Ranjit Singh’s 169th death anniversary

Around 300 Indian Sikh pilgrims will arrive at Wagah Border on a special train today (Saturday) to attend the 169th death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh belonged to a Jat family and was born in 1780 in Gujranwala. Ranjit Singh succeeded his father at the age of 12. After several war campaigns, his rivals accepted him as their leader and he united the Sikh factions into one large state.

Ranjit Singh took the title of maharaja on April 12, 1801 (coincided with Baisakhi Day). Lahore had been the capital of his empire since 1799.

Ranjit Singh’s samadhi is in Lahore at the Gurdwara Dera Sahib and Sikhs visit Pakistan every year to attend his death anniversary. He fought the Afghans and drove them out of western Punjab, capturing Pakhtoon territory including Peshawar. In 1802, he conquered Amritsar. He was also given the title of Sher-e-Punjab (Lion of the Punjab). He donated wealth and materials to shrines and is remembered with affection by the Punjabis.

Ranjit Singh abolished capital punishment during his rule. He died in 1839 after ruling Punjab for nearly 40 years. He left seven sons, none of whom proved to be a worthy successor.

Courtesy Daily Times

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6 responses to “Ranjit Singh’s 169th death anniversary

  1. Pingback: Ranjit Singh’s 169th death anniversary | Tea Break

  2. Rangit Singh was a one man wonder, who was able to forge a territory for a brief span of 45 years. He was not able to set up a system of govt, nor was his domain able to survive after his demise. I don’t know why people have such a fixation for Ranjit Singh, whereas if we pick up the history of the area, many a great muslim sultans have very effectively ruled over the region: but they are probably not owned because they were of Turkish or Persian descent, and not ‘sons of the soil’ : Sickhs rule is always glorified, despite the fact that they have been at odds with muslims, and played havoc with the East Punjab muslims at the time of partition.
    Perhaps, his only ‘legacy’ which survives to this day is the market of ‘Heera Singh’ near Badshai Mosque.

  3. If we read history written by British or other historians who admired his personality and the way he did not want to have a war with English, he chose to extend his territory towards Peshawar and Ladakh.
    Ranjit Singh was a favourite ruler among Pujabi Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus. His foreign minister was a Muslim, Faqir Azzizudin, Prime Minister was a Hindu, Dhyan Singhand all his Generals who once served in Napolian’s army were French andItalians, and during his time the Kotwal of Lahore was a Muslim his most trusted man. General Illahi Bakhsh was Commander of Artillary who fought last Sikh war of Sabraon. I shall not hesitate to compare Ranjit Singh with Akbar. Ranjit Singh’s portfolio of Ministers was a mixture of all religions. During his rule there was no death sentence. There is no such market of Heera Singh. Heera Mandi name was given by Dogra Raja Hira Singh son of Dhyan Singh

  4. @Irfan:

    Sher Shah Suri ruled only for 5 years.

    So would be it be correct to say that “He was not able to set up a system of govt, nor was his domain able to survive after his demise. ” ?

    I wouldn’t say that about him. Would you?

  5. @Irfan:

    Also, in order to better understand the ‘fixation’, you might want to try and find out whether there were any other contemporary Indian rulers, other than Maharaja Ranjit Singh, whose kingdoms the British could not usurp and who maintained complete independence throughout their lifetimes, until they died of natural causes.

    (Hint: The answer is NONE.)

  6. Ah… the great Maharaja … forerunner of our modern state really.

    I see Ranjit Singh as an exclusively Pakistani hero.

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