Archive for the ‘GurbaniDB’ Category

A new revolutionary API to access the Sikh Scriptures

We’ve just made it simpler again to create software based on the Sikh Scriptures with the release of GurbaniDB API 2.x:

Also, you will find the source code for our API here:

Please find out more in this audio announcement (where we also explain what an API is, for those who are not software developers):

And something which we didn’t mention in this audio announcement which is equally as exciting:

We have developed and open sourced iGurbani – a sample app built upon the GurbaniDB API in pure HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and which is compatible across desktop, tablet and mobile devices!

Check out the source code here: and view our demo here: It’s just a work in progress at this stage so don’t expect anything extraordinary ;)

Note: Wherever I mention version 2.1 in this audio, please consider it to be 2.x, as we are quickly working on and releasing newer versions of the API & database within the 2.x branch.

Posted by on February 12th, 2014 No Comments

Shabad Data Open Sourced for the First Time in Sikh History

I’m extremely excited right now – we just hit a HUGE milestone!

We have just added ShabadID to GurbaniDB, marking the first time in Sikh history that data of the hymns within the Sikh Scriptures has been open sourced for developers worldwide to use freely. This also now makes GurbaniDB complete as a database.

We have had many requests from developers to incorporate this data, and even me myself wanted to see this for a long time. However it has all been thanks to the contribution of Harvinder Singh from that this has now been made available.

I spent an entire day to ensure that the data was of high quality, accurate and complete – which to my delight – I found it was. I then modified the data to package it within the existing GurbaniDB ecosystem.

For those of you already using an existing version of GurbaniDB to power your app, I would encourage you to upgrade right away. The only changed table is tblscripture which you will find within gurbanidb_core.sql, and the only addition is a new column which we have called ShabadID that ranges from 1 to 3620.

We have also taken a unique approach to categorising Shabads, compared to other Gurbani websites, by categorising them within context by including the Shaloks and Pauris related to a Shabad so that a reader can understand the full context of a hymn.

At the moment, we have not incorporated this Shabad data into the GurbaniDB search engine, and most likely we will not do this as we are in the process of creating a better, more open API for developers to use and are planning to retire our search engine shortly.

So lets take some time to celebrate this success which will no doubt help developers build better Gurbani applications now and in the future.

In humble service to you,

Jasdeep HBS Khalsa

Posted by on October 20th, 2013 No Comments

The Launch of

Launch of
Today we are announcing the beta launch of, which is the place to find all your essential mobile, tablet & desktop Sikh-related apps. Beware that there may be some bugs, so please do send us your feedback!

The reason we created GurbaniApps was because we have seen an increasing amount of apps being created for Sikhs and we wanted one place where we could find and filter through them all!

We are going to be adding more features to GurbaniApps over the next few weeks so stay tuned. In the meantime, please add your apps to the website and encourage the creators of Gurbani apps to add theirs too!

Our Most Requested Feature: Shabads (Hymns)
Thanks to our good friend Harvinder Singh, who did considerable work to categorise our GurbaniDB database into Shabads/hymns, searches will soon return the exact hymn instead of just the page of the search result.

Search engines like SikhiToTheMax and Search Gurbani have long had this feature so it is nothing new. However, what I’m so excited by is that we are planning to open source this Shabad data for the first time in history so that developers will be able to create their own fully featured Gurbani search engines. It is basically the last piece of data which was missing from GurbaniDB and will make GurbaniDB complete!

After we have integrated and open sourced this data into GurbaniDB we will send out another announcement.

More Options for Developers

  • Some developers were having problems with getting our SQL file into their database (because its so HUGE!), so we have chopped it down into little bits so they can now pick and choose what they drop into their database. Here are the files: Find out how to use these files in our README
  • We have developed and open sourced a new multi-lingual keyboard in JavaScript which will soon be integrated into GurbaniDB:

Help Us Out
Here are three quick ways you can help The Sikher Project today:

Posted by on July 14th, 2013 No Comments

24 Gurbani Apps Which Have Changed the Sikh World

Update: October 2019. Since the writing of this article the Gurbani app world has changed significantly.

