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List of Prominent Officers of the Maharaja

We shall be content to give below the names of only a few top officers of the government of Ranjit Singh. This does not mean that officers other than those mentioned here had no access or influence in the Maharaja's court.

  1.  Sardar Fateh Singh Kalianwala — one of the traditional Sikh chiefs. He exercised full authority regarding war and peace on behalf of the Maharaja. He was killed during the battle of Naraingarh in 1807 A.D.
  2.  Sardar Fateh Singh Dhari — also from among the traditional Sikh chiefs. He had accompanied the Maharaja at the time of the conquest of Lahore in 1799 A.D.
  3.  Sardar Attar Singh Dhari — son of Sardar Fateh Singh who became head of his force after the death of his father. He died of burns received in mine-blast during the Multan war in 1810.
  4.  Sardar Mit Singh Bharania — wielded great influence in the Maharaja's court, was killed in a battle at Poonchh (Kashmir) in 1813 A.D.
  5.  Sardar Jawala Singh Bharania — son of Sardar Mit Singh. Besides the jagir of his father he had his own jagir worth one hundred twenty five thousand rupees. He performed distinguished services during the wars of Multan, Kashmir and Mankera.
  6.  Sardar Dal Singh Naherna — adopted son of Sardar Fateh Singh kalianwala. He .was given all the contingents and jagir of foster his father. Despite being of advanced age, Dal Singh used to fight like youngmen at the time of war. Died in 1823 A.D.
  7.  Sardar Hukam Singh Attariwala — was among those traditional chiefs of the Maharaja who were often consulted by him. Had a jagir yielding more than one hundred thousand rupees a year. Died in 1813.
  8.  Sardar Nihal Singh Attariwala — occupied a high position in the Darbar. Proved extremely loyal to the Maharaja.
  9.  Sardar Sham Singh Attariwala — son of Sardar Nihal Singh. After the death of his father, he inherited all his jagirs, forces and rank. He became the legendary hero of the battle of Sabhraon in 1846 where he fell fighting.
  10.  Diwan Mohkam Chand — one of the top brass army officers of the Maharaja, who was outstanding in bravery as well as in the art of warfare. The Maharaja had full faith in his fidelity. Died in October 1814.
  11.  Diwan Moti Ram — son of Diwan Mohkam Chand. Remained governor of Kashmir for a long time.
  12.  Diwan Ram Dayal — son of Diwan Moti Ram. Was appointed at a high army post while yet young in age. Like his grandfather, he was well-known for his bravery and proficiency in the art of warfare. Was killed at the young age of twenty eight years in the battle of Hazara in 1820 A.D.
  13.  Diwan Hukma Singh Chimni — Customs officer incharge at salt mines Kheorah and at Lahore, the capital. Besides this he was also appointed against an army post. He had a jagir worth three hundred thousand rupees a year.
  14.  Sardar Budh Singh Sandhanwalia — one of the brave sardars of the Maharaja. Died of cholera in 1827 A.D. He was dignified but conceited. After him Budh Singh's brothers Attar Singh, Lahina Singh and Vasava Singh were given army ranks and jagirs.
  15.  Attar Singh, Lehna Singh and Vasawa Singh also held army ranks and jagirs.
  16.  Sardar Karam Singh Chahal — was extremely handsome and had easy approach to the Maharaja. He was killed during the Yusafzai War in 1823 A.D. After him; his son Sardar Gurmukh Singh succeeded his jagir and rank in the army.
  17.  Sardar Jodh Singh Ramgarhia — chief of the Ramgarhia mis I. The Maharaja had great respect for him. He died in 1816 A.D.
  18.  Sardar Jodh Singh and Amir Singh Saurianwala, both father and son were among the senior officers of the Maharaja. They possessed a jagir worth one and a half lakh of rupees.
  19.  Mian Ghaus Khan was one of the earliest military officers enlisted by the Maharaja. All the movable artillery was under his command. He was a very despotic and ostentatious officer. He died during the Kashmir expedition.
  20.  Sardar Sultan Mahmud — son of Mian Ghaus Khan. He succeeded his father as Commander of artillery.
  21.  General Ilahi Bakhsh — commander of horse artillery. Was handsome and soft-spoken.
  22.  Imam Shah — was commander of reserve artillery posted inside the fort of Lahore.
  23.  Mazhar Ali Beg was commander of the horse battery of reserved artillery.
  24.  Faqir Aziz-ud-Din — enjoyed an exalted status in the Maharaja's court. The Maharaja consulted him in every political matter. His two brothers, Nur-ud-ud-Din and Imam-ud-Din also held high positions.
  25.  Rajas Dhian Singh, Gulab Singh and Suchet Singh were three brothers, natives of Jammu. They entered Lahore service as ordinary horsemen but reached high posts because of their intelligence and prudence. Raja Dhian Singh was appointed Sardar Deorhi (Prime Minister). Raja Suchet Singh was the seniormost officer of Charyari Dera in cavalry, and Gulab Singh held the high rank of nazim (governorship). Later he became Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir.
  26.  Jema'dar Khushal Singh was a native of Meerut district, and was a Caur Brahman by caste. He reached Lahore as a poor man and was enlisted as an infantry sepoy. He was a handsome youngman who rose gradually to the influential post of Deorhidar ^Chamberlain).
  27.  Sardar Teja Singh — was nephew of Jema'dar Khushal Singh. Because of his uncle’s approach, he was appointed officer incharge of the royal camp.
  28.  Sardar Dhanna Singh Malwai — was from among the Maharaja's traditional chiefs. He was the head of a large body of armed force and held a large jagir.
  29.  Sardar Javand Singh Mokal — was one of the high-ranking military officers. He was one of the Maharaja's close counsellors.
  30.  Sardar Desa Singh Majithia — was the administrator of the Kangra hilly tract. He lived in great pomp. Munshi Sohan Lai writes about him : “He is a proud and conceited man; considers his intelligence superb to all others.”
  31.  Sardar Lahina Singh Majithia — son of Sardar Desa Singh. He replaced his father as administrator of Kangra. He possessed sufficient expertise in astronomy and science.
  32.  Sardar Rattan Singh Gharjakhia — held a jagir and headed an armed contingent. There was a time when he wielded consdierable influence in the Khalsa Darbar.
  33.  Misr Diwan Chand — one of the top military officers. He took conspicuous part in the conquests of Multan, Kashmir and Mankera. For the conquest of Multan, the Maharaja bestowed upon him the title of Zafar Jang Bahadur and of Fateh-o-Nusrat Nasib. He died of cholera in 1825 A.D.
  34.  SardarGulab Singh Kabatah — was a commander of reserve cavalry (Ghorchara-i-Khas).
  35.  Diwan Devi Sahaye - was a senior officer of reserve cavalry (Ghorchara-i-Khas) along with Sardar Gulab Singh Kubatah.
  36.  Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa — the famous general of the Maharaja, was known for his bravery and dauntlessness. Was nazim (governor) of Kashmir and Hazara. Possessed a large army and jagir, Was killed by enemy’s bullet during the battle of Jamrud in 1837 A.D.
  37.  Diwan Sawan Mai — nazim (governor) of Multan province. Was extremely wise and just. The Maharaja had special regard for him.
  38.  Diwan Bhiwani Das - was Maharaja's revenue minister. He was the first to establish a revenue office. He enjoyed a special status in the Darbar, lived in great splendour. His brother Diwan Devi Das was also posted at a high office.
  39.  Diwan Ganga Ram — a Kashmiri Pandit held a high office in the Darbar. It was he who first established the Maharaja's departmental offices of excise and army. He was an extremely good-natured person.
  40.  Diwan Ajudhia Parshad — son of Diwan Ganga Ram succeeded his father as officer incharge of reserve army. Later, he was elevated as commander of the same army. Lived in a grand style. According to Munshi Sohan Lai he “is a man of pride and is habitually vain.”
  41.  Diwan Dina Nath — a Kashmiri Pandit, rose step by step because of his intelligence and wisdom and became revenue minister. He was granted fist the title of Diwan and then of Raja.
  42.  Misr Beli Ram — senior officer of royal treasury. Koh-i-Noor also remained in his custody. His other brothers were also appointed to high posts. Misr Rup Lai was nazim (governor) of Doaba, Misr Megh Raj was in charge of treasury and toshuhkhanah of Gobindgarh fort; Misr Ram Kishan was Deorhidar (chamberlain) for some time. The fifth brother, Misr Sukh Raj was commander of a brigade in the army.
  43.  Bakhshi Bhagat Ram — was senior officer in charge of the office of regular army (Fauj-i-Ain). All accounts of the defence department were maintained under his supervision.
  44.  Munshi Karam Chand or Lala Karam Chand was one of the Maharaja's personal scribes. Diwan Tara Chand, Diwan Mangal Sain and Diwan Rattan Chand were sons of Lala Karam Chand and held high positions in the Darbar.
  45.  Munshi Ram Dayal — scribe-in-waiting. He was a great writer. During early years of the Maharaja's rule, all work of the office was carried on through him.
  46.  Bhai Ram Singh and Bhai Gobind Ram were grandsons of Bhai Basti Ram. They wielded great influence in the Maharaja's court.

Notes and References

  1. This appendix is mainly based on Munshi Sohan Lal's UmJat-ut-Twarikh and Sir Lepel Griffins’ book The Punjab Chiefs.