MAHIMĀSHĀHĪĀS, followers of Mohar Siṅgh (AD 1758-1815), a holy Sikh who earned the honoured nickname of Mahimā Shāh for his constant muttering of a phrase (‘infinite is Thy praise') in God's mahimā or adoration. Mahimā Shāh claimed spiritual descent from Bhāī Dayā Siṅgh, one of the Pañj Piāre or Five Beloved who had offered their heads at the call of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh at the time of inauguration of the Khālsā in 1699. Bhāī Dayā Siṅgh was succeeded by Sant Gurbakhsh Siṅgh who was the mentor of Mahimā Shāh. This was a line of preachers of the Sikh faith, an offshoot of the scholarly Nirmalā sect.

        Mohar Siṅgh was born in 1758 to Bhāī Gurbakhsh Siṅgh and Bībī Rasmā at the village of Salāṇā, in the territory of the Nābhā rulers. He received his early education at the hands of his father, a granthī to the Nābhā family. He received the rites of initiation at the hands of Sant Gurbakhsh Siṅgh whom he served devotedly for many years. Taking leave of his mentor, he proceeded on a long pilgrimage and returned to settle at Lopoṅ, near Mogā. There he established his own ḍerā or seat to disseminate Sikh religion and philosophy. A smādh (mausoleum) and a darbār (assembly hall) were got constructed in his memory by his disciple and successor, Bābā Bīr Siṅgh.

         Besides, Lopoṅ, where Mahimā Shāh spent his last years, another Mahimāshāhī centre was set up at the village of Uggo, in Saṅgrūr district, by Bābā Hakūmat Siṅgh. To these centres were affiliated Mahimāshāhī ḍerās at places such as at Buggar, Sakraudī, Pañj Garāīṅ, Phūlevāl, Khaṇḍe-Vaḍhaṇī, Rakbā, Ṭibbā, Bilāspur and Mūle Chakk owing allegiance to either Lopoṅ or Uggo centre. These centres still attract local Sikh populations. The priests in these, ḍerās normally retain their Nirmalā garb, but members of the sect generally are not differentiated either by dress or fundamental tenets from the main body of Sikhs. They recognize no religious literature besides the Sikh Scripture.


  1. Mahant, Naraiṇ Siṅgh Musāfar, ed., Mahimā Shāhīs Nirmāle Nali . Amritsar, n.d.
  2. Ganeshā Siṅgh, Bhārat Māt Darpan. Amritsar, 1926

Tāran Siṅgh