Guru Nanak in Uganda
According to recent research, a new discovery now suggests that Guru Nanak Dev Ji may have travelled as far to the west as East Africa. A small settlement, a hundred miles from Kampala, Uganda, is named ‘Bamu Nanika’ which the locals revere for its spiritual powers. They say that a holy man, not one of their own, sat on a certain spot there and meditated. They say that he spot is covered in a bark-like material and not shown to anyone. Prayers are done in their traditional way. It is also said that all of Uganda’s Kabakas (traditional kings) visited the ’shrine’ to receive blessings upon their advent of rule.
The area is arid with no fresh water for miles. But only a few hundred meters away is a small spring of fresh water which the locals do not allow anyone to drink or use for hand washing. The water is somehow used like ‘giving amrit’ to devotees who are all africans. When asked about who they revere the place for, the locals said that, "He is not one of ours but there is some great spiritual power here".
Recently, a number of Gianis from India visited the shrine to research the discovery (it is even believed that, in a sakhi, Bhai Mardana asked Guru Nanak why the locals had curly hair). That faintly suggests that Guru Nanak visited Africa. The locals had no knowledge of Sikhs before our arrival. We are strangers to them. With further research, we feel there is a high possibility of adding Africa to the list of places visited by Guru Nanak.
At a distance of about 12 miles from the Tapora Station, there is a memorial in honour of the visit of Guru Nanak in the hilly forests and about 24 miles from Kampala, there is a village named Bab Nanika. It is here that their history says that the Holy man's, not of their own, blessings brought forth a spring; they report there had been no water source in the vast area."