Sikhs ruled mostly areas of Punjab on both
sides (India and Pakistan). They were able to establish a
independent Empire under Ranjit Singh in 1799.
1699 Formation of the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh.
1710 – 1716 Banda Singh defeats the Mughals and declares Khalsa rule.
1716 – 1738 Turbulence, no real ruler; Mughals take back the control for
decades but Sikhs engage in guerrilla warfare.
1733 – 1735 The Khalsa accepts, only to reject, the confederal status
given by Mughals.
1748 – 1757 Afghan invasion of Ahmad Shah Durrani
28 Jan 1757 Punjab annexed by Afghanistan.
1757 - 1761 Maratha rule with help of Sikhs
1761 - 1767 Recapture of Punjab region by Afghan in Third Battle of
1763 – 1774 Charat Singh Sukerchakia, Misldar of Sukerchakia misl,
establishes himself in Gujranwala.
1764 – 1783 Baba Baghel Singh, Misldar of Karor Singhia Misl, imposes
taxes on the Mughals.
1783 Sikh Occupation of Delhi and Red Fort
1773 Ahmad Shah Durrani dies and his son Timur Shah launches
several invasions into Punjab.
1774 – 1790 Maha Singh becomes Misldar of the Sukerchakia misl.
1790 – 1801 Ranjit Singh becomes Misldar of the Sukerchakia misl.
1799 Formation of the Sikh Khalsa Army.
07 Apr 1799 The Sikh military organization occupies Lahaur (Lahore).
12 Apr 1801 – 27 Jun 1839 Reign of Maharaja Ranjit
Mar 1809 - Aug 1809 Gurkha-Sikh War.
Singh defeats Amar Singh Thapa of Nepal.
01 Jun 1813 Ranjit Singh is given the Kohinoor Diamond.
13 Jul 1813 Battle of Attock, the Sikh Empire's first significant
over the Durrani Empire
1816 - 17 Jun 1822 Jammu annexed to
the Sikh Empire.
March – 02 Jun 1818 Battle of Multan, the 2nd battle in the Afghan–Sikh wars.
Kharak Singh defeated Nawab Muzaffar Khan Sadozai
03 Jul 1819 Battle of Shopian. Ranjit Singh defeated Jabbar Khan,
governor of the Durrani Empire province of Kashmir.
05 Jul 1819 - 15 Mar 1846 Kashmir annexed to the Sikh Empire.
14 Mar 1823 Battle of Nowshera. Sikhs occupation of the Peshawar
Ranjit Singh defeats Azim Khan Barakzai at Pir Sabak Hill.
30 Apr 1837 Battle of Jamrud at Khyber Agency.
Ranjit Singh fought against
Afghans under Emir Dost Muhammad Khan.
27 Jun 1839 – 05 Nov 1840 Reign of Maharaja Kharak Singh.
05 Nov 1840 – 18 Jan 1841 Chand Kaur is briefly Regent.
18 Jan 1841 – 15 Sep 1843 Reign of Maharaja Sher Singh.
May 1841 – Aug 1842 Sino-Sikh
war (Battle of Ladakh and Battle of Chushul)
resulted in Stalemate between Sher Singh and Qing dynasty.
15 Sep 1843 – 31 Mar 1849 Reign of Maharaja Duleep Singh.
1845 – 1846 First Anglo-Sikh War.
British defeated the Sikhs.
18 Dec 1845 Battle of Mudki. British victory over Lal Singh army.
21 Dec 1845 - 22 Dec 1845
Battle of Ferozeshah. British victory over Lal Singh army.
1846 Battle of Baddowal at Dharmkot, Ludhiana. Result: indecisive.
28 Jan 1846 Battle of Aliwal near Sutlej river. British led by Sir
Smith defeated the Sikhs army leader Ranjodh Singh Majithia.
The charge of the British 16th Lancers at Aliwal.
10 Feb 1846 Battle of Sobraon. British defeated Sardar Tej Singh army.
09 Mar 1846 Treaty of Lahore. British protectorate.
16 Mar 1846 Treaty of Amritsar.
British sold Kashmir to Gulab Singh for
7.5 million (75 lakhs) Nanakshahi Rupees.
1848 – 1849 Second Anglo-Sikh War.
British defeated the Sikhs.
22 Nov 1848
Battle of Ramnagar near Gujranwala.
British led by Sir Hugh Gough defeated Sher Singh Attariwalla.
13 Jan 1849
Battle of Chillianwala near River Jhelum. Result: indecisive.
British were led by Sir Hugh Gough and Sikhs by Sardar
Sher Singh Attariwalla.
19 Apr 1848 - 22 Jan 1849
The Siege of Multan. British victory. British were lead by
General Whish while Sikhs by Diwan Mulraj Chopra.
21 Feb 1849
Battle of Gujrat. British won the Second Anglo-Sikh War.
British led by Sir Hugh Gough defeated Sher Singh Attariwalla.
22 Feb 1849 Sikh ruler Duleep Singh was deposed by British.
02 Apr 1849 Punjab was formally annexed to British territory at Lahore.
08 Apr 1849 Punjab incorporated into British India.
15 Aug 1947 Partitioned between India (Amritsar) and Pakistan (Lahore).
movement which began in the 15th century, and now has about 18 million
followers. It was started as a response to both Hinduism and Islam, and
attempted a working syncretism between the two faiths. Persecuted by both,
and outlawed in Mughal times, the Sikh community traveled north into the
hills of the Punjab, where the greatest number of them still live. They
continued to be the object of hostility and persecution, and gradually a
martial life-style emerged as a means of defending their communities.
- The GURUS (Teachers)
- Guru Nanak Dev Ji.................................20
Oct 1469 - 07 May 1539
- Nanak was born 20 October 1469 into a
Hindu Khatri family, in the village of Rai Bhoi Ki Talwandi, now
called Nankana Sahib (after the Guru), near Lahore, Pakistan.
Today, his birthplace is marked by Gurdwara Janam Asthan. His
father, Kalyan Das Bedi, also known as Mehta Kalu, was the
patwari (accountant) of crop revenue for the village of Talwandi
under the Muslim landlord of the village, Rai Bular, who was
responsible for collecting taxes. Guru Nanak's mother was Tripta
Devi and he had one older sister, Nanaki. A purely religious teacher, deeply
Indian in the basic premises, which underlay even those aspects
of his theology which differed from the mainstream, he stressed
the unity of God and the universal brotherhood of man. He was
totally opposed to the division of the caste system and his teaching struggled to attain a
practical balance between Hinduism and Islam. He exhibited no
political ambition and was the founder of Sikhism. Became Guru
on 20 Aug 1507. Nanak's teachings come down today fore mostly in
the Guru Granth, a vast collection of revelatory verses recorded
in soaks. He died on 22 Sep 1539, Kartarpur, Punjab, India.
Nanak was married to one Sulakhni. His marriage took place with
her in the town of Batala. The marriage party had come from the
town of Sultanpur Lodhi. He had two sons from this marriage; Sri
Chand and Lakhmi Chand. The former was a deeply spiritual person
and founded a renunciate/ascetic subsect known today as Udasis.
The younger son grew up to become immersed in worldly life.
