Bhai Sarwan Singh, the head priest of Surrey’s Guru Nanak Sikh temple, was already acknowledged as the man with the world’s longest beard.
The Sikh priest was recently invited to take part in a television show, in Rome Italy, where he had his beard measured. After carefully measuring his beard, from the tip of his chin, to the end of his beard, judges decided Bhai Sarwan Singh has beaten his previous record, set in 2008, by two inches. It is now 1.895 m long.
Singh, who has never shaved his facial hair, had never actually known how long his beard really was, until 2008. He has always seen it as a gift from God, and he only agreed to appear on television, to promote the Sikh religion. He has done nothing special to help his beard grow, and calls it his “favorite body part.”
Singh originally had to be talked into going for the record. “It’s not a talent, like playing music,” he objected. “It’s a gift from God.”
But it was an opportunity to publicize the Sikh faith which opposes cutting facial hair, so he relented. Singh, who has never shaved in his life, wasn’t sure exactly how long his beard was until 2008.
To prevent it from actually touching the floor, Bhai Sarwan Singh wears his long beard rolled up or over his shoulder.
The previous record-holder in the beard length category was coincidentally held by another, unrelated Singh. Shamsher Singh of Punjab, India won a place in the stout-sponsored record book with a beard that measured 1.83 metres (about 6 feet) in 1977.
The all-time longest known beard was 17-and-a-half feet. It belonged to Norwegian-Born Hans Langseth, who wore it over one shoulder and down one arm. When Langseth died in 1927 his beard was donated to the Smithsonian museum in the U.S.