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Maharaja Ranjit Singh: The Ruler of Punjab

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  • Last Updated : 22 Aug, 2022
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The first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire, which ruled the northwest Indian subcontinent in the early nineteenth century, was Maharaja Ranjit Singh, sometimes called the “Lion of Punjab” or “Sher-e-Punjab”. He got into his first fight with his father when he was 10 years old. He fought several fights to force the Afghans out when his father passed away, and at the age of 21, he was named “Maharaja of Punjab.” Even until 1839, under his leadership, his kingdom expanded throughout the Punjab region.

Ranjit Singh was born in Gujranwala on November 13, 1780. His parents were Maha Singh and Raj Kaur. Maha Singh, his father, was the leader of Sukerchakia Misl. Ranjit Singh lost his father when he was just twelve years old. After then, he was entirely raised by his mother. Ranjit Singh lost one of his eyes as a result of smallpox as a youngster. He married Mehtab Kaur in 1796 when he was sixteen years old. Her parents were Sada Kaur and Sardar Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu.

The Rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh

Ranjit Singh’s biggest accomplishment was the formation of the Sikh Empire in Punjab in 1799. This empire had a major influence on the time on the Indian subcontinent. This kingdom comprised both western Tibet and the Khyber Pass in the west. The empire extended as far north as Mithankot and as far south as Kashmir.

When Ranjit Singh took control of Sukerchakia Misl at the age of 18, he established his dominion. After that, he intended to enlarge his sphere of influence. Lahore and Punjab were also put under his rule. He overcame a number of misls. He also made an effort to unite all Sikhs, earning him the title of Maharaja. He was so young and had so much success. He took charge of Amritsar by defeating Mai Sukhan, the ruler of the Bhangi Misl, in 1802. After that, in 1807, he conquered Qutb ud-Din and captured Kasur. He helped the Raja Sansar Chand of Kangra in 1809. He defeated the Gurkha soldiers. This victory brought Kangra into his dominion.

He joined the Barakzays in 1813 in order to enter Kashmir. But they abandoned him. But he went on his way to help Shah Shoja. The Attock fort, which was built along the Indus River, was next taken over by him. Shoja was ordered to hand up the Kohinoor diamond he was holding after that. For several years, Ranjit Singh fought the Afghans in an order to eliminate them from Punjab. He was successful in conquering the Pashtun area, Multan, and Peshawar (1818). As a result, there was no longer a Muslim majority in the Multan area. In 1819, Ranjit Singh gained power in Kashmir. He made an effort to lessen racism and hatred against various religions.

There were followers of different religions even among his soldiers. This demonstrated his respect for all faiths. In order to train his army using modern methods in 1820, he enlisted the assistance of European officers. After this training, the army performed better when they seized control of the North-West Frontier. In the 1930s, the British made attempts to colonize further parts of India. They identified Ranjit Singh as their target in order to do this. He was not, however, ready to hear any of the suggestions made by the British administration. In 1834, he even gained control of the north. In the year 1837, the Afghan and Sikh armies engaged in combat at the Battle of Jamrud. While traveling from the Khyber Pass into Jamrud, the Afghans came across the Sikhs. They failed in their attempt to suppress the Sikhs by conquering Peshawar. After all the area he had taken, even the British were scared of Ranjit. Therefore, they made an effort to take his domains.

Achievements of Maharaja Ranjit Singh

Ranjit Singh achieved significant success after taking power. However, as the British started to assert more control over Jammu as well, they had to deal with this success. He also acquired additional districts when he acquired the Sukara-chairs region. These areas were Chaj Doab and Rachna. He took advantage of the time while Afghanistan was engaged in an internal civil war for around three decades. He established his own kingdom in the center of Punjab and adopted the Blood and Iron policy.

After that, the Afghan king requested that he take over and rule Lahore on Suzerain’s behalf. By defeating Bhangi Misl, Ranjit Singh was successful in taking full control. He took control of Lahore. Due to this, other Commanders joined together to attack Ranjit Singh under their own union. However, this union collapsed after its leader passed away from excessive drinking. In the year 1805, Ranjit also succeeded in removing Bhangis from Amritsar. He gained political influence in Punjab as well, as he was the ruler of both Amritsar and Lahore. His primary goal after this was to bring all Sikhs together. He planned three missions with the intention of achieving this aim.

Many people respected Ranjit Singh. He respected all religions, hence all religions were recognized among his subjects. Even those who did not practice his religion showed him respect. They had been tremendously loyal to him. Due to their faith, none of the individuals differed from one another. The participants received appreciation for their talent and prior efforts. They were well known for their labor rather than their religion. Their respective cultures, religions, and festivals were respected. Despite having varied customs and beliefs, every topic cooperated.

Regardless of their religious background, he respected every one of his followers. This indicates that his people were never pushed to practice Sikhism. When the previous Afghan or Muslim monarchs were in power, this did not exist. Famous Punjabi Sufi poet Shah Mohammed wrote a poem about Maharaja Ranjit Singh. “Ranjit Singh was a natural warrior-king who provided his heart to the nation,” said one of the paragraphs. Chamba, Kangra, Jammu, Multan, Peshawar, and Kashmir were all conquered under his rule. He extended his domains to include China and Ladakh and it is where he made his currency. 

Death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh

Maharaja Ranjit Singh died on June 27th, 1839. Lahore, and now in Punjab, was the place of his death. At that time, the Sikh Empire ruled over this area. His cremated remains have been preserved in honor of his Samadhi at Lahore, Punjab, where he died and was cremated. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a righteous leader, according to legend. Because he respected all religions, there was no hatred or discrimination towards any one religion in his Empire.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: When was Maharaja Ranjit Singh gained as commander of Sukerchakia?

Answer:

Ranjit Singh’s rule began when he gained command of Sukerchakia Misl at the age of eighteen. He had plans to expand his territory after that. He also took control of Punjab and Lahore. He defeated several misls. Additionally, he attempted to bring all Sikhs together, gaining him the title of Maharaja.

Question 2: How did Maharaja Ranjit Singh respect other religions and peoples?

Answer:

Many people respected Ranjit Singh. He respected all religions, hence all religions were recognized among his subjects. Even those who did not practice his religion showed him respect. They had been tremendously loyal to him. Due to their faith, none of the individuals differed from one another. The participants received appreciation for their talent and prior efforts. They were well known for their labor rather than their religion. Their respective cultures, religions, and festivals were respected. Despite having varied customs and beliefs, every topic cooperated.

Question 3: What was the first achievement of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1802?

Answer:

He was so young and has had so much fame. By defeating Mai Sukhan, the monarch of the Bhangi Misl, in 1802, he took control of Amritsar. After that, he defeated Qutb ud-Din and took Kasur in 1807. In 1809, he provided assistance to Kangra’s Raja Sansar Chand. He defeated the Gurkha troops. Kangra was added to his kingdom following this victory.

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