Sikh Empire
 

 

 

 

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
                            two 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
                            Panipat
        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 Singh.
    Mar 1809 - Aug 1809    Gurkha-Sikh War.
                            Ranjit 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 victory
                            over the Durrani Empire of Afghanistan.
        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, the
                            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 valley.
                            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. Result: Disputed.
 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 Harry
                            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).
 
A religious 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 of 95.]
  • 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 grand Shikars. 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.

Once, 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 Kiratpur Sahib.

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 declined.

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 the Sikhs.
  • 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 this people.
  • Nawab 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.
    • Singhpuria Misl
    • Sardar 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.
    • Sardar 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 Guru).
  • Prominent 12 misls:
  • Ahluwalia Army, first led by Baron Sultan ul Quam NawabJassa Singh Ahluwalia - (Strength: 6,000 regular horsemen). Area of control: Kapurthala.
  • Bhangi or Bhuma Army first led by Baron Hari Singh Dhillon - (Strength: 20,000 regular horsemen). Area of control: Amritsar.
  • Dallewalia Army, first led by Baron Gulab Singh Dallewalia - (Strength: 5,000 regular horsemen). Area of control: Rahon.
  • Faizalpuria or Singhpuria Army, first led by Baron Nawab Kapur Singh Virk - (Strength: 5,000 regular horsemen). Area of control: Jalandhar.
  • Kanahiya Army, first led by Baron Jai Singh Kanhaiya Mann - (Strength: 5,000 regular horsemen). Area of control: Fathepur.
  • Karorh Singhia Army (also known as Panjgarhia), first led by Baron Karora Singh Virk - (Strength: 10,000 regular horsemen). Area of control: Bunga.
  • Nakai Army, first led by Baron Hira Singh Nakai Sandhu - (Strength: 7,000 regular horsemen). Area of control: Chunian.
  • Nishanwalia Army, first led by Baron Dasaundha Singh Gill - (Strength: 2,000 regular horsemen). Area of control: Ambala.
  • 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. Area of control: Patiala / Nabha.
  • Ramgarhia Army, first led by Baron Nand Singh Sanghania and then by Jassa Singh Ramgarhia - (Strength: 5,000 regular horsemen). Area of control: Sri Hargobindpur.
  • Shaheed Army, first led by Baron Baba Deep Singh - (Strength: 5,000 regular horsemen). Area of control: Shazadpur.
  • Shukarchakia Army, first led by Baron Naud Singh - (Strength: 5,000 regular horsemen). Area of control: Gujranwala.
 

 
Misls Military Government coinage.
Bhang Misl produced silver Rupee at Lahore from VS 1822 to 1855 (1765-1798) and at Multan from VS 1829 to 1836 (1772-1779). Karorasinghia Misl produced copper Fulus at Chhachhrauli in the name of Shah Alam II struck c. AH 1214-1218 (c. 1799-1803) by Sardar Jodh Singh Kalsia (There are said to be Rupees of the Kalsia State too but I have never seen even one). Ahluwalia Misl in VS 1862 under Sardar Fateh Singh struck probably at Lahore, silver Rupees bearing the inscription: Sarkar Ahluwalian. These coins, the only ones explicitly mentioning a misl, were a consequence ofthe political and personal rivalry between Fateh Singh, the Sardar of the Ahluwalia and the more successful Ranjit Singh, the leader of the Sukerchakia misl. Phulkia Misl at Patiala, Nabha, Jund and Kaithal produced Mohurs, fractional Mohurs and Rupees in the name of Ahmad Shah Durrani. At Patiala and Nabha, Mohurs and Rupees bearing the Gobindshahi couplet. The Rajas of Patiala, Jind and Nabha, the leaders of the Phulkian Sikhs (who did not take part in the Sarbat Khalsa and were not bound by its decisions) had obtained their minting rights as vassals of Ahmad Shah. Therefore coin collectors, consider their coins in the name of the Afghan ruler as part of the Durrani coinage.
Pre-Ranjit Singh rupees of Amritsar bear two mint names (Amritsar or Anandghar ) and varying marks. They were produced VS 1832 to 1840 (1775-1783). We do not yet know enough about these coins; it is possible that they were struck at different mints located at Amritsar or at a more probable conjecture, that the Amritsar mint produced rupees with different marks for different Sardars. As all the types of Amritsar are very similar and as hoards are almost invariably made up of coins of several subtypes they cannot have been struck for the exclusive use in the territories of particular misls.
 

