Nepal has issued three commemorative coins in the denomination of 100, 1000 and 2500 Nepali rupees, to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. The coins were jointly released by the Governor of Nepal Central Bank Chiranjibi Nepal and the Indian ambassador in Kathmandu, Manjeev Singh Puri.
The symbol 'Ek Oankar' (God is one) is inscribed on one side of all three coins, with Nepali words meaning '550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak' embossed on the edges. Nepal is one of the very few countries to have issued legal tender with a direct Sikh connection.
Previously in the year 2004 as well, the Nepal Rastra Bank had released a coin worth NPR 250 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Guru Granth Sahib. That coin had featured a 'Khanda' as well as an image of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the holy Sikh scriptures. On the same day as the coin release last month, a book titled Sikh Heritage of Nepal was also launched.
Indian ambassador Puri says in the foreward, "Guru Nanak Dev ji travelled through Nepal as part of his Udasis (long journeys took him to various countries in all four directions starting from India, and he completed them on foot). Nanak Math in the Balaju area of Kathmandu has a peepal tree under which he is said to have meditated. Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s travels in Nepal are said to also cover western Nepal, the Terai, Janakpur, areas around the Kosi River and even Tengbuche Monastery in the Everest region," he adds.
The book gives a historical perspective of Sikhism in Nepal, traversing the connection through to modern times. Apart from Guru Nanak's visit to Nepal around 500 years ago, the book also gives details of various Sikh shrines in the country, the connection with Maharani Jindan, and more.