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Yes, this claim is done by the hindu aryan brahmins and other hindu extremists in India, in order to promote the hindu fascism through the language Sanskrit in which the North Indian scriptures are written. Their intention is to exalt their scriptures like Mahabharata, Ramayana, Upanishads, vedas etc over the Bible, the which have quite a lot of similarities with the Bible. They claim that Jesus had come into India and have learnt yoga, Bhagavad Gita and other sacred scriptures inspired of which He were able to preach in Israel. While this is a gross error, their motivation is to promote their idea that hinduism is superior to all religions of the world. So when comes to Christianity, they use this weapon of Jesus' childhood days. But the truth is just the reverse! Nothing went from India to Israel, but the teachings of Jesus came into India through the apostle Thomas. Thomas' teachings were documented and many of its ideas were transferred into epic stories like Mahabharata and Ramayana etc while they were composed. The main weapon of those hindu extremists is the language, Sanskrit. They claim Sanskrit to be a heavenly language and very old, i.e., more than 5000 years approx.! This false claim creates an illusion that their scriptures are very old and serves as a source of inspiration of other scriptures, including the Bible. In order to refute this false claim, we should prove that Sanskrit is no more older than 2nd century AD. This is all the truth about it. I would like to quote some details from the book of Dr.Alexander Harris who has done research on Sanskrit - "The Development of Civilization and Religion in India and its Influence on the World Society-pg 44". "The earliest epigraphic evidence on languages employed in India comes from the inscriptions of Asoka inscribed in third century B.C. Asoka took care that his messages were intelligible to all and he used a particular kind of Prakrit. Even more remarkable is the fact, which has been recently discovered, that for those people who at the time lived in Afghanistan, his message was given in Greek as well as Aramaic. One of the Greek inscriptions is a translation of the Kalinga Edict, and the Greek of the inscriptions is not inferior in style to the classical Greek of Greek literature. In such circumstances neglect of Sanskrit by Asoka, if the language was in use, would be contrary to all his practice. So, the absence of Sanskrit in his inscriptions indicates that it did not exist at that time, as otherwise he would have certainly used it". "Before Christ in India there were many foreign invasions which introduced many foreign languages. These mixing with the early Indian languages led to what is often called a Prakrit which was diverse in nature. The first evidence of classical Sanskrit is attested by an inscription dating around A.D.150 in the Brahmi script. It records the repair of a dam originally built by Chandragupta Maurya, and also contains a panegyric in verse which can be regarded as the first literary composition in classical Sanskrit. It is at Girnar in Kathiawar and was inscribed by Rudradamana, the Saka Satrap of Ujjayini, on the same rock on which the Fourteen Rock Edicts of Asoka were also found. It is significant that Rudradamana employed classical Sanskrit in a region where about four hundred years before him Asoka had used only Prakrit. A key evidence often presented in the dating of Sanskrit is Patanjali’s Vyakarana - Mahabhasya (Great Commentary). The Mahabhasya is both a defense of the grammarian Panini against his chief critic and detractor Katyayana and a refutation of some of Panini’s aphorisms. Patanjali is dated anywhere from 2nd c BC to 5th c AD4". Thus, it is proved that the language Sanskrit existed only after 150 AD, making the scriptures of hindu religion inspired by the teaching of St.Thomas. There are many other evidences which can be made available on request because of space constraint in this website.
One of my favorite scriptures is the last verse in the book of John. "Jesus did many other things as well. I suppose if they were all written down, even the whole world wouldn't hold the books." What does this verse mean and how does it apply to your question? Well, it actually could mean that even though th Bible does not mention Jesus having traveled to India, it does say that everything he did was not written down. But what it means to me is that Jesus touched people wherever He went. He changed lives. He made disciples. He became part of them. He still does. Something as simple as an apology someone received because someone heard one of His messages either first bbc.co or second hand is an example of what was not written down and those things are infinite. But how does that apply to the question. In the great commission, He said "Go into the world and make disciples in all nations". The people He has touched have followed that directive and taken Him throughout the world including India. So, yes, Jesus has traveled to India. And He is still there today!