KM#A63 / Herrli 08.03.04 Rupee. Year: VS 1829 [1772]. Weight: 10.95g. Metal: Silver. Diameter: 20.00 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Coin. Mint: Lahore.

Issued by: Bhangi Misls. Bhangi or Bhuma Army was first led by Baron Hari Singh Dhillon. Their area of control was Amritsar. Dal khalsa = Misls Military Government issue.

 

Obverse Persian Legend: "ضرب دار السلطنت لاهور سنه جلوس میمنت مانوس" (Zarb Dar as-Sultanate Lahore Sanah 1829 Julus Maimanat Manus) [Struck at the capital of Lahore in the year 1829 of the prosperous reign].

Reserve Persian Legend: Gobindshahi couplet: "دیگ تیغ وفتح نصرت بیدرنگ یافت ازنانک گور گوبند سنگ" (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]. Mintage: N.A. Mintage Years: VS 1822-1840 (1765-1783).

Note: VS 1839 rare variety exists with a sword as additional mark. Some translate the Reverse legend as "The Kettle to feed, the sword to defend and the resultant victory have been achieved with the spontaneous help received from Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh".

Same as above coin, KM#A63 Rupee, but...

Year: VS 1831 [1774]. Weight: 11.22g. Diameter: 21.00 mm. Alignment: Rotated.

 
 
  • 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: 1752) and 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 young.
    • Maharaja Sher Singh (twin son of first wife).
    • 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. Proclaimed the Maharani of the Punjab, styled Mai to 02 Dec 1840, then Maharani Malika Maqaddasa (empress immaculate). Chand Kaur 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 1893)
    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.
    • Regents for Dhuleep Singh
    • Hira Singh......................................Sep 1843 - 21 Dec 1844
    • Jawahir Singh................................14 May 1845 - 21 Sep 1845
    • Raja Lal Singh Muraria..........................Nov 1845 - 16 Dec 1846
  • Great Britain............................................1849 - 1947
  • British Residents (to 01 Jan 1847, Agent)
    • Henry Montgomery Lawrence.......................Mar 1846 - 04 Mar 1848
    • Frederick Currie................................Mar 1848 - 29 Mar 1849
  • Partitioned between India and Pakistan in August 1947.
    • 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) in Punjab
    • 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

 

Ranjit Singh coinage (1792-1839).
Ranjit Singh, as Sirdar (chief) of the Sukarchakia Misl (VS 1849-1858 / 1792-1801 CE), then as Maharaja of the Punjab (VS 1858-1896 / 1801-1839 CE).
 

Herrli 01.45 Paisa. Year: VS 188x = [1885 (1828 CE)]. Weight: 10.95g. Metal: Copper. Diameter: 20.00 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Rotated. Mint: Amritsar. Obverse legend: ਅਕਾਲ ਸਹਾਈ ਗੁ / ਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਜੀ (akal sahai gur nanak ji). Reverse: ਜਰਾਬਾਂ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ ਜੀ (Jaraba sri Amritsar ji). Five dots in circular form below the leaf's bottom right side. Mintage Years: N.A. Somehow Scarce.

Note: 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 Mishler's book.

KM#20.1 / Herrli 01.07.04 Rupee. Year: VS 1850 [1793]. Weight: 10.70g [10.70 - 11.30g]. Metal: Silver. Diameter: 21.50 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: almost Medal. Mint: Amritsar.

This coin is known as Nanakshahi Rupee.

Obverse Persian Legend: "سری امرتسر جیو ضرب جلوس میمنت بخت اکال تخت سنه" (Sri Aamritsarjiv Zarb Takht Akal Bakht Julus Maimanat Manus Sanah, 1850) [Struck at illustrious Amritsar during the prosperous reign of the fortunate Akal Takht, Year 1850]. Leaf in centre, Persian legend around, mint name and date.

Reserve Persian Legend: "سکا زد برهر دو عالم فضل سچا صاحب است فتح تیغ گوروگوبند سنگ شاه نانک واهب است" (Sikka zad Bar Har do Alam Fazl Sachcha Sahib Ast Fath Teg-i-Guru Gobind Singh Shah Nanak Wahib Ast) Nanakshahi couplet[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, King of kings, Nanak's sword is the provider]. Mintage: N.A. Mintage Years: VS 1846-1889 and VS 1806 error for 1860 (1789-1832). Ruler: Ranjit Singh.

