Maharaja Ranjit Singh : The Lion of Punjab

Maharaja Ranjit Singh

Maharaja Ranjit Singh: The Legacy of a United Empire

Introduction:
Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the legendary ruler of the Sikh Empire, is remembered as a visionary ruler who united the divided Sikh Muslims and established a fertile and powerful empire in the Punjab. This article examines the life, achievements and legacy of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, with an emphasis on his sons and their contributions to the Sikh Empire. By examining the life and lives of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his successors, we can understand the legacy left by this dynasty.

Early Life and the Rise of Maharaja Ranjit Singh: Ranjit Singh Born on November 13, 1780, in Gujranwala, Punjab, Ranjit Singh belonged to the Sukerchakia Misl. Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s father was Maha Singh who was the head of Sukarchakia Misal. Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s grandfather’s name was Charat Singh who fought with Abdali in 18th century. Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s grandfather’s name was Budh Singh and he got amrit from Guru Gobind Singh.  When Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji was born, his father Sardar Maha Singh was fighting a war against the Chattis. As soon as they won the battle, a horse came running towards them from Gujranwala. When their soldier came and said that Singh Saab, a little Singh Saab has come to your house, then Maha Singh was very happy, shots were fired and cheers were raised. Then Maha Singh asks what the child’s name has been given, then the soldier says that Buddha Singh has given the name. Maha Singh then looks at the field and finds the dead bodies of his enemies. Maha Singh says today we have won the battle. This child’s name will be Ranjit Singh and not Buddha Singh. He was then named Ranjit Singh.

when Ranjit Singh was 5 years old, he got smallpox, then Maha Singh was going to occupy Jammu, he got the news that the child had a very bad disease, so they came back from there. The doctor again said that  This disease has a lot of effect on ranjit singh’s face. Ranjit Singh will not be able to see from one eye. Maha Singh joined his hands and acknowledged God.  when Maha Singh saw 5-year-old Ranjit Singh, his face was not worth seeing. The whole face was stained black. And his eye was suddenly closed. Then Maha Singh said, “My boy will be able to maintain my conquered territory. What did Maha Singh know that this child is going to rule the entire Punjab. This disease of Ranjit Singh had a great impact on his growth. he was a very thin child. His height was not very tall, his height was 5 feet 3 inches.  Ranjit Singh’s age was only 12 years. Then his father Sardar Maha Singh passed away. Ranjit Singh was made the head of Sukarchakiya Misal. Since Ranjit Singh was very young, his mother handled all the work. Then he was sent to study. Ranjit Singh had no interest in studies. His family used to send him to study, neither did he study himself nor did he let his friends study. On the way from home to study, he used to play hunting with his friends. Since his childhood, he was fond of playing swordsmanship and horse riding.

fight with father’s enemy : When Maharaja Ranjit Singh was 13 years old, he once went hunting. The hunter went too far in pursuit of an animal and entered the enemy’s territory. Hasmat Khan Chatha had come to play hunting from the front. Who was the enemy of Ranjit Singh’s father. When he saw 13-year-old Ranjit Singh. He says that today he has a chance, today he would kill Sukarchakia’s successor. Hasmat Khan attacked Ranjit Singh. Ranjit Singh stopped this attack, after that 13-year-old Ranjit Singh attacked Hasmat Khan’s head and threw it. And send a message to the Chathas that if you want the head of your chief, accept my submission and accept me as chief. From here Ranjit Singh’s discussions started to be noisy. Ranjit Singh started occupying other areas. 

Become maharaja of lahore : Ranjit Singh was now 19 years old and had achieved victories in many areas. when Ahmad Shah Abdali’s grandson Shah Jaman occupied the fort of Lahore, there he robbed and beat people a lot and their belongings were stolen, and their dignity was also played with. 19-year-old Ranjit Singh reaches outside the fort of Lahore and challenges Abdali’s grandson, that Abdali’s grandsons come out and Chadat Singh’s grandson is challenging you. Abdali’s grandson did not go out in fear. Shah Zamaan remained hidden inside the fort with his troops. From there, Ranjit Singh was allowed to return. After some months, Ranjit Singh drove him away from Punjab so much that he did not enter Punjab again. Then the people of Lahore wrote a letter to Ranjit Singh that now you should come to Lahore Fort and we will accept you as king.  at the age of 19, Ranjit Singh went and captured the fort of Lahore and was declared the Maharaja. Such a 19-year-old youth became the king of Lahore. A year later he was crowned. When Maharaja Ranjit Singh was crowned and he was asked to sit on the throne, Maharaja Ranjit Singh refused to sit on the throne saying that I will not sit on the throne who has oppressed the Sikhs so much. Throughout his reign thereafter, he sat on a sheet or in a chair listening to people’s complaints.

