The history of the Dakkhani (Aka Deccani) Sikhs can be traced back to the visit of Guru Nanak Dev ji who, accompanied by two disciples, Bala, a Hindu, and Mardana, a Muslim, crossed the Deccan, including Hyderabad. Thereafter, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, while on a sojourn to the South was assassinated and cremated at Nanded in October 1708. Many of his followers returned to the Punjab but some stayed back. Those who stayed on established a shrine at Nanded commemorating the Guru and tilled the land around it for sustenance. They married local women willing to be converted to Sikhism and brought up their children and grandchildren as Sikhs. It is the descendants of these Sikhs who are known as Dakkhani Sikhs.
Dakkhani Sikhs or Sikhs of the Deccan, a distinctive ethnic community scattered in parts of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka, are the descendants of Punjabi Sikhs who went to the South during the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries and permanently settled in what was then the princely state of Hyderabad. The Dakkhani Sikhs are residents of the Nizam of Hyderabad’s state of Deccan now trifurcated into three states of Telengana, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Hyderabad and Nanded are the cities with largest population concentration of Sikhs.
However there are few customs of Dakkhani Sikh community which are in contrast to Punjabi Sikhs. On Hola Mohalla and Baisakhi, a bakra (ram) is sacrificed within the precincts of the gurdwara, which many Sikhs find completely opposed to their beliefs. Also The head granthi of the Gurudwara has to be a bachelor from among the Dakhani Sikhs which is again a contested tradition, as Guru Nanak had emphasized the importance of grihasta (householder’s life) for all Sikhs. The ardaas is also different from the one performed in the Singh Sabha Gurudwara.