Note: Double lines below dates exist for some 1869, 1870, and 1871 coins and are considered rare. Mint symbols seem to change frequently in this series. "Takht Akal" best translation means "Throne of God". Takht Akal is a name of a building which stands to the northwest of the tank of the Golden Temple at Amritsar - the Harimandir or Durbar Sahib of the Sikhs and which was originally called Akal Bunga. The first Akal Takht was built by Guru Hargobind in 1609, later destroyed by the soldiers of Ahmad Shah Abdali and rebuilt since 1775 by Ranjit Singh. In later times the
Akal Takht served as the meeting place of the Sarbat Khalsa and of the Supreme Religious Council of the Sikhs. Akal Takht therefore came to be synonymous with Khalsa and the two expressions: Zarb Khalsa mubarak bakht and Zarb bakht Akal Takht found on Sikh coins have practically the same meaning. They both refer to the highest secular Sikh authority. 

Same as above coin KM#20.1 Rupee, but...

Year: VS 1868 [1811]. Weight: 11.02g. Diameter: 22.00 mm. Alignment: Coin.

KM#21.1 / Herrli 01.10.04 Rupee. Year: VS 1884 // 85 (1828). Weight: 10.98g [10.80 - 11.10g]. Metal: Silver. Diameter: 23.00 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Coin. Mint: Amritsar.

This type has frozen Date VS 1884 on the Obverse side. This coin is known as Nanakshahi Rupee.

Note: The last two numerals on the Reverse side is the actual date [85 = VS 1885 (1828)].

Obverse Persian Legend: "سری امرتسر جیو ضرب جلوس میمنت بخت اکال تخت سنه" (Sri Aamritsarjiv Zarb Takht Akal Bakht Julus Maimanat Manus Sanah, 1884) [Struck at illustrious Amritsar during the prosperous reign of the fortunate Akal Takht, Year 1884]. Leaf in centre, Persian legend around, mint name and date.

Reserve Persian Legend: "سکا زد برهر دو عالم فضل سچا صاحب است فتح تیغ گوروگوبند سنگ شاه نانک واهب است" (Sikka zad Bar Har do Alam Fazl Sachcha Sahib Ast Fath Teg-i-Guru Gobind Singh Shah Nanak Wahib Ast) Nanakshahi couplet[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, King of kings, Nanak's sword is the provider]. Mintage: N.A. Mintage Years: VS(18)85, VS(18)86, VS(18)87, VS(18)88, VS(18)89, VS(18)90, VS(18)91, VS(18)92, VS(18)93 and VS(18)95 [1828-1836 and 1838 CE]. Ruler: Ranjit Singh.

Note: KM#22.2 has fixed / frozen date VS 1885 with issues dated: VS(18)93, VS(18)94, VS(18)95, VS(18)96, VS(18)97, VS(18)98 and VS1903.

Amritsar, the spiritual centre of the Sikhs, is said to have been founded by Guru Arjun (1563-1606 AD) who had a tank dug and the Harimandir built on land granted by Akbar to Guru Ram Das. The new town, which was originally named Ramdaspur after the father of its founder, only received its actual name at a later date. Amritsar, which means: Pool of Immortality, is derived from Amrit [nectar, ambrosia] and sar [a fountain, a pool]. On Sikh coins bearing a Gurumukhi inscription the mint name appears as Ambratsar, a form which is still colloquially used at Amritsar and Lahore.
Guru Hargobind, Arjun's successor, built Lohgarh [the Iron Fortress] and the Akal Takht [God's Throne] at Amritsar, and he inaugurated the general assemblies of the Sikhs, the Sarbat Khalsa, which took place twice a year, on the first day of the month of Baisakh and on Dipamala, at Amritsar.
The Afghans, who temporarily occupied and sacked Amritsar several times, went to great lenghts to destroy and defile its sacred tank. and its temples, but by 1767 AD the danger of any serious Afghan or Mughal interference had definitively passed for the town in which different rnisls had their strongholds, but which was finally mainly controlled by the Bhangis. When Ranjit Sigh started subjugating the rnisls he also gained some influence at Amritsar, but it was only in 1805 that he really became the master of the town. Together with his allies, the Ahluwalias led by Fateh Singh, the Kanayas and the Nakkais, Ranjit Singh marched in February oft his year against Mai Sukhan, the widow of Gulab Singh Bhangi, who, supported by the Ramgarhias and Akalis under Phula Singh, held Amritsar.. Without much fighting Mai Sukan surrendered the city and the fort on 24 February 1805 (= 14 Phagan 1861 VS / 23 Dhu al-Qada 1219 AH).

