The Sikhs (Gurus) and Khalsa military regime
 
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).

KM#20.1 Rupee. Year: VS1850 (1793 CE). Weight: 10.70g. Metal: Silver. Diameter: 21.50 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: almost Medal. Mint: Amritsar. Rulers: Commanders of the Khalsa [from 1716-1799 Sikh community fragmented, Coinage: 1765-1800].

 

  • 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 horsemen)
  • 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.
 
Early Indian coins:

British India coins:

Coins of Indian Princely States and other colonies:

Others:

 
 
 
India
Countries / Territories
 
Chiefa Coins