- Guru Angad Dev Ji..................................07
May 1539 - 26 Mar 1552
- Lehna was born in the village of Sarae
Naga in Muktsar district in Punjab, on March 31, 1504, he was
the son of a small successful trader named Pheru. His mother's
name was Mata Ramo (also known as Mata Sabhirai, Mansa Devi,
Daya kaur). Baba Narayan Das Trehan was his grandfather, whose
ancestral house was at Matte-di-Sarai near Mukatsar. In 1538,
Guru Nanak Dev Ji chose Lehna, his disciple, as a successor to
the Guruship rather than one of his sons. Bhai Lehna was renamed
Guru Angad Dev Ji and became the second guru of the Sikhs. He
continued the work started by the Founder, Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He
died on March 29, 1552 (aged 48) at Aritsar, Punjab, (now
India). It is said that he started to build a new town, at
Goindwal near Khadur Sahib and Guru Amar Das ji was appointed to
supervise its construction. It is also said that the Mughal
Emperor Humayun, running from Sher Shah Suri, came to obtain the
blessings of Guru Angad Dev Ji in regaining the throne of Delhi.
- Sri Amar Das Ji.....................................26
Mar 1552 - 01 Sep 1574
- Guru Angad Dev Ji, following the
example set by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, nominated Sri Amar Das Ji as
his successor (The Third Nanak) before his death. Guru Amar Das
Ji. Guru Amar Das was born in Basarka, a village in the Amritsar
dustrict, Punjab, India on 5 May 1479, followed the footsteps of
Guru Angad Dev. He is the eldest son of his parents, Bhai Tej
Bhan Bhalla and Mata Lakhmi. At the age of 24, he was married to
Mansa Devi who gave birth to two sons, Mohan and Mohri, and two
daughters, Bibi Dani and Bibi Bhani. He often went to Haridwar
and Jwalamukhi on pilgrimages. Before Guru Amar Das died, he
nominated Guru Ram Das, who was married to his daughter Bibi
Bhani, as the fourth Guru of the Sikhs. [On September 1, 1574
sensing that his end was near, Guru Amar Das sent for Baba
Buddha and other prominent Sikhs including his two sons Mohan
and Mohri. He declared; "According to the tradition established
by Guru Nanak, the leadership of the Sikhs must go to the most
deserving. I, therefore, bestow this honour on my son-in-law
Jetha." Guru Amar Das then renamed Jetha as Ram Das, meaning
Servant of God. As was the custom Baba Buddha was asked to
anoint the forehead of Amar Das with the saffron mark. All those
present bowed before Guru Ram Das except for Mohan, Guru Amar
Das's eldest son. Shortly thereafter Guru Amar Das breathed his
last on the full moon day of Bhadon in 1574 at the ripe old age
- Guru Ram Das Sodni Ji..............................01
Sep 1574 - 01 Sep 1581
- Guru Ram Das was born in Lahore,
Punjab, Pakistan to a Sodhi family of Khatri clan on 24
September 1534 and died on 01 September 1581, Amritsar, Punjab,
India) as the fourth Gurus of Sikhism, and he became Guru on 30
August 1574 following in the footsteps of Guru Amar Das. His
father was Hari Das and mother Anup Devi, and his name was Jetha,
'first born'. His wife was Bibi Bhani, the younger daughter of
Guru Amar Das, the third guru of the Sikhs. They had three sons:
Prithi Chand, Mahadev and Arjan Dev. As a Guru One of his main
contributions to Sikhism was organizing the structure of Sikh
society. Additionally, he was the author of Laava, the hymns of
the Marriage Rites, the designer of the Harmandir Sahib, and the
planner and creator of the township of Ramdaspur (later Amritsar).
A hymn by Guru Ram Das from page 305 of the Guru Granth Sahib:
“ One who calls himself a Sikh of the True Guru shall get up
early morning and meditate on the Lord's Name. Make effort
regularly to cleanse, bathe & dip in the ambrosial pool. Upon
Guru's instructions, chant Har, Har singing which, all misdeeds,
sins and pains shall go away. ” Guru Ram Das nominated Guru
Arjan Dev, his youngest son, as the next Guru of the Sikhs.
- Guru Arjun (Mal) Dev Ji............................01
Sep 1581 - 25 May 1606
- Born in Goindal, Amritsar district,
Punjab, India on 15 April 1563 and died on 30 May 1606 Lahore,
Punjab, Pakistan. He was the fifth Gurus of Sikhism and became
Guru on 01 September 1581 following in the footsteps of Guru Ram
Das. He completed the construction of Amritsar and founded other
cities such as Taran Taran and Kartarpur. He constructed a Baoli
at Lahore. The most important work of Arjan Dev was the
compilation of Adi Granth on 30 August 1604.. He collected all the work of the
first four Gurus and dictated it in the form of verses in 1604.
It is, perhaps, the only kind of writing of a scriptural nature
which has preserved without embellishments or misconstruction of
the original writings of religious literatures.Guru Arjun
organised the Masand system. The Sikhs were asked to pay
one-tenth of their income to the Guru in future. He appointed
representatives to collect the money. He encouraged his
followers to trade in horses. Relations between Akbar and Guru
Arjan were cordial but things changed after the accession of
Jahangir. Ultimately the Guru was tortured to death. It is
stated that Jahangir was annoyed because Guru Arjun gave his
blessings to his rebel son, Prince Khasrau. Jahangir also did
not like the growing popularity of Sikhism and took strong
objection to conversion of Muslims to Sikhism. With the execution of
Guru Arjun, the Sikhs
migrated north into the Punjab. Guru Arjun nominated Guru Har Rai, his
grandson as the next Guru of the Sikhs.
- Guru Har Gobind...................................25
May 1606 - 03 Mar 1644
Also known as Sacha Padshah (True King). He was born in Amritsar,
Punjab, India on 19 June 1595. When little more than a child
Guru Har Gobind was convinced that sustaining the Panth sword
was as essential as saintliness. He put on two swords one of
which indicated his spiritual authority and the other his
temporal authority. He hence advocated that a Sikh Guru would
represent both the Miri and Piri, the Shakti and Bhakti and the
Tegh (Sword) and Degh (Large iron plate used for making bread in
India). He decided to wear at his waist two swords instead of
one, to chastise the oppressor and to protect the innocent. He
declared that the Guru's house would henceforth combine the
spiritual and the mundane powers, his rosary would serve also as
his sword-belt and an emblem of regality would crown his turban.
He built the Akal Takht in 1608, which is now one of five Takhts
(Seats of Power) of the Sikh, the Throne of the Almighty. He
would sit in a regular court with regalia around. Sikhs were
commanded to keep a sword and maintain a horse. He enrolled a
large number of armed volunteers and even Pathans. Guru Har
Gobind was combined in his personality a saint, sportsman and a
soldier. His father Guru Arjan Dev was a true saint but the boy
Har Gobind had perceived his father's saintliness suffer and
erode at the brutal hands of Mughal tyranny. He remained under constant struggled
against Jahangir and later Shah Jahan. From the very beginning
he was the deadly enemy of Mughals. Before ascension, he
nominated Guru Har Rai, his grandson as the next Guru of the
Sikhs. Jahangir could not tolerate the armed policy of Har
Gobind and consequently imprisoned him, and ultimately released
him. He was imprisoned in the fort of Gwalior for one year and
on release insisted that 52 fellow prisoners be freed as well.