However, in case you’re looking to download an app today it’s worth mentioning that the most developed & accurate open source Gurbani Desktop & mobile app of today is being developed by the Khalis Foundation.

I’ve always been excited by new technologies, especially since technology has the power to transform lives worldwide and the way in which we live.

It’s coming to the end of 2011 now, so it’s a nice time to review what Gurbani Apps have been developed and are being developed, and perhaps where we could see them go in the future. I spent a few days looking through and using these apps, and I present my review here.

I feel compelled to mention volunteering and monetization. The truth is that the people building Gurbani applications today are few – you can probably count them on your fingers – so I would like to encourage the new generation of young people to learn computer programming (a good start is HTML, CSS, JavaScript & Python) and to also start actively contributing to the development of new Gurbani apps. This is the only way this digital Sikhi can continue to evolve into more beautiful forms. Basically…we need more active volunteers and that volunteer is YOU!

During my review, I was very happy to see that most of these apps, although released for free, have a monetization strategy in place either through PayPal donations, in-app advertising or by charging a nominal 69 pence for the app itself. This is necessary and Gurbani software developers should not shy away from this because if a Gurbani application can generate some money, this money can be reinvested into making the application better for everybody and marketing it more widely. Majority of the applications I have come across have been produced out of pure love and service, where the money is being reinvested into charitable or not-for-profit activities.

A notable example is the new game just released by SikhNet called Karma – The Ogre’s Curse, which SikhNet have spent over $90,000 and over 1.5 years developing, and have released for FREE! It is only through your generous donations that this game can continue development, and deserves the highest applaud and congratulations AND blessings AND love for their amount of dedication and investment of time and money. We want to see more of this =)!

Finally, to all the users of these wonderful Gurbani apps, please do donate generously to the developers of the apps this Christmas, so that we can see more exciting Gurbani app developments in 2012. Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year from The Sikher Project and please remember the sacrifices of Guru Gobind Singh’s four Sahibzadeh, who died so we may live free – and may we use this freedom to contribute to others lives. And now for the review…

Web Applications

Out of all the apps in this category, SearchGurbani really stands out. Maninder’s constant dedication to continually developing and re-developing his website has resulted in an absolutely comprehensive and beautifully designed website offering all the Sikh Scriptures ever digitised – and you can search all of them easily – please bookmark SearchGurbani and share it with all your friends:

Desktop Software

We all love and adore STTM II, and its worldwide adoption is exemplary, but do we know about Search Gurbani Desktop Version for Windows, Linux AND Mac? Again, this is a completely comprehensive software offering all of the goodness of but in a software form, which is sure to enthuse and inspire countless people worldwide:

Mobile Apps (iPhone)

The recent explosion of mobile apps has also overflowed into Gurbani app development. Out of all the software I came across, GurbaniAnywhere for iPhone is FANTASTIC, and in many ways better than Desktop Gurbani software – the time and care which has gone into this software is obvious. Unfortunately, we don’t see it (or any other app like it) available on the Android yet, although it has been planned for quite sometime:

This interesting app makes clever use of the iPhone rotate feature to offer a Hukamnama (orders from the Guru) and if you shake it between 4am and 9am, it will play the morning Sikh prayers, and if you shake it between 4pm and 9pm, it will play the evening Sikh prayers – very innovative!

iSikhi, I found to be quite dated compared to recent modern UI expectations. However, if you understand this history of iSikhi you’ll find it was a revolutionary effort, especially since it was one of the first to apps to support Gurmukhi fonts on the iPhone (even before iPhone itself supported them!) and as a result of this app, countless others app developers have been inspired to produce Gurbani apps. Great work Mandeep!

Recently we launched this, and in light of doing an objective review, this is not really an app, but rather a website designed to work with all mobiles phones – so not very useful for all those key moments where there is no internet connection:

Maninder is working on an iSearchGurbani app for the Android, iPad and iPhone. I’m excited to see what else he has up his sleeve in this soon-to-be-released Gurbani app!