Marriages:  Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s first marriage took place in Batale in 1796 with Matab Kaur, daughter of Sardar Jai Singh of Kanhaiya Misal and daughter of S. Gurbaksh Singh. Maharaja Sher Singh and Kanwar Tara Singh were born from her womb. She died in 1813.

their second marriage. got happened with Datar Kaur, the daughter of ran singh Nakai Rais, in 1798. Her original name was Raj Kaur. But because Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s mother’s name was also Raj Kaur, it was named Datar Kaur. Maharaja Kharak Singh, the elder son of Maharaja Sahib was born from her womb. Maharaja Sahib used to call it as “Nakayan”. The Queen died in 1818.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh got married to Jind Kaur, daughter of Sardar Manna Singh Aulakh Jat, a resident of village Char, district Sialkot (Pakistan). Maharaja Dalip Singh was born from her womb. After taking over the state of Punjab, the British imprisoned her first in Sheikhupure (Pakistan) and then in the fort of Chunar (Uttar Pradesh). She left this fort in the guise of a fakir and went to Nepal. She lived there with dignity. His son Maharaja Dalip Singh was taken to England by the British. She reached England to meet him in 1861. He died there in 1891.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s fourth marriage took place in the year 1811 with Sardarni Ratan Kaur, the widow of Sardar Sahib Singh Rais Gujarat. Kanwar Multana Singh was born from her womb.

Maharaja Sahib’s fifth marriage took place with Daya Kaur. Kanwar Kashmira Singh and Kanwar Pasora Singh were born from her womb. He died in 1843

Army History: After taking up his position in Lahore, Ranjit Singh thought of expanding the boundaries of his empire to become the Emperor of the Panjab in the true sense of the word. There were several hostile elements that the Emperor had to control. The Nawab of Kasur did not make up his mind to confirm Ranjit Singh as the ruler of Lahore. Along with Sahib Singh, leader of Bhangi Misl, he thought of challenging the power of Ranjit Singh. Ranjit Singh himself led an army to overthrow the Bhangi ruler of Gujarat and another group was placed under his trusted friend, Fateh Singh Kallianwala. Both the Bhangi chief and the Kasur nawab were subdued and accepted the supremacy of Ranjit Singh.

Ranjit Singh then turned to the holy city of Amritsar. With the help of his soldiers and his mother-in-law, Rani Sada Kaur, he went to Amritsar and attacked the Gobindgarh fort where the Bhangi forces were captured. Taking out the attacking army, Bhangi’s army started firing on Ranjit Singh’s forces. To avoid any damage to the Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple) and Akal Takhat in the fierce battle, Ranjit Singh did not fire back but managed to secure the surrender of the Bhangi army through negotiations with the help of Akali Phoola Singh . He annexed Amritsar to his empire and brought the famous Zamzama weapon to Lahore, which proved very useful to the Emperor in his future military campaigns. He paid homage to Harmandir and Akal Takhat and made valuable offerings in gratitude

When he won the territory of Afghanistan in 1805, he wanted to make a treaty. Maharaja Ranjit Singh used to say that those who brought the thigh to the door of Somnath temple in India, should return it to us. 800 years ago, Ghajni had taken him to Darwaja and now Maharaja Ranjit had brought him back. Bhai Sangat Singh ji’s family took money from their treasury and took Guru Gobind Singh ji’s kalgi from them. Every morning after getting up and taking a bath, he used to apply Kalgi to his forehead and then go to work in the state department.

1809 – 1823: Expansion of the Sikh Empire to include Multan, Peshawar and Kashmir and defeat of the Afghans

i) Treaty of Friendship with British: Ranjit Singh’s continued influence in the neighboring territories greatly alarmed the British Government, who by then had conquered the entire sub-continent, halting their routes only at the Sutlej river with the Sikhs. So the British intervened to stop Ranjit Singh’s advance eastwards by annexing the Sutlej states. These states also feared the emperor’s expansionist policies and signed and took refuge under the British.

