All About the Birth of Guru Nanak

Guru Nanak's Birthplace and Birthday Celebrations

Guru Nanak attended by his musician and holy man.
Guru Nanak attended by his musician and holy man. Wellcome Images/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 4.0

Nanak Dev, the first guru of the Sikhs, and founder of the Sikh religion, was born to Hindu parents in a town which in modern times is known as Nankana Sahib, of Pakistan.

The Story of Guru Nanak's Birth

The Infant Guru Nanak
The Infant Guru Nanak. Artistic Impression © [Angel Originals] Licensed to

Daulatan, the midwife, delivered the infant Nanak from his mother Tripta Devi early one dark morning. Nanaki cuddled close to her new brother. The babe's father Kalu ji called Hardyal the astrologer to cast the newborn's horoscope.

Events and Birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev

Sufi in Nankana
Sufi in Nankana. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Guru Nanak was born April 15, 1469, A.D. to Tripta Devi and her husband Mehta Kalu of the Hindu Katri clan. The birthplace of Guru Nanak has changed names over the centuries and has been known since his birth as Nankana, a town in Pakistan. Nankana belonged to the northern part of Punjab before partition. Modern-day Nankana is predominantly Muslim.

Guru Nanak's Birth Date and Historical Calendars

November 2010 Sikhism Calendar
November 2010 Sikhism Calendar. Photo Art © [S Khalsa]

Guru Nanak's actual date of birth is obscured by changes to historic calendars and by full moon festivals. Controversy shrouds attempts to adjust the Nanakshahi calendar to a fixed rather than a variable date.

Ancient records indicate Nanak Dev to have been born in the year 1526 of the Vikram Samvat ancient Indian calendar. Depending on the calendar used for conversion, Guru Nanak's birth has been calculated to have occurred during the full moon either in March, or April, as well as November of 1469 A.D.

Historically, pooran mashi or full moon birthday festivities were observed in spring, yet modern full moon gurpurab festivities take place in fall.