Gutka Apps (iPhone, Android, Kindle)

Gutka apps offer files of the Sikh prayers (Banis), but not in a searchable form, so they are basic versions of apps, but nevertheless noteworthy.


Our good friend from Derby, Khushkaran Singh Bajwa, has done some very innovative work by releasing one of the first and most popular Nitnem Gutka apps for the iPhone. Please support his work, as I’m sure he has much more yet to offer the world of digital Gurbani:

This app really caught my attention for its beautiful graphics and attention to detail. A beautiful digital Gutka:


Android apps are few in general, but these two seem to be pretty cool as basic Nitnem apps:

Kindle & eBook Readers

Read the Siri Guru Granth Sahib and Nitnem Banis on your Amazon Kindle, Kindle DX, Sony, Kobo, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Nook, and other e-book readers:

Gurbani Radio & Kirtan Apps

SikhNet Radio is a brilliant commercial-quality app available for iPhone, Android & Blackberry. You just have to LOVE SikhNet for all the excellent work they put into it. Please download/purchase this excellent app (for 69 pence on iPhone) and support them in the process, win-win!

Another great app by Khushkaran, offers Sikh radio channels from around the globe. Awesome app!

This is a simple app yet done exactly what is says on the tin – gives Amrit Bani Radio’s broadcast on SKY 0176 right to your phone. I liked the energy behind this app, comes from a good place – one to download!

Another forward-thinking developer, Inderpreet Singh, offers Sikh Sangeet which provides a number of categories of Sikh Kirtan, music and Katha (explanation of Sikh principles):

Finally, although not strictly an app, the work which went into the Gurbani Media Center is mind-blowing. Its feature rich and offers masses of all styles and genres of Kirtan. Just another reason to donate to SikhNet today:

Sikh Games

After spending over $90K and being 1.5 years in development, they are in need of donations after deciding to release this game for FREE! Please contact or directly to offer your kind donations to this project:

SuperSant has captured the imagination of thousands worldwide. This classic game has now been brought to the iPhone & Android with an incredible user interface and exciting graphics, I’m surprised to find its being offered for free – no strings attached! Tarnjit Dhesi, the force behind Share Charity and a number of Gurbani apps, is an active individual working to help bring Sikh principles to the masses in an easy to understand manner:

A Note to all Gurbani Software Developers

These are all great apps above, but I still feel we could do a lot more – especially for platforms that are not getting much love – like Mac, Linux, Android, Blackberry, Windows 7, Symbian and a growing list of others. We can also start developing much more sophisticated applications and one’s which exceed all the current boundaries of design and usability.

One problem however is that no Gurbani software developers are releasing the source code for their Gurbani applications into the public domain. The Sikher Project has been the first, and so far only organisation to fully open source all of our code and databases. This must happen in order for better applications to surface.

It is a reflection of the Sikh community’s current consciousness, to be closed and do projects privately (because we think we know what’s best for everybody) – and we are all guilty of this to different degrees – myself included. However, we must now become more open and we must open source all our applications and our Gurbani databases, the future depends greatly upon doing this! I cannot stress this enough – we MUST open source all our application source code and databases! I’ve been stressing this strongly for 7 years, but I still have yet to see some action.

As for The Sikher Project’s further contribution to open source, I am today officially announcing the launch of the GurbaniDB CSV Weekly Dump (every Friday at 10pm) of the GurbaniDB database (including latest translation updates), available here: (Deprecated! Please use: This is the same database which powers GurbaniDB’s search engine here: This is being released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, meaning that all those who use this database must also attribute The Sikher Project and GurbaniDB, only use it for non-commercial purposes and must release their project under this same license: thus encouraging the Sikh world to move to open source!

I foresee something else happening too; increasingly we will start to make use of mobile application frameworks such as AppCelerator –, PhoneGap – and/or JQuery Mobile – The idea of mobile frameworks is simple: develop once, and deploy across multiple platforms and devices. Perfect! However, this requires one to develop apps using more open standards of HTML5, CSS and JavaScript, instead of just going where the buzz is e.g. iPhone/iPad specific development. Future Gurbani app developers should make FULL use of these frameworks to create maximum impact for the minimum amount of work.

