India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records, 1194-2015 .
Title in the Language of the Records
भारत, हिंदू तीर्थ रिकॉर्ड्स
Whenever possible, Family Search makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. The India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records, 1194-2015 collection is available only to members of the supporting organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, microfilms of these records are available for viewing at a Family History Center. Please see Using the FamilySearch Catalog and Ordering Microfilm or Microfiche to find and order a microfilm.
What is in the Collection?
This includes records from 1194 to 2015. Hindu pilgrimage records are kept by Pandits in India. The records can be for people and families making pilgrimages from numerous places throughout India. These records are created and updated when family members pass on. No women are mentioned unless their deaths are referred to indirectly.
The ancient custom of keeping family genealogies is not well-known today to Indians settled abroad. Professional Hindu Brahmin Pandits, popularly known as "Pandas", kept detailed family genealogies over the past several generations at the Hindu holy city of Haridwar. The registers are handwritten, having been passed down to them over generations by their Pandit ancestors, and are classified according to original districts and villages of one's ancestors. Special designated Pandit families are in charge of designated district registers, including ancestral districts and villages that were left behind when Hindus had to migrate from Pakistan to India after the Partition of India.
In several cases, present-day Hindu descendants are now Sikhs, Muslims, and even Christians. It is not uncommon for researchers to find details of up to or even more than their past seven generations in these genealogy registers.
Hindu ancestors have visited the holy town of Haridwar for centuries for various religious and cultural purposes, including:
- Religious pilgrimage
- Cremation of their dead
- Immersion of a kin member's cremated remains into the holy river Ganges
For centuries, Hindu ancestors who have visited Haridwar for any of these purposes also visit the Pandit in charge of their family registers and update the family's genealogical family tree with details of all marriages, births, and deaths in the extended joint family.
In present-day India, people visiting Haridwar are dumbfounded when Pundits unexpectedly step forward and invite them to come update their very own ancestral genealogical family tree. The news of a visiting family travels quickly to the Pandit in charge of their district.
With Hindu joint family system having broken down into nuclear families, the Pandits prefer visitors to Haridwar to come prepared after getting in touch with all of their extended family and to bring all relevant genealogical events, such as:
- Ancestral district and village
- Names of grandparents and great grandparents
They also ask for as much information as is possible about the families they are marrying into. A visiting family member is required to personally sign the family genealogical register furnished by his or her personal family Panda after updating it for future family visitors and generations to see and to authenticate the updated entries. Friends and other family members accompanying on the visit may also be requested to sign as witnesses.
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records, 1194-2014.|
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Registers are arranged by "caste" and may contain the following information:
- Native residence
- Names of family members
- Last occasion on which a family member came to this place of pilgrimage and made an entry in the register
- Ceremony performed at the time
- Offering made to the priest
How Do I Search the Collection?
To begin your search, it would be helpful to know the following information:
- Ancestor's name
- Year in which they made their pilgrimage
- Place of birth
To search the collection, you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page:
⇒Select the appropriate "State"
⇒Select the appropriate "City or Town"
⇒Select the appropriate "Pandit"
⇒Select the appropriate "Description" which will take you to the images.
Search the collection by image, comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.
For Help Reading These Records
These records are in Hindi. For help with reading the records, see the following resources:
|FHL Place India items or FHL Keyword India items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see India Archives and Libraries.|
- Hindu Pilgramge Sites: an Interactive Map
- Other Hindu Geneological Records
- BBC Video Report of Meera Syal as she traced her Indian ancestry.
- Rooting out a Hindu Family History in the Traditional Way Article about Hindu genealogy
- India: Inscribing the Past This is a blog article about Hindu genealogy
Related Wiki Articles
How You Can Contribute
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Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
Citing this Collection
Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.
- "India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records, 1194-2015." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Various private collections, India.
|The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records, 1194-2015.|