To mark this occasion the Sikhs celebrate Diwali (bandi chod
divas). The relations between the Guru and Jahangir became
friendly and continued to remain so. During the reign of Shah
Jahan, relations became bitter again, for Shah Jahan was
intolerant. He destroyed the Sikh baoli at Lahore. The quarrels
which originally started over hawks or horses between the Mughal
officials and the Sikhs subsequently led to risings on a large
scale and were responsible for the deaths of thousands of
persons on both sides. Battles were fought at Amritsar,
Kartarpur and elsewhere. He defeated the Imperial troops near
Amritsar. The Guru was again attacked by a provincial
detachment, but the attackers were routed and their leaders
slain. Guru Har Gobind breathed his last, peacefully, at
Kiratpur Rupnagar, Punjab on 2 March 1644. He fought four
battles against the Mughal rulers and was the strongest and the
biggest Guru physically. The city Hargobindpur, in Majha region
of Punjab, is named after him, which he won over from Mughals
after defeating them in a battle.
- Guru Har Rai......................................03
Mar 1644 - 06 Oct 1661
- Born on 26 February 1630 and died at
the age on 31 on 06 October 1661 and became Guru on 08 March
1644, followed the footsteps of his grandfather, Guru Har Gobind.
Before he died, he nominated, his five year old youngest son
Guru Har Krishan, as the next Guru of the Sikhs. He continued
the military traditions started by his grandfather Guru Har
Gobind. Maintained a cavalry of 2,200 soldiers throughout his
Guruship. Guru Har Rai continued the hunting tradition of his
grandfather, but he would allow no animals to be killed on his
The Guru instead captured the animal and
added to his zoo. Made several tours to the Malwa and Doaba
regions of the Punjab. Guru Har Rai was the son of
Baba Gurdita and Mata Nihal Kaur (also known as Mata Ananti Ji).
Baba Gurdita was son of the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind. Guru Har
Rai married to Mata Kishan Kaur (sometimes also referred to as
Sulakhni) daughter of Sri Daya Ram of Anoopshahr (Bulandshahr)
in Uttar Pradesh on Har Sudi 03, Samvat 1697. Guru Har Rai had
two sons: Baba Ram Rai and Sri Har Krishan.
while the Guru Har Rai was returning from a tour of the Malwa
and Doaba regions, Mohamad Yarbeg Khan, (son of Mukhlis Khan,
who was killed in a battle by Guru Hargobind) attacked the kafla
of the Guru with a force of one thousand armed men. The
revengeful attack was repulsed by a few hundred Saint Soldiers
of the Sikhs with great courage and bravery. The enemy suffered
a heavy loss of life and fled the scene. This self-defense
measure, was a reply to the surprise attack of the Muslims
overlords. Normally the Gurus professed the practise of
non-violence (Ahimsa Parmo Dharma). Guru Har Rai often bestowed
Sikh warriors with gallantry awards. The Guru also established
an Aurvedic (herbal medicine) hospital and a research centre at
The Emperor Shah Jahan had four sons: Dara Shikoh, Shuja
Muhammad, Aurangzeb, and Murad Baksh. Dara Shikoh was the
heir-apparent, and was very dear to his father. Aurangzeb was
very cunning, clever and ambitious, and was fixated on
succeeding to the throne. He administered tiger’s whiskers in a
dish to his eldest brother and he became dangerously ill as a
result. Astrologers were sent for, pirs and fakirs were called,
all known charms, spells and incantations were tried but to no
avail. The best hakims (physicians) both Indian and European
were consulted, but there was no improvement. Wise men were assembled together and they came to the
decision that until the tiger’s whiskers could be removed, there
was no hope of a recovery. They were of the opinion that if two
ounces of chebulic myrobalan (scientific name: termininalia
chebula; known in Ayurvedic medicine as Aralu, credited with
having laxative and stomachic properties) and a clove weighing
one masha were administered, his health could be restored. At last the
emperor made a humble request to the Guru for the treatment of
his son. Accepting the request Guru Har Rai, handed over some
rare medicine to the messenger of the emperor. Dara Shikoh was
cured of his near fatal illness.
Guru Har Rai Ji's response to his Sikhs who questioned why he
was helping the son of Shah Jahan who made quarreled with his
grandfather and father, Guru Arjan Dev Ji and Guru Hargobind Ji.
“Behold,” said the Guru, “with one hand man breaks flowers and
with one hand offers them, but the flowers perfume both hands
alike. The axe cuts the sandal tree, yet the sandal perfumes the
axe. The Guru ought, therefore, to return good for evil.” The emperor, whole heartedly
thanked the Guru and offered a jagir (title to land with
villages and the profits derived from it), which Guru Har Rai
Guru Har Rai also visited Lahore, Sialkot, Pathankot,
Samba, Ramgarh and many places of Jammu and Kashmir region. He
established 360 Sikh missionary seats (Manjis). He also tried to
improve the old corrupt Masand system and appointed pious and
committed personalities like Suthre Shah, Sahiba, Sangtia, Mian
Sahib, Bhagat Bhagwan, Bhagat Mal and Jeet Mal Bhagat (also
known as Bairagi), as the heads of Manjis. A devout Sikh called
Bhai Gonda used to stay with the Guru. He was a saint in
thought, word and deed. The Guru was very much pleased with his
sincere devotion and asked, “Bhai Gonda, go to Kabul, and
instruct the Sikhs there in the worship of the true Name, and
preach the Sikh faith.
Once, Dara Shikoh
(the eldest son of emperor Shah Jahan), came to Guru Har Rai
asking for help in the war of succession with his brother the
Murderous Aurangzeb. The Guru had promised his grandfather to
use the Sikh Cavalry only in defense. He, nevertheless, helped
him to escape safely from the bloody hands of Aurangzeb's armed
forces by having his Sikh warriors hide all the ferry boats at
the river crossing used by Dara Shikoh in his escape.
His son Ram Rai, seeking to assuage
concerns of Aurangzeb over one line in Guru Nanak's verse (Mitti
Mussalmam ki pede pai kumhar) "The Ashes of the Musalman
(Muslim) fall into the potter's clot, it is moulded into pots
and bricks, and they cry out as they burn". Ram Rai in order to
please the emperor and gain his approval changed the Gurbani in
question by replacing the word 'Musalman' (Muslim) with the word
'Beiman' (a cheat or sinner), as a mistake on the copyist's
part. The Guru refused to meet with him again. The Guru is
believed to have said, "Ram Rai, you have disobeyed my order and
sinned. I will never see you again on account of your
infidelity." It was also reported to the Guru that Ram Rai had
also worked miracles in the Mughal's court against his father's
direct instructions. Sikhs are constrained by their Gurus to not
believe in, magic and myth or miracles. An aged Ram Rai was
later forgiven by Guru Gobind Singh.
- Guru Har Krishan..................................07
Oct 1661 - 30 Mar 1664
- Guru Har Krishan (07 July 1656 – 30
March 1664) became Guru on 7 October 1661, succeeding his
father, Guru Har Rai. Guru Har Krishan was born in Rupnagar,
Punjab, India to Guru Har Rai and Kishan Kaur (Mata Sulakhni).
