Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Punjab)

Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Punjab)

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Punjab)'
Start a new discussion about 'Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Punjab)'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Maharaja
Maharaja
Mahārāja is a Sanskrit title for a "great king" or "high king". The female equivalent title Maharani denotes either the wife of a Maharaja or, in states where that was customary, a woman ruling in her own right. The widow of a Maharaja is known as a Rajamata...

 Ranjit Singh Ji
(Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

: ਮਹਾਰਾਜਾ ਰਣਜੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ) (13 November 1780 – 20 June 1839) was the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire.

Early life


Ranjit Singh belonged to a Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

 clan of Northern India. He was born in Gujranwala
Gujranwala
Gujranwala is a industrial city in the north-east of the Punjab province. It is the sixth largest city in Pakistan with a population of approximately 2,661,360 as on 24 June 2011...

, now in modern-day Pakistan. According to some historians, into a Jatt Sikh family and some that he was born into a Sansi
Sansi
Sansi is a nomadic tribe originally located in the Rajasthan area of northwestern India, but expelled in the 13th century by Muslim invaders and now living in states of Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab as well as scattered throughout India.Their language is Sansiboli, Sansi or Bhilki that is a highly...

 Sikh family who were Sukerchakia
Sukerchakia
The Sukerchakia Misl was one of 11 Sikh Misls in Punjab during the 18th century concentrated in Gujranwala and Hafizabad district in Western Punjab and ruled from...

 misl
Misl
Misl generally refers to the twelve sovereign states in the Sikh Confederacy. The states formed a commonwealth that was described by Antoine Polier as an "aristocratic republic"...

dars. As a child he suffered from smallpox which resulted in the loss of one eye. At the time, much of Punjab was ruled by the Sikhs under a Confederate Sarbat Khalsa
Sarbat Khalsa
Sarbat Khalsa from sarva, a Sanskrit word meaning all or everything, was a biannual deliberative assembly of the entire Khalsa held at Amritsar in Panjab during the 18th century...

 system, who had divided the territory among factions known as misl
Misl
Misl generally refers to the twelve sovereign states in the Sikh Confederacy. The states formed a commonwealth that was described by Antoine Polier as an "aristocratic republic"...

s. Ranjit Singh's father Maha Singh
Maha Singh
Maha Singh Upon the death of his father, Charat Singh , he succeeded to the leadership of the Sukerchakia Misl. His son Ranjit Singh succeeded him and established the Sikh Empire...

 was the Commander of the Sukerchakia
Sukerchakia
The Sukerchakia Misl was one of 11 Sikh Misls in Punjab during the 18th century concentrated in Gujranwala and Hafizabad district in Western Punjab and ruled from...

 misl
Misl
Misl generally refers to the twelve sovereign states in the Sikh Confederacy. The states formed a commonwealth that was described by Antoine Polier as an "aristocratic republic"...

 and controlled a territory in the west Punjab based around his headquarters at Gujranwala
Gujranwala
Gujranwala is a industrial city in the north-east of the Punjab province. It is the sixth largest city in Pakistan with a population of approximately 2,661,360 as on 24 June 2011...

. After his father's death he was raised under the protection of Sada Kaur
Sada Kaur
Sada Kaur was a Punjabi Sikh who played an important role in Ranjit Singh's rise to power in Punjab. She was the mother-in-law of Maharajha Ranjit Singh and she was the chief of Kanheya misl.-Life and career:...

 of the Kanheya Misl
Kanheya Misl
The Kanheya Misl was first led by Sardar Jai Singh Kanhaiya. It had a Strength of 5,000 regular horsemen.The Kanhaiya Misl was founded by Sardar Jai Singh , a Sandhu Jatt of the village of Kahna, 21 km south-west of Lahore on the road to Firozpur. His father Bhai Khushhal Singh sold hay at Lahore...

. Ranjit Singh succeeded his father at the age of 18. After several campaigns, he conquered the other misls and created the Sikh Empire.

The Maharaja



Ranjit Singh was crowned on 12 April 1801 (to coincide with Baisakhi). Sahib Singh Bedi, a descendant of Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

, conducted the coronation. Gujranwala
Gujranwala
Gujranwala is a industrial city in the north-east of the Punjab province. It is the sixth largest city in Pakistan with a population of approximately 2,661,360 as on 24 June 2011...

 served as his capital from 1799. In 1802 he shifted his capital to Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

. Ranjit Singh rose to power in a very short period, from a leader of a single Sikh misl to finally becoming the Maharaja (Emperor) of Punjab.

He then spent the following years fighting the Afghans
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

, driving them out of the Punjab. He also captured Pashtun
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 territory including Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

 (now referred to as North West Frontier Province and the Tribal Areas
Federally Administered Tribal Areas
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas are a semi-autonomous tribal region in the northwest of Pakistan, lying between the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and the neighboring country of Afghanistan. The FATA comprise seven Agencies and six FRs...

). This was the first time that Peshawari Pashtuns were ruled by Punjabi
Punjabi people
The Punjabi people , ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ), also Panjabi people, are an Indo-Aryan group from South Asia. They are the second largest of the many ethnic groups in South Asia. They originate in the Punjab region, which has been been the location of some of the oldest civilizations in the world including, the...

s. He captured the province of Multan
Multan
Multan , is a city in the Punjab Province of Pakistan and capital of Multan District. It is located in the southern part of the province on the east bank of the Chenab River, more or less in the geographic centre of the country and about from Islamabad, from Lahore and from Karachi...

 which encompassed the southern parts of Punjab, Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

 (1818), Jammu
Jammu
Jammu , also known as Duggar, is one of the three administrative divisions within Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state in India.Jammu city is the largest city in Jammu and the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir...

 and Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

 (1819). Thus Ranjit Singh put an end to more than a thousand years of Muslim rule. He also conquered the hill states north of Anandpur Sahib
Anandpur Sahib
Anandpur Sahib is a city in Rupnagar district in the state of Punjab, India. Known as "the holy City of Bliss," it is a holy city of the Sikhs and is one of their most important sacred places, closely linked with their religious traditions and history...