KM#66.1 / Herrli 08.06.04 Rupee. Year: VS 1857 [1800]. Weight: 11.01g [10.80 - 11.20g]. Metal: Silver. Diameter: 23.00 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Rotated. Mint: Lahore.

This coin is known as Nanakshahi Rupee.

Obverse Persian Legend: "ضرب دار السلطنت لاهور سنه جلوس میمنت مانوس" (Zarb Dar as-Sultanate Lahore Sanah 1857 Julus Maimanat Manus) [Struck at the capital of Lahore in the year 1857 of the prosperous reign]. Leaf mark on the left on the Date.

Reverse Persian legend: "سکه زد بر سیم و زر فضل سچا صاحب است فتح گوبند سنگه شاهن تیغ نانک واهب است" (Sikka zad Bar Sim o Zar Fazl Sachcha Sahib Ast Fath-i-Gobind Singh-i-Shahan Tegh-i-Nanak Wahib Ast = Coin struck in silver and gold by the grace of the True Lord. Of the Victory of Gobind, Lion of Kings, Nanak's sword is the provider). Mintage: N.A. Mintage Years: VS 1856-1885, VS 1806 error for 1860 and VS 1887 (1799-1828 and 1830). Ruler: Ranjit Singh.

Note: The literal translation of "Sachcha Sahib" expression is: the true Lord but it really means: the spiritual Lord and it most often refers to Guru Gobind Singh. He was also called Sachcha badshah (ture or spiritual Emperor) to describe his spiritual leadership as opposed to his secular and military leadership of the Khalsa.

The Sikh rupees of Lahore were struck at a mint outside the Taksali (or Taxali) Gate, which lies just south of the Badshahi Mosque. According to a British report of 1846 the mint had the capacity to strike 8,000 rupees a day. The coining of Rs 100 cost, due to the necessary amount of pure silver, Rs 98 1/2; it left the government just 1 1/2 % for expenses and profit. As the annual profit of the Lahore mint rarely exceeded Rs 3,000 it must normally have worked far below capacity.