Before his death in October 1661, Har Rai designated his younger
son Har Krishan as the next Guru. Har Rai chose Har Krishan,
rather than his elder son Ram Rai, because Ram Rai was in
collusion with the Mughal Empire. Har Krishan was only five
years old when he succeeded his father as Guru. A smallpox
epidemic was then raging in Delhi. Har Krishan helped to heal
many sick people. Coming in contact with so many people every
day, he too was infected and taken seriously ill, died on March
30, 1664, at the tender age of around eight years old. He he
nominated his granduncle, Guru Tegh Bahadur, as the next Guru of
- Guru Tegh Bahadur.................................30
Mar 1664 - 11 Nov 1675
- Guru Tegh Bahadur (01 April 1621 – 11
November 1675) became Guru of Sikhism on March 20, 1665,
following in the footsteps of his grand-nephew, Guru Har Krishan.
Guru Tegh Bahadur was the youngest of the five sons of Guru Har
Gobind. He was born in Amritsar in the early hours of April 1,
1621. His earlier name was Tyag Mal and then became Tegh Bahadur
(mighty of the sword), given by Guru Hargobind after he had
shown his valour in a battle with the Mughals. Tegh Bahadur was
married on February 04, 1633 , with Gujri. Nearing his end, Guru
Hargobind asked Nanaki, mother of Tegh Bahadur, to go and live
in the village of Bakala. She departed with Tegh Bahadur and
Gujri to make home in Bakala. Travels were undertaken by him in
different parts of the country to preach the teachings of Guru
Nanak. The Delhi Emperor, Aurangzeb cherished the ambition of
converting India into a land of Islam. Guru Tegh Bahadur was
arrest in July 1675 and was put in chains and ordered to be
tortured until he would accept Islam. He was executed (beheaded
in public at Chandni Chowk on November 11, 1675) on the orders
of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi. Guru Gobind Singh has
written about the martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur in Bachitra
Natak: "Guru Tegh bahadur was the protector of the tilak
(ointment) and janeu (sacred thread) of the Hindus. In the land
of the gods rang shouts of adoration."
- Gobind Rai
Singh.................................11 Nov 1675 - 1699 d. 1708
- Guru Gobind Singh, born on December
22, 1666 at Patna, Bihar and died on 07 October 1708 (aged 42
years) at Nanded, Maharashtra, became Guru of the Sikhs on 11
November 1675, at the young age of nine years, succeeding his
father Guru Tegh Bahadur. He was the leader of the Sikh faith, a
warrior, a poet, and a Prophet. The impress of Guru Gobind Singh
has not only elevated and altered the constitution of the minds
of the Sikhs, but has operated materially and given amplitude to
their physical frames. His establishment of the Khalsa is
considered as one of the most important events in the history of
Sikhism. He fought twenty defensive battles with the Mughals and
their alliances, such as Rajas of Shivalik Hills. Guru Gobind
Singh Ji was the last human Sikh Guru; he finished the Sikh holy
book, the Dasam Granth, and also declared that the Guru Granth
Sahib as the next permanent Sikh Guru. Bichitra Natak,
considered to be his autobiography, is one of the many sources
for the information about his life. It is a part of the Dasam
Granth, literary collection attributed to Guru Gobind Singh, and
was compiled by Bhai Mani Singh. Children Ajit Singh, Jujhar
Singh, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh. Took part in various
battles and initiated large number of people into Khalsa.
Govind transformed the Sikh community into
what was effectively an army, the Khalsa, or "Pure Ones". He discarded
the title of Guru, mandated the adoption by all Sikhs of the honorific
"Singh" (Lion, male) or "Kaur" (Lioness, female) to their names, and
henceforth was Commander of the Khalsa. He gave new discipline to
Sikhhism. Its adherents were forbidden wine and tobacco and they
were required to conform to five outward signs of allegiance -
to keep their hair unshaven and to wear short drawers (kuchcha),
c comb (kungha), an iron bangle (kara) and a dagger (kirpan).
- Commanders of the Khalsa
- Govind Rai Singh (continued).............................1699 -
07 Oct 1708
- After the emperor's death, a war of
succession broke out between his sons. The third son, Mohammad
Azam (or Azim), declared himself the Emperor. The second son
Muazzam (later Emperor Bahadur Shah) set out from Peshawar to
claim the throne. The Guru's follower Bhai Nand Lal (who had
earlier served in the Muazzam 's court) brought him a letter
written by Muazzam. Muazzam had sought Guru's help in securing
the throne, and had promised to pursue a policy of religious
tolerance towards the non-Muslims. The Guru sent a band of his
followers under the command of Bhai Dharam Singh, to help
Muazzam. Muazzam's forces defeated Azam Shah's forces in the
Battle of Jajau on 12 June 1707. Bahadur Shah invited Guru
Gobind Singh for a meeting which took place at Agra on 23 July
1707. The Guru was received with honour and was given the title
of Hind Ka Pir (the Pir of India). With his death the Khalsa, the Sikh
brotherhood, emerged as the controlling body of Sikhism and the
Granth, the official compilation of Govind Singh's teaching,
became the "Bible" of Sikhhism. At this point the Sikhs took to
the hills. He was killed by a Pathan commissioned by Wazir Khan
in October 1708. He finished the Sikh holy book, the Dasam
Granth. Finding his end near, passed on spiritual Guruship to
Sri Guru Granth Sahib (sacred text Adi Granth, is the holy book,
or scriptures, of the Sikhs and revered as an eternal
Guru, a sacred conduit for wisdom and guidance] and corporal
Guruship to Khalsa.
- Banda Singh Bahadur......................................1708 - 1716
- Baba Banda Singh Bahadur (1670-1716) (Lachhman
Dev) was a Sikh warrior known for his struggle against the
Mughal Empire in the early seventeenth century. The title Baba
(Elder) in Sikhism denotes respect. Famous for the sack of the
Mughal provincial capital, Sirhind, he is revered as one of
greatest Sikh warriors as well as one of the most hallowed
martyrs of the Khalsa. His confrontation with the Mughal
administration in Northern India, though brief, was strong
enough to shake its foundations. The agrarian uprising that he
led in the Punjab was the foundation on which the Dal Khalsa,
the Sikh Misls and Maharaja Ranjit Singh built the edifice which
finally culminated with Ranjit Singh capturing Lahore in 1799
and establishing the Sikh Kingdom of the Punjab. One of the most
revolutionary acts of Banda Bahadur, after establishing his
authority in Punjab, was the abolition of the zamindari system,
and granting proprietary rights to the actual tillers of the
land. 1707 to 1716, Creation of Sikh Confederacy begins to
influence the political structure of the Punjab region.