For your next Gurbani app you can also try using the GurbaniDB Cloud API (REST & JSON-RPC supported) which has some VERY easy to use functions (so easy that even I can use them!) and we have provided simple code examples in PHP & Python – sign up here as a software developer today to get INSTANT access to the GurbaniDB Cloud API, and download the GurbaniDB Cloud API User Guide here:

To your highest success and enlightenment,

Jasdeep Hari Bhajan Singh Khalsa.
Founder & Director of The Sikher Project

Posted by on December 8th, 2011 No Comments

Guru Granth Sahib Search Engine Launched – GurbaniDB

It is with great pleasure that today we announce the launch of GurbaniDB – the world’s most accurate Guru Granth Sahib search engine, in English and 52 other languages, to coincide with the Sikh New Year – Vaisakhi 2011:

Guru Granth Sahib Search Engine

Here are a few features of the new GurbaniDB Guru Granth Sahib search engine:

1. Search Guru Granth Sahib in 54 languages

Search the Guru Granth Sahib in English, Gurmukhi and 52 other languages, including 22 transliterations, with an integrated Google Virtual Keyword for each language.








2. World’s most accurate Guru Granth Sahib data

The world’s first Guru Granth Sahib database to correctly archive Guru Granth Sahib into all its 60 melodies or raags (usually mistaken for being just 31 raags) with pop-up descriptions of each author and melody. Melody data has been kindly provided by an expert in Indian Musicology, Professor Surinder Singh from Raj Academy.


3. Powerful search options, customised to your needs

  • Search by all words, first letters or exact phrase in your preferred language
  • Advanced search by search type (all words, first letters or exact phrase), language, author, melody and page
  • Set your individual search preferences including search language and type (all words, first letters or exact phrase), output translation and transliteration languages, and what to show in the results

4. Constantly improving translations database

We have created an entirely new set of tools and dashboards for volunteer translators and translation project managers, to allow them to co-ordinate translation efforts more easily. Have a look at these screenshots:



We are also today announcing the start of a world-wide project to recruit volunteer translators from every part of the world to join in and help improve the accuracy of the 52 translations in GurbaniDB. Please sign up now to become a volunteer translator.

Don’t be afraid to become a volunteer translator, all you need to know is English and be a native speaker of another language – we’ll assign you to an experienced Project Manager who will make sure you get all the support you need to help you translate as little or as much as you can in the time you have.

As a result, we are also looking to hire 52 Project Managers for each translation language to work on translating the Guru Granth Sahib full-time (paid and unpaid), and who will be responsible for maintaining the quality of their translation language and managing their team of worldwide volunteer translators! If you are interested in this role and opportunity to do this as a job full-time please contact us immediately!

5. Free, open developer access to the GurbaniDB Cloud

All the data which powers the GurbaniDB search engine exists on the GurbaniDB Cloud in cyberspace and may be accessed by Gurbani software developers via JSON-RPC requests, allowing software powered by GurbaniDB to always receive the latest updates almost in real-time! If you are a software developer and wish to create the next generation of innovative Sikh Scripture software applications, please register now to get free and open access to the GurbaniDB Cloud! (just remember to select “Software Developer” under the section “What do you want to register as?”)












Spread the love

Welcome to the revolution in eGurbani: the Guru Granth Sahib available in all the major world’s languages and language scripts for everyone to read, understand, experience, share and enjoy. If you’d like to spread the GurbaniDB love, you can put this image on your website:

GurbaniDB - Search Guru Granth Sahib in English, Gurmukhi and 52 other languages

Just copy and paste the code from here:
<a href=""><img src="" alt="GurbaniDB - Search Guru Granth Sahib in English, Gurmukhi and 52 other languages" width="190" height="35" /></a>

Posted by on April 13th, 2011 No Comments