India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records, 1194-2015
CID1867930
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
India
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Record Description
Record Type Pilgrimage
Collection years 1194-2015
Languages Hindi
Title in the Language: भारत, हिंदू तीर्थ रिकॉर्ड्स
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in This 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 two 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
  • Births
  • Marriages
  • Deaths

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.

Image Visibility

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 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, microfilms of these records may be available for viewing at a Family History Center. Please see Using the FamilySearch Catalog.

Reading These Records

These records are written in Hindi. For help with reading the records see the following:

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records, 1194-2015.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:

Registers are arranged by "caste"

  • 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

Collection Content

Sample Image

How Do I Search This 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

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page

  1. Select State
  2. Select City or Town
  3. Select Pandit
  4. Select Description to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the information to find more. For instance, use the age listed in the record to estimate a year of birth, if that is yet undetermined
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each spouse to find a couple's birth records and parents' names
  • Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • When looking for an individual with a common name, look at all the search results before deciding which is the correct person. Use other information, such as place of birth, age, occupation, or names of parents, to help with this decision
  • Try variations of given names and surnames. A person might have been listed under a middle name, nickname, or abbreviation of their given name
  • Vary the search terms. For example, expand the date range or search by either the given name or surname to return a broader list search results

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records, 1194-2015." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 20 April 2017. Various private collections, India.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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