- Elected Supreme Commanders /
Presidents [Khalsa, Military Government (Sikh Confederacy)]
- A Supreme Commander was democratically elected at Amritsar, who
would be the military head of the Sikh Confederacy and the head
of state (Supreme Commander/President) in a council by the head
of each kingdom/misl of the Empire altogether with the all
available citizens of the Sikh Empire, through the Sarbat Khalsa. The period from 1716 to 1799 in Punjab
was a highly turbulent time politically and militarily. This was
caused by the overall decline of the Mughal Empire, particularly
in Punjab caused by Sikh military action against it. After the killing of Banda Singh, the Sikh
community fragmented. But Mughal authority was waning as well, and by
the middle of the 18th century, several Sikh-led communities had gained
nominal or real independence. As Nadir Shah retired from Delhi laden
with the prizes of war in 1739, the stragglers of his Persian
army were cut down by the Sikhs. Similarly, Ahmad Shah Durrani's
first intrusion into India (1747-1748) was made the more lively
by Sikh sorties into his rear guard. Gradually their military
strengthen, and their first notable success came about 1756. The
whole tract of land between the Jhelum and the Sutlej was now
divided among the Sikh chieftains. At Lahore, and later at
Amritsar, the Govind Shahi rupee proclaiming that Guru Govind
Singh had receiving Deg, Tegh and Fath (Grace, Power and
Victory) from Nanak was struck. The name of the Mughal emperor
was pointedly omitted.
when the Sikhs temporarily occupied Lahore and used the Mughal
mint to strike their own rupee bearing the inscription: Coined
by the grace of the Khalsa in the country of Ahmad, conquered by
Jessa the Kalal. But Sikhs were, as yet, more effective as
guerrilla bands operating out of the hill country. On Ahmad
Shah's fifth expedition into India (1759-1761) the sikhs
reverted to their well-tried role of forming tight mobile units,
which could choose both the time and the place of their attacks
on the Durrani army. In spite of a serious reverse near
Bernala in 1762 at the hands of Ahmad Shah, the Sikhs once again
regrouped. In December 1763 they decisively defeated the Durrani
governor of Sirhind and occupied the area. Sikh Confederacy
military power increased rapidly from 1762 to 1801. Refer to Lahore from 1799 (see
Punjab) and Patiala (Phulkian Dynasty
from 29 Mar 1761 to 20 Aug 1948) for a continuance of the leadership of
Kapur Singh Virk S/o Dalip Singh..................1716 - 1753
- He is considered one of the pivotal
and legendary figures in Sikh history, under whose courageous
leadership the Sikh community traversed one of the darkest
periods of its history. He was the organizer of the Sikh
Confederacy and the Dal Khalsa. Nawab Kapur Singh is regarded by
Sikhs as a leader and general par excellence. The period,
starting from the massacre in Delhi of Banda Singh and seven
hundred other Sikhs, was followed by severe action against the
Sikhs, including massacres of young men, women and children.
However, every fresh adversity only stimulated their will to
survive. Nawab Kapur Singh was born into a Virk family of Jats
in 1697. His native village was Kaloke, now in Sheikhupura
district, in Punjab (Pakistan). Kapur Singh was eleven years old
at the time of Guru Gobind Singh's death and nineteen at the
time of the massacre of Banda Bahadur and his followers in
Delhi. Later, when he seized the village of Faizullapur, near
Amritsar, he renamed it Singhpura and made it his headquarters.
He is thus, also known as Kapur Singh Faizullapuria, and the
small principality he founded, as Faizullapuria or Singhpuria.
In 1733, the Mughal government decided, at the instance of
Zakarya Khan (Mughal governor of Lahore in 1726), to revoke all
repressive measures issued against the Sikhs and made an offer
of a grant to them. The title of Nawab was conferred upon their
leader, with a jagir consisting of the three parganas of
Dipalpur, Kanganval and Jhabal. The founder of Singhpuria Misl
the rule-by-Misl system was Nawab Kapur Singh. Nawab Kapur Singh
was a great warrior. He fought many battles. The rise of the
Misls, under its leader, Hari Singh, the Taruna Dal rapidly grew
in strength and soon numbered more than 12,000. To ensure
efficient control, Nawab Kapur Singh split it into five parts,
each with a separate centre. The first batch was led by Baba
Deep Singh Shaheed, the second by Karam Singh and Dharam Singh,
the third by Kahan singh and Binod Singh of Goindwal, the fourth
by Dasaundha Singh of Kot Budha and the fifth by Vir Singh
Ranghreta and Jivan Singh Ranghreta. Each batch had its own
banner and drum, and formed the nucleus of a separate political
state. The territories conquered by these groups were entered in
their respective papers at the Akal Takht by Jassa Singh
Ahluwalia. From these documents or misls, the principalities
carved out by them came to known as Misls. Seven more groups
were formed subsequently and, towards the close of century,
there were altogether twelve Sikh Misls ruling the Punjab. Nawab
Kapur Singh requested the community to relieve him of his
office, due to his old age, and at his suggestion, Jassa Singh
Ahluwalia was chosen as the supreme commander of the Dal Khalsa.
Kapur Singh died in 1753 at Amritsar and the misl was succeeded
by his nephew (brother: Dhan Singh's son), Khushal Singh.
Khushal Singh Virk........................1753 - 1795
- Khushal Singh who succeeded him as the
leader of the misl, who equalled his uncle in wisdom and
bravery. Sardar Khushal Singh played a significant role in
expanding the territories of the Singhpuria Misl and extended
his conquests on both sides of the Satluj. His possessions
included Jalandhar, Nurpur, Bahrampur, Bulandgarh, Haibatpur,
Singhpur, Patti, Ghanoli and Bhartgarh, Jalandhar doab and
adjoining areas yielded an annual income of three lakh rupees.
Khushal Singh also occupied Ludhiana. He had to divide the
district of Banur with Patiala. He died in 1795 leaving his misl
stronger than ever it was and with territorial possessions far
larger than those he had inherited. When Ahmad Shah Abdali made
his eighth invasion of the Punjab in December 1756, Khushal
Singh, accompanied by Tara Singh Gbaiba, with 6000 horsemen, was
stationed at Taragarh to check his progress eastwards after the
Durrani left Lahore. On 15 January 1767, Ahmad Shah wrote
letters to the Sardars, including Khushal Singh, to the effect
that if they were desirous of entering his service they should
come and join him, but if they had any hostile intentions they
should meet him in the field.49 Khushal Singh and others spurned
at Durrani's proposal of joining him and told to meet hire in
the field of battle. The Sikhs gave him no rest so long as he
remained in the Punjab and he returned homeward disappointed.
Budh Singh Virk..........................1795 - 1816
- Khushal Singh was succeeded by his son
Budh Singh. When Abdali returned home after his ninth invasion
of India, the Sikhs had occupied more territories in the Punjab.
Sheikh Nizam-ud-din was the ruler of Jalandhar at that time.
Sardar Budh Singh defeated Nizam-id-din on the battle-field and
occupied Jalandhar. He also took possooession of Bulandgarh,
Behrampur, Nurpur and Haibatpur-Patti. However, Budh Singh could
not equal Khushal Singh's talents. The Singhpuria Misl began to
decline and ultimately all its possessions on the west of Satluj
were annexed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. On his possessions on the
east of the Satluj, however, the British extended their
protection to him. Budh Singh died in 1816, leaving seven sons
behind him. His eldest son, Amar Singh, retained possession of
Bhartgarh and divided the rest of the territories among his six
brother as under:- Bhopal Singh was given the estate of Ghanauli,
Gopal Singh: Manauli, Lal Singh: Bunga, Gurdyal Singh: Attalgarh,
Hardyal Singh: Bela, Dyal Singh: Kandhola. The descendants of
these Sardars still live on their respective estates. In A.D.