A subsidiary of the British Government. In 1809, Ranjit Singh signed a treaty of friendship and peace with the British in which he agreed not to interfere in the affairs of the Sutlej chiefs. In return, the British government recognized Ranjit Singh’s sovereignty over the Punjab and agreed to extend it to the northwest.

ii) Conquest of North West: Ranjit Singh was able to enter this region while advancing to the eastern region under the Treaty of 1809.​​​​​​​​ ​​​​ After consolidating his hold on Kasur, Sialkot and Sheikhupura, Ranjit Singh turned to Multan, which, apart from its strategic military importance, was also an important commercial centre. Ranjit Singh sent an army of 20,000 men under the command of his son Kharak Singh and General Diwan Chand. The artillery, including the Samsama cannon, was under the command of General Elahi Bakhsh. Ranjit Singh’s army successfully captured the forts of Muzaffargarh and Khangarh. Muzaffar Khan put up a strong resistance but Multan was killed in the attack and captured by the invading army. He then marched into Hazara and soon captured Peshawar. The tables were turned against the Afghan invaders for the first time in Indian history when one of India’s native kings brought the most violent tribes of the north-west frontier under control through his wisdom and bravery. In 1819, Ranjit Singh donated the beautiful valley of Kashmir.
It was at this point that Hari Singh Nalwa, his trusted general, extended the empire across the Afghan border to the Khyber Pass. This was a historic achievement because after that there would not be a foreign invasion from Afghanistan into the subcontinent.

1823 – 1839 : Further consolidation and expansion.

It was during this phase that General Zorawar Singh, acting under the military command of Gulab Singh (a Dogra minister in Ranjit Singh’s cabinet), led extensive military expeditions into Ladakh (1834), Baltistan (1840) and Tibet (1841).

During the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Punjab enjoyed international fame mainly because of the Sikh army, which at that time was equal to any armed force in the world.

Once a 20-year-old youth named Mohanlal Kashmiri was on his way to Central Asia in 1832 when he happened to attend a royal durbar on a national festival in Mashhad, Iran. The chief prince was Abbas Mirza, the father of the King of Iran. The prince asked Mohanlal if Ranjit Singh’s court was a good match for what he had just seen and if the Sikh army could be compared to the Sirbas (regular Iranian army) in terms of discipline and bravery.

Mohanlal replied simply but firmly that Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s durbar tent was made of Kashmiri shawls and the floor was made of the same precious material; As for his army, if Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa were to cross the Indus, the king wished to pardon his native Tabriz immediately.

General of the Emperor: Some of the most important and famous names include (among others):

Hari Singh Nalwa  

Diwan Mokham Chand

Gulab Singh Pahuvindhya – The Famous General Belonging to the Family Tree of Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Ji of Saheedan Misl[ –

Akali Phula Singh

Jassa Singh Ahluwalia

Sham Singh Athariwala

Gems and Relics from the ‘Toshakhana’ (treasure house) of Maharaja Ranjit Singh : Maharaja Ranjit Singh created a unique collection of jewelry and artifacts. The world famous Koh-i-Noor is the most valuable in the jewelery category and is a part of Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s brand of kalgi. In addition to the remains of the Sikh Guru, Toshkhana Maharaja also housed the shoes, staff and books of the Prophet Muhammad that his father Maha Singh received from Pir Muhammad Chatha after his defeat in the war. in Rasulnagar. According to popular tradition, the Emperor showed the same respect for the relics of the Prophet Muhammad that he showed for the relics of the Sikh Gurus. The Maharaja started his day by listening to Gurbani in the morning and reciting Guru Granth Sahib ji steps (orders of the day). Before starting the day’s proceedings, the Maharaja respectfully placed Guru Gobind Singh’s sacred garland on his eyes and forehead. He had such deep faith in Guru Granth Sahib that he never took any important decision without seeking guidance from the spiritual scriptures.

In keeping with the same tradition as the Khalsa Panth, Ranjit Singh neither wore a crown nor sat on a throne.

The great wealth and riches of the Maharaja are not only the envy of the kings of India today but also the officers of the East India Company. The following account by Henry Edward Fane, nephew of Colonel Wade ADC, British Political Agency stationed in Ludhiana, describes the British astonishment at the Maharajah’s impressive collection: impressive. The minister’s son, especially his favorite at the time (Hira Singh) was a real goldsmith. There is mass, neck, hands and feet. Chain, arm and girdle, covered with pearls, diamonds and rubies, one. above the other, so thick that it is difficult to see anything underneath.”