In addition to India, there are legends that Christ visited England with Joseph of Arimathaea, Ethiopia, and Tibet. None of these tales are physically true, because Christ had no reason to learn anything other than the Jewish scriptures in preparation for his later ministry and ultimate kingship over the revived state of Israel and the Kingdom of Heaven. Note that these locations are regions which have been resistant to the gospel, or which, like England, would play an important role in missionary activities. In India the legend may have actually been based on St. Thomas, since the apostles seemed to be like Christ for the heathen due to the many signs and wonders they did (Acts 2:43). These legends may have one positive aspect: they make Jesus a more accessible figure for religions which are so dissimilar to Christianity that cultural hurdles (such as the caste system) make repentance and conversion more demanding. In India today out of a population of about 1.27 billion, only about 2% are Christian according to the 2014 World Almanac. Without the legend, the percentage might be much less.
Jesus never travelled to India, a muslim group called "Ahmaddiyya" claims that Jesus survived crucification and travelled to India, Even a book was written by their founder, though this group is not accepted as Islam by the mainstream Shia and Sunni sect. Jesus in India (Urdu: Masīh Hindustān Meiń) is a treatise written by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement. The treatise, which was then published as a book, discusses Jesus’ possible survival from crucifixion and his subsequent migration towards Kashmir in order to preach to the 'Lost Tribes of Israel'. The author states that he drew on Christian as well as Muslim Scriptures and old medical and historical books including ancient Buddhist records. The treatise was completed in 1899, was partly serialised in the Review of Religions (which he founded in 1902) until 1903; and was then published shortly after Ghulam Ahmad’s death in 1908. The first complete English translation was published in 1944. The treatise suggests that Jesus, starting his journey from Jerusalem and passing through Nasibus and Persia, eventually reached Afghanistan where he met the Israelites who had settled there after their escape from the bonds of Nebuchadnezzar. From here he travelled to Kashmir where some Israelite tribes had also settled. Here he lived until his death at an old age. Another very thin argument about Jesus travelling to India is some quote “Temptation of Jesus”, Mathew 4 V 8 says, Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. Some speculate that very high mountain could be Mt.Everest, this again is very speculative and not fact. So very safe to conclude that Jesus never travelled to India.
It is difficult to say where Jesus traveled during his life time, in his childhood, just before public ministry or even after he rose from death. We have records of St. Thomas visiting India and then Francis Xavier and many other missionaries working to build up faith in this anciently famous land. But we know world over no man has ever taught like Jesus, and without self glorification lived for a mission, lived most perfectly in the eyes of God and people of righteousness, and then completed his mission as foretold by him through rising from death, and delegating his apostles to proclaim the good news by the power of Holy Spirit. And that mission was continued by his disciple St, Thomas by visiting India and proclaiming the good news of God's salvation to mankind through his beloved son Jesus Christ and likewise by other disciples in other parts of the world.
Scripture tells us next to nothing about Jesus life before his baptism, but that does not mean there is no hard evidence (not simply someone's traditions) available to us. I have not studied any of the ancient documentary evidence myself but I have read some books of those who have. One is Stephen E Jones who has written several volumes on early church history which can be purchased from his website, or read for free on that site. Mary's uncle was Joseph of Arimathea. Joseph was an official of the Roman government, the Mining Minister for the Provence of Judea. He also owned many ships, tin mines in the British Isles, and many mines in other places as well, including India. After the death of his father, Joseph the carpenter, Jesus spent some time in the employ of Joseph, his uncle, and traveled with him. Apparently there is still written documentation of these travels, and a number of historians have examined them and written about it. They do speak of his travels to both Britain and India during this time. There is no record of Jesus traveling outside Judea after the beginning of his ministry except in the areas of the Decopolis and Sidon and Tyre, although there is a record of a local king, Agbar in Edessa, Syria writing to him to request such a visit. According to Dr. Jones' histories, Jesus wrote a response promising to send one of his disciples at a later time, (Lessons from Church History, Bk 1, Ch 3.) Thaddeus was sent sometime after Pentecost. We can be rather certain that Jesus did not travel widely after he started his ministry, which at that point in time was specifically to Judah and was not to extend out from those borders until after his resurrection, but scriptural silence concerning his earlier life should in now way be construed to mean there is no actual evidence for such travels at an earlier time.
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