1766 Jalandhar fell into the hands of the Sikh Misl of the
Singhpuria, then under Khushal Singh. His son Budh Singh, who
succeeded him as head of the Misl, built a masonry fort in the
city, the site of which is now occupied by the Killa Mohalla
while several of the other leaders built forts of unburnt
bricks. In 1811, Diwan Mohkam Chand was sent by Maharaja Ranjit
Singh to annex the Faizullapuria possession in the Jalandhar
Doab and Sardar Budh singh fled to his protected possession
across the Satluj. His troops put some resistance, but gave up
in Jalandhar in October. From this time , it was the capital of
the possessions of the Lahore State in the Jalandhur Doab until
annexation to the British dominions after the First Anglo Sikh
War ,1845-46. It then became the headquarters of the
Commissionership of the Trans-Satluj States, afterwards known as
the Commissionership of Jalandhur.
- Sultan ul Quam Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia..........1753 - 1783
- Sultan ul Quam Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, born in 1718 was
a prominent Sikh leader during the period of the Sikh
Confederacy. He was also Baron of the Ahluwalia Army (misl).
This period was an interlude, lasting roughly from the time of
the death of Banda Bahadur in 1716 to the founding of the Sikh
Empire in 1801. The period is also sometimes described as the
Age of the Misls. Jassa Singh continued with his campaigns.
Ahmed Shah Abdali, Nadir Shah's seniormost general, succeeded to
the throne of Afghanistan, when Shah was murdered in June, 1747.
He established his own dynasty, the Sadozai, which was the name
of the Pashtun khel to which he belonged to. Starting from
December, 1747 till 1769, Abdali made a total of nine incursions
into India . His repeated invasions destroyed the Mughal
administration of the Punjab and the rest of Northern India. At
the Third Battle of Panipat, he dealt a drippling blow to
Maratha pretensions in the North. Thus he created a power vacuum
in the Punjab, which was filled by the Sikhs. From 1762 to 1767
Ahmed Shah Abdali and the Sikhs fought battle for control. 1763
to 1774, Charat Singh, baron of Sukerchakia Army established
himself in Gujranwala. After Abdali's
ninth and last invasion in 1769, Jassa Singh wrested Kapurthala
in 1774 from Rao Ibrahim Bhatti and made it his headquarters.
In 1773, Ahmed Shah Abdali dies and his son Timur Shah is unable
to suppress the Sikhs. 1774 to 1790, Maha Singh, becomes baron
of the Sukerchakia Army. Jassa Singh died in Amritsar in 1783. Being issueless, he was
succeeded by Bhag Singh, whose son, Fateh Singh became a close
collaborator of Ranjit Singh. Baron Sultan ul Quam Nawab Jassa
Singh Kalal was also known as 'Guru ka lal' (the beloved son of
- Prominent misls:
- Bhangi or Bhuma Army first led by Baron Hari Singh
Dhillon -(Strength - 20,000 regular horsemen)
- Karorh Singhia Army (also known as Panjgarhia),
first led by Baron Karora Singh Virk -(Strength - 10,000 regular horsemen)
- Nakai Army, first led by Baron Hira Singh Nakai
Sandhu-(Strength - 7,000 regular horsemen)
- Ahluwalia Army, first led by Baron Sultan ul Quam
NawabJassa Singh Ahluwalia -(Strength - 6,000 regular horsemen)
- Ramgarhia Army, first led by Baron Nand Singh
Sanghania and then by Jassa Singh Ramgarhia -(Strength - 5,000 regular
- Kanahiya Army, first led by Baron Jai Singh
Kanhaiya Mann-(Strength - 5,000 regular horsemen)
- Dallewalia Army, first led by Baron Gulab Singh
Dallewalia -(Strength - 5,000 regular horsemen)
- Shaheed Army, first led by Baron Baba Deep Singh
-(Strength - 5,000 regular horsemen)
- Faizalpuria or Singhpuria Army, first led by Baron
Nawab Kapur Singh Virk -(Strength - 5,000 regular horsemen)
- Shukarchakia Army, first led by Baron Naud Singh
-(Strength - 5,000 regular horsemen)
- Nishanwalia Army, first led by Baron Dasaundha
Singh Gill -(Strength - 2,000 regular horsemen)
- Phulkian Army, first led by Choudhary Phool Singh
-(Strength - 4,000 regular horsemen). (Expelled in August 1765). However, it
had attained exalted status when Guru Gobind Singh, tenth Sikh Guru asked
Rama and Tiloka sons of Phool for help in fighting the Hill Rajas
proclaiming "tera ghar mera asay" meaning Your House Is My Own in a self
written Hukamnama (royal edict) in 1696 CE. It is because of this blessing
of Guru Sahib that the Phoolka States were never attacked by the other 11
Misls despite some provocations. The sons of Phool, Ram Singh and Tilok
Singh were baptized with Khande da Pahul by Guru Gobind Singh himself at
Damdama Sahib. The ruling families of Patiala , Nabha and Jind are descended
from Phool, their eponym, from whom are also sprung the great feudal
families of Bhadaur and Malaudh , and many others of lesser importance.
- SIKH EMPIRE
- Ranjit Singh S/o Sardar Mahan Singh......................1799 -
27 Jun 1839
- Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a Jat from the
Punjabi people born in 1780 in the Panjabi town of Gujranwala (now in
Pakistan), into the Sandhawalia family. He became the Baron of the Sukerchakia army from
1790 to 1801 after his father, controlling a territory in west Punjab
based around his headquarters at Gujranwala. From 1799 to 1801, is considered as transitional period
neither Confederacy or Empire, in a state of revolution or anarchy.
Sardar Charhat Singh Sukerchakia (died: 1778), Sardar Naudh Singh (died:
Sardar Bhai Buddh Singh (died: 1716) was
grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather respectively of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Ranjit Singh's father Mahan Singh died in 1792. The
Sikh Empire was formed on the foundations of Sikh Confederacy by
Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Coronation took place at Lahore on 12th Apr 1801
(to coincide with Baisakhi day). For forty years, he dominated Sikh affairs. In
1802 he seized Amrister and followed this by capturing Ludhiana (1806),
Multan (1818), Kashmir (1819), Ladakh (1833) and Peshawar (1834). He
married (amongst others) firstly, 1796, Rani Mahtab Kaur, born 1780,
died 1840, married secondly, 1798, Rani Datar Kaur [Raj Kaur], daughter
of Nakai Sardar Khazan Singh, died 1818, married thirdly, 1813, Rani
Ratan Kaur, married fourthly, 1835, Maharani Jind Kaur, died 1st August
1863 in London. Ranjit Singh had the following sons.
- Kunwar Ishwar Singh (by 1st wife), died
- Maharaja Sher Singh (twin son of first
- Kunwar Tara Singh, born December 1807
(twin son of first wife), died in 1859.
- Maharaja Kharak Singh (by second wife).
- Kunwar Multana Singh (by third wife), born
in 1819 and died in 1848.
- Kunwar Kashmira Singh (by Daya Kaur), born
in 1821, he was granted the jagir of Sialkot, Got married and had
children. He died on 07th May 1844.
- Kunwar Peshaura Singh (by third wife),
born in 1823 and died on 30th August 1845.
- Maharaja Dhuleep Singh (by fourth wife).