Lahore: According to a local legend a town called Lohawar, a predecessor of the later city of Lahore, was founded by Loh, one of the sons of Rama, the Lord of Ayodhya. Lahore, then a part of the territories of the Hindushahis of Waihand, the actual Hund on the Indus fell in 1014 AD to Mahmud of Ghazni. In 1186 Taj ad-daula Khusru Malik, the last Ghaznawid Sultan of Lahore, lost his capital and the mint town of the Ghaznawid Empire in India, to the Ghorid invaders.
Beginning with Babur the Mughals struck coins at Lahore until the reign of Alamgir II, but the place only gained some importance, when Akbar 'surrounded it with a wall, enlarged its fort and made it his residence from 1584 to 1598. During the reign of Jahangir, whose tomb lies at nearby Shadara, Guru Arjun Dev was imprisoned at Lahore where he, according to the Sikh tradition, disappeared in the River Ravi. Shah Jahan built a palace in the Lahore Fort as well as the famous Shalimar Gardens, and to Aurangzeb we are indebted for the beautiful and impressive Badshahi Mosque, After the death of Aurangzeb Lahore began to decline, but in its prime a popular saying ran: "Isfahan and Shiraz together would not equal the half of Lahore".
The Persian invader Nadir Shah captured Lahore in December 1738~ when he evacuated the city in the spring of 1739 it reverted to the Mughals. On 22 January 1748 Lahore was taken and occupied by Ahmad Shah Abdali who soon retired to Qandahar and left the city to its former masters. When he invaded the Punjab for the 3rd time the Durrani defeated the Mughal governor Mir Mannu in April 1752 near Lahore. The victor formally annexed the provinces of Multan and Lahore but left the Mughal administration in place. During his 4th invasion of India Ahmad Shah advanced in the winter of 1755/56 to Sirhind, which he annexed, and to Shahjahanabad and Mathura, which he plundered. Before retreating to Afghanistan he appointed his son Taimur Shah nizam or Viceroy of Lahore, Multan, Derajat and Sindh. Taimur Shah, whose grip on the Punjab always remained precarious, was driven out of Lahore and India by Marathas led by Raghuba, the Peshwa's .brother in 1758. Sikh auxiliaries serving with Raghuba's army briefly managed to occupy Lahore, but when they anticipated the Marathas in plundering the city they were promptly expelled by their former comrades in arms. The loss of the Punjab soon brought Ahmad Shah back; in 1759 he reoccupied Lahore, sacked Delhi and on 07 January 1761 met and completely destroyed the united Maratha army near Panipat. Against the Sikhs, who fought a guerilla war and who normally tried to avoid battles between large bodies of troops, the Durranis had less success than against the more presumptuous Marathas. Although Ahmad Shah surprised and routed a Sikh army in 1762 near Bernala in a battle which among the Sikhs became known as the ghulu ghara orGreat Disaster, in 1765 the followers of Guru Gobind had recovered enough to be able to take Lahore from Kabuli Mal, its Durrani governor.
After the death of his father in 1772 Taimur Shah did not try to enforce his claim to Lahore, but his son and successor, Shah Zaman, twice invaded the Punjab and briefly occupied its capital on 03 January 1797 and again on 27 November 1798 without meeting any serious opposition. During his last stay at Lahore Shah Zaman met with Ram Dayal Kohatia, Ranjit Singh's vakil and they may then have come to an agreement concerning the future of the city. Shah Zaman left Lahore on 04 January 1799 and only/six months later, on 06 July, the young Sukar-chukia Sardar took Lahore from its three oppressive and highly unpopular Bhangi owners, the Sardars Chet Singh, Sahib Singh and Mohar Singh. It was said that Ranjit Singh then struck coins in his own name at Lahore. The expression: in his own name, a stock phrase which Indian chroniclers and historians used almost automatically, does not mean that the coins actually bear the name of the ruler by whose orders they were minted. Such coins could be anonymous as in the case of Ranjit Singh or, for economic or political reasons, even bear the name of another ruler, in India often a nominal overlord.
Ranjit Singh made Lahore his capital and it remained the seat of the government of the Sikh realm until the annexation of the Punjab by the British in 1849. The city, which John Lowrie quite correctly called the Delhi of the Punjab, was then a busy trade center on the Grand Trunk Road which dealt in cotton cloth, silk, shawls and arms. Lahore and Amritsar, its economically more important neighbour, annually paid an amount of Rs 800,000 in local and Rs 500,000 in transit duties to Ranjit Singh's toshakhania.

KM#98.2 / Herrli 13.02.04 Rupee. Year: VS 1892 [1835]. Weight: 8.48g [8.50g]. Metal: Silver. Diameter: 21.50 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Rotated. Mint: Peshawar.

Same VS Date on both sides. This coin is known as Gobindshahi Rupee. Peshawar mint was captured by Ranjit Singh in 1832 CE. This coin was minted based on the Barakzai Rupee standard weight. 

Obverse Persian Legend: Gobindshahi couplet: "دیگ تیغ وفتح نصرت بیدرنگ یافت ازنانک گور گوبند سنگ" (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 Date is off flan on the above displayed coin.

Reserve Persian Legend: "ضرب پشاور سنه جلوس میمنت مانوس" (Zarb Peshawar Sanah 1892 Julus Maimanat Manus) [Struck at Peshawar in the year 1892 of the prosperous reign]. Leaf with dotted outer border in centre. Date VS 1892 below the leaf's left side with digit "2" far right. Mintage: N.A. Mintage Years: VS 1892-1894 (1835-1837). Ruler: Ranjit Singh.

Note: Some specimens with oblique milled edges, dated VS1894 with weigh 10.50 - 11.00g are reported, based on Krause publications.

