Labyrinths in Gurudwaras at Nanded (India)

I got the photos and most information in this article from Jagpreet Singh from Mumbai in India. I had like to say a big thank you to him.

He was on a religious trip to Nanded in February 2013.

Jagpreet Singh reported:

I visited nearly 10 – 12 historical Gurudwaras in and around Nanded. Most of the big Gurudwaras in India have geometrical designs in the Parikrama, like the Golden Temple in Amritsar. I was really intrigued when I discovered as many as 7 labyrinths during the Parikramas (the walk around) in the different Gurudwaras.

The commonality in many of these was that they were on the left hand side of the entrance of the Temples. However, all of them were of a different design and size in the center. While some labyrinths were approx. 6 feet by 6 feet, there was one which was approx. 20 feet by 20 feet – a person can actually do the labyrinths’ walk. There was one that was approx. 4 feet by 4 feet also.

As to the material used to make them: All have been made of marble of different colours.

Even though the Gurudwaras are approx. 300 years old, all of them have gone through a major renovation in 2007-2008, (just before the 300 year centenary of the 10th Guru of the Sikhs – Guru Gobind Singh). So I am not sure if the labyrinths are a new addition or have been there all along.

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All photos with kind permission of Jagpreet Singh. © by Jagpreet Singh.


On the photos I could identify five different labyrinths. Four follow the pattern shown below, only one deviates from it.

They are square, the entrance is situated on the first circuit which leads clockwise around the whole figure. In the four corners are convexities in angular or circular shapes. From the last circuit one reaches the middle which is a little bigger and is mostly still decorated with geometrical patterns.
The path sequence is: 0-1-4-3-2-5-6-7. One recognises in it the relationship with the classical 3 circuit labyrinth type Knossos.

6 circuit labyrinth with seed pattern

6 circuit labyrinth with seed pattern

The designers of the labyrinths are (still) unknown, also the intended purpose. Are they pure ornaments or, nevertheless, suited for rituals? Are they influenced by the western culture or from Indian origin?

Maybe somebody knows more about these labyrinths?
In the next Caerdroia Jeff Saward has intended a publication about this and other labyrinths in India. Maybe we get to know then more?

Further Links

5 thoughts on “Labyrinths in Gurudwaras at Nanded (India)

  1. Labyrinths are wonderful communication devices with our Creator. The largest outdoor labyrinth in California is 100 feet diameter, at Sacred Rocks Reserve. Walking this helped me move through breast cancer and I just passed the eight year mark. Yahoo!

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  2. Thanks Erwin for putting up this info on your blog. i just wanted to add one thing here that Labyrinth 1 was the biggest Labyrinth that i have seen. Approx 20 by 20 feet.

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  3. I titled this blog “Walking the Labyrinth” for a reason…my life has been a journey that has wrapped around in what seems to be an infinite variety of pattern. I return always to similar places – and yet they are different every time. Unending changes, and unending similarities.

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  4. Very nice: Two types of labyrinths with 6 circuits I didn’t know.

    Labyrinths 1 – 4 are of the same type. An alternating labyrinth made up of a type Knossos labyrinth, to which are attached one trivial circuit at the outside and two trivial circuits at the inside.

    Labyrinth 5 is not alternating. This means, that the pathway traverses the axis when changing from the 4th to the 5th circuit. This labyrinth corresponds with a type Knossos labyrinth to which are attached at the inside first one circuit with change of direction, then one cirucit without change of direction and last one more circuit with change of direction. In addition this labyrinth has a special layout. The turns of the pathway on the three outermost circuits are bent-in by a right angle. So they are not parallel with the axis but with the crossbar. Furthermore the 6th circuit is not complete and therefore the pathway does not enter the center from below, but from above.

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