The emperor always showed great respect to the religious places respected by his subjects who are Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. The emperor made tax-free donations to religious places and made expensive donations to Javalamukhi Mandir and Baba Farid temple in Pak Pattan. Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar received special attention and respect from the Emperor. Under the order of the Emperor, the entire temple was decorated with beautiful decorations and flowers and the walls and roof of Harmandir Sahib were covered with gold, known as Swaran Mandir or Golden Temple. temple Whenever the Emperor visited the Harmandir Sahib to seek the Guru’s blessings, he offered a valuable gift, which was kept in the Toshakhane (treasury) of the Harmandir Sahib. Umbrella inlaid with 20 kilograms of gold and studded with diamonds, emeralds, pearls and rubies, jeweled bracelets, sword with a jeweled gold handle.

And peacocks made of pearls, sapphires and gold and other precious gems with diamonds, rubies and other precious stones were offered by the Emperor to the temple.

He was responsible for scientific progress and promoting industry and commerce. The Kashmiri pashmina shawl industry was revived and the shawls started being exported to European countries. Multan silk became famous. Existing roads have been repaired and made safer and new unpaved roads open up the city. The condition of small towns such as Adina Nagar (Gurdaspur), Phillaur, Amanabad has improved a lot. The Punjab witnessed prosperity and glory under Ranjit Singh

humble king: Once there was famine in the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh ji, the crops died. So Maharaja Ranjit Singh ji opened the treasury of his state and gave permission to take as much grain as you can. And when a hungry old cobbler heard, he and his grandson filled a very heavy bag of grain. This pand was not taken from him and his grandson. And Maharaja Ji was standing on one side in ordinary clothes and he asked the cobbler to pick up your pand and leave your house? And the cobbler said yes. And Maharaja Ranjit Singh took the pand and took it to his house. When the Maharaja kept this pand in his house, then he saw that it was Maharaja Ranjit Singh, then the cobbler started falling at his feet. And Maharaja Ranjit Singh ji talked to the cobbler and said that you are my wings with the help of which I want to fly.

Interact with Children : Once the children were playing and plucking berries and fruits. At that time Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji was passing by and this stone accidentally hit Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji. The army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh ji caught that child and said that you killed Maharaja Ranjit Singh ji and then they said that we had beaten a berry to break a berry. If she gives, then I am the Maharaja, so I also have a duty to give something. In this way, Maharaja Ranjit Singh ji gave gold coins to the child and asked him to play.

Lore

Kindness of Maharaja Ranjit Singh:  He was so kind that he used to kill the man only in the war, when the war was won, he would also hug his enemy, saying that if you were killed, you would be killed in the war, now killing you would also give them money in return so that he don’t starve If he cannot keep his enemy hungry, then how can he let the people of Punjab stay hungry.  They used to say don’t call me Maharaja, call me Bhai Sahib. 

 

Punjab ‘s position when Maharaja Ranjit Singh take over: When Maharaja Ranjit Singh ji saved Punjab, Punjab was very unbalanced and scattered, Maharaja Ranjit Singh united Punjab and made it very beautiful. For the last hundred years, Afghans used to come and occupy Punjab every third day, but during the 40-year reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, not a single person came from outside and occupied Punjab. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the first person to chase away the Afghan invaders from India. They not only chased them away but also conquered many areas of Afghanistan and found them in Punjab.

Diversity of Khalsa raaj: Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a Sikh and the name of his kingdom was Khalsa Raj and the kingdom of his court was Khalsa, but he never oppressed Hindus or Muslims, nor harassed them. There were brave Sikhs like Hari Singh Nalwa in his army, and ministers like Fakir Azizuddin in his government, and wise Hindus like Diwan Mohakam Chand in his court, who brought Char Chand to his court. Maharaja Ranjit Singh had the Holy Quran translated into Punjabi for the first time, Maharaja Ranjit Singh was such a secular king. He served gold for Harminder Sahib Similarly, they built the two holiest temples (among others) in the Sikh religion. These are Takht Sri Patna Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, and Takht Sri Hazur Sahib, where Guru Gobind Singh left his human form, in Nanded, Maharashtra in 1708 and  they also helped in temples and mosques.

 also donated a lot for temples and mosques. When Maharaja Ranjit Singh was crowned, he came to bow down in two mosques of Lahore.

Death : On June 27, 1839, due to a terrible illness, the greatest king of the world Maharaja Ranjit Singh ji gave up his life. And 10 years after his death, the British took possession of Punjab.

