. Guru Teg Bahadar (Tegh Bahadur)

    Guru Teg Bahadar
    Photo © [Angel Originals]

    Guru Teg Bahadar, ninth of the 10 gurus, reluctant to leave meditation and come forward as guru, ultimately sacrificed his life to protect Hindu Pandits from forced conversion to Islam.
    Son of: Guru Har Govind and Mata Nankee ji.
    Married to: Gujri ji.
    Father to: one son, Gobind Singh.

    • Birthplace: Amritsar, April 1, 1621 (April 18, Nanakshahi)
    • Became Guru: Baba Bakala, August 11, 1664 (April 16, Nanakshahi)
    • Place of Death: Delhi, November 11, 1675 (November 24, Nanakshahi)
    • Martyred age: 54

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    10. Guru Gobind Singh

    Guru Gobind Singh
    Photo © [Angel Originals]

    Guru Gobind Singh, tenth of the 10 gurus, created the order of Khalsa. Sacrificed father, mother, sons and his own life to protect Sikhs from forced conversion to Islam. Completed the Granth bestowing upon it title of everlasting Guru.
    Son of Guru Teg Bahadar and Mata Gujri ji.
    Married to Jito ji (Ajit Kaur), Sundri, and Mata Sahib Kaur.
    Father to sons, Ajit Singh, Jujhar Singh, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh.

    • Birthplace: Patna (Bihar, India) December 22, 1666 (January 5, Nanakshahi)
    • Became Guru: Anandpur, November 11, 1675 (November 24 Nanakshahi)
    • Creation of Khalsa: April 14, 1699
    • Place of Death: Nanded, October 7, 1708 (October 21, Nanakshahi)
    • Age: 42

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    11. Guru Granth Sahib

    Artistic Impression of Siri Guru Granth Sahib
    Photo © [S Khalsa / Courtesy Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa]

    Siri Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhism's holy scripture is last and everlasting Guru of the Sikhs. Poetic compositions compiled by Guru Arjun Dev known as Adi Granth or first draft. Holy manuscript confiscated by Dhir Mal. Bir, Final draft of Granth dictated from memory By Guru Gobind Singh.

    • First Installation: Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar, India, September 1, 1604. Adi Granth installed by Fifth Guru Ajrun Dev.
    • Inauguration as Guru: Nanded, India, October 7, 1708. Siri Guru Granth Sahib, appointed by Tenth Guru Gobind Singh as eternal Guru of the Sikhs.

    Introduction to Guru Granth Sahib
    Illustrated Guide to Reading a Hukam
    Read Entire Guru Granth (Devotional Reading Plans and Protocols)
    Bir - Collection of Compostions
    Granth - Scripture

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