, the largest of which was Kangra
Kangra district
Kangra is the most populous district of the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. Dharamsala is the administrative headquarters of the district.-Geography:Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh is situated in Western Himalayas between 31°2 to...

.

When the Foreign Minister of the Ranjit Singh's court, Fakir Azizuddin, met the British Governor-General of India, Lord Auckland
George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland
George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland, GCB, PC was a British Whig politician and colonial administrator. He was thrice First Lord of the Admiralty and also served as Governor-General of India between 1836 and 1842....

, in Simla
Shimla
Shimla , formerly known as Simla, is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. In 1864, Shimla was declared the summer capital of the British Raj in India. A popular tourist destination, Shimla is often referred to as the "Queen of Hills," a term coined by the British...

, Lord Auckland asked Fakir Azizuddin which of the Maharaja's eyes was missing, Azizuddin replied: "The Maharaja is like the sun and sun has only one eye. The splendor and luminosity of his single eye is so much that I have never dared to look at his other eye." The Governor General was so pleased with this reply that he gave his gold watch to Azizuddin.

Ranjit Singh's Empire was secular, none of the subjects were discriminated against on account of their religions. The Maharaja never forced Sikhism
Sikhism
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

 on his subjects.

Secular Sikh Rule


The empire of the Sikhs was most exceptional in that it allowed men from religions other than their own to rise to commanding positions of authority. Besides the Singh (Sikh), the Khan (Muslim) and the Misr (Hindu Brahmin) feature as prominent administrators. The Christians formed a part of the militia of the Sikhs. In 1831, Ranjit Singh deputed his mission to Simla to confer with the British Governor General, Lord William Bentinck. Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa
Hari Singh Nalwa
Hari Singh Nalwa was Commander-in-chief of the Khalsa, the army of the Sikh Empire. He is known for his role in the conquests of Kasur, Sialkot, Multan, Kashmir, Attock, and Peshawar. He led the Sikh Army in freeing Shah Shuja from Kashmir and secured the Koh-i-Nor diamond for Maharaja Ranjit Singh...

, Fakir Aziz-ud-din and Diwan Moti Ram ― a Sikh, a Muslim and a Hindu representative ― were nominated at its head.
Externally, everyone in the Sikh empire looked alike; they supported a beard and covered their head, predominantly with a turban. This left visitors to the Punjab
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

 quite confused. Most foreigners arrived there after a passage through Hindustan
Hindustan
Hindustan or Indostan, literal translation "Land of River Sindhu ", is one of the popular names of South Asia. It can also mean "the land of the Hindus"...

, where religious and caste distinctions were very carefully observed. It was difficult for them to believe that though everyone in the Sarkar Khalsaji looked similar, they were not all Sikhs. The Sikhs were generally not known to force either those in their employ or the inhabitants of the country they ruled to convert to Sikhism. In fact, men of piety from all religions were equally respected by the Sikhs and their ruler. Hindu sadhus, yogis, saints and bairagis; Muslim faqirs and pirs; and Christian priests were all the recipients of Sikh largess. There was only one exception – the Sikhs viewed the Muslim clergy with suspicion. Mullahs were not looked upon kindly, as they were known to fan fanaticism.

In their conquests, the Sikhs never perpetrated atrocities as by invaders into the sub-continent. It was true that the Sikhs held a grudge against the Afghans
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 for the atrocities they had perpetrated, over decades, against them. Before them, the Mughals had hunted down the Sikhs like animals in the field. Every Sikh carried a price on his head. The Afghans had caused havoc and mayhem in the Punjab during the lifetime of both Ranjit Singh's father and grandfather. Despite that, during the rule of the Sikhs there were no reports of torture of the kind routinely inflicted upon the Sikhs by some of the Muslim rulers of Hindustan and subsequently by the Afghan invaders. The Sikhs were reportedly a most tolerant nation.

The Sikhs were never accused of the routine inhuman behavior attributed to the Muslims. In fact, they made every attempt not to offend the prejudices of Muslims noted Baron von Hügel, the famous German traveler, yet the Sikhs were referred to as being harsh. In this regard, Masson's explanation is perhaps the most pertinent:

"Though compared to the Afghans, the Sikhs were mild and exerted a protecting influence, yet no advantages could compensate to their Mohaomedan subjects, the idea of subjection to infidels, and the prohibition to slay kine, and to repeat the azan, or summons to prayer".

Hinduism emphasizes the sanctity of cows, which has carried over into Sikhism. The ban on cow slaughter was universally imposed in the Sarkar Khalsaji.

The Sikhs never razed places of worship to the ground belonging to the enemy. The Sikhs were utilitarian in their approach. Marble plaques removed from Jahangir
Jahangir
Jahangir was the ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1605 until his death. The name Jahangir is from Persian جهانگیر,meaning "Conqueror of the World"...

's tomb at Shahdera were used to embellish the Baradari inside the Fort of Lahore, while the mosques were left intact. Forts were destroyed however, these too were often rebuilt ― the best example being the Bala Hissar
Bala Hissar
Bala Hissar is an ancient fortress located in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan. The estimated date of construction is around the 5th century A.D. Bala Hissar sits to the south of the modern city centre at the tail end of the Kuh-e-Sherdarwaza Mountain...

 in Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

, which was destroyed by the Sikhs in 1823 and rebuilt by them in 1834.

Gurdwaras built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh



At the Harmandir Sahib
Harmandir Sahib
The Harmandir Sahib also Darbar Sahib , also referred to as the Golden Temple, is a prominent Sikh gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab . Construction of the gurdwara was begun by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru, and completed by his successor, Guru Arjan Dev...