Kohinoor : The glory of the treasure of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji, Kohinoor. Kohinoor was not worth the money. The diamond went to whoever had the strength to take it.
The first diamond mines were in India. The Kohinoor diamond is known for its beauty and strength. This diamond was found in the mine of Gol Khanda. A curse is also attached to it that the person who wears it will be destroyed. The same happened.

it was given to Shah Jahan after it came out of the mine. When this diamond was in Shah Jahan’s possession, Shah Jahan cut this Italian diamond to increase its brilliance. Means the rub from the outside of the diamond brought the shine. This diamond of 793 carats remained 186 carats. After that this diamond came to Aurangzeb and after Aurangzeb’s death came to his family. After that this diamond went to Nader Shah when he captured Delhi. Ahmad Shah Abdali took away this diamond from him.

Nader Shah named this diamond Kohinoor. Nader Shah got this diamond after winning the war. Nader Shah died a few years after getting Kohinoor. Ahmed Shah Abdali has permission to have this diamond with Shah Sujaa. When Shah Sujaa reached Sri Nagar and its king Juwar Khan found out that the most valuable diamond was with Shah Sujaa, he imprisoned Shah Sujan in 1817 but he kept this diamond hidden and Shah Suja’s wife I thought that only Maharaja Ranjit Singh could help me in Asia

After this she meets Maharaja Ranjit Singh ji and says that my husband has been imprisoned in Shergari fort. Which is in Sri Nagar. If you release my husband from that prison. Then I will give you the most precious diamond. After which Maharaja Ranjit Singh ji attacked Sri Nagar 2 times. The first time it was snowing and the second time when they attacked in the summer, Hari Singh Naluaji and Bahadur Singh were with them. After which Shergari was attacked. 350 Sikhs were martyred while conquering Shergarh. He was cremated in Srinagar. Gurudwara Shaheed Ganj is there today. After that Shah Suja was released from there and brought to Lahore, then Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji said that I have fulfilled my promise and now you fulfill your promise and give us the Kohinoor diamond as promised. Being a precious diamond, Shah Sujaa Mukergaya and Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji said that you are in my prison, if I want, I can take this diamond even by imprisoning you and your wife, but a Guru’s Sikh does not do that, I will not take advantage of your compulsion. I want you to tell me how much it costs to sell that diamond. That diamond was worth 200,000 stamps. Maharaja Ranjit Singh added that diamond to his kingdom by giving 200,000 seals. The British took this diamond from Dilip Singh. Today it is kept in England. This diamond went to the British in 1849 and an Englishman named Dalogi found it and gave it to a slave of the East India Company. The people of the East India Company gave this diamond to Queen Victoria for some money. And Rani J cut it from 186 carats to make it 105.6 carats in 1852. Queen Victoria used to wear it only on special occasions. The queen has clearly written that no king can wear it, only the king’s wife can wear it. At that time, most of the places were ruled by Britain. Later the British rule gradually ended. The British cut this diamond into 2 parts to end the curse of this diamond. After that something got better. The statue has 6 broken pieces today

Maharaja Ranjit Singh Empire:  Is it a military monarchy? The monarchy was for centuries the only form of government in India and the Sikhs, although bound by democratic ideals, could not contemplate a representative government. Ranjit Singh refused to sit on the throne. His name was never written on the coin (but in the Guru’s name). Nanakshahi Coin. At that time rate of 1 nanakshahi coin is equal to 13 uk pounds. He kept the military in check and never used it as an instrument of tyranny. He established a Sikh state in the sense that the rulers were Sikhs holding power on behalf of the Khalsa, and the military was predominantly Sikh. It is in fact a heterogeneous state based on religious harmony and community cooperation which maintains relations with ordinary people. There is no dictatorship of one community over another. He said to Faqir Aziz ud Din, “God wanted me to see all religions with one eye, so he took out the light from the other.”

Ranjit Singh’s government was in fact characterized by a scrupulous adherence to rare rules of public conduct and social ethics, for example when the victorious army of the Khalsa passed through the streets of Peshawar, it gave strict orders to his Sardar (noble title – used to indicate the leader or leader of a race) to maintain moderation according to Sikh tradition, not to damage any mosque, not to insult any woman and not to destroy any crops. Do your best to follow the Master’s command: “Be patient in the midst of power, humble in the midst of honor.”

By all accounts, Ranjit Singh was a statesman who brought order and stability out of anarchy and chaos and made Punjab a force to be reckoned with.

Known for religious tolerance, social harmony and justice, the state of Ranjit Singh was the most progressive state in India.

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