- Ranjit Singh had By the
time of his death in 1839, Ranjit was the only leader in India capable
of offering a serious challenge to the East India Company. A treaty
concluded in 1809 with the British, confirmed Ranjit Singh as a ruler
south of Sutlej, but restricted him from seeking any further expansion
to the north or west. British remained suspicious of Ranjit's ultimate
intentions. After the death of Ranjit the Sikh empire began to
disintegrate as power passed from chief to chief in murderous rivalry.
At the same time relationship with the British began to deteriorate. He
also called "Sher-e-Punjab" ("The Lion of the Punjab").
He died on 27 Jun 1839 and his samadhi is
located in Lahore, Pakistan.
- Kharak Singh S/o Ranjit Singh.....................27
Jun 1839 -
05 Nov 1840
- Born on 31 Jan 1802, was a Sikh ruler of the
sovereign country of Punjab and the Sikh Empire. He was the eldest
legitimate son of Ranjit Singh from his second wife Maharani Datar Kaur.
He succeeded his father on 27 June 1839. He married firstly, February
1812, Maharani Chand Kaur, married secondly in 1815, Rani Ishar Kaur
(daughter of Lal Singh Sandhu of Sirarivali, in Sialkot district of the
Punjab, committed sati 5th November 1840), married thirdly in 1816,
Maharani Bibi Khem Kaur Dhillon. It is believed that he was removed from power on 08
October 1839 and replaced by his son Prince Nau Nihal Singh. Kharak
Singh became a
prisoner and died from a slow poisoning on 05 November 1840.
- Nau Nihal
Singh S/o Kharak Singh..................05 Nov 1840 - 06 Nov 1840
- Nau Nihal Singh, born on 09 March 1821,
was a Sikh ruler of the sovereign country of Punjab and the Sikh Empire
for one day.
He was the son of Maharaja Kharak Singh. After the death of Ranjit
Singh, Kharak Singh became king but was unable to keep control of the
various factions within the kingdom. Prince Nau Nihal took control of
the state himself. Upon Kharak Singh's death, Nau Nihal Singh was in
line to become king. However, whilst returning from his father's
funeral, he was injured when a building collapsed upon him. His body was
taken to a tent away from the courtiers, who were not allowed into the
presence of the prince. Eyewitnesses described his initial injuries as
being small blows to the head which knocked him unconscious. Later when
the tent was opened Nau Nihal Singh was dead, his head having been
smashed in, possibly with a rock. It is unclear whether the building's
collapse was accidental or deliberate and who was responsible. The most
likely culprits were the Kashmiri Dogra brothers, Gulab Singh and Dhian Singh.
Nau Nihal Singh was married to Maharani Sahib Kaur [Bibi Nanaki] and had
a son in July 1841.
- Chand Kaur Kunwar (female, Regent)................17
Nov 1840 - 17 Jan 1841
- Born in
1802 at Fatehpur, daughter of Sardar Jaimal Singh of the Kanhaiya misl.
the Maharani of the Punjab, styled
Mai to 02 Dec 1840, then
Maharani Malika Maqaddasa (empress immaculate).
was briefly a Regent of the sovereign country of Punjab and the Sikh
Empire. She was the wife of Kharak Singh and thus daughter-in-law of
Ranjit Singh. She was the mother of Nau Nihal Singh. She remained regent
for ~2 & half months, from 17th November 1840 to 18th January 1841, in
preparation for Sher Singh's coronation and becoming Maharaja and
relinquished her claim to the throne on 17th January 1841. She was
pensioned off with a jagir worth 900,000 rupees annually, married in
February 1812 with Maharaja Kharak Singh and died on 11th June 1842 and
was cremated the next day.
- Sher Singh S/o Ranjit Singh.......................18
Jan 1841 - 16 Sep 1843
- Sher Singh, (Born: December 1807 - Died:
September 16th 1843) 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. He became
Maharaja in 1841 after the sudden death of Nau Nihal Singh whose death
was set in motion, some say purposely, while returning from his father's
cremation. He was the half brother of Nau Nihal's father, Kartar Singh.
Proclaimed Maharaja by his vazir (pronounced wazir, his prime minister).
He won the throne after a protracted siege of the Lahore Fort which was
held by the Royal family. Thousands died in the siege. Historians record
that he was not very smart politically and let the Dogra brothers (they
were responsible for the death of Maharaja Nau Nihal Singh and his
father) take charge of all functions of state. The Dogra brothers, like
puppet masters, pulled the strings of others to bring about the death of
Sher Singh. Sher Singh was killed as he reached for a new shotgun held
by Ajit Singh Sandhawalia his cousin, who pulled the trigger. Sher Singh
only had time to utter, "what treachery." The Sandhawalias believed he
was complicit in the death of the two previous Maharajas. The Dogra
plans went awry as Dhian Singh Dogra was out foxed and killed as well.
The Sandhawalias were thought to have also had designs on the kingdom.
Prince Peshaura Singh
(son of Ranjit Singh), had rebelled and had taken Attock under the
instructions of the Dogra brothers. Prime minister Jawahar Singh (Jind
Kaur's brother) rushed forces to Attock to stop the rebellion and in the
process Prince Peshaura Singh was killed. The Sikh Khalsa army in
revenge for the killing of the rebelling prince killed Duleep Singh's
maternal uncle Prime minister Jawahar Singh in front of Jind Kaur (or
Rani Jindan, Messalina of Punjab. She was the youngest wife of Maharaja
Ranjit Singh and the mother of the last Sikh Emperor, Maharaja Duleep
Singh. She died on 01 Aug 1863 in London) and
Duleep Singh, as punishment at Lahore on September 21, 1845.
- Dhuleep Singh S/o Ranjit Singh....................17
Sep 1843 - 22 Feb 1849
- Maharajadhiraja Sir Dhuleep Singh, GCSI (Born:
Lahore, 06 September 1838 - Died: Paris, 22 October 1893) was a Sikh
ruler of the sovereign state of Punjab, and the Sikh Empire. He was the
last Maharaja of Lahore during the Sikh Raj of Punjab. He was the
youngest son of the legendary Lion of the Punjab (Maharaja Ranjit Singh)
and the Messalina of the Punjab (Maharani Jind Kaur). He was also known
as the Black Prince of Perthshire.
The treaty of 1809 no longer proved able to
hold the peace, and the Sikh army attached the British (1845-1846) only
to be badly beaten in a series of confrontations. The treaty of Lahore,
which followed this first Anglo-Sikh war reduced the Sikh army. It
obliged the Sikhs to cede the Jallandar Doab and Kashmir to the British,
and required them to pay an indemnity of fifty thousand pounds and
accept a British resident at their court. In 1848 the Sikhs again
revolted, and were again crushed. In 1849 the Punjab was annexed an from
that time onwards they came under British rule. After the close of the
Second Anglo-Sikh War and the subsequent annexation of the Punjab in
1849, he was deposed at the age of eleven by the East India Company and
was separated from his mother, who was imprisoned. He was put into the
care of Dr John Login and sent from Lahore to Fatehgarh on December 21,
1849. A young Maharaja Dhuleep Singh.The British took, in controversial
circumstances, the Koh-i-Noor diamond along with other items of his
family's personal estate, state and religious property (most items were
sold by public auction) to Queen Victoria as reportedly part of the
terms of the conclusion of the war and the 250th anniversary of the East
India Company on July 3, 1850. His health was reportedly poor, and he
was mostly in quasi-exile in Fatehgarh and Lucknow after 1849, with
tight restrictions on who he was allowed to meet. No Indians, except
trusted servants, could meet him in private. As a matter of British
policy, he was to be Anglicized in every possible respect. While no
specific information was released about his health, he was often sent to
the hill station of Landour near Mussoorie in the Lower Himalaya for
convalescence, at the time about 4 days journey. He would remain for
weeks at a time in Landour at a grand hilltop building called The
Castle, which had been lavishly furnished to accommodate him.