The first coins bearing the mint name Peshawar were probably struck during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1628-1658 AD) and under his successors, the Mughals up to the 21st year of Muhammad Shah, Nadir Shah Afshar and the Durranis and Barakzais, the town remained the seat of a mint which sporadically struck gold, silver and copper coins. It has been said that in 1834 after the annexation of Peshawar, Ranjit Singh granted his general and acting governor Hari Singh Nalwa the right to strike his own coins. A right with which the Sardar had, in recognition of his outstanding military achievements, allegedly already been endowed in his earlier position as governor of Kashmir. The coins struck under Hari Singh at Peshawar are the Gobindshahi rupees issued from VS 1891 to 1894 (1834-1837), coins which bear, like the rupees of Derajat, the full VS year on the obverse and the reverse. These rupees do not mention Hari Singh in either an overt or concealed way, but as the production of silver coins lapsed after the death of Hari Singh for 10 years, the minting right may in fact have been attached to his person.

Peshawar, the old Purushpura, was given its actual name Peshawar [Frontier Town] by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. Less than two centuries later the dwindling Mughal Empire lost the town on the Afghan border when Nadir Shah Afshar took it on his way to Delhi in October 1738 AD [AH 1151] from Muhammad Shah. After the death of Nadir Shah in 1747 [AH 1160] Peshawar fell to the Durrani Empire and became its winter capital. The Sikhs, who had advanced to Attock in 1818, took Peshawar for the first time on 20 November 1818 AD from Yar Muhammad Khan, the Barakzai nizam, but Ranjit Singh soon retreated to Attock and his governor at Peshawar, Jahandad Khan, the former qiladar of Attock, was driven away by Yar Muhammad, who acknowledged the Maharaja of Lahore as his overlord and promised to pay an annual tribute of 20,000 rupees. In 1824 Muhammad Azim Khan, a brother of Dost Muhammad and the wazir at Kabul, occupied Peshawar, which had been evacuated by Yar Muhammad, and declared a Jehad (Holy war) against the Sikhs. On 14 March 1824 a Sikh army of about 25,000 soldiers met the 20,000 men of Azim Khan in the Battle of Nowshera (or Tibbi Tehri) in which the Sikhs, who sustained heavy losses, finally put the Afghans to rout. According to Lepel Griffin: "It was a critical contest and decided, once for all, whether Sikhs or Afghans should rule east of the Khyber, the mountains of the North West Frontier. The Maharaja entered Peshawar on 17 March 1824, reinstated Yar Muhammad, who now offered to pay an annual tribute of Rs 110,000, and returned to Lahore on 27 April 1824. Yar Muhammad was killed in 1830, when Sayyid Ahmad Khan, a Muslim reformer, attacked and occupied his capital. A Sikh army soon reoccupied the town and Ranjit Singh now gave the feudatory state of Peshawar to Sultan Muhammad Khan, a brother of the late Yar Muhammad and of Dost Muhammad, the ruler at Kabul. Peshawar was definitively captured on 06 May 1834 [VS 1891] by a Sikh army nominally led by Prince Nau Nihal Singh, who was then 14 years old, but in reality by the famous Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa and General Ventura. Sultan Muhammad Khan was given jagirs at Kohat and Hangu and Hari Singh became the first Sikh governor of Peshawar and Hazara and commander of a garrison of 12,000 men. Although Ranjit Singh built and manned a net of forts along the North West Frontier, he was not really able to control the whole territory. "The Sikhs never collected revenue except by armed forces, and every two or three years marched an army through the districts to sweep up their arrears", but even so the cost of holding an area whose governor quite often had to buy off the rebellious Pathan tribes, was much higher than its revenue. Under the Sikhs (and later under the British and even under the Government of Pakistan) the traditional administration of the towns and villages around Peshawar did not change much. The tribes of the region were governed in the customary way by the heads of their clans, the Khans, Maliks and Arbabs, and the jirgah, the Council of the Elders. The local chiefs collected the taxes, which were rather low, depending on the fertility of the land the Government normally received only 1/8 to 1/4 of the produce. The revolt of the Sikh armies, which started on 14 September 1848 in Multan and led to the 2nd Sikh War, very soon, spread to Peshawar and Bannu. By the end of October the Sikh garrisons west of the river Indus had already marched off to the Punjab and were replaced by Afghan troops under Akram Khan, now allies of the Sikhs. On 21 March 1849 Peshawar, recently abandoned by Dost Muhammad's army, was occupied by British troops under General Gilbert and the Sikh rule over the place came formally to its end.

 
 
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