, much of the present decorative gilding and marblework date back from the early 19th century. The gold and intricate marble work were conducted under the patronage of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Maharaja of the Punjab. The Sher-e-Punjab (Lion of the Punjab) was a generous patron of the shrine and is remembered with much affection by the Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

s. Maharaja Ranjit Singh deeply loved and admired the teachings of the Tenth Guru of Sikhism Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

, thus he promoted the teachings of the Dasam Granth (the Tenth Granth) and built two of the most sacred temples in Sikhism. These are Takht Sri Patna Sahib
Takht Sri Patna Sahib
The Gurdwara at Patna Sahib was in remembrance of the birth place of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs on 22 December 1666, and like many historical Gurdwara's in India and Pakistan, this Gurdwara too, was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh , the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire, on the...

, the birth place of Guru Gobind Singh, and Takht Sri Hazur Sahib, the place where Guru Gobind Singh took his final rest or mahasamadhi, in Nanded
Nanded
Nanded is the second largest city in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra, India. It is also headquarters of Nanded district in the Marathwada Division of the state. It is an important holy place for the Sikh faith and is famous for the Hazur Sahib Gurudwara. It is the district headquarters once...

, Maharashtra in 1708.

Ranjit Singh's Generals



Ranjit Singh encircled himself with an array of strong generals and soldiers. They were men from different clans, castes and regions

These included:
  • Mahan Singh Mirpuri
    Mahan Singh Mirpuri
    Sardar Raja Mahan Singh "Mirpuri" was a famous General in the kingdom of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and was the second-in-command to the famous General Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa. He was conferred by Maharaja Ranjit Singh the title of Raja for his conquests of Haripur, Nowshehra and Peshawar...

  • Hari Singh Nalwa
    Hari Singh Nalwa
    Hari Singh Nalwa was Commander-in-chief of the Khalsa, the army of the Sikh Empire. He is known for his role in the conquests of Kasur, Sialkot, Multan, Kashmir, Attock, and Peshawar. He led the Sikh Army in freeing Shah Shuja from Kashmir and secured the Koh-i-Nor diamond for Maharaja Ranjit Singh...

  • Hukma Singh Chimni
  • Dewan Mokham Chand
    Dewan Mokham Chand
    Ranjit Singh had seen him in action at Akalgarh three years earlier and again in the fight against the Bhangi Sardar of Gujarat. Mokham Chand had fallen out with his Bhangi master and had come to Ranjit for employment. Ranjit welcomed him with handsome gifts of an elephant and horses and granted...

  • Fateh Singh Ahluwalia
  • Veer Singh Dillon later Jallaha of Gurdaspore
  • Sawan Mal
    Sawan Mal
    Sawan Mal was the Diwan of Multan. He was originally from Gujranwala, the region where Maharaja Ranjit Singh's Misl, the Sukerchakias held sway.He was son of Hushnak rai who worked under Dal Singh of Akalgarh and had two brothers,Diwan Nanak Chand and Diwan Gurumukh Rai. Along with Hari Singh...

  • Sirdar Gulab Singh Pahuwindia
  • Sham Singh Attariwala
    Sham Singh Attariwala
    Sham Singh Attariwala was a general for the Sikh Empire and is famous for his last stand at the Battle of Sobraon. He joined the Sikh military in 1817 and during the Afghan-Sikh Wars participated in the Battle of Attock, Battle of Multan, Battle of Peshewar, and the 1819 Kashmir expedition...

  • Sardar Sangat Singh Saini
    Sangat Singh Saini
    Sangat Singh Saini was a general in the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the Sikh Empire. He oversaw the operations in the Gurdaspur District. His headquarters were based in Batala...

  • Sher Singh
    Sher Singh
    Maharaja Sher Singh was a Sikh ruler of the sovereign country of Punjab and the Sikh Empire. He was the son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Queen Rani Mehtab Kaur who was also the mother of Prince Tara Singh...

  • Shaikh Elahi Bakhsh
  • General Ghause Khan (Mian Ghausa)
  • Sultan Mahmud Khan (Son of Ghause Khan)
  • Zorawar Singh
    General Zorawar Singh
    Zorawar Singh Kahluria was born in a village of Kahlur State in modern Himachal Pradesh, India....

  • Chattar Singh Attariwalla
    Chattar Singh Attariwalla
    General Chattar Singh Attariwalla, was a military commander and a member of the Sikh nobility during the period of the Sikh Empire in the mid-19th century in Punjab. He was also Governor of Hazara province and fought in the Second Anglo-Sikh War against the British...

  • Balbhadra Kunwar
    Balbhadra Kunwar
    Balbhadra Kunwar is a National Hero of Nepal, freedom fighter, Captain, General, etc. Following the Anglo-Nepali War of 1814–1816 he became very famous...

     – Gorkhali General who served for Ranjit Singh after the Anglo-Gorkha war (1814–1816).
  • Mahan Singh Mirpuri
    Mahan Singh Mirpuri
    Sardar Raja Mahan Singh "Mirpuri" was a famous General in the kingdom of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and was the second-in-command to the famous General Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa. He was conferred by Maharaja Ranjit Singh the title of Raja for his conquests of Haripur, Nowshehra and Peshawar...

  • Misr Diwan Chand
    Misr Diwan Chand
    Misr Diwan Chand was a notable pillar of the state of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's reign . A Brahmin, he rose from petty clerk to chief of artillery and commander-in-chief of the armies that conquered Multan and Kashmir Misr Diwan Chand was the most successful punjabi general in the history. He waqs the...



Among his European Mercenary Generals were:
  • Jean-François Allard
    Jean-François Allard
    Jean-François Allard was a French soldier and adventurer.Born in Saint Tropez, he became a soldier and was twice injured while serving in Napoleon's army. He was awarded the Légion d'honneur, and promoted to Captain of the 7th Hussars. After Waterloo, he drifted around and went to Persia where he...