In 1853, under the tutelage of his long-time retainer Bhajan Lal
(himself a Christian convert) he converted to Christianity at Fatehgarh
with the approval of the Governor-General Lord Dalhousie. His conversion
remains controversial, having been effected in unclear circumstances
when a child, before he turned 15. He was also heavily and continuously
exposed to Christian texts under the tutelage of the devout John Login.
His two closest childhood friends were both English, one being the child
of Anglican missionaries.
In 1854, he was then sent into exile in England. Queen Victoria showered
affection upon the turbaned Maharajah, as did the Prince Consort. While
in exile, he sought to learn more about Sikhism and was eager to return
to India. He eventually got bored with Roehampton and expressed a wish
to go back to India but it was suggested by the East India Company Board
he take a tour of the European continent which he did with Sir John
Spencer Login and Lady Login.
He was thwarted by his handlers and the British Government, who finally
decided in 1886, in no uncertain terms, against his return to India or
his re-embracing Sikhism. Despite protests from the India Office, he set
sail for 'home'. He was intercepted and arrested in Aden, where the writ
of the Raj began. He could not be stopped from an informal re-conversion
ceremony in Aden (far less grand and symbolic than it would have been in
India), but was forced to return to Europe. He headed for Paris, where
he would die at the age of 55, not really having seen India (let alone
the Punjab) again after he was 15, except for two brief,
tightly-controlled visits in 1860 (to bring his mother to England) and
in 1863 (to scatter his mother's ashes).
He also traveled to Russia where he tried and failed to persuade the
Czar of the benefits of invading India through the North and
reinstalling him as ruler. Queen Victoria and Maharaja Dhuleep Singh
reconciled their differences before he died. A statue of the Maharajah
was officially unveiled by HRH the Prince of Wales in 1999 at Butten
Island in Thetford, a town which benefited from his and his sons'
generosity. Duleep Singh died in Paris in 1893
(in exile in Egypt then France to 05 Sep
and his body was brought
back to be buried (according to Christian rites, under the supervision
of the India Office) in Elveden Church. Duleep Singh's wish for his body
to be returned to India was declined, in fear of unrest given the
symbolic value the funeral of the son of the Lion of the Punjab may have
caused, given growing resentment of British rule.
Britain............................................1849 - 1947
- British Residents (to 1 Jan 1847, Agent)
- Henry Montgomery
Lawrence.......................Mar 1846 - 04 Mar 1848
Currie................................Mar 1848 - 29 Mar 1849
- Partitioned between India and Pakistan in
- Maharajas in Exile
- Victor Albert Jay Dhuleep Singh (in
U.K.).....05 Sep 1893 - 07 Jun 1918
- Son of Dhuleep
Singh, born on 10th July 1866 in London, married on 04th January
1898 to Lady Anne Blanche Coventry (daughter
of Lord George William Coventry, 9th Earl of Coventry)
and had children. He died on 07th June 1918.
- Frederick Dhuleep Singh (in
U.K.).............07 Jun 1918 - 15 Aug 1926
- Son of Dhuleep
Singh, born on 28th January 1868 in London, died unmarried on 15th
August 1926 in Norfolk.
- Sandhanwalia (Jagir)
- Sardar Gurdit
Singh Sandhanwalia.....................1927 - ?
- Gurdit Singh was
the son of Sardar Thakur Singh (born 1837, appointed by the British
as extra-assistant commissioner for Amritsar district, also
nominated a member of the Golden Temple managing committee, founder
and first President of the Sri Guru Singh Sabha in 1873, appointed
Prime Minister to Maharaja Dhuleep Singh's emigré government. He
died on 18th Aug 1887). Thakur Singh S/o Sardar Lehna Singh S/o
Sardar Amir Singh S/o Sardar Didar Singh S/o Sardar Chanda Singh
(brother of Naudh Singh) S/o Sardar Buddha Singh. Following the
resumption of the jagir, Gurdit Singh and his brothers were granted an annual
income of 1,200 Rs, married and had children: Sardar Sarup Singh
(died before 1947) and Sardar Pritam Singh.
- Sardar Pritam
Singh Sandhanwalia S/o Gurdit Singh......? - 1978
- Sardar Beant
Singh Sandhanwakia S/o Pritam Singh....1978 - date
xx mm. Edge:
Obverse legend: ਅਕਾਲ ਸਹਾਈ ਗੁ / ਰ ਨਾਨਕ
ਜੀ (akal sahai gur nanak ji). Reverse: ਜਰਾਬਾਂ
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ ਜੀ (Jaraba sri Amritsar ji).
Note: Somehow Scarce.
None of the coins bear the name of Sikh ruler but was produced during
Ranjit Singh's reign. Gurumukhi legends on both sides of this Amritsar mint
coin of Sikh Empire.
Unlisted style in Krause and
Diameter: 21.00 mm.
Issued by: Dal Khalsa,
Misls Military Government.
Legend: "Zarb Dar as-Sultanate
Lahore 1831 Sanah Julus Maimanat Manus" (Struck at the
seat of the Sultanate Lahore in the year 1831 of the prosperous reign).
Legend: Gobindshahi couplet: "Deg
Teg o Fath Nusrat Be-Dirang Yaft az Nanak Guru Gobind Singh"
[Abundance, Power and Victory (and) Assistance without delay are the Gift of
Nanak (and) Guru Gobind Singh].
VS 1822-1840 (1765-1783).
Note: VS 1839 rare
variety exists with a sword as additional mark.
Diameter: 21.50 mm.
almost Medal. Mint:
Legend: Leaf in centre, Persian legend
around, mint name and date. "Sri Aamritsarjiv Zarb Takht Akal Bakht Julus
Maimanat Manus Sanah, 1868" (Struck at illustrious Amritsar during the
prosperous reign of the fortunate Akal Takht, 1868).
Legend: Nanakshahi couplet "Sikka zad
Bar Har do Alam Fazl Sachcha Sahib Ast Fath Teg-i-Guru Gobind Singh Shah
Nanak Wahib Ast" (Coin struck throught each of the two worlds by the grace
of the True Lord. Of the Victory gained by the Sword of Guru Gobind Singh
Shah Nanak is the provider).
VS 1846-1889 and VS 1806 error for 1860 (1789-1832).
Ranjit Singh as Sirdar (chief) of the Sukarchakia Misl (VS 1849-1858
/ 1792-1801 CE), then as Maharaja of the Punjab / Sikh Empire (VS
1858-1896 / 1801-1839 CE).
Same as above coin
KM#20.1 Rupee, but...
VS 1868 .
British India coins:
Coins of Indian Princely States and other