Maharaja Ranjit Singh founded the Sikh Empire, which was located in Punjab. His empire lasted from 1799 to 1849, and he rose to prominence in the early half of the nineteenth century. Ranjit Singh, the son of Maha Singh, the Commander of the Sukerchakia Misl—one of 12 Sikh Misls in Punjab during the 18th century—followed in his father’s daring footsteps to become an even better leader. He was born during a time when the Sikhs ruled much of Punjab under the Confederate Sarbat Khalsa regime, and the land was divided into factions known as misls. Ranjit’s father died when he was 12 years old, and he was raised by his mother Raj Kaur and later by his mother-in-law Sada Kaur. When he turned 18, he became the misldar of the Sukerchakia Misl and began expanding his realm. He began conquering all the other misls as an ambitious man and a brave warrior, and the conquest of Lahore from the Bhangi Misl was the first significant step in his climb to power. He eventually conquered the central Punjab region from the Sutlej to the Jhelum, massively expanding his dominion and establishing the Sikh Empire. He was given the title “Sher-e-Punjab” for his bravery and fortitude (“The Lion of Punjab”).
Childhood and Adolescence
Ranjit Singh was born in Gujranwala, Sukerchakia Misl (modern-day Pakistan) on November 13, 1780, to Maha Singh and his wife Raj Kaur. His father was the Sukerchakia Misl’s Commander. Ranjit Singh had small pox as a child, which caused him to lose one of his eyes.
Ranjit Singh was just 12 years old when Maha Singh died, leaving him to be raised by his mother.
In 1796, when he was 16 years old, he married Mehtab Kaur, the daughter of Sardar Gurbakash Singh Sandhu of the Kanhaiya Misl and Sada Kaur. Following his marriage, his mother-in-law became more involved in his life.
Reign & Ascension
At the age of 18, Ranjit Singh was appointed misldar of the Sukerchakia Misl. He began campaigns to expand his realm as soon as he took power.
He began his conquests by annexing neighboring misls, and in 1799 he took Lahore from the Bhangi Misl and made it his capital. After that, he conquered the rest of Punjab.
He unified the Sikh factions into one state in 1801 and adopted the title of “Maharaja” on Baisakhi Day, April 12th. At the moment, he was 20 years old. Then he set out to expand his empire even more.
In 1802, he defeated the Bhangi Misl king Mai Sukhan and took control of the holy city of Amritsar. In 1807, he added to his gains by conquering Kasur from Afghan chief Qutb ud-Din.
In 1809, he fought alongside Raja Sansar Chand of Kangra in the Lesser Himalayas against an approaching Ghurka force. He added Kangra to his empire after defeating the forces.
He joined a Brakzay Afghan expedition into Kashmir in 1813, but the Brakzays deceived him. Despite this, he went on to rescue Shah Shoja, the deposed Afghan king’s brother, and took control of the fort at Attock on the Indus River, southeast of Peshawar. Then he put pressure on Shah Shoja to hand over the famed Koh-i-noor diamond that he had.
He fought the Afghans for several years, forcing them out of Punjab. He eventually took over Pashtun territory, including Peshawar, and the province of Multan in 1818. With his successes, he put an end to more than a century of Muslim dominance in Multan. In 1819, he also annexed Kashmir.
Ranjit Singh was a secular king who held a high regard for all faiths. Sikhs, Muslims, and Hindus served in his troops, and his commanders came from a variety of religious backgrounds. In 1820, he began to modernize his army by training the infantry and artillery with the help of many European officers. In the conquests on the North-West Frontier, the modernized army performed admirably.
By the 1830s, the British had begun to expand their Indian possessions. They were determined to maintain Sindh province for themselves, and they tried to persuade Ranjit Singh to go along with their plans. This was unacceptable to Ranjit Singh, and in 1834 he ordered an expedition led by Dogra general Zorawar Singh to extend Ranjit Singh’s northern lands into Ladakh.
The Battle of Jamrud, which took place in 1837, was the last battle between the Sikhs and the Afghans. The Sikhs were about to cross the Khyber Pