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The Sukarchakia Misal

Budha Singh

Budha Singh,1 an affluent Jat farmer of the village of Sukarchak in the Majha tract of the Punjab, was the first historically known ancestor of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. His original name was Desu.2 He was born in 1670.3 He possessed 25 acres of land and three ploughs and a well. On this land he had built a couple of houses for his family and cattle. The place was named Sukarchak. Sukar means small and narrow and chak signifies a petty tract of land. It also assumed the meaning of a village. On account of this Desu began to be called Sukarchakia.4 According to a tradition, it is also said that Sukarchak was so named as it was founded on Friday (Shukarwar).5 Sukarchak was situated near Gujranwala, 70 kms, north of Lahore.

It is said that in his early days Desu sometimes indulged in cattle-lifting. Once, Desu carried off some good cattle from the village Narkhona. After a few days he met an old woman in the jungle. She enquired of Desu’s whereabouts. She told him that Desu had taken away her buffaloes and a pair of oxen and she was going to get them back. He told her that Desu was a man of fierce nature and he would maltreat her. She said that when he knew her miserable condition he would take pity on her. She could not find Desu in the village but on return to her place she was surprised to find all her cattle tied up there safe and sound.6 One of his ancestors was initiated into Sikhism by Guru Gobind Singh in 1692.7 Budha Singh was a daring adventurer and is said to have taken part in the battles of Guru Gobind Singh and Banda Singh Bahadur. The success, which attended his exploits, won him the reputation of being one of the boldest and the most resolute of the Sikhs of the Punjab. He built a fortress-like mansion at his village. He was always held in high esteem by the Sikhs.8

He used to ride a piebald mare called after him as Desi which had crossed with its rider the rivers of Jhelum, Ravi and Chenab fifty times. It is said that sometimes Budha Singh covered on his mare’s back a distance of over one hundred miles a day. The brave and courageous Budha Singh, who was a giant in strength, is said to have received during his life time some forty sword cuts and nine matchlock wounds, without his physical strength failing him.9 In the words of Carmichael Smyth, Budha Singh “was distinguished for the most intrepid courage; for his sagacity and shrewdness which bore him successfully through all his schemes, and for his ready wit and good humour. He was also famed for his regard to the rights and property of the poor.10 He was very kind and sympathetic to the faqirs, the poor and the travelers. He died of apoplexy in 1716.11

Sardar Naudh Singh

On his death, Budha Singh left behind two sons, named Naudh Singh and Chanda Singh, the latter being the ancestor of the Sandhanwalia Sardars of Raja Sansi. Naudh Singh grew up into a healthy and beautiful youngman. During the time of drought he used to bring his cattle to graze to the Majitha village in the present Amritsar district. Gulab Singh, a baptised Sikh of Majitha, married his daughter Lali to Naudh Singh in 1730, on the condition that he should get himself duly baptised.12 Gulab Singh was a devoted follower of the Khalsa Panth. Under the inspiration of his father-in-law, Naudh Singh joined the Dal Khalsa under the command of Kapur Singh Faizullapuria.13  He left his home and moved about in the inhospitable jungles along with his companions.14 He came into prominence when, in the accompaniment of Kapur Singh, he relieved Ahmad Shah Durani of his baggage and heavy booty in 1749.

Sultan Khan Chatha, Pathan of Rasulnagar, forcibly converted six Sikhs to Islam. Naudh Singh and Chanda Singh attacked Rasulnagar, plundered Sultan Khan’s property and brought back the Sikhs and baptised them again. Shahab-ud-Din of Firozwala captured a few Sikhs of village Karyala and removed the hair of their heads and beards. Naudh Singh and Chanda Singh plundered his village and put Shahab-ud-Din to death.

In 1749, Naudh Singh was wounded by a gun-shot in the head while fighting against the Afghan invaders. The wound did not prove fatal but he was incapacitated and he lingered on for a few years without participating in the Sikh movement in the Punjab and died in 1792.15

Sardar Charhat Singh (1732-1770)

Naudh Singh had four sons: Charhat Singh, Dal Singh, Chet Singh and Maghi Singh. At the time of his father’s death in 1752, Charhat Singh was 20 years of age. At that time Jassa Singh Ahluwalia and Hari Singh and Jhanda Singh Bhangis were well on their way to carve out their Misals. They had their dais at their command and had established rakhi in certain areas. The rakhi system sowed the seeds of the Sikh political authority in the land. In the early stages, the rakhi or protection was sought by the people from the Sikhs and later, in order to bring more territories under the rakhi system, the offer of rakhi was made to the people of the towns and villages of the Punjab, and was actively pursued by the Sikhs as a regular feature of their activities. The word rakhi literally means ‘protection’ and in practice, it was a tribute received by the Sikhs to provide or guarantee protection against external aggression to the people paying it. The circumstances which led to the creation of this system were correlated with the rise of the Sikh power.16

Charhat Singh, to start with, was in the Bhangi dal but soon thereafter he began to nurse, in his heart, political ambition (bu-i-riyast) and came out of the Bhangi contingent and declared himself as holding an independent status.17 In a short time he collected about 100 followers, and the number of his men began to grow rapidly, and soon he had, at his command, 400 horse and foot.18 He placed the tracts of Rohtas, Dhani and salt mines under his rakhi (protection) and received the due revenue of protection money from them.19 Though young in years he started his career as a very active, ambitious and pushing young man with a good fund of intelligence and capacity to take decisions immediately. He was resourceful and very influential among the Sikhs.

His father-in-law, Amir Singh, and brother-in-law, Gurbakhsh Singh, helped him in the execution and fulfilment of his political designs. Amir Singh, though in the grip of old age, exercised tremendous influence on the people of his native place, Gujranwala. He had been a very brave and a fearless soldier. His guidance facilitated Charhat Singh’s rise considerably.20

Charhat Singh’s essential condition, for recruitment to his contingents, was that the incumbent must be a duly baptised ‘Singh.’ Those who were not already initiated into Sikhism with the baptism of the double-edged sword received the amrit from his hands before joining his ranks.21 He made his headquarters at Gujranwala. He placed, the taaluqas of Gujranwala, qila Didar Singh, qila Mian Singh and qila Sahib Singh and a number of villages around Akalgarh, under his control. He named his Misal after the name of his native village Sukarchak.

The Muslim governor of Eminabad harassed the Hindu and Sikh population. Charhat Singh, at the head of his young companions, besieged Eminabad. A lot of cash, arms, including rifles and war munition and hundreds of horses, fell into his hands.22 Flushed with victory, he planned more ambitious enterprises.

For Charhat Singh’s action against Eminabad, Khwaja Ubaid Khan, the governor of Lahore, decided to teach a lesson to the former. Charhat Singh took asylum in his fortress newly constructed at Gujranwala in 1758. It was besieged by the forces of the Lahore governor in September 1761. Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, Bhangi chiefs Hari Singh, Jhanda Singh, Lehna Singh and Gujjar Singh. Jai Singh and Sobha Singh Kanaihyas came for the relief of Charhat Singh and encamped about 6 kms away from Gujranwala. Charhat Singh’s men resorted to night-attacks on the besiegers. Ubaid Was compelled to lift the siege and retire to Lahore. Charhat Singh, accompanied by his daring young followers, made an assault on the returning forces of Ubaid. They plundered much of the war material, camels and horses from the fleeing forces of Lahore23, and many soldiers of Lahore were murdered or wounded. In 1762, during the Wada Ghallughara Charhat Singh played a dominant role in opposing the enemy and raising the morale and spirits of the Sikhs.


Charhat Singh strengthened his fortress at Gujranwala. His possession began to assume the shape of a strong Misal, not so easy to reckon with. Right from his early days, he had been imbued with plans of creating a state for himself. He drove away the Muslim ruler of Wazirabad and placed it under his control, appointing his brother-in-law. Bakhshish Singh, as its thanedar or administrator.24 Crossing river Jhelum, Charhat Singh extended his sway over Find Dadan Khan and its surrounding areas, including Ahmedabad, Khushab, Soen, etc., which were formerly held by Chanda Singh and Ganda Singh.25 He also constructed a fortress at Find Dadan Khan.26 He captured the salt mines of Kheora27 as well from the Bhangis, that proved a good source of income to him. He also conquered the areas of Dhani and Pothohar. The zamindars of Chakwal, Jalalpur and Sayidpur also accepted his overlordship.28 He conquered Rohtas about which Qazi Nur Muhammad wrote in 1765, “Chartu holds Rohtas in his jagir and this has grown into a city by his efforts”29 He attained victory, in August 1761, over Nur-ud-Din Bamzai, a military commander of Ahmad Shah Durrani, on the left bank of the Chenab at Sialkot.30 After holding out for eight days, against Charhat Singh, Nur-ud-Din escaped to Jammu in the disguise of a beggar. His troops, that surrendered, were allowed to go in safety. This victory made Charhat Singh a front-rank leader among the Sikh Sardars. He also seized some war material including guns and other arms.

There are many incidents on record to show Charhat Singh’s utter fearlessness and dauntless courage. After the faujdar of Sirhind was killed by the Sikh Sardars in 1764, Ahmad Shah Abdali appointed one of his brave generals, Jahan Khan, to head an expedition against the Sikhs. When the Afghan general reached Sialkot, Charhat Singh, accompanied by Jhanda Singh and Gujjar Singh Bhangis, inflicted a crushing defeat on him.31

In December 1764, when Ahmad Shah invaded India for the seventh time he was joined by Naseer Khan Baluch, chief of Kalat, with 12,000 Baluchi troops. Qazi Nur Muhammad, who had accompanied his protege Naseer Khan, writes that in a battle at Lahore Naseer Khan was opposed by Charhat Singh Sukarchakia. Naseer Khan’s horse was killed by a bullet and he escaped to his camp. On his return journey also he was harassed by Charhat Singh.32

Jhelum town stood on the right bank of river Jhelum. In May 1767, Charhat Singh and Gujjar Singh marched upon it. Its Gakhar chief fled away to the fort of Rohtas for shelter. Charhat Singh entrusted Jhelum town to Dada Ram Singh.

A little later, Sarbuland Khan, paternal uncle of Ahmad Shah Durrani, after having been relieved of his charge as governor of Kashmir, left for Kabul, accompanied by 10 or 12 thousand troopers. When he was encamped near Attock, Charhat Singh and Gujjar Singh Bhangi marched towards Rohtas to attack its Afghan faujdar in the early summer of 1764. The two Sardars crossed the Chenab into the Chaj Doab, overpowered the Afghan resistance and pushed forward beyond the Jhelum. Sarbuland Khan came out to confront the Sikhs, but was forced back to seek shelter in his fort. The Sikhs laid siege to Rohtas, but there was no reduction of the fort for four months. The Sikhs under Charhat Singh pretended to raise the siege and move away. Sarbuland Khan pursued the Sikhs and fell into their trap. Charhat Singh suddenly turned back and took the fort unawares. Sarbuland Khan was made a captive but was treated with respect due to his position both as a highly placed Afghan official and as an uncle of Ahmad Shah Durrani. Pleased with the kindness received at the hands of Charhat Singh, Sarbuland Khan offered to serve under him as a governor, if he (Charhat Singh) proclaimed himself king. Charhat Singh said, “The kingship is already bestowed on us by the Guru, we want to keep you as a prisoner so that the world may know that Charhat Singh had captured the uncle of the Shah.” “But there is a still greater name in releasing me,” said Sarbuland Khan. “They will say,” he continued, “that Charhat Singh captured the uncle of Ahmad Shah and, then, set him at liberty.” The Khan then paid two lakh rupees to the Sardar, who allowed him to return to his country.33

Consequent upon the victory of the Sikhs, the entire territory between the Jhelum and Indus came into the hands of Charhat Singh and his Bhangi allies.

In a short period of fifteen years, Charhat Singh became the master of Gujranwala, Wazirabad, Ramnagar, Sialkot, Rohtas, Pind Dadan Khan and the areas of Dhani and Pothohar which gave him a good amount of revenue. Charhat Singh had on his administrative staff a number of efficient kardars which included Dal Singh Gill, Bhag Singh Virk, Budh Singh, Gaur Singh, Dharam Singh Batasa, Tahal Singh Chhachhi, Nirmal Singh, Himat Singh, Dada Ram Singh and Sahaj Singh.34

The Awans, the Janjuas, the Ghebas, the Alpials, the Bhandials, the Jodras and the Sagri Pathans of Makhad also accepted the overlordship of Sardar Charhat Singh.

Ever since Charhat Singh took possession of Find Dadan Khan and the salt mines of Kheora Bhangis became his deadly enemies. The biggest salt mine was at Kheora, 8 kms from Pind Dadan Khan, in Jhelum district. The others were at Nurpur in Jhelum district, at Warcha in Shahpur district and at Kalabagh in Mianwali district. The mineral exists in vertical layers. The hills are nearly 400 metres high from the valley of river Jhelum and about 8 kms in breadth. The work in the mines could be conducted for nine or ten months in the year.35

Bhangis and Sukarchakias took hostile postures and there were occasional confrontations between the two. In 1827 Bk. corresponding to A.D. 1770, when Jhanda Singh Bhangi and Charhat Singh were facing each other for a clash, Charhat Singh was mortally wounded by the bursting of his own matchlock.36 At the time of Charhat Singh’s death his successor, Mahan Singh, was only ten years of age.37 Mahan Singh’s younger brother Sahaj Singh had died in his early boyhood. During his life time Charhat Singh had contracted some matrimonial alliances which strengthened his position. Dal Singh of Alipur, renamed Akalgarh, was married to the sister of Charhat Singh. Sahib Singh Bhangi was married to the daughter of Charhat Singh. Charhat Singh’s son Mahan Singh was married to the daughter of Jai Singh Mann. Some more matrimonial alliances followed Charhat Singh’s death.

Charhat Singh left behind a son, a daughter and his widow, Mai Desan. Mahan Singh being too young to handle the state affairs, his step-mother Desan took over the reins of the administration of the Sukarchakia Misal. In the words of Gordon, “Sikh ladies played an important part in the history of these warlike times and Mai Desan ruled with vigour and diplomacy.”38 Her brothers, Gurbakhsh Singh and Dal Singh, rendered her great service in this regard. Desan was a worldly-wise, experienced and an intelligent lady. In order to strengthen her position she married her daughter, Raj Kaur, to Sahib Singh, son of Gujjar Singh of Gujarat.39 Shortly thereafter, she married her son Mahan Singh to the daughter of Gajpat Singh, ruler of Jind, in 1774.40 These matrimonial relations united the three Misals for the purpose of combined action.

Sardar Mahan Singh (1760-1790)

Mahan Singh was born in 1760.41 He inherited a state from his father, though small in size, but had all the attributes of an independent principality. Jai Singh Kanaihya, a close friend of Charhat Singh, became foster-father of the young Sukarchakia chief. As soon as he found himself strong enough to strike, Mahan Singh snatched the fort of Rohtas from the hands of Nur-ud-Din Bamzai and occupied Kotli Ahangaran, near Sialkot. The artisans of this place were very adept in manufacturing rifles.42 Mahan Singh benefited of this possession by arming his soldiers with new rifles. Then, he proceeded against Pir Muhammad, the ruler of the Chathas, on the eastern bank of river Chenab.43 Assisted by Jai Singh Kanaihya, Mahan Singh marched at the head of 6,000 troops and besieged Rasulnagar in 1799. Pir Muhammad surrendered himself along with his family. His territory was occupied. Rasulnagar was renamed as Ramnagar.44 Dal Singh was appointed as the administrator or the governor of the place. The victory added luster to the Sukarchakia Misal, and many other chiefs who were the dependents of the Bhangis offered to transfer their allegiance to the Sukarchakias.45

In the words of Muhammad Latif, “Mahan Singh’s fame spread throughout the length and breadth of the country, owing to his having captured Rasulnagar, and the reputation for valour obtained by him was so great that many Sardars who had hitherto been dependent on the Bhangi Misal, now acknowledged the Sukarchakia Sardar as their chief, and transferred their allegiance to him, and deemed it an honour to fight under his banner.”46 The Chathas did not accept the defeat lying down and soon got refractory against Mahan Singh. The army had again to be led against them. This time, Alipur and Mancher were also occupied and Alipur was renamed Akalgarh.47

Chet Singh, the younger brother of Gujjar Singh Bhangi, had come to help the Chathas. Mahan Singh captured and imprisoned him in the fort of Gujranwala. Sahib Singh’s wife, Raj Kaur, who was the sister of Mahan Singh, came from Gujrat to Gujranwala to secure Chet Singh’s release. Mahan Singh paid no attention to her imploring and did not liberate the Bhangi Sardar.

On his return from Rasulnagar, Mahan Singh received the happy tidings of the birth of a son who was originally named Budh Singh48 but later named Ranjit Singh as he was born in the days of conquest. The birth took place on November 13, 1780,49 at Gujranwala.

Mahan Singh led his next expeditions against Pindi Bhatian, Sahiwal, Jhang, Isa Khel and Musa Khel. Desa Singh Bhangi failed to protect his territories. He asked his brother-in-law Sahib Singh’s help. Sahib Singh could not help because of his own strained relations with his younger brother, Sukha Singh.

In 1783, Punjab passed through a very critical period. For the past three years not a drop of rain had fallen, and one of the severest famines had broken out in northern India. Adam adam ra me khurd, wa madar bachchan ra firo me burd Jahan talaf shud. (Men ate men and the mothers sold their children. Everything was ruined). Mahan Singh distributed grains to everybody who approached him.50

Ranjit Deo, the ruler of Jammu, died in 1782. His death was followed by a dispute of succession between his sons, Brij Raj and Dalet Singh. Brij Raj emerged victorious. But Brij Raj Deo proved to be a weak and an inefficient ruler. The Kanaihyas and Bhangis, taking advantage of this position, occupied some of the territories of Jammu. Brij Deo made an appeal to Mahan Singh for help. He marched at the head of his army to Jammu but the powerful combination of his enemies compelled Brij Raj Deo to pay tribute of 30,000 rupees to the victorious Haqiqat Singh Kanaihya51 and thus the Sukarchakia chief could not be of any help to Brij Deo.

About six months later, Mahan Singh again got a chance to go to Jammu, this time not in support of Brij Raj Deo but against him. Brij Deo refused to pay the stipulated tribute to the Kanaihyas who invited Mahan Singh to join them in their invasion of Jammu. Brij Raj Deo, finding himself unequal to the situation, ran away into the hills of Vaishno Devi. This took place towards the close of January 1784. Haqiqat Singh Kanaihya and Mahan Singh had made a pact to attack and plunder Jammu jointly, but the Sukarchakia chief did it alone. Mahan Singh came back with a heavy baggage of booty from Jammu.52 It is said that Mahan Singh’s booty was worth a crore of rupees.

In the year 1784, Mahan Singh came to Amritsar53, on the occasion of Diwali. Most of the chiefs of the Misals, including Jai Singh Kanaihya, had assembled there. Jai Singh was held in high esteem by all other Sardars of the Misals. Mahan Singh visited Jai Singh to pay his regards to him. During the meeting, Jai Singh, who was jealous of the growing power of the Sukarchakias, insulted Mahan Singh by his remarks, “Go away, you Bhagtia (dancing boy); I do not want to hear your sentimental talk.” This was too much to be borne in silence by so haughty and impervious a young chief as Mahan Singh was.”54 Jai Singh also demanded a share from the booty which he had brought from Jammu.55 Mahan Singh felt highly enraged at the rude treatment shown to him by the Kanaihya chief who ordered his men that Mahan Singh should not be allowed to go out of Amritsar. He should be made captive and produced before him. After a minor clash outside Amritsar both sides withdrew and went to their respective places, but Mahan Singh was not in a position to take revenge single-handed. He invited Jassa Singh Ramgarhia from Hansi and Hissar where he was living in a sort of exile as he had been driven out of his possessions by Jai Singh.56 Sansar Chand Katoch, the ruler of Kangra, who was another enemy of the Kanaihyas, was also called by Mahan Singh to join him. The three chiefs, with their combined forces marched against the Kanaihyas. The battle was fought at Achal Batala, and Jai Singh’s son Gurbaksh Singh, who had advanced with a force of 8,000 to oppose Mahan Singh, was struck by a bullet at the very first charge and was killed.57 In the course of fighting the Kanaihyas were routed, thus humbling the old Kanaihya chief. After the battle of Achal Batala, Jai Singh retired to Naushehra where another battle was fought against Mahan Singh. Both sides sustained heavy losses, but Jai Singh suffered a defeat. The Ramgarhia and Katoch chiefs got back their territories already captured by the Kanaihyas.58

Finding the Sukarchakia Misal in its ascendancy, Sada Kaur, widow of Gurbakhsh Singh Kanaihya, proposed in 1786, the betrothal of her only daughter, Mehtab Kaur, to Ranjit Singh, the young son of Mahan Singh.59 After Ranjit Singh’s recovery from an attack of small pox and high fever at Jammu during Mahan Singh’s campaign to that place in 1786, the latter held a magnificent function at Gujranwala. Many Sardar» came to offer congratulations. Jai Singh Kanaihya also attended the function. There, he made a formal proposal of his granddaughter’s betrothal with Mahan Singh’s son, which was accepted. With this matrimonial alliance peace was restored between the two contending Misals. This alliance proved very helpful to Ranjit Singh in his future conquests and consolidation of Punjab under his sway.60

As referred to above, Mahan Singh’s sister was married to Sahib Singh of Gujrat. After the death of his father, Gujjar Singh, in 1788, Sahib Singh became the ruler of Gujrat. Mahan Singh demanded haq-i-hakmana, succession money, or tribute from Sahib Singh who refused to give any. The hackneyed maxim that, “kingship knows no kinship” so aptly applied to the situation. To promote the interests of one’s state even close blood relationship was disregarded. Sahib Singh was the husband of Mahan Singh’s real sister. Hostilities commenced between the two. Sahib Singh took asylum in the fort of Sodhra which was besieged by Mahan Singh.61 Mahan Singh’s sister, Raj Kaur, waited upon her brother and tried to dissuade him from fighting. Mahan Singh did not care to heed to her entreaties. The Sukarchakia chief was having a failing health due to overwork and exhaustion and in the course of the siege of Sodhra when the victory was just insight he was suddenly taken ill by a violent attack of fever. Handing over the charge of the siege to his ten year old son Ranjit Singh, Mahan Singh retired to Gujranwala where he expired on the 5th Baisakh, 1847 Bk., corresponding to April 15, 1790,62 as a result of severe dysentery.63 Thus, the death removed the ambitious and courageous Sukarchakia chief from the stage of history in early youth at the age of thirty. According to Hari Ram Gupta, ‘‘There is not the least doubt about it that if he had lived ten years longer, he would have become the sole monarch of the whole of northern India from the Khyber Pass to the Ganga, and from the Himalyas to the Arabian sea, and Emperor Shah Alam II would have become his protege”64

In the words of Muhammad Latif,

“Mahan Singh was brave, enterprising and prudent beyond his years; and the age in which he lived highly favoured his ambitious schemes. . . . . . His early feats in arms had acquired for him so great a reputation that many influential independent Sardars joined his banner. His rapid successes gave him an ascendancy over all the Sikh chiefs. His military genius, undaunted courage, stern temper and rigid observance of the rules of delicacy and honour, at times, involved him in serious trouble, but he honourably acquitted himself on all such occasions. At an early age, he shook off the trammels of his mother’s guardianship to pave the way for his own greatness.”65

James Browne, in 1787, estimated the military strength of Mahan Singh at 15,000 horse and 5,000 foot in the Rachna Doab and about 5,000 horse and foot in the Chaj and Sind Sagar Doabs.66 Imam-ud-Din Husaini wrote in 1796 that Mahan Singh commanded about 22,000 horse and foot.67 “He left to his son and successor a state beset with danger; but he bequeathed to him at the same time the qualities by which dangers are best overcome— courage combined with a natural genius for command and enterprise tempered by prudence and foresights.”68

After his father’s death Ranjit Singh succeeded to the chiefship of his Misal. Only at the age of nineteen he occupied Lahore and put his Misal on the road to glory of a consolidated kingdom of the Punjab. His rule gave to the history of Punjab a remarkable era of independence, pride, magnificence, security and stability.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780—1839)

Ranjit Singh was born on November 13, 178069, at Gujranwala. Very little is known about his childhood except that he had a virulent attack of small pox which deprived him of his left eye.

Right from the beginning he had displayed a spirit of bravery and adventure. Even at the young age of six he, along with other boys, did swimming in river Chenab.70 In his early boyhood he was sent to Bhagu Singh’s dharamsala at Gujranwala to learn Gurmukhi but he did not assimilate anything at school.71 Later, he received training in shooting from a Brahman, named Amir Singh, who was matchless in that art.72 At the time of his father’s death he was a young boy of ten years old.73 It is said that the pagri or turban-tying ceremony, in respect of Ranjit Singh, had already been performed in the life time of Mahan Singh. Ranjit Singh was too young to handle the state affairs but he had no difficulty in accession to his father’s gaddi.

As told earlier Ranjit Singh had been engaged to the daughter of an intelligent and a brave lady. Rani Sada Kaur, widow of Gurbakhsh Singh74 of Kanaihya Misal. In his early years Ranjit Singh was fortunate in having the help of a shrewd’ and far-sighted woman as Sada Kaur was. Sardar Dal Singh Gill and Gurbakhsh Singh of Wazirabad were appointed to look after the army and the administrative affairs were conducted by Diwan Lakhpat Rai, popularly known as Lakhu.75 Ranjit Singh’s mother, Raj Kaur, also supervised the administrative business.76

In 179577, at the age of 15, Ranjit Singh got himself married to Mehtab Kaur, daughter of Sada Kaur.

He had his second marriage with Datar Kaur, sister of Sardar Gian Singh Nakkai, in 1798.

She was popularly known as Mai Nakkain. Kharak Singh was born to her on February 22, 1801.

At the time of Ranjit Singh’s accession to power, the Punjab was divided into a number of petty principalities and some of the leaders were not on happy terms with one another. The people of the province were generally devoid of a sense of unity. The Sikh confederacies had already been weakened. The Afghans under Zaman Shah were again threatening to establish their overlordship in the Punjab. The English had also started to take interest in this part of the country as their future sphere of influence. Besides, there were some Pathan possessions, adjoining hill states under the Hindu Rajas end several small and petty principalities that dotted the map of the Punjab. “In the 1790s, the Punjab looked like a jig-saw puzzle consisting of fourteen pieces with five arrows piercing it from the sides. Twelve of these fourteen pieces were the Sikh Misals; the other two, the Pathan- controlled district of Kasur in the neighbourhood of Lahore, and Hansi in the south-east under the English adventurer, George Thomas. The five arrows were: The Afghans in the north-west; the Rajputs of Kangra in the north; the Gorkhas in the north-east; the British in the east; and the Marathas in the southeast.”78

The province was a congeries of small disintegrated states and there was no individual power in the province which could pose any formidable danger to the adventures of a strong man. As early as 1783, George Forster had predicted that

“we may see some ambitious chief, led on by his genius and success, absorbing the power of his associates, display from the ruins of their commonwealth the standard of monarchy.”79

Anarchy and political upheaval always hold out an opportunity to men of genius. In the words of Lepel Griffin,

“There is perhaps no more notable and picturesque figure among the chiefs who rose to power on the ruins of the Mughal Empire than Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the founder of the short-lived Sikh kingdom of Lahore. In the stormy days at the beginning of the century, amid a fierce conflict of races and creeds, he found his opportunity and, seizing it with energy, promptitude and genius welded the turbulent and warlike sectaries, who followed the teachings of Gobind Singh into a homogeneous nation.”80

Young Ranjit Singh, who was aspiring for the consolidation of the Punjab, had to face an ambitious aggrandiser, Zaman Shah Durrani, who succeeded to the throne of Kabul in 1793, and had plans to seize the Punjab.

Zaman Shah marched to the Punjab in the winter of 1798, and reached Lahore on 27th November.

The Shah despatched a contingent of Afghans to Amritsar. Ranjit Singh issued out of the town and gave a tough fight to the Afghans and forced them to retire to Lahore.81 Every night Ranjit Singh visited, with a few sawars, the suburbs of the city of Lahore and attacked the forces of the Shah at night with a view to harassing him.82

According to Sohan Lal Suri,83 Ranjit Singh, at this time, thrice rushed upon the Samman Burj of the Lahore fort with a few Sardars, fired a number of shots, killed and wounded a number of Afghans, and on one occasion challenged the Shah himself to a hand to hand fight, “Come out you, O, grandson of Ahmad Shah,” shouted Ranjit Singh to him, “and try two or three hands with the grandson of the great Sardar Charhat Singh.” But as there was no response from the other side, Ranjit Singh had to retire without a trial of strength with the Durrani.

During the four-week stay of the Shah at Lahore some of the Sardars met him there.

During his visit to the Shah, Ranjit Singh’s representative probably negotiated for the subedari of Lahore.84 But at this stage the revered Sikh Baba Sahib Singh Bedi pleaded with the Sardars to stop negotiating with the Durrani invader. They agreed to abide by his decision and when the Shah’s agents came to the Sikh Sardars again, Sahib Singh Bedi told them on behalf of the Sikhs, “We took the country by the sword and will preserve it by the same.”85 Then, the Shah gave up the plan to win over the Sikhs.

According to Ali-ud-Din Mufti, Zaman Shah left for Kabul after a month’s stay at Lahore as Mahmud Shah, in collaboration with Baba Khan Qachar, had attacked Kabul. Diplomatically enough, Ranjit Singh did not harass Zaman Shah on his return march rather facilitated his return so that he might not get irritated against him and think of hitting back at him at the earliest opportunity. Since the Shah had to go back hurriedly 12 of his guns sank in river Jhelum that was in spate because of rainy season. It is said that Shah addressed a letter to Ranjit Singh that after the level of the river water went down he might extricate his guns and get them sent to Kabul. Ranjit Singh brought out all the 12 guns from the river. He despatched eight of them to Kabul and retained four with him in his arsenal one of which was of iron and three of brass.86

Ranjit Singh’s Occupation of Lahore (1799)

Twenty six days after Zaman Shah’s exit from Lahore, on 4th January 1799 the Bhangi Sardars reentered Lahore. The three rulers of Lahore were riot functioning in collaboration with one another.

According to Munshi Sohan Lal, the people of Lahore were suffering hardships under the misrule of their chiefs.87 The respectable people of Lahore, including the Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, met secretly and decided to address an invitation to Ranjit Singh, to come to Lahore and arrange its occupation. Ranjit Singh accepted the invitation.88 The letter of invitation sent to him was signed by Muhammad Ashaq, Gurbakhsh Singh, Hakim Rai, Mufti Muhammad Mukarram, Muhammad Bakar, Mir Shadi and Mehar Mohkam Din. It was sent through Hakim Rai.89

Ranjit Singh started from Rasulnagar and reached Batala and discussed the matter of occupation of Lahore with Rani Sada Kaur.90 She accompanied him to Lahore. They had at their command an army of about twenty five thousand horsemen and foot soldiers. The people of Lahore had earlier promised Ranjit Singh to open the Lohari Gate at his arrival there. On the day Ranjit Singh reached Lahore, the Lohari Gate could not be opened as it was strongly defended by Chet Singh.

Next morning, that is, on July 6, 179991, Ranjit Singh led his men to Lohari Gate which was opened unto him. The eighteen year old conqueror entered the city triumphantly.

Mohar Singh was captured and produced before Ranjit Singh. Graciously enough, be allowed him to proceed to his agirs, along with his goods. Chet Singh evacuated the fort next morning, that is, on July 7, 1799 (29th of the month of Har, Samat 1856), and Ranjit Singh occupied the fort the same day.92

Confrontation at Bhasin (March 1800)

Ranjit Singh’s power was growing day by day. With the occupation of Lahore—the traditional capital of the Punjab, Ranjit Singh’s power received a fillip. Other Sardars got jealous of him.

So, they joined hands to restrain Ranjit Singh from his policy of territorial aggrandisement. After the festival of holi Sahib Singh of Gujrat, Gulab Singh Bhangi, Jassa Singh Ramgarhia and Nizam-ud-Din of Kasur assembled their forces at the village of Bhasin, about 9 kos on the east of Lahore.93 Ranjit Singh came from Lahore. Both sides arrayed themselves in the battle-field and no action took place between the contending forces for two months.94 Each side was apprehensive of the other and did not consider proper to initiate fighting. After the expiry of about eight weeks, Gulab Singh Bhangi, who had invited the other chiefs to fight on his side, drank himself to death.95

The death of their leader dispirited the confederate army which dispersed without achieving anything and their plans fizzled out.

Invasion of Jammu (1800)

After he was free from the expedition of Bhasin, Ranjit Singh attacked Jammu. The ruler of Jammu had an audience with Ranjit Singh and offered him a nazarana of 20 thousand rupees and an elephant.”96

Possession of Akalgarh (1801)

Akalgarh had been conferred on Dal Singh by Sardar Mahan Singh. Since Dal Singh had become hostile to Ranjit Singh the former was brought to Lahore by the latter and interned there in 1800.97 Dal Singh assured Ranjit Singh of his perfect innocence and he was released on the intercession of Sada Kaur and Baba Kesra Singh Sodhi.98 Dal Singh died shortly after arriving back at Akalgarh. Ranjit Singh visited Akalgarh for condolence. He granted a jagir of two villages to Dal Singh’s widow for her subsistence,99 and placed Akalgarh under his control.

Assumed the Title of Sarkar (April 12, 1801)

A grand durbar was organised on Baisakhi day, Sunday. April 12, 1801, in which many Sardars and notables and prominent citizens were invited to participate. Ranjit Singh assumed the title of sarkar or sarkar-i-wala, and not that of ‘Maharaja’ as some writers believe.100

Siege of Kasur (1801)

It has already been referred to that the Pathan ruler of Kasur was keen contestant for Lahore but Ranjit Singh had stolen a march over him. Nawab Nizam-ud-Din had come to Bhasin along with the Sikh chiefs. He had also been inciting Sahib Singh of Gujrat against Ranjit Singh. The Maharaja wanted to punish the Nawab for his intrigues against him. According to Amar Math, the Maharaja sent a big army against him under the command of Sardar Fateh Singh Kalianwala. The Nawab suffered a defeat at the hands of the Lahore army and obtained peace through submission. He became a tributary subedar of the Maharaja and paid a huge amount as war indemnity. He also sent his younger brother, Qutab Din, and Haji Khan and Wasil Khan to Lahore as hostages.101

Attack on Kangra (1801)

Some of the territories of Rani Sada Kaur had been usurped by Sansar Chand Katoch of Kangra. In the words of Khushwaqat Rai, “Sansar Chand often uttered these remarks from his tongue: from the hair of the Sikhs I shall prepare the ropes for my horses, and spoke very ill of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh.”102 He was planning to further penetrate into Sada Kaur’s territories. She informed Ranjit Singh of Sansar Chand’s designs. Sansar Chand captured the fort of Garhdiwala and gave it to Jodh Singh Ramgarhia and Bhunga to Nawab Fatu Khan, brother of Ghulam Qadar.103

The Maharaja led an army of six thousand horsemen into Kangra. Sansar Chand ran away for his life. The territories of Sada Kaur occupied by Sansar Chand were restored to her. Nurpur was also taken from Sansar Chand.104

Exchange of Turban with Fateh Singh Ahluwalia (1802)

When the Maharaja went to Tarn Taran for a dip in the holy tank he expressed a desire to have a meeting with Fateh Singh Ahluwalia. Both the rulers met in the presence of the holy Guru Granth Sahib and exchanged turbans to profess brotherhood.105

Occupation of Chiniot (1802)

Territory of Chiniot was in the hands of Jassa Singh, son of Karam Singh Dullu. His subjects were sick of him. The Maharaja led an army to Chiniot. Jassa Singh closed the gates of the fort. The siege continued for about two months. At last Jassa Singh evacuated the fort and Ranjit Singh placed it under his own control. The Maharaja gave Jassa Singh a suitable jagir.106

Occupation of Amritsar (1805)

It was, then, held by Mai Sukhan, widow of Gulab Singh Bhangi, who had died at Bhasin by excessive drinking in 1800. She had the support of the Ramgarhia Sardar.

On the advice of Jodh Singh, the Ramgarhia chief, and the A kali leader Phula Singh, the fort and the city of Amritsar were evacuated by Mai Sukhan on February 24, 1805.107 The occupation of Amritsar, the religious capital of the Sikhs, brought additional lustre to Ranjit Singh’s name.

Jaswant Rao Holkar’s Visit (1805)

Jaswant Rao met Ranjit Singh and requested him for help against the British. Ranjit Singh made all arrangements for his comfortable stay at Amritsar. After consultations with some other Sardars, Ranjit Singh advised Jaswant Rao to sue for peace with the English. General Lake was also told that it was in the interest of both to conclude peace. Both agreed and the fighting between them was avoided.108

Malwa Campaigns (1806-08)

From 1806 to 1808, Ranjit Singh led three campaigns into the cis-Satluj areas. In 1806, there cropped up a sharp dispute between Patiala and Nabha over the possession of village Daladi, barely 2 kms from the town of Nabha. Ranjit Singh was invited to mediate in the dispute.109 On his way to Patiala and back he placed a large number of villages and territories under his own control in the cis- Satluj areas.110

In 1807, the Maharaja was again invited to settle the dispute between Rani Aus Kaur and Sahib Singh, the ruler of Patiala.111 During this visit also Ranjit Singh followed the same policy of territorial aggrandisement.

In 1808, again he entered the cis-Satluj areas with a view to subjugating the cis-Satluj region. During all the three incursions he conquered and distributed a large number of villages and territories among his followers including Fateh Singh Ahluwalia, Mai Sada Kaur and Diwan Mohkham Chand.

Ranjit Singh Helped the Ruler of Kangra (1807)

The Gurkhas of Nepal planned the conquest and occupation of the whole of Himachal Pradesh. After conquering Sirmur, Garhwal and Nalagarh the Gorkhas proceeded towards Kangra under the command of Amar Singh Thapa. Raja Sansar Chand of Kangra sent his brother Mian Fateh Chand to meet Maharaja Ranjit Singh and seek help against the Nepalese who were encamped near Kangra. Ranjit Singh expressed his readiness to help Sansar Chand.

Amar Singh Thapa, finding himself no match for the allies, that is Sansar Chand and Ranjit Singh, retired quickly from Kangra.112

Occupation of Kasur (1807)

After the death of Nawab Nizam-ud-Din in 1807, his brother, Qutb-ud-Din Khan, succeeded him. He did not like to remain under the overlordship of Ranjit Singh and got refractory. On the other hand, Ranjit Singh did not like an independent Afghan state to function so close to his capital. So he decided to occupy Kasur at the earliest. Lahore forces attacked Kasur on the 10th of February 1807, and the siege of the fort continued for a month and during this time a mine was laid under a wall of the fort which was battered. The captured Nawab was produced before Ranjit Singh who received him graciously and gave him the jagir of Mamdot that brought an annual income of one lakh rupees.113

Occupation of Jhang (1807)

Jhang was under Ahmad Khan Sial. In 1807, the Maharaja came to know that Ahmad Khan had concluded a secret treaty with Nawab Muzaffar Khan of Multan. The Maharaja sent a heavy force against Jhang and it was annexed to the Lahore kingdom in 1807. Ahmad Khan was provided with a jagir for a decent living.114

Submission of Bahawalpur and Akhnur (1807-08)

As a result of Maharaja’s invasion of Bahawalpur in 1807, Nawab Bahawal Khan submitted to the Maharaja and promised to pay annual tribute regularly.115 In 1808, Alam Singh, the ruler of Akhnur, accepted the overlordship of the Maharaja.116

Annexation of Dallewalia Misal (1807)

Dallewalia Misal was annexed by Ranjit Singh in 1807. It had been under Tara Singh Ghaiba who was supporter of Ranjit Singh. He had accompanied the Maharaja to Patiala a few days earlier. On learning about Tara Singh’s death the Maharaja went to Rahon to condole Ghaiba’s death to his widow. Ranjit Singh occupied the entire territory of Tara Singh and gave a jagir of a few villages to his widow.117

Occupation of the Fort of Kangra (1809)

For some time past Amar Singh Thapa had been busy fighting against Sansar Chand of Kangra.118 According to Diwan Amar Nath, the Gurkha army, thrown against Sansar Chand, was about 50 thousand with two guns.119 The Kangra chief sent his brother Fateh Chand as his emissary to Ranjit Singh for help against the Gurkhas. Ranjit Singh demanded a heavy price for the help in the form of possession of the fort of Kangra. Sansar Chand agreed to surrender the fort and it passed into the hands of Lahore forces on August 25, 1809.120

On September 24, 1809, Ranjit Singh valiantly entered the Kangra fort and held a grand Durbar there in which the rulers of Kangra, Chamba, Nurpur, Kotla, Shahpur, Jasrota, Basohli, Mankot, Jaswan, Guler, Mandi, Suket, Kulu and Datarpur participated. All the hill chiefs offered nazaranas to the Maharaja, and on their return they received robes of honour from him. Ranjit Singh appointed Desa Singh Majithia in charge of the fort of Kangra with Pahar Singh Mann, as its deputy nazim.121

Occupation of Gujrat (1810)

Gujrat was under the control of Sahib Singh Bhangi. He developed strained relations with his son, Gulab Singh,122 who occupied a couple of forts against the wishes of his father. Ranjit Singh availed of this opportunity and in the course of two or three months he occupied the whole of Gujrat. Sahib Singh escaped to the hilly areas.123

Conquest of Khushab and Sahiwal (1810)

The territories of Khushab and Sahiwal were inhabited by the Baloch tribes and they had built, at many places, very strong forts. On the arrival of Lahore forces near Khushab its ruler Jafar Khan Baloch, finding himself no match for the Sikhs, fled from the town of Khushab.124 After a severe fighting, the Maharaja conquered the fort of Sahiwal on February 10, 1810.125

Conquest of Jammu (1810)

Before the Maharaja started for Khushab he had despatched a contingent to Jammu under the command of Hukma Singh Chimni. After a brief resistance the chief administrator, Mian Mota, handed over the state to the Maharaja.126

Annexation of Wazirabad (1810)

Jodh Singh, the ruler of Wazirabad, died in November 1809. The Maharaja appointed the former ruler’s son, Ganda Singh, as the successor of his father. In June 1810, there were riots between Ganda Singh and his relatives.127 The Maharaja ordered Faqir Aziz-ud-Din, the administrator of Gujrat, to go and occupy Wazirabad.128 Ganda Singh was relieved of his charge and was given a reasonable jagir for his subsistence.

Annexation of the Territories of Faizullapurias (1811), Nakkais (1811) and Kanaihyas (1821)

The territories of the Faizullapurias were situated on both sides of river Satluj. Budh Singh, the Sardar of this Misal, wag not willing to accept Ranjit Singh as his overlord. The Maharaja ordered Mohkam Chand to mobilize forces against Budh Singh. Mohkam Chand, accompanied by Jodh Singh Ramgarhia and Fateh Singh Ahluwalia, besieged Jalandhar. Budh Singh escaped to Ludhiana and sought the protection of the British. The fort of Jalandhar and its surrounding areas were conquered by Mohkam Chand.129 Budh Singh’s possessions near Tarn Taran were also captured by the Maharaja’s artillery officer, Ghaus Khan.

The territory under the Nakkais was situated between Multan and Kasur. Sardar Kahn Singh, son and successor of Gian Singh Nakkai, had gone to Multan to realise the tribute From Muzaffar Khan on behalf of the Lahore Durbar.130 Ranjit Singh sent Mohkam Chand and Prince Kharak Singh to the territory of the Nakkais to take charge of the same.131 Mohkam Chand conquered the fortresses of Chunia, Dipalpur and Satgarha in 1811. Sardar Kahn Singh came back from Multan to find his Misal gone out of his hands. He was given a jagir worth twenty thousand rupees annually.132

Kanaihya territory was in possession of Sada Kaur, the widow of Gurbakhsh Singh.

Sada Kaur, who had been greatly helpful in Ranjit Singh’s coming to power, was estranged from him in 1821, due to some domestic circumstances, and her territories were annexed to the Lahore dominion.133

In the scheme of having a strong and a united Punjab there could have been no place for many independent and semi-independent chieftains. And evidently it was, therefore, of urgent necessity that they had all to be brought into the fold of the new power.

It must, however, be said to the credit of Maharaja Ranjit Singh that he was always considerate and sympathetic towards the vanquished and granted to them jagirs sufficient for their decent and comfortable living. He knew how to handle a situation. When he was organising an expedition against Multan, he released Ahmed Khan Sial of Jhang and gave him a substantial jagir and, thus attached him and his Muslim followers to himself.134 Ranjit Singh was the political architect of the new Punjab and he never allowed his campaign a religious colour in spite of the Wahabis leading a crusade against him.

It is true that Ranjit Singh’s policy of absorption, at times, estranged some of the Sardars into his opponents but he was always tactful enough to win them over to his side. He was thus, able to create a new Punjab with a strong and compact kingdom with natural and dependable frontiers on all sides, as large a kingdom as France.135

Divergent views have been expressed regarding Ranjit Singh’s policy of unification. However, there could be much justification in his favour when we find that he united all the wavering elements together and converted the Sikh bands into a strong political entity. Moreover, by digging out a kingdom from the debris of confusion in the Punjab Ranjit Singh canalised the annual revenue of Punjab amounting to over three crores of rupees, using it for social and economic progress of the country.136

Conquests and Consolidation of Multan, Kashmir, Attock and Peshawar Conquest of Multan

During Ranjit Singh’s time Multan was considered to be invulnerable, but due to its importance, particularly on strategic and commercial grounds, Ranjit Singh was determined to annex it. It was situated on the highway leading to Qandhar and was linked with Delhi through Bathinda. It was one of the major trading centres between India and Central Asia. Ranjit Singh’s state was surrounded by a ring of Muslim principalities. By conquering Multan the Maharaja could drive a wedge between the Muslim states of Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan as these states could always plan a common cause against the Lahore Durbar. Financially too, the conquest of the province of Multan was very beneficial to Ranjit Singh. With all these considerations in mind Ranjit Singh set his heart on the annexation of Multan. He had to lead about half a dozen campaigns to Multan in the course of a decade and a half.

First Expedition (1803)

According to Amar Nath, Muzaffar Khan, the nazim (governor) of Multan, nursed rebellious plans in his head. Ranjit Singh ordered that all his army be marched in the direction of Multan. On the way he received nazaranas from the nobles of Nakka territory. When Muzaffar Khan got the news about the invasion of his territory by the Durbar forces he invited his friends to support him. Though the Afghans were out to help him but he got frightened and sent his representatives to meet the Maharaja about 25 kos away from Multan. Some amount was paid to Ranjit Singh who returned to Lahore.137

Second Expedition (1805)

According to Sohan Lal Suri, after the rainy season was over in the month of Asuj (September), Ranjit Singh led his forces towards Multan. He encamped at village Mohtam, 2 kos from Multan. He sent his envoys to the Nawab and insisted for immediate payment of the nazarana otherwise tie army would attack the town. Just then, Ranjit Singh received the message of Jaswant Rao Holkar’s visit to the Punjab and the Maharaja returned to Lahore immediately.138

Third Expedition (1807)

Muzaffar Khan of Multan had been secretly helping the Nawab of Kasur. He had also provided asylum to Ahmad Khan Sial whom Ranjit Singh had defeated only some time back. The Maharaja wanted to punish the Nawab of Multan for his disloyal and treacherous behaviour. The Durbar forces destroyed some buildings outside the town of Multan. Peace was settled and Muzaffar Khan offered 70 thousand rupees as nazarana to Maharaja Ranjit Singh who returned to Lahore.139

Fourth Expedition (1810)

On February 20, 1810, the Maharaja started against Muzaffar Khan, and in the next four days the Durbar forces reached the outskirts of Multan. The Nawab was ready to fight the Maharaja’s forces. The Sikh forces captured the town on February 25, 1810. Then, they laid siege to the fort which lasted nearly for two months and mines were laid beneath the western wall of the fort.140 In utter despair and disappointment, the Nawab raised the white flag and agreed to pay a huge amount as war indemnity and nazarana which, according, to Amar Nath, was Rs. 180,000.141

Fifth Expedition (1816)

After 1810, Ranjit Singh could not pay any attention to Multan for the next many years. During this time he was busy against Attock and Kashmir. Misar Dewan Chand led an army to Multan in 1816. Akali Phula Singh also commanded his forces to Multan. Phula Singh tried to make an opening in the outer wall of the citadel. The Nawab paid a nazarana of 80 thousand rupees immediately and promised to pay forty thousand more within the next two or three months.142 The Sikh forces returned from Multan.

Sixth Expedition (1817)

The Maharaja sent a contingent to realise the stipulated nazarana from the Nawab of Multan. On the hesitant attitude of the Nawab an army was despatched to conquer Multan which was besieged but soon, thereafter, the siege was lifted.143

Last Expedition and Occupation of Multan (1818)

The Maharaja appointed Prince Kharak Singh to be the nominal commander of the expedition, though the operational part of the whole campaign was to be managed by Misar Diwan Chand.

The Maharaja personally supervised all the preparations for the expedition.

The Nawab laid down his life fighting along with two of his sons, Shah Niwaz Khan and Shahbaz Khan.144 Nawab’s two’ sons, Sarfraz Khan and Zulfiqar Khan, were captured alive.145 The Multan fort capitulated on June, 2, 1818.

The booty worth 2 lakhs,146 included mohars, diamonds, rare swords, rifles, shawls, rings, etc. All these things were sent to Lahore to be deposited into the royal toshakhana.147 Lahore Durbar also got many good horses and camels and five big guns from Multan.

Occupation of Kashmir and Attock

The Durrani government of Kabul was disintegrating. The governors of Peshawar, Attock and Kashmir had declared themselves independent of Kabul. On regaining power, Shah Mahmud, the ruler of Kabul, and Wazir Fateh Khan decided to oust Ata Muhammad Khan, governor of Kashmir, from power. At that time, Ranjit Singh was in full control of the Punjab. The nobles of Jammu, Jhelum and Gujrat, through which entry into Kashmir was possible, were in the control of the Maharaja. Therefore, without the cooperation of Ranjit Singh, it was dangerous, from a military point of view, to attack Kashmir.

A meeting was held between Ranjit Singh and Fateh Khan in November 1812, at Rohtas, in Ranjit Singh’s camp.148

Ranjit Singh accepted to help Fateh Khan against the Kashmir governor, Ata Muhammad Khan. Murray says that the Maharaja agreed to help the Afghan Wazir, with an army of 12,000, in return for a detachment of the Afghans against Multan, and nine lakhs of rupees from the spoils of Kashmir.

It is believed that Ranjit Singh’s main object was not that of exacting heavy money or getting Kashmir by some strategy. He wanted to acquire local knowledge which could be put to use in future. The real aim, as events were to show soon, may be found bound up with the critical situation that was created by the Kabul Wazir’s attempting to get across the river Indus and to extend his effective control to territories so close to Ranjit Singh’s kingdom. Fateh Khan’s attempt against Kashmir was only the first step in this connection. Kashmir would be followed by Multan and that would soon be followed by Bahawalpur and, then, many other areas one by one.149

Both the Afghan and the Sikh forces crossed Jhelum in December 1812, and entered Kashmir valley via Bhimber, Rajauri and Pir Panjal. Afghan forces were six kos ahead of the Durbar forces.150

According to the Lahore report, the spoils of Kashmir amounted to forty lakhs of rupees and some jewels. Shah Shujah, who was also imprisoned there, was brought into Diwan Mohkam Chand’s camp and his chains were removed.

Fateh Khan also tried to get possession of the person of Shah Shujah who had already come under the custody of Diwan Mohkam Chand. Fateh Khan made many alluring offers to Shah Shujah to go over to their camp.

There were negotiations going on between Ranjit Singh and Jahandad Khan, governor of Attock, even before launching of the joint expedition of the Maharaja and Fateh Khan.

Occupation of Attock by the Maharaja (March 1813)

Jahandad Khan, nazim of the fort, now felt that after the conquest of Kashmir it was his turn to be thrown out of the fort by Wazir Fateh Khan. He knew his limitations and clearly felt that he was no match for Shah Mahmud and his Wazir, Fateh Khan. He approached Ranjit Singh and agreed to surrender the fort on the condition of getting a decent subsistence allowance.151 Ranjit Singh immediately offered the pargana of Wazirabad as a jagir to Jahandad Khan,152 and despatched his army under the command of Faqir Aziz-ud-Din, Sardar Mit Singh Naherna and Diwan Bhawani Das153 to take charge of the fort of Attock.

The negotiations between Jahandad Khan and the Maharaja remained a guarded secret from Fateh Khan. When Fateh Khan came to know about it he was very much upset and annoyed.154 Handing over the charge of Kashmir to his brother Azim Khan, Fateh Khan reached Peshawar and sent a message to Ranjit Singh to evacuate the fort of Attock.155 The Maharaja refused.

First Sikh-Afghan Battle (1813)

At the head of a large force Fateh Khan laid siege to the fort of Attock. On the other hand, Diwan Mohkam Chand crossed river Jhelum to reinforce the fort.156 Both the Sikh and the Afghan forces lay face to face for three months without action. With the permission of the Maharaja, the Sikh forces attacked the Afghans on July 12, 1813,157 at Hazro, about 8 kms distant from Attock.

This battle is also known as the battle of Chuch. There was a terrible fight between the rival forces. Ultimately, the Lahore forces emerged victorious. Fateh Khan ran away158 to Peshawar. Hukma Singh Chimni was appointed as qiladar of the fort of Attock.159

Second Campaign of Kashmir (1814)

In April 1814, again Ranjit Singh marshalled his forces for a march against Kashmir. The tributary chiefs were ordered by him to join the Durbar forces with their contingents. The Maharaja held an inspection of the entire Durbar army at Wazirabad. The Sikh army reached Rajauri on June 11, 1814. Ram Dayal, accompanied by Jiwan Mal, Dal Singh and their contingents, reached Behram Gala160 and conquered it and established a thana there and took possession of the hills of Pir Panjal. Ram Dayal was confronted with the forces of Azim Khan, the governor of Kashmir. There was a severe fighting between the forces of Ram Dayal and Azim Khan, on 24th June 1814. There was again bloody fighting at Shopian. Prince Kharak Singh’s brave officer, Jiwan Mal, died fighting there.161 Mit Singh Padhania also died fighting and his son, Sardar Jawala Singh, was given his father’s place.162 Ram Dayal acquitted himself very honourably. Two thousand Afghans were killed there.163 Azim Khan was impressed by the bravery and intrepidity of Diwan Ram Dayal. Dwelling upon the friendly relations with Mohkam Chand, grandfather of Ram Dyal, Azim Khan is said to have considered it worthwhile to contract cordial relations with Ram Dyal and Lahore Durbar. He sent valuable presents for the Maharaja and assured Ram Dyal of wishing well of the Maharaja and his kindom.164

Third and the Last Campaign of Kashmir (1819)

In the beginning of May 1819, a large army assembled at Wazirabad. The army was divided into three big sections. One was led by Misar Diwan Chand, Zafar Jang Bahadur, and Sardar Sham Singh Attariwala and second contingent was placed under the command of Prince Kharak Singh. The third contingent, under the command of the Maharaja, stayed back at Wazirabad, as a reserve force.165

The overall command of the expedition was entrusted to Prince Kharak Singh.166 The Maharaja released Sultan Khan, the chief of Bhimber, who had been in prison of the former for the last seven years and sent him along with his expedition to Kashmir. He was useful to the Sikhs.

The Sikhs were confronted with Jabar Khan, the governor of Kashmir, who had 12000 horsemen and foot-soldiers at his command.167 There was a fierce fighting and the Sikh forces were reinforced by the Nihang contingent of Phula Singh. Jabar Khan was wounded and he escaped to Peshawar.168 The Khalsa army captured the fort of Shergarh and other outposts. The Sikh army entered Srinagar on July 4, 1819.169

Conquest of Peshawar First Invasion (1818)

A dispute between Kamran, the son of Shah Mahmud, and Wazir Fateh Khan, resulted in the torturous murder of the latter in 1818.170 This provided the Maharaja with needed opportunity to move his forces to Attock.

Ranjit Singh personally led an army across Attock wading through the swollen river.171 Many Pathans were murdered and the alive raised the white flag accepting a humiliating surrender. Akali Phula Singh fought bravely in this battle.

Second Expedition (1818)

An army was sent towards Peshawar again in 1818. Yar Muhammad, the governor of Peshawar, evacuated the town and the Sikh army entered it172 on November 20, 1818. With the beat of drum it was announced that peace was to be restored in Peshawar.173 The Maharaja appointed Jahandad Khan, the former qiladar of Attock, as the governor of Peshawar.174

Ranjit Singh had earlier taken Kashmir from Jabar Khan and Attock from Jahandad Khan. Therefore, Azim Khan was incensed and exercised against Ranjit Singh. He wanted to engage himself in a decisive battle with the Maharaja.

The Maharaja demanded tribute from Yar Muhammad, the governor of Peshawar, in December 1829. He sent a few good horses to Lahore Durbar. Muhammad Khan, resenting the humiliating attitude of his brother Yar Muhammad, started from Kabul for Peshawar, at the head of a large army. Yar Muhammad evacuated Peshawar under the plea that he was unable to check the progress of the Afghan forces towards Peshawar. He hid himself in the hills of the Yusufzais.

Muhammad Azim Khan occupied Peshawar without any resistance and declared a crusade against the Sikhs.175 The services of hundreds of maulvis and religious preachers were secured to preach religious frenzy among the Muslims against the Sikhs.

General Ventura was for immediate attack on the crusaders.176 The memorable and most bloody fighting took place at Naushehra, between Attock and Peshawar, on March 14, 1823. It is also known as the battle of Tibbi Tehri. In this battle the strength of the Lahore army was estimated to be between 20,000 and 25,000 and that of the Afghans about 20,000.177 The contending forces came face to face with each other. Akali Phula Singh, Garbha Singh, Karam Singh Chahal and Balbhadur (of Gurkha platoon), all of them men of distinction, died fighting and Mahan Singh Kumedan was seriously wounded.178 The Sikh forces became very furious and the crusaders took to their heels. Azim Khan got unnerved on the death and desertion of his crusaders.179 He died of a broken heart on his way to Kabul.

The Sikhs captured many tents, guns, horses and camels belonging to the Afghans. As a result of this victory all territory from Jamrud to Malakand and from Banner to Khattak passed into the hands of the Maharaja. According to Lepel Griffin, “It was a critical contest and decided, once for all, whether Sikhs or Afghans should rule east of the Khaiber, the mountains of the N.W.F.”180 The Maharaja entered Peshawar ceremoniously on March 17, 1824.181

Expeditions against Sayyid Ahmad (1827-31)

In 1827, news came from Peshawar that one Khalifa Sayyid Ahmad had created a stir among the Yusufzais.182 Sayyid Ahmad, formerly known as Mir Ahmad, was the resident of Barelli.183

Khalifa incited his followers against Sardar Yar Muhammad who was accused of having accepted fealty to the Sikhs and had become an apostate.184 An army of forty thousand crusaders attacked Peshawar and occupied it. Yar Muhammad was killed185 in the fighting and his artillery was captured by Sayyid Ahmad in 1830.

The occupation of Peshawar by Sayyid Ahmad upset the Maharaja. He immediately ordered Prince Sher Singh and General Ventura to reoccupy Peshawar. There was a sanguinary fighting in Peshawar, Sayyid Ahmad and his men fled away and Peshawar came into the hands of Lahore forces.186

When the Lahore army returned from Peshawar Khalifa Sayyid Ahmad again raised insurrection in May 1831. The Khalifa and his adviser, Maulvi Asmail, were killed in an action187 and the Afghan rebellion came to an end.

Annexation of Peshawar to Lahore Kingdom (1834)

Dost Muhammad led a large army towards Peshawar. He gave the slogan of a crusade against the Sikhs and also sought the help of the chiefs of Kunduz, Qandhar, Derajat, Bahawalpur, etc., but received cold response as none wanted to risk his position against Ranjit Singh. The English were also approached for help but Dost Muhammad had to fight single-handed and lost Peshawar to the Sikhs.

No doubt, the occupation of Kabul by the Lahore Durbar forces was within their reach but Ranjit Singh never wanted it for the simple reason that he did not like to be always amidst warfare with the Afghans. He was keen to deliver the blessings of peace and calm to his subjects which could never be conferred on them in case his forces crossed the Khyber Pass. Ranjit Singh’s march into Kabul would have been branded as a naked aggression and he was also not sure of the role of the British in the eventuality of such an invasion.

In the early stages Ranjit Singh wanted to keep himself away from having the direct control of the Afghans or the tribesmen. Therefore, he kept the North West Frontier tribes and the Peshawar province under the local chiefs. But they did not prove strong, efficient and true to their salt, being indolent, shifty and undependable. The Maharaja also did not very much trust them. His Afghan governors of Peshawar, Jahandad Khan, Yar Muhammad Khan, Sultan Muhammad Khan and the Barakzai Sardars proved weak and unreliable. The Maharaja had chosen this course to prevent the flaring up of the Afghan’s emotional association with their land and their national feelings. He was keen to mellow down their antagonistic and irreconcilable behaviour and their open insubordination to the Sikh authority.

Ranjit Singh’s North West Frontier policy yielded historic results. The Afghans could not dare to invade from beyond the Indus during Ranjit Singh’s reign.

In fact, the Maharaja was not so much swayed by considerations of territorial gains as by bis keen desire to have a scientific North West Frontier—a frontier that would not, at any point of time, pose any threat to the security of the Sikh kingdom.

From the critical analysis of the contemporary, semi-contemporary and modern writers regarding the Maharaja’s policy towards the British the following categories of views emerge. (1) He was convinced that his friendship with the English should best serve his interests. (2) ‘He could never show courage of statesmanship.’ ‘He looked pathetic, helpless and inert.’ (3) He was convinced of the superior might of the British and he was awfully afraid of them. (4) He was a great statesman and knew his limitations. He adopted conciliatory policy toward the British as he understood the hard realities of the situation. His policy was not based on the fear of the British or cowardice.

According to Fauja Singh, the Anglo-Sikh relations under Ranjit Singh do not seem to lend support to the views conventionally admitted. It would be unjust to the Maharaja to say that he acted pusillanimously or unwisely in his dealings with the British. The views which attribute lack of courage or lack of statesmanship or Anglo-phobia to him seem to be quite unwarranted. Undoubtedly, he considered the British as a superior power, more efficient, better organised and commanding greater resources but that does not necessarily mean that he was mortally afraid of them. Similarly, the fact that his resources were smaller than those of the British does not essentially establish that he lacked the capacity or power to confront them in the battle-field. The Maharaja had raised and trained the Khalsa army in such a way as to be rated equal to the army of the East India Company. And also, there is not much justification in saying that the Maharaja had taken such a view of his friendship with the British as to allow his attachment to them to outweigh all other considerations. Diplomatic statements made on formal occasions cannot be taken as a true index to the inner working of a statesman’s mind.188 When the British friendship served his interests he maintained and honoured it. When this friendship was no more helpful to him there was a change in the tone and temper of the Lahore chief as noticed by Captain Wade in November 1837. The Maharaja was feeling uneasy about the British manoeuvres in Sind and Afghanistan. From 1836 onwards, he adopted a friendly attitude towards Nepal which was bitterly anti-British at that time.

From 1827 onwards, the Maharaja had lot of troubles from the side of the north-west frontier. Dost Muhammad wanted to capture Peshawar by force. So, under these circumstances, if the Maharaja had to take a decision regarding the British he must keep in mind the situation in the north-west of his kingdom. “Whether it was Ferozepur or Shikarpur or the Navigation Treaty or the signing of the Tripartite Treaty he had to make his decisions in full consciousness of the fact that he would surely be stabbed in the back in case he chose to go to war with the British. In such a case while his success against the British would be problematical, his loss of the Peshawar region to the Afghans was something which could not be avoided.”189 So, to be able to fight against the British Ranjit Singh must come to terms with Dost Muhammad and that was not possible without surrendering Peshawar to him and the surrender of Peshawar meant virtually losing the whole of the trans-Indus Afghan belt. Then, the Afghans could also think of crossing Indus in a bid to make territorial gains from the Maharaja’s kingdom. By fighting two enemies at the same time, that is, the British on the eastern front and the Afghans on the western front, Ranjit Singh could not risk the very existence of his kingdom. Thus, Ranjit Singh had to deal with the British pressures under extremely difficult circumstances and the policy he adopted in respect of the British was, undoubtedly, the best-suited and the wisest one and at any stage of his life the reversal of this policy would have, in all probability, led to the liquidation of his kingdom carved out so diligently and strenuously.

Place in History

Ranjit Singh has been likened to many historical personages as Sher Shah Suri, Napoleon, Bismarck, Abraham Lincoln, Shivaji and Haider Ali. In fact a person cannot be compared reasonably to another person so long as the circumstances of both were not similar. The circumstances under which Ranjit Singh carved his way to a kingdom were more unfavourable than those faced by most of the above mentioned great men of history. The Indian rulers, as referred to above, had to fight only against the Mughals but Ranjit Singh created a big state despite the opposition and hostile attitude of the Marathas, the British, the Afghans and the Sikh chiefs of the various Misals of the Punjab. He was a great conqueror who got liberated permanently the north- west frontier of the Punjab from the control of Afghanistan.

He gave a very efficient administration to the people and united the scattered and divided portions of the Punjab into a strong and well-welded kingdom. He re-organised his army on the western style and transformed it into an invulnerable force to reckon with. He was a statesman par excellence. He exhibited a wonderful grasp of the political and military situations confronting him. Undoubtedly, Ranjit Singh was the last great constructive genius among the Sikhs. He died on June 27, 1839, in the full blaze of glory.

Maharaja Kharak Singh

Ranjit Singh’s eldest son, Kharak Singh, formally ascended the gaddi on September 1, 1839.190 In the words of Murray, Kharak Singh “was weak, almost imbecile and utterly incapable of controlling the elements of disorder which the removal of firm hand of Ranjeet would release from confinement.”191 According to Syad Waheed-ud-Din, “Prince Kharak Singh was utterly lacking in ambition and worldly sense. His real interest lay in praying, reading the Granth and sitting with legs folded and head bowed in the company of holy men.”192 Before his death on June 27, 1839, Ranjit Singh nominated Kanwar Kharak Singh as his successor and Raja Dhian Singh as his wazir.193 Dhian Singh conducted the affairs of the state according to the rules and laws practised under Ranjit Singh. Kharak Singh strictly enjoined upon all his courtiers to route every representation through Dhian Singh. Prince Naunihal Singh could not be present at the investiture ceremony of his father as the latter was apprehensive of his son’s designs. So, the ceremony was gone through hurriedly, without waiting for the arrival of Naunihal Singh who had to come from Peshawar. The Kanwar was against Dhian Singh. A serious danger to Dhian Singh’s authority was posed by Chet Singh Bajwa, a relation of Kharak Singh’s wife, Ishar Kaur, whom the Maharaja appointed his counsellor. At the time of his appointment Chet Singh was a raw youth in his early twenties. He lived in the palace with the Maharaja. He wanted to become an independent minister and was contriving to remove Dhian Singh.194 In the words of M’Gregor, “Chet Singh had nothing to recommend him but arrogance and sycophancy.”195 The appointment of Chet Singh was a great blunder on the part of Kharak Singh as none liked him. The Dogras felt angry because Dhian Singh had been degraded. Another factor, which turned the scales against the Maharaja, was his being too soft or lenient towards the British. He was said to have yielded to every demand of theirs, whether it was reasonable or unreasonable.

The Dogra Sardars, Faqir Aziz-ud-Din and a few other important courtiers implored the Maharaja to keep Chet Singh away from him. At a secret meeting Dhian Singh showed two letters written by Chet Singh, bearing the seal of Kharak Singh. Through these letters the Maharaja wanted British help and expressed willingness to pawn his kingdom at 38 per cent of the revenues.196 In all probability, these were forged letters but were accepted as genuine. A decision was made to murder Chet Singh and to divest the Maharaja of all powers and to entrust Kanwar Naunihal Singh with the responsibility of running the administration.197

The decision was carried out in full, on October 8, 1839.198 From this time onwards, Kharak Singh was deprived of all his administrative powers, and all authority passed into the hands of Naunihal Singh. He reinstated Dhian Singh as his wazir. The Kanwar had “all the energy and talents of his grandfather, though with less tact and caution.” He insisted on the British to remove the British agent Col. Wade from his post which was done. He was popular among all classes, especially the military. Kharak Singh died on November 5, 1840, at the age of thirty nine. The Kanwar (born on February 11, 1820) was murdered on the very day of his father’s cremation. Mian Udham Singh, son of Gulab Singh, who was with him, was also killed on the spot.

Maharaja Sher Singh

Kanwar Sher Singh, the second son of Ranjit Singh, was the next choice for the gaddi of Lahore. But Naunihal Singh’s mother, Chand Kaur, staked a claim of her own, telling that till the Kanwar’s pregnant wife delivered a child she should be accepted as a ruler.199 Sher Singh retired to Batala and Dhian Singh went to Jammu.200 The administration of the state under Chand Kaur suffered an immense setback. In her helplessness Rani Chand Kaur sent an urgent message to Dhian Singh to come to Lahore but he did not pay any heed to it. Rather he asked Sher Singh to proceed to Lahore at the head of an army to put an end to the Rani’s weak rule. Sher Singh entered the Lahore fort and was recognised as the Maharaja and Dhian Singh as the Prime Minister.201

When Sher Singh ascended the throne on January 20, 1841, all the chiefs, excepting the Sandhanwalias made, their obeisance to him.202 The Sandhanwalias were afraid of being penalised because of their opposition to Sher Singh. The new ruler had difficulties from the rank and file of the army. In order to seek their support the Maharaja had promised to raise their salaries. But there was not enough of money in the treasury to satisfy the soldiery. Sher Singh and Dhian Singh had to make strenuous efforts to bring about normalcy. Rani Chand Kaur was first poisoned and then battered with stones on June 9, I842.203 Undoubtedly, Sher Singh and Dhian Singh were party to this heinous crime. The Sandhanwalia Sardars murdered Sher Singh, his son Kanwar Partap Singh and Dhian Singh on the same day, September 15, 1843.204 Within the next twenty four hours, Ajit Singh and Lehna Singh, the Sandhanwalia Sardars, who were the assassins of Sher Singh and others, were done to death by Dhian Singh’s son, Hira Singh, with the help of the army. The third leader, Attar Singh Sandhanwalia, escaped, to the British territory.

Maharaja Duleep Singh

Prince Duleep Singh, who was just a five year old child at that time, was proclaimed the next Maharaja and Hira Singh was appointed special counsellor or the Prime Minister. Hira Singh’s elevation was not liked by his uncle, Suchet Singh. Hira Singh’s persistent harassment of Princes, Kashmira Singh and Peshaura Singh aroused strong feelings against him. A deputation of the army panchayats met Hira Singh and asked him to stop the campaign against the above referred to princes and release Rani Jindan’s brother, Jawahar Singh. Hira Singh immediately accepted the demand. In the next few months the army panchayats renounced their allegiance to Raja Hira Singh who, on the morning of December 22, 1844, secretly left Lahore, accompanied by his adviser Pandit Jalla, on his way to Jammu. They were pursued by Jawahar Singh, Sham Singh Attariwala and Mewa Singh Majithia, at the head of a large army, overtaken and killed.205

Rani Jindan wanted her brother Jawahar Singh to hold the office of wazir. The troops consented to Rani’s decision and he was formally installed in the office of the wazir on May 14, 1845.206 The appointment induced Prince Peshaura Singh to revolt against Lahore Durbar and proclaim himself the Maharaja instead of Duleep Singh. Jawahar Singh got Peshaura Singh captured and strangled to death on August 31, 1845.207 At the news of Peshaura Singh’ death Jawahar Singh expressed his joy by ordering the illumination of the city. This annoyed the army which issued orders in the name of the Khalsa summoning the Rani, Maharaja Duleep Singh and Jawahar Singh. On September 21, 1845, they proceeded to the camp of the army. Jawahar Singh was immediately separated from the party and killed.208 The Rani and her son were allowed to return.

Out of the three contestants for the office of the Prime Minister, Gulab Singh, Lal Singh and Tej Singh, Lal Singh was appointed the next Prime Minister and Tej Singh became the Commander- in-Chief of the Sikh army.209 The English were watching the happenings at Lahore Durbar with keen interest. Colonel Wade, Political agent at Ludhiana, while returning through the Punjab after Afghanistan’s expedition, collected political and geographical information relating to the Sikh territories.

Many factors led to the First Anglo-Sikh War which started in December 1845. Supremacy of the Khalsa army, British campaign of Rani Jindan’s vilification, Home Government of British East India Company’s pressure to go ahead with the conquest of the Punjab, war preparations of the British and their disregard to the protests of the Lahore Durbar, overtures of Gulab Singh, Broadfoot’s claim to the Lahore Durbar’s possessions in the cis-Satluj areas, etc., provoked the Sikh forces to meet the challenge of the British.

On December 12, 1845, the Sikhs crossed the Satluj and on December 13, the Governor- General, Lord Hardinge, issued a proclamation announcing war on the Sikhs.210 On December 18, a battle took place at Mudki, twenty miles from Ferozepur211 where the British suffered heavy casualties, amounting to 872 killed and wounded. The second action was fought three days later, i.e., on December 21, at Ferozeshahr,212 ten miles from Ferozepur. Lal Singh and Tej Singh joined the English. The British loss was 694 killed and 1721 wounded. Major Broadfoot, the political agent, was also killed in this battle. The Sikhs lost about 2000 men. The British suffered a severe reverse at Baddowal on January 21, 1846,213 but retrieved their position at the battle of Aliwal, a week later, on January 28, 1846.214 The last battle was fought at Sabraon on 10th February, 1846.215 Sham Singh Attariwala, a symbol of the unflinching will and valiant spirit of the Khalsa, fell fighting heroically in the foremost ranks. The British emerged victorious.

The Governor-General entered Lahore on February 20, and on March 9, 1846, a treaty of peace was concluded between the English and the Lahore Durbar. All territories between the Beas and the Satluj were annexed.216 The strength of the Sikh army was limited to 20,000 infantry and 12,000 cavalry. Kashmir was sold to Gulab Singh to recover war indemnity from the Durbar, On December 16, 1846, a new treaty was signed at Bharowal217 and ratified on December 26. Henry Lawrence was appointed Resident at Lahore, “with full authority to direct and control all matters in every department of the state.” This treaty was to remain in operation till Maharaja Duleep Singh attained the age of 16, on 4th September 1854. The Sikh Sardars resented this gradual liquidation of the sovereignty of the Sikh state. On the night of August 19-20, 1847, Rani Jindan was taken to Sheikhupura where she was interned in the fort.218

The new British government faced a rebellion in the Sikh province of Multan. When Kahan Singh, accompanied by two British officers, Vans Agnew and W.A. Anderson, went to Multan to take charge from Diwan Mool Raj the soldiers rebelled and killed both the English officers.219 The Multan challenge was deliberately ignored by the Governor-General, under the pretext of the approaching hot weather. The real reason for inaction was the desire of the British to let the insur- rection spread so that they could finally resort to a large scale offensive and abrogate the sovereignty of the Sikhs. The British further provoked the Sikhs by exiling Rani Jindan to Banaras. Her annual allowance of one and a half lakhs of rupees was reduced to twelve thousand and her jewellery worth fifty thousand rupees was forfeited. From Banaras she escaped to Nepal.220

Captain James Abbott, who was an adviser to Chattar Singh Attariwala, the governor of Hazara, started instigating the Muslim population of the province against the Sikh ruler. Chattar Singh’s daughter was engaged to Maharaja Duleep Singh. The Resident of Lahore was requested to fix the date for the royal wedding. The Resident regarded this proposal with disfavour and did not concede the request of the Sardar. Captain Abbott’s constant instigation led up to a crisis in Hazara. When the Muslims attacked Chattar Singh, Commandant Canora, an American officer, at Hazara, refused to obey the orders of the Sardar saying that he would take orders only from Abbott. In the fray with the Sikhs, Canora was killed. Chattar Singh was forced to relinquish the governorship of Hazara and was deprived of hisjagir.221 His son, Sher Singh, who was a member of the Resident’s Council, joined his father.222 The situation suited Lord Dalhousie to carry out his designs of annexing the Punjab. Battles were fought at Ramnagar on November 22, 1848, at Chelianwala on January 13, 1849, and at Gujrat on February 21, 1849.

Chattar Singh and Sher Singh were finally defeated. On March 14, 1849, the Sikh soldiers surrendered Rawalpindi before Major General Gilbert. Lord Dalhousie proclaimed annexation of the Punjab on March 29, 1849, and young Duleep Singh affixed his signatures to the fatal document which deprived him of his crown and kingdom. He was reduced from a sovereign ruler to an exile, to be at the mercy of the British government of India and England.

Of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s seven sons, Duleep Singh was the youngest, having born on September 6, 1838. At the time of his father’s death he was only two ‘years, five months and twenty four days old. Duleep Singh was in the thirteenth year of his age when he was deprived of his ancestral kingdom.

Dr Sir John Login, a man of kindly disposition and amiable manners, was appointed to look after Duleep Singh. Soon after, the young Maharaja was shifted from Lahore to Fatehgarh, in the district of Farukhabad in U.P. He was thoroughly surrounded by Christians and he played only with the Christian children. He is said to have himself abandoned the idea of marrying Chattar Singh’s daughter. For some time, two daughters of the Raja of Coorg were considered for the purpose but later that proposal was also dropped. Duleep Singh was turned against his mother, Rani Jindan, by Mr Login and others. He refused to see her. In November 1850, Duleep Singh suddenly announced his desire to embrace Christianity. He was kept on probation for two years and on March 1, 1853, he was admitted into the Christian Church by baptism.223

On April 19, 1854, the young Maharaja sailed from Calcutta for England where he was given the honour due to a Maharaja. Soon after his arrival in London, the Maharaja was given a special audience by Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert.224 When he visited Rome he was honoured by the Pope.

When mutiny broke out in India in 1857, he showed no sympathy for the mutineers, nor any ambition for the recapture of his position as a king. In 1861, he came to India to take his mother to England, where both the son and the mother were kept apart. She died on August 1, 1863. Her dead body was allowed to be brought to India but the funeral rites of his mother were performed in the Bombay state under orders of the government and her ashes thrown in the Narbada river. He was not allowed to take her body to the Punjab lest there be a wave of sympathy for Duleep Singh.

On his return from India, he married, on June 7, 1864, Bamba Muller, the daughter of a German merchant, Ludwig Muller, stationed at Cairo. She produced six children—three sons and three daughters. On March 25, 1886, Duleep Singh addressed a letter to his countrymen expressing his desire to come to his land and become a Sikh again. When he was on his way to India he was arrested at Aden on April 21, 1886, by the orders of the viceroy, Lord Dufferin.225 His wife returned to England with her children. She died on September 18, 1887. The Maharaja went to France, where, with the help of the French government, he unsuccessfully tried to reach Pondicherry, the French colony in India. He, then, went to Russia from where he addressed a letter to Indian newspapers, which was published in October 1887, appealing to his countrymen to contribute one pice per person, a month, and the Punjabis to contribute one anna each, to help him to fight for his throne in the Punjab. But his plan fizzled out. He returned to France on November 3, 1888, and married on May 21, 1889, an English lady, Ada Douglas Wetherill. Despite the royal pardon to return to his family and home in England he continued to stay in a hotel in Paris. Duleep Singh died on October 22, 1893,226 poor and destitute, the former Maharaja of the Punjab. His body was removed to England by his son, Prince Victor, and laid to rest in the churchyard of Elveden Hall. All his children died issueless and the Sikh royalty, which Maharaja Ranjit Singh had established with great toil and statesmanship, came to an end but not without a flicker that momentarily burnt in Duleep Singh’s heart to show the path to freedom.

Notes and References

  1. Khushwaqat Rai, Tawarikh-i-Sikhan (1811), MS., Ganda Singh collection, Patiala, p. 130; Sohan Lal Suri, Umdat-ut-Tawarikh, Daftar II, Lahore, -1885, p. 2; Ganesh Das, Char Bagh-i-Punjab (1855), Amritsar, 1965. p. 134; Gian Singh, Tawarikh Guru Khalsa, Part-11, reprint 1970, p. 277; Lepel Griffin, Ranjit Singh, Oxford, 1905, p. 153; Muhammad Latif, History of the Panjab, (1891), reprint, Delhi, 1964, p. 337. Some modern writers wrongly name him as Budh Singh.
  2. Some writers believe that Desu was the nickname given to Budha Singh after his mare called Desi (Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p, 337; Gian Singh, op. cit., p. 227; Prem Singh Hoti, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, 3rd ed. Amritsar, 1931, pp. 17-18).
  3. Carmichael Smyth, A History of the Reigning Family of Lahore (1847), Patiala reprint, 1970, p. 14.
  4. Hari Ram Gupta, History of the Sikhs, Vol. IV Delhi, 1982, p. 293.
  5. Kirpal Singh, ‘Maharaja Ranjit’s Birth place, Gujranwala, The Panjab Past and Present. Vol. XVI- II, October, 1980, p. 20.
  6. Carmichael Smyth, op. cit., p. 5.
  7. Gian Singh, op. cit., p. 277; Waheed-ud-Din, The Seal Ranjit Singh, reprint, Delhi, 1976, p. 56.
  8. Carmichael Smyth, op, cit., p. 4.
  9. Lepel Griffin, op. cit., p. 153; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 337.
  10. Carmichael Smyth, op. cit., p. 5.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Prinsep, Origin of the Sikh Power in the Punjab and Political Life of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1834), Patiala reprint, 1970, p. 18; Ali-ud-Din Mufti, Ibratnama, Vol. I (1854), Lahore, 1961, p. 369; Carmichael Smyth, op. cit., p. 6; Muhammad Latif op. cit., p. 388.
  13. Carmichael Smyth, op. cit., p. 6.
  14. Ganesh Das Badebra, op. cit., p. 135; cf., Prinsep, op, cit., p. 18.
  15. Carmichael Smyth, op. cit., p. 6; Muhammad Latif, op. cit; p. 338; Lepel Griffin, op. cit., p. 154; Prem Singh Hoti, op. cit., p. 19.
  16. Bhagat Singh, Sikh Polity in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, Delhi, 1978, pp. 77-78.
  17. Ganesh Das Badehra, op. cit., p 135.
  18. Bute Shah, Tarikh-i-Punjab, Daftar, V (1848), MS., Ganda Singh collection, Patiala, pp. 2-3; Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 5; cf., M’Gregor, The History of the Sikhs, I (1846), Allahabad reprint, 1979, p. 149.
  19. Bute Shah, op. cit., p. 3.
  20. Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 338.
  21. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 5; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, pp 2-3.
  22. Muhammad Latif, op. cit., pp. 338-39; Prem Singh Hoti, op. cit., p. 21.
  23. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 8; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, pp. 3-4; Ali-ud-Din Mufti, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 373; Prinsep, op. cit., pp. 18-19; Baron Hugel, Travels in Kashmir and Punjab (1845), Patiala reprint, 1970, pp 270, 358; Lepel Griffin op. cit; p. 154.
  24. Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 339.
  25. Ali-ud-Din Mufti, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 375.
  26. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 9; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 4; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 339.
  27. Sohan Lal, op. cit., p. 10; Bute Shah, op. cit., p. 5; Ahmad Shah Batalia, Appendix to Sohan Lal Suri’s Umdat-ut-Tawarikh, Daftar I, p. 29.
  28. Bute Shah, op. cit, V, p. 4; Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., 11, p. 9.
  29. Qazi Nur Muhammad, Jang Nama (1765), (ed. Ganda Singh), Amritsar, 1939, p. 60.
  30. Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 3.
  31. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 11; Bute Shah. op. cit., V, p. 5.
  32. Qazi Nur Muhammad, op. cit., pp. 30-31.
  33. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, pp. 11-12; Ganesh Das Badehra, op. cit., p. 131; Rattan Singh Bhangu, Prachin Panth Prakash (1841), Amritsar, 1939, p. 390.
  34. Hari Ram Gupta, op. cit., IV, pp. 303-04.
  35. Prem Singh, Punjab da Samajak Ithas. Patiala, 1979, pp. 68-70.
  36. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 13; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 6; Ahmad Shah Batalia, Appendix Sohan Lal Sun’s Umdat-ut-Tawarikh, p. 29; Prinse p. op. cit., p. 31; M’Gregor, op. cit., I, p. 150; Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 135; Lepel Griffin, op. cit., 154. Some writers say that Charhat Singh died in 1774, when he was encamped on the bank of Basanti river where he had gone to support the cause of Brij Raj Deo, the eldest son of Ranjit Deo, the ruler of Jammu, against his younger brother Dalel Singh. But none of the contemporary Persian writers corroborate it. Murray seems to be the originator of this information which was followed and copied by the later writers like Kanaihya Lal and Muhammad Latif. But all writers are unanimous about the cause of death.
  37. Prinsep, op. cit., p. 31; Baron Hugel, op. cit., p. 359.
  38. Gordon, The Sikhs. London, 1904, p. 81.
  39. Bute Shah, op. cit., V., p. 7; Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 9; Ganesh Das Badehra, op. cit., p. 131; Ali-ud-Din Mufti, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 378; Carmichael Smyth, op, cit., p. 9; M’Gregor, op. cit., I, p. 152.
  40. Ali-ud-Din Mufti, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 378; Lepel Griffin, op. cit., p. 155.
  41. Ahmad Shah Batalia, op. cit., p. 29; Carmichael Smyth, op. cit., p. 9.
  42. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 15; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 8.
  43. Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 9.
  44. Prinsep, op. cit., pp. 41-42; Ali-ud-Din Mufti, op. cit., I, pp. 382-84; Carmichael Smyth, op, cit., p. 10.
  45. Ibid., p. 42.
  46. Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 341.
  47. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 20; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, pp. 9-10; Ali-ud-Din Mufti ,op. cit., I, p. 99.
  48. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 19.
  49. Ibid., p. 17.
  50. Hari Ram Gupta, History of the Sikhs, Vol. IV, Delhi, 1982, p. 309.
  51. Lepel Griffin, op. cit., p. 156; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 342; C.H. Payne, History of the Sikhs, London, n.d., p. 68.
  52. Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 10; Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 21; Prinsep, op. cit., p. 34; Lepel Griffin, op. cit., pp. 156-57.
  53. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 21; Prinsep, op. cit., II, p. 34, Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 343.
  54. Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 343; Prinsep, op. cit., p. 35; Baron Hugel, Travels in Cashmere and Punjab, London, 1845, p. 361.
  55. Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 10; Ali-ud-Din Mufti, op. cit., I, p. 278; Lepel Griffin, op. cit., p. 157.
  56. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 22; Bute Shah, op. cit., V. p. 12; Prinsep, op. cit., p. 35; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 343.
  57. Khushwaqat Rai, op. cit., p. 92; Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 22; Prinsep, op. cit., p. 36; Ali-ud- Din Mufti, op. cit., 1, pp. 278-79; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 12; Baron Hugel, op. cit., p. 361.
  58. Ahmad Shah Batalia, op. cit., p. 24; Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., 11, pp 24-26.
  59. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 26; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, pp. 15-16.
  60. Prinsep, op. cit., p. 36; Ahmad Shah Batalia, op. cit., p. 25; Gian Singh, op. cit., II, p. 285.
  61. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 27; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 16; Prinsep, op. cit., p. 37.
  62. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 28; Bute Shah, op. cit., V. p. 17; Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 137; J. Skinner, Haqaaiq-i-Rajgan, (MS, GS, collection), (1830), p. 105. A letter written by a Maratha vakil, at Delhi, to the Peshwa, at Poona, in May 1790, conveyed the news that, “a great Sikh Sardar, named Mahan Singh, died.” (DYMR-II, letter No. 15 dated May 1790, English version in Ganda Singh’s private collection, Patiala); Gian Singh, op. cit., II, p. 285. Some writers, depending on later or unreliable sources, fix Mahan Singh’s death in 1792, which is incorrect.
  63. Ahmad Shah Batalia, op. cit., p. 29.
  64. Hari Ram Gupta, op. cit., IV, p. 313.
  65. Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 344-45; cf., Prinsep, op. cit., pp. 37-38.
  66. James Browne, “History of the Origin and Progress of the Sicks.’ Early European Accounts of the Sikhs, (edited Ganda Singh), p. 43.
  67. Imam-ud-Din Husaini, Tarikh-i-Husain Shahi, (MS. 1798), quoted by Hari Ram Gupta, op. cit., p. 313.
  68. C.H. Payne, op. cit., pp. 69-70.
  69. Some writers wrongly consider Novembers, 1780, to be the date of his birth in place of November 13, 1780. The following books give November 13, as the date of Ranjit Singh’s birth: Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, pp. 17, 19; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 8; Diwan Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 6; Gian Singh, op. cit., p. 282; Tarikh-i-Makhzan-i Punjab by Mufti Ghulam Sarwar (1867- 68); Tarikh-i-Gujranwala by Gopal Das (1873); Tarikh-i-Punjab by Kanaihya Lal (1877) and Maharaja Ranjit Singh by Sita Ram Kohli (l933).
  70. Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 8.
  71. Ibid.
  72. Ibid., pp. 8-9.
  73. As told earlier Mahan Singh died in 1790, when Ranjit Singh was 10 years old and not 11 years as written by Ali-ud-Din Mufti or 12 years as written by Muhammad Latif and Prinsep. But Mufti agrees with Amar Naih and Sohan Lal that at the time of assumption of turban of royalty Ranjit Singh was 10 years old.
  74. Bute Shah, op. cit , V, pp. 1 -16; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p 346.
  75. Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 137; Ali-ud-Din Mufti, op. cit., I, p. 390.
  76. Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 137; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 346.
  77. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., Dafter II, pp. 32-33; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 19.
  78. Khushwant Singh, Ranjit Singh, London, 1962, p. 28.
  79. Forster, A Journey from Bengal to England, Vol. I, London, 1798, p. 295.
  80. Lepel Griffin, op. cit., p. 9.
  81. Imperial Records, Foreign Department, 24th December, 1798, No. 24.
  82. Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 140; Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., Daftar II, p. 39. Ranjit Singh gave this information to Captain Wade in 1827 (Wade’s letter, 31st May, 1831).
  83. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., Daftar II. p. 39; cf., Bute Shah, op. cit., V p. 22; Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 140.
  84. Imperial Records, Political Proceedings, 1799, No. 24; cf., Bute Shah, op. cit., V, pp. 22-23.
  85. Khushwant Singh, op. cit., p. 36.
  86. Ali-ud-Din Mufti, op. cit., I. p. 397.
  87. Sohan Lat Suri, op. cit., Daftar II, p. 40; cf., Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 22; Ali-ud-Din Mufti, I, p. 397; Gian Singh, op. cit., p. 290.
  88. Ibid., p. 41.
  89. Ibid., p. 41; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 23; Ali-ud-Din Mufti, op. cit. I, p. 398; Gian Singh, op. cit., p. 290.
  90. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 41; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 23; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 349.
  91. Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 24.
  92. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, pp. 42-43.
  93. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 46; Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 11; Khushwaqat Rai, op. cit., 138-39; Ali- ud-Din Mufti, op. cit., I, pp. 402-03.
  94. Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 12; Khushwaqat Rai, op. cit., p. 139.
  95. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 46; Khushwaqat Rai, op. cit., p. 140; Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 142; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 352.
  96. Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 12.
  97. Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 13; Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 49, Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 354.
  98. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 49.
  99. Ibid., p. 50; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 354.
  100. Amar Nath, op. cit; p. 16; Gian Singh, op. cit., p. 293; Bhagat Singh, Maharaja Ranjit Singh and His Times, New Delhi, 1990. pp. 35-36.
  101. Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 19.
  102. Khushwaqat Rai, op. cit., p. 144.
  103. Ibid., pp. 143-44.
  104. Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 19.
  105. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 51; Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 20; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 27; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 317.
  106. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., pp. 54-55.
  107. Ibid., pp. 56-57. The date of occupation of Amritsar has been given differently by different authors. According to Ali-ud-Din Mufti, (Vol. I, p. 404) and Ganesh Das (p. 146), Ranjit Singh. conquered Amritsar in 1803, and according to Amar Nath the occupation of Amritsar took place in 1802 (p. 27).
  108. Amar Math, op. cit., p. 36; Ali-ud-Din Mufti, op. cit., I, pp. 408-09.
  109. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 60; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 35.
  110. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, pp. 60-61; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, pp. 35-36.
  111. Ibid., pp. 65-66.
  112. Ibid., p. 62; Bute Shah, op. cit., V. pp. 38-39.
  113. Ibid., p. 64; Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 40, cf., Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 40.
  114. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 212.
  115. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 65.
  116. Ibid., pp. 68-69.
  117. Ibid., II, p. 67. Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 42; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., pp. 369-70; Gian Singh, op. cit., p. 253.
  118. Ibid., II, p. 86; Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 151; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 60.
  119. Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 52.
  120. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 87.
  121. Ibid., p. 90; Amar Nath, op. cit., pp. 53.54; Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 151.
  122. Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 152.
  123. Sohan Lat Suri, op. cit., II, pp. 100-01; Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 134.
  124. Ibid., pp. 97-98.
  125. Ibid., p. 98.
  126. Ibid., p. 92.
  127. Ibid, p. 101.
  128. Ibid., pp. 101-02.
  129. Ahmad Shah Batalia, op. cit., p. 34; Lepel Griffin, Rajas of the Punjab (1870), pp. 480-81.
  130. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 108.
  131. Ibid., p. 109; Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 61; M’Gregor, op. cit., I, p. 168.
  132. Ibid., p. 109; Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 61.
  133. Ahmad Shah Batalia, op. cit., p. 26; cf., Prinsep. op. cit., pp. 101-02.
  134. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II. p. 212.
  135. Bhagat Singh, Sikh Polity in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, New Delhi, 1978, pp. 153-54.
  136. Ibid., p. 155.
  137. Amar Nath, op. cit., pp. 22-23; Ahmad Shah Batalia, Appendix, op. cit., p. 30.
  138. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, pp. 57-58; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, pp. 32-33.
  139. Muhammad Latif, op. cit., pp. 307-08.
  140. Ali-ud-Din Mufti, op. cit., I. p. 421; Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 99; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 74.
  141. Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 55. According to Ali-ud-Din Mufti, the amount was one lakh rupees, (op. cit., Vol. I, p. 421).
  142. Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 140; M’Gregor, op. cit., I, pp. 176-77.
  143. Muhammad Latif, op, cit., p. 410.
  144. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 217; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 257; cf., Ali-ud-Din Mufti, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 448; Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 115; Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 308.
  145. Prinsep, op. cit., p. 93.
  146. Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 116.
  147. Ibid., Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 219-20.
  148. Ali-ud-Din Mufti, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 431; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 85.
  149. Fauja Singh. Some Aspects of State and Society under Ranjit Singh. New Delhi, 1982, p. 298.
  150. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 132; Bute Shah, op. cit., V. p. 85.
  151. Bute Shah, op. cit., V, pp. 88-89.
  152. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 140.
  153. Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 89.
  154. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 135.
  155. Ibid., p. 140.
  156. M’Gregor, op. cit., I, p. 170.
  157. According to N.K. Sinha, this battle took place on June 26, 1813, (Ranjit Singh, ed. 1945, p. 48).
  158. Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 155.
  159. Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 86; Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 156; M’Gregor, op. cit., I, p. 175.
  160. Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 82; M’Gregor, op. cit., I, p. 172.
  161. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 160; Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 360.
  162. Amar Nath, op. cit., II, p. 84.
  163. Ibid.
  164. Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 84; cf., Prinsep, op. cit., p. 85.
  165. M’Gregor, op. cit., I, p. 184.
  166. Sohan Lal Suri. op. cit., II, PP. 253-54.
  167. Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 130.
  168. Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 132; Ahmad Shah Batalia, op. cit; pp. 40-41; M’Gregor, op. cit., I. p. 185.
  169. Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 132.
  170. Amar Nath, op. cit; p. 119; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 160.
  171. Sohan Lal Suri, op, cit., II, p. 237; Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 119; Bute Shah. op. cit., V, p. 161.
  172. Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 119; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 161.
  173. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 238; Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 119; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 162.
  174. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 238; Amar Nath op. cit., p. 119.
  175. Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 202.
  176. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., II, p. 304.
  177. cf..Foreign Dept. Miscellaneous No. 128, 1823.
  178. Sohan Lal, op. cit., II, p. 304; Amar Nath, op. cit., p. 154; Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 316; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, pp. 201-02; Ahmad Shah Batalia, Appendix to Sohan Lal Suri, op, cit., Daftar, I, p. 44; Prinsep, op. cit., p.139.
  179. Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 316.
  180. Griffin, op. cit., p. 209.
  181. Sohan Lal, op. cit., II, p. 304; Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 202.
  182. Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 234.
  183. Ganesh Das. op. cit., p. 317.
  184. Amar Nath, op- cit., p. 179.
  185. Bute Shah, op. cit., V, p. 279.
  186. Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 318.
  187. Amar Nath, op. cit., pp. 193-94; M’Gregor, op. cit., I, p. 198.
  188. Fauja Singh, op. cit., pp. 368-69.
  189. Ibid., p. 370.
  190. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., IV, p. 25.
  191. Murray, W., History of the: Punjab and of the Rise and Progress, and Present Condition of the Sect and Nation of the Sikhs, Vol. II, London, 1846, p. 200.
  192. Waheed-ud-Din, The Real Ranjit Singh, reprint, Delhi, 1976, p. 151.
  193. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., III, part V, p. 147.
  194. Ganesh Das, Badehra, op. cit., p. 330.
  195. M’Gregor, op. cit., II, p. 5.
  196. Carmichael Smyth, op. cit., p. 28; Debi Prasad, Gulshan-i-Pmjab (1872), p. 42; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 497.
  197. Pearse Hugh (ed.). Soldier and Traveller, London, 1898, p. 215; cf., Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p, 497.
  198. Cunningham, A History of the Sikhs (1849), Delhi, 1955, p. 203; Ganesh Das Badehra, op. cit., p. 330; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 498.
  199. Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 501; Gian Singh, op. cit., p. 411.
  200. Ganesh Das Badehra, op. cit., p. 332; Carmichael Smyth, op. cit., p. 38; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 502; Gian Singh, op. cit, p. 411.
  201. Cunningham, op. cit., p. 212; Ganesh Das Badehra, op. cit., p. 334; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 507.
  202. Muhammad Naqi Peshawari, Sher Singh Nama (1843), ff. 26a-26b, MS., GS., English version published in Journal of the Punjab University, Historical Society, Lahore, Vol. VIII, April 1944, p. 107.
  203. Sohan Lal Suri, op. cit., IV, pp. 35-36.
  204. Cunningham, op. cit; p. 231; Ganesh Das Badehra, op. cit., p. 335; Gian Singh, op. cit., pp. 418-19.
  205. Ganesh Das Badehra, op. cit., p. 344; Carmichael Smyth, op. cit; pp. 129-31.
  206. Ganesh Das, op. cit., p. 344; Cunningham, op. cit., p. 242; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 532.
  207. Cunningham, op. cit., p. 244; Gian Singh, op. cit., p. 437; cf., Ganesh Das Badehra, op. cit., p. 347; B.R. Chopra, Kingdom of the Punjab (1839-45), Hoshiarpur, 1969, pp. 400-01.
  208. Carmichael Smyth, op. cit., pp. 149-50; Cunningham, op. cit., p. 245; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., pp. 535-36.
  209. Cunningham, op. cit., p. 246; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 537; B. R. Chopra, op. cit., p. 419.
  210. Ganda Singh (ed.), Maharaja Duleep Singh Correspondence, Patiala, 1977, introduction, p. 38.
  211. Cunningham, op. cit, p. 264; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 541.
  212. Cunningham, op. cit., p. 266.
  213. Ibid., p. 272; Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 544.
  214. Ibid., p. 275; Muhammad Latif, op, cit., p. 545.
  215. Ibid., p. 282; Dewan Ajudhia Parshad, Waqai-i-Jang-i-Sikhan (1850), English version published in Journal of the Pan jab University Historical Society, Vol. VIII April 1944, p. 88; Gian Singh, op, cit., p. 473.
  216. Cunningham, op. cit., p. 286.
  217. Muhammad Latif, op. cit., p. 556.
  218. Ganda Singh, op. cit., p. 52; cf., Ganesh Das Badehra, op. cit., p. 379.
  219. Ganesh Das, op. cit., pp. 384-85; Muhammad Lalif. op. cit., p. 559; Gian Singh, op. cit; p. 498.
  220. Ganesh Das Badehra, op. cit., pp. 380-81; Gian Singh, op. cit., pp. 504-05; Ganda Singh, op. cit., pp. 78-79.
  221. Gian Singh, op. cit., pp. 507-11.
  222. Ganda Singh, op. cit., pp. 60-61.
  223. Logan, Lady, Sir John Logon and Duleep Singh, London, 1890, pp. 297, 303-06.
  224. Ganda Singh, op. cit., pp. 83-84.
  225. Ibid., p. 101.
  226. Bhagat Singh, Maharaja Ranjit Singh and His Times, New Delhi, 1990, pp. 35-36.