  • Jean-Baptiste Ventura
    Jean-Baptiste Ventura
    Jean-Baptiste Ventura was a soldier, mercenary and adventurer who ended up in the Sikh Empire in Punjab....

     – Italian (Modena)
  • Paolo Di Avitabile
    Paolo Di Avitabile
    General Paolo Crescenzo Martino Avitabile was an Italian soldier, mercenary and adventurer. A peasant's son born in Agerola, near Amalfi in Italy, he served in the Neapolitan militia during the Napoleonic wars. After Waterloo he drifted east like many other adventurous soldiers...

     – Italian (Naples)
  • Claude August Court
    Claude August Court
    Claude Auguste Court was a French soldier and mercenary.He was hired by Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab in 1827 to organize and train the artillery. He was promoted to the rank of General, and served as one of the leading European officers in the Khalsa....

     – French


Americans of note:
  • Josiah Harlan
    Josiah Harlan
    Josiah Harlan, Prince of Ghor was an American adventurer, best known for travelling to Afghanistan and Punjab with the intention of making himself a king. While there, he became involved in local politics and factional military actions, eventually winning the title Prince of Ghor in perpetuity for...

     – American general and later governor of Gujrat
    Gujrat
    Gujrat is a city in Pakistan. It is the capital of Gujrat District and the Gujrat Tehsil subdivision in the Punjab Province. People living in Gujrat refer to themselves as Gujratis, which sometimes leads to confusion with people from the Indian state of Gujarat which adjoins Pakistan...

  • Alexander Gardner
    Alexander Gardner (soldier)
    Alexander Haughton Campbell Gardner was a traveller, soldier and mercenary. He travelled to Afghanistan and Punjab and served in various military positions in the region.-Biography:...

     – American (Scotch – Irish)

Conquests



Ranjit Singh's earliest conquests as a young misldar (baron) were effected by defeating his coreligionists, the heads of other Sikh Sardaris (popularly known as the Misls). By the end of his reign, however, he had conquered vast tracts of territory strategically juxtaposed between the limits of British India to the left and the powerful Afghan Empire to the right. The land that eventually became the Kingdom of the Sikhs had been ruthlessly subjected to the worse kind of atrocities by invading armies coming through the Khyber Pass
Khyber Pass
The Khyber Pass, is a mountain pass linking Pakistan and Afghanistan.The Pass was an integral part of the ancient Silk Road. It is mentioned in the Bible as the "Pesh Habor," and it is one of the oldest known passes in the world....

 into the Indian sub-continent, over eight centuries.

In 1799, Ranjit Singh captured Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

 and made it his Capital. After the capture of Lahore, Ranjit Singh rapidly annexed the rest of the Punjab, the land of the five rivers. Having accomplished this, he extended his empire further north and west to include the Kashmir mountains and other Himalayan kingdoms, the Sind Sagar Doab, the Pothohar Plateau and trans-Indus regions right up to the foothills of the Sulaiman
Sulaiman
Sulaiman was the scriptural figure identified as either the Jewish king of Israel or a Muslim prophet.Sulaiman is an English transliteration of the Arabic name that means "man of peace" and corresponds to the English name Solomon....

 and Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
The Hindu Kush is an mountain range that stretches between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. The highest point in the Hindu Kush is Tirich Mir in the Chitral region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.It is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram Range, and is a...

 mountains.

Ranjit Singh took Amritsar from the Bhangi Sardari and followed this with the more difficult conquest of Kasur
Kasur
Kasur , the capital of Kasur District in Pakistan. Kasur is located adjacent to the border of Ganda Singh Wala between Pakistan and India, and is a tourist attraction because of the daily occurring Flags lowering ceremony...

, the fabled twin city of Lahore, from the Pathans. With the conquest of Multan
Multan
Multan , is a city in the Punjab Province of Pakistan and capital of Multan District. It is located in the southern part of the province on the east bank of the Chenab River, more or less in the geographic centre of the country and about from Islamabad, from Lahore and from Karachi...

 the whole Bari Doab came under his sway. In the year 1819, Ranjit Singh successfully annexed Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

. This was followed by subduing the Kashmir mountains, west of the river Jhelum (today, Hazara in Pakistan and Pakistan Administered Kashmir). Ranjit Singh built his empire by making deep inroads into the Kingdom of Kabul, defeating the Pashtun militia and the tribes inhabiting the Sindh Sagar Doab and trans-Indus regions.

The most significant encounters between the Sarkar Khalsaji and the Afghans were fought in 1813, 1823, 1834 and in 1837. In 1813, Ranjit Singh's general Dewan Mokham Chand
Dewan Mokham Chand
Ranjit Singh had seen him in action at Akalgarh three years earlier and again in the fight against the Bhangi Sardar of Gujarat. Mokham Chand had fallen out with his Bhangi master and had come to Ranjit for employment. Ranjit welcomed him with handsome gifts of an elephant and horses and granted...

 led the Sikh forces against the Afghan forces of Shah Mahmud led by Fateh Khan Barakzai. Following this encounter, the Afghans lost their stronghold at Attock. Subsequently, the Pothohar plateau, the Sindh Sagar Doab and Kashmir came under Sikh rule. In 1823, Ranjit Singh defeated a large army of Yusafzai tribesmen north of the Kabul river
Kabul River
Kabul River , the classical Cophes , is a 700 km long river that starts in the Sanglakh Range of the Hindu Kush Mountains in Afghanistan and ends in the Indus River near Attock, Pakistan. It is the main river in eastern Afghanistan and is separated from the watershed of the Helmand by the Unai Pass...

, while the presence of his Sikh general, Hari Singh Nalwa
Hari Singh Nalwa
Hari Singh Nalwa was Commander-in-chief of the Khalsa, the army of the Sikh Empire. He is known for his role in the conquests of Kasur, Sialkot, Multan, Kashmir, Attock, and Peshawar. He led the Sikh Army in freeing Shah Shuja from Kashmir and secured the Koh-i-Nor diamond for Maharaja Ranjit Singh...

 prevented the entire Afghan army from crossing this river and going to the aid of the Yusafzais at Nowshera. This defeat led to the gradual loss of Afghan power in the trans-Indus region. In 1834, when the forces of the Sarkar Khalsaji marched into Peshawar, the ruling Barakzais simply fled the place without offering a fight. In April 1837, the real power of Maharaja Ranjit Singh came to the fore when his commander-in-chief, Hari Singh Nalwa, kept the entire army of Amir Dost Mohammad Khan
Dost Mohammad Khan
Dost Mohammad Khan was the Emir of Afghanistan between 1826 and 1863. He first ruled from 1826 to 1839 and then from 1843 to 1863. He was the 11th son of Sardar Pāyendah Khan who was killed by Zaman Shah Durrani in 1799...

, the Wali of Kabul, at bay, with a handful of forces till reinforcements arrived from Lahore over a month after they were requisitioned.

Geography of the Sikh Empire


The Sikh Empire was also known as Punjab, the Sikh Raj, and Sarkar Khalsaji, was a region straddling the border into modern-day People's Republic of China and Islamic Republic of Afghanistan then popularly referred to as the Kingdom of Cabul. The name of the region "Punjab" or "Panjab", comprises two words "Punj/Panj" and "Ab", translating to "five" and "water" in Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

. When put together this gives a name meaning "the land of the five rivers", coined due to the five rivers that run through the Punjab. Those "Five Rivers" are Beas
Beas River
The Beas River is a river in the northern part of India. The river rises in the Himalayas in central Himachal Pradesh, India, and flows for some 470 km to the Sutlej River in the Indian state of Punjab....

, Ravi
Ravi River
The Ravi is a trans-boundary river flowing through Northwestern India and eastern Pakistan. It is one of the six rivers of the Indus System in Punjab region ....

, Sutlej
Sutlej
The Sutlej River is the longest of the five rivers that flow through the historic crossroad region of Punjab in northern India and Pakistan. It is located north of the Vindhya Range, south of the Hindu Kush segment of the Himalayas, and east of the Central Sulaiman Range in Pakistan.The Sutlej...

, Chenab and Jhelum
Jhelum River
Jehlum River or Jhelum River , ) is a river that flows in India and Pakistan. It is the largest and most western of the five rivers of Punjab, and passes through Jhelum District...

, all tributaries of the river Indus, home to the Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization
The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly modern-day Pakistan and northwest India...

 that perished 3000 years ago. Punjab has a long history and rich cultural heritage. The people of the Punjab are called Punjabis and they speak a language called Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

. The following modern day political divisions made up the historical Sikh Empire:
  • Punjab region
    Punjab region
    The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

     till Multan
    Multan
    Multan , is a city in the Punjab Province of Pakistan and capital of Multan District. It is located in the southern part of the province on the east bank of the Chenab River, more or less in the geographic centre of the country and about from Islamabad, from Lahore and from Karachi...

     in south
    • Punjab
      Punjab (India)
      Punjab ) is a state in the northwest of the Republic of India, forming part of the larger Punjab region. The state is bordered by the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh to the east, Haryana to the south and southeast and Rajasthan to the southwest as well as the Pakistani province of Punjab to the...

      , India
    • Punjab
      Punjab (Pakistan)
      Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

      , Pakistan
    • Haryana
      Haryana
      Haryana is a state in India. Historically, it has been a part of the Kuru region in North India. The name Haryana is found mentioned in the 12th century AD by the apabhramsha writer Vibudh Shridhar . It is bordered by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the north, and by Rajasthan to the west and south...

      , India. Including Chandigarh
      Chandigarh
      Chandigarh is a union territory of India that serves as the capital of two states, Haryana and Punjab. The name Chandigarh translates as "The Fort of Chandi". The name is from an ancient temple called Chandi Mandir, devoted to the Hindu goddess Chandi, in the city...

      .
    • Himachal Pradesh
      Himachal Pradesh
      Himachal Pradesh is a state in Northern India. It is spread over , and is bordered by the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west and south-west, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on the south, Uttarakhand on the south-east and by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the east...

      , India

  • Kashmir
    Kashmir
    Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

    , conquered in 1818, India/Pakistan/China
    • Jammu
      Jammu
      Jammu , also known as Duggar, is one of the three administrative divisions within Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state in India.Jammu city is the largest city in Jammu and the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir...

      , India
    • Gilgit
      Gilgit
      Gilgit is a city in northern PakistanGilgit may refer to other terms related with the area of the city:* Gilgit River* Gilgit Valley* Gilgit District* Gilgit Agency * Gilgit Airport...

      , Northern Areas, Pakistan (Occupied from 1842 to 1846)
  • Khyber Pass
    Khyber Pass
    The Khyber Pass, is a mountain pass linking Pakistan and Afghanistan.The Pass was an integral part of the ancient Silk Road. It is mentioned in the Bible as the "Pesh Habor," and it is one of the oldest known passes in the world....

    , Afghanistan
    Afghanistan
    Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

    /Pakistan
    • Peshawar
      Peshawar
      Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

      , Pakistan (taken in 1818, retaken in 1834)
    • North-West Frontier Province
      North-West Frontier Province
      Khyber Pakhtunkhwa , formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province and various other names, is one of the four provinces of Pakistan, located in the north-west of the country...

       and FATA
      Fata
      The FATA or FC-ATA is a type of computer hard disk drive. FATA is simply the low cost ATA or SATA disk drive equipped with a small external converter, that changes the interface to Fibre Channel...

      , Pakistan (documented from Hazara (taken in 1818–22) to Bannu
      Bannu
      Bannu is the principal city of the Bannu District in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. It is an important road junction and market city. Bannu is a very old city, founded in ancient times; however, the present location of the downtown Bannu was founded by Sir Herbert Edwardes in 1848,...

      )
  • Parts of Western Tibet
    Tibet
    Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

     (1841), China


Legacy and aftermath


Maharaja Ranjit Singh died in 1839, after a reign of nearly forty years, leaving seven sons by different queens. He was cremated. His ceremony was performed by both Sikh and Hindu priests, his wife Maharani Mahtab Devi Sahiba, the Princess of Kangra, daughter of Maharaja Sansar Chand, the Empress of Punjab, committed Sati
Sati (practice)
For other uses, see Sati .Satī was a religious funeral practice among some Indian communities in which a recently widowed woman either voluntarily or by use of force and coercion would have immolated herself on her husband’s funeral pyre...

 with Ranjit's body as Ranjit's head lay in her lap, some of the other wives also joined her and committed Sati
Sati (practice)
For other uses, see Sati .Satī was a religious funeral practice among some Indian communities in which a recently widowed woman either voluntarily or by use of force and coercion would have immolated herself on her husband’s funeral pyre...

. The throne went to his eldest son Kharak Singh, who was not entirely fit and prepared for ruling such a vast empire. Some historians believe that the other heirs would have forged an even more durable, independent and powerful empire, had they come to the throne before Kharak Singh. However, the empire began to crumble due to poor governance and political infighting among his heirs. The princes died through internal plots and assassinations, while the nobility struggled to maintain their power.

In 1845 after the First Anglo-Sikh War
First Anglo-Sikh War
The First Anglo-Sikh War was fought between the Sikh Empire and the British East India Company between 1845 and 1846. It resulted in partial subjugation of the Sikh kingdom.-Background and causes of the war:...

, Ranjit Singh's Empire was defeated and all major decisions were managed by the British East India Company
British East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

. The Army of Ranjit Singh was reduced, under the peace treaty with the British, to a nominal force. Those who gave the stiffest resistance to the British were severely punished and their wealth confiscated. Eventually, Ranjit Singh's youngest son Dalip Singh, was crowned Maharaja of Punjab in 1843 succeeding his brother, Maharaja Sher Singh
Sher Singh
Maharaja Sher Singh was a Sikh ruler of the sovereign country of Punjab and the Sikh Empire. He was the son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Queen Rani Mehtab Kaur who was also the mother of Prince Tara Singh...

. In 1849, at the end of the Second Anglo Sikh War
Second Anglo-Sikh War
The Second Anglo-Sikh War took place in 1848 and 1849, between the Sikh Empire and the British East India Company. It resulted in the subjugation of the Sikh Empire, and the annexation of the Punjab and what subsequently became the North-West Frontier Province by the East India Company.-Background...

, it was annexed by British India from Dalip. Thereafter, the British took Maharaja Dalip Singh to England in 1854, where he was put under the protection of the Crown. Dalip Singh's mother, Maharani Jind Kaur
Jind Kaur
Maharani Jind Kaur, also popularly known as Rani Jindan. She was the youngest wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the mother of the last Sikh Emperor, Maharajah Duleep Singh. In 1845 she became Regent of Punjab for Duleep Singh. The Queen Mother of the last Sikh sovereign of the Punjab...

, escaped and made her way to Nepal where she was given refuge by Sri Teen Maharaja Jung Bahadur Rana
Rana dynasty
The Rana dynasty ruled the Kingdom of Nepal from 1846 until 1953, reducing the Shah monarch to a figurehead and making Prime Minister and other government positions hereditary...

 of Nepal, who then negotiated on her behalf to allow her to be reunited with her son. Maharani Jind Kaur and her son met at Spence's Hotel, Calcutta, on 16 January 1861, after some thirteen and half years apart. She was granted permission to come to England. A residence was taken up at No. 1 Lancaster Gate
Lancaster Gate
Lancaster Gate is a mid-19th century development in the Bayswater district of west central London, immediately to the north of Kensington Gardens. It consists of two long terraces of houses overlooking the park, with a wide gap between them opening onto a square containing a church. Further...

 (now No. 23).

Jind Kaur stayed for a short while at Mulgrave Castle, later she was placed in the charge of an English lady at Abingdon House, Kensington
Kensington
Kensington is a district of west and central London, England within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. An affluent and densely-populated area, its commercial heart is Kensington High Street, and it contains the well-known museum district of South Kensington.To the north, Kensington is...

. On the morning of 1 August 1863, Maharani Jind Kaur died peacefully. Her body was temporarily housed at London's Kensal Green Cemetery
Kensal Green Cemetery
Kensal Green Cemetery is a cemetery in Kensal Green, in the west of London, England. It was immortalised in the lines of G. K. Chesterton's poem The Rolling English Road from his book The Flying Inn: "For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen; Before we go to Paradise by way of...

, and in the spring of 1864, Duleep Singh left for India and arranged for the cremation of her body.

In the spring of 1864, Maharani Jind Kaur was cremated at Nasik in Bombay on the Panchvati side of the river. The authorities would not allow Dalip Singh to cremate his mother in the Punjab. On the left bank the Maharaja erected a small samadh built as a memorial in the memory of his mother. For a number of years the Kapurthala State Authorities maintained the memorial until 1924, when her remains were dug out and brought to Lahore by her granddaughter, Princess Bamba Sutherland, and deposited at the Samadh of Maharajah Ranjit Singh.

Dalip Singh was converted to Christianity in his youth, upon reuniting with his mother during his adult years, he reconverted to Sikhism, he then petitioned the Crown to have his kingdom returned. He never received any justice or the respect he deserved. He died in 1893, in Paris, France.

Maharajah Dalip Singh had three sons. The eldest Prince Victor was born on 10 July 1866, followed by Prince Frederick
Frederick Duleep Singh
Prince Frederick Victor Duleep Singh MVO, TD, FSA , also known as Prince Freddy, was a younger son of Duleep Singh, the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire.-Life and education:...

 in 1868, and then Prince Albert Edward Alexander Dalip Singh (died at the age of thirteen), who was born on 20 August 1879.

Prince Victor Albert Jay Dalip Singh was Maharajah Dalip Singh's eldest son. He was honourable A.D.C. to Lord Halifax, and was promoted to Captain in 1894, but his military career, however, was a shambles, his interest lay in other things and he resigned in 1898. During the First World War, he was ordered to remain in Paris and not to leave, but shortly after the war ended, Prince Victor died on 7 June 1918, without any issue.

Princess Sophia
Sophia Duleep Singh
Princess Sophia Alexandra Duleep Singh was a prominent suffragette in the United Kingdom...

, the youngest of the Maharajah's daughters. On 22 August 1948, Princess Sophia died in her sleep. Her solicitor arranged for her cremation at Golders Green
Golders Green
Golders Green is an area in the London Borough of Barnet in London, England. Although having some earlier history, it is essentially a 19th century suburban development situated about 5.3 miles north west of Charing Cross and centred on the crossroads of Golders Green Road and Finchley Road.In the...

 on 26 August. It was her request that her ashes be taken to India for burial.

Princess Catherine was born on 27 October 1871, and was named Catherine Hilda Dalip Singh. Princess Catherine died peacefully in her bed on the night of Sunday 8 November 1942 at her home in Penn, aged seventy-one. The cause of death was said to be heart failure. She was cremated.

Princess Ada Irene Helen Beryl Dalip Singh, born on 25 October 1889. Tragically on 8 October 1926, she committed suicide, local fishermen dragged her body from the sea, off Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo is an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco....

. She was apparently much aggrieved with the death of her brother Prince Frederick who had died two months earlier.

Princess Pauline Alexandrina Dalip Singh, born 26 December 1887, her death was unrecorded, she disappeared in war-torn France during the Second World War.

Princess Bamba Sutherland (Princess Bamba Sofia Jindan Dalip Singh) was born on 29 September 1869 in London, a year after her brother Prince Frederick. In England, Princess Bamba began styling herself as the Queen of Punjab. She was truly her father's daughter and had her father's rebellious nature and seemed to be the more aggrieved one among her siblings. She was the most affected at the realisation of who she was and her ancestry. She was often visited by her cousin Karl Wilhelm, grandson of Ludwig Muller, at Hilden Hall, by which time she was already dreaming of going back to India in order to die there. In his memoirs Karl Wilhelm referred to Princess Bamba as 'the true heiress of Ranjit Singh' meaning that she was most conscious of the actual desperate situation of the whole family. 'She considered the Punjab and Kashmir as the lost possession of her family and was absolutely furious when the border between Pakistan and India was drawn right across the Punjab.' In Princess Bamba's eyes, Pakistan or India did not exist, there was just the Punjab and its capital Lahore. She met distant relatives throughout her travels in India, trying to grasp one last glimpse of the glory that she was denied. She located the families of Wazir Ishwari Singh Katoch of Kangra and Hari Singh Nalwa, both residing in Nabha
Nabha
Nabha is a city and municipal council in the Patiala district to the south-west of the Indian state of Punjab. In 1998, the annual income of Nabha state was Rs 1,50,000/-.- Princely State of Nabha :...

 at the time. She met members of several Hindu and Sikh royal families in an attempt to prevent the division of her grandfather's empire.

On 10 March 1957, Princess Bamba, the daughter of Maharaja Dalip Singh, died of heart failure at the age of eighty-nine. She had outlived her entire family and the final chapter of a tragic family was completed and finally laid to rest. Her funeral was conducted in a Christian ceremony in Lahore. The rites were witnessed by a select few Pakistani dignitaries, the Pakistani authorities did not allow any of her distant relatives to attend, Sikh or Hindu, nor were any Sikhs in Pakistan allowed to attend her rites, thus no Sikh was present at Princess Bamba's funeral, the last of Dalip Singh's line.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh is remembered for uniting the Punjab as a strong nation and his possession of the Koh-i-noor
Koh-i-Noor
The Kōh-i Nūr which means "Mountain of Light" in Persian, also spelled Koh-i-noor, Koh-e Noor or Koh-i-Nur, is a 105 carat diamond that was once the largest known diamond in the world. The Kōh-i Nūr originated in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India along with its double, the Darya-ye Noor...

 diamond. Ranjit Singh willed the Koh-i-noor
Koh-i-Noor
The Kōh-i Nūr which means "Mountain of Light" in Persian, also spelled Koh-i-noor, Koh-e Noor or Koh-i-Nur, is a 105 carat diamond that was once the largest known diamond in the world. The Kōh-i Nūr originated in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India along with its double, the Darya-ye Noor...

 to Jagannath Temple
Jagannath Temple
-India:*Jagannath Temple, Puri, Orissa, India*Jagannath Temple, Koraput, Orissa, India*Jagannath Temple, Baripada, Mayurbhanj, Orissa, India*Jagannath Temple, Nayagarh, Orissa, India*Jagannath Temple, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India*Jagannath Temple, Delhi, India...

 in Puri, Orissa
Orissa
Orissa , officially Odisha since Nov 2011, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April...

 while on his deathbed in 1839. His most lasting legacy was the golden beautification of the Harmandir Sahib
Harmandir Sahib
The Harmandir Sahib also Darbar Sahib , also referred to as the Golden Temple, is a prominent Sikh gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab . Construction of the gurdwara was begun by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru, and completed by his successor, Guru Arjan Dev...

, most revered Gurudwara of the Sikhs, with marble and gold, from which the popular name of the "Golden Temple" is derived.

He was also known as "Sher-e-Punjab" which means the "Lion of Punjab" and is considered one of the three lions of modern India, the most famous and revered heroes in Indian subcontinent's history. The other lions are Rana Pratap Singh of Mewar
Mewar
Mewar is a region of south-central Rajasthan state in western India. It includes the present-day districts of Pratapgarh, Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Udaipur, Dungarpur, Banswara and some of the part of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The region was for centuries a Rajput kingdom that later...

 and Chhatrapati Shivaji, the great Maratha
Maratha
The Maratha are an Indian caste, predominantly in the state of Maharashtra. The term Marāthā has three related usages: within the Marathi speaking region it describes the dominant Maratha caste; outside Maharashtra it can refer to the entire regional population of Marathi-speaking people;...

 ruler. The title of "Sher-e-Punjab" is still widely used as a term of respect for a powerful man.

Captain William Murray's memoirs on Maharaja Ranjit Singh's character:
Ranjit Singh has been likened to Mehmet Ali and to Napoleon. There are some points in which he resembles both; but estimating his character with reference to his circumstances and positions, he is perhaps a more remarkable man than either. There was no ferocity in his disposition and he never punished a criminal with death even under circumstances of aggravated offence. Humanity indeed, or rather tenderness for life, was a trait in the character of Ranjit Singh. There is no instance of his having wantonly infused his hand in blood."


Many famous folk stories about Maharaja portray a leader and the inspiration Maharaja Ranjit Singh was. In one famous incident, when Maharaja was about to cross the badly flooded river near Attock
Attock
Attock is a city located in the northern border of the Punjab province of Pakistan and the headquarters of Attock District...

 (now in Pakistan and called Kabul River
Kabul River
Kabul River , the classical Cophes , is a 700 km long river that starts in the Sanglakh Range of the Hindu Kush Mountains in Afghanistan and ends in the Indus River near Attock, Pakistan. It is the main river in eastern Afghanistan and is separated from the watershed of the Helmand by the Unai Pass...

). One of Maharaja's generals reported this fact to Maharaja, saying that the river cannot be crossed and it is now an Atak (an obstacle in Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

) for us. Maharaja retorted "eh Attock uhna lai atak hai, jehna de dillan wich atak hai" or "This river Attock is an obstacle for those, who have obstacles in their hearts", then crossed the river successfully. The army and other generals followed his lead.

Another famous folk story about the Maharaja is that he was accidentally hit by a stone thrown by a 5-year-old boy, who actually wanted to hit a fruit tree to knock down some of its fruit. When he was brought before the Maharaja, Ranjit Singh gave him a gold coin. He said, "How can I punish him for hitting me with a stone, when this tree will give him fruit for the same?"

See also

  • Baradari of Ranjit Singh
  • History of Punjab
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh's Generals
  • Preminder Singh Sandhawalia
    Preminder Singh Sandhawalia
    Preminder Singh Sandhawalia is a Punjabi author descended from the Sandhawalia Jatt or Sansi clan) who were Sukerchakia misldars clan. His family are indirect relatives of Maharaja Ranjit Singh....

  • Sikh Empire

Further reading

  • Umdat Ut Tawarikh by Sohan Lal Suri, Published by Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar .
  • The Real Ranjit Singh by Fakir Syed Waheeduddin, published by Punjabi University, ISBN 81-7380-778-7, 1 Jan 2001, 2nd ed. First ed. published 1965 Pakistan.
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh: First Death Centenary Memorial, by St. Nihal Singh. Published by Languages Dept., Punjab, 1970.
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his times, by J. S. Grewal, Indu Banga. Published by Dept. of History, Guru Nanak Dev University, 1980.
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh, by Harbans Singh. Published by Sterling, 1980.
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh, by K. K. Khullar. Published by Hem Publishers, 1980.
  • The reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh: structure of power, economy and society, by J. S. Grewal. Published by Punjab Historical Studies Dept., Punjabi University, 1981.
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh, as patron of the arts, by Ranjit Singh. Published by Marg Publications, 1981.
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh: Politics, Society, and Economy, by Fauja Singh, A. C. Arora. Published by Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, 1984.
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his Times, by Bhagat Singh. Published by Sehgal Publishers Service, 1990. ISBN 81-85477-01-9.
  • History of the Punjab: Maharaja Ranjit Singh, by Shri Ram Bakshi. Published by Anmol Publications, 1991.
  • The Historical Study of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's Times, by Kirpal Singh. Published by National Book Shop, 1994. ISBN 81-7116-163-4.
  • An Eyewitness account of the fall of Sikh empire: memories of Alexander Gardner, by Alexander Haughton Campbell Gardner, Baldev Singh Baddan, Hugh Wodehouse Pearse. Published by National Book Shop, 1999. ISBN 81-7116-231-2.
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Last to Lay Arms: The Last to Lay Arms, by Kartar Singh Duggal. Published by Abhinav Publications, 2001. ISBN 81-7017-410-4.
  • Fauj-i-khas Maharaja Ranjit Singh and His French Officers, by Jean Marie Lafont. Published by Guru Nanak Dev University, 2002. ISBN 81-7770-048-0.
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh, by Mohinder Singh, Rishi Singh, Sondeep Shankar, National Institute of Panjab Studies (India). Published by UBS Publishers' Distributors with National Institute of Panjab Studies, 2002. ISBN 81-7476-372-4,.
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh: Lord of the Five Rivers, by Jean Marie Lafont. Published by Oxford University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-19-566111-7.
  • The Last Sunset: The Rise and Fall of the Lahore Durbar, by Amarinder Singh. Published by Roli Books, 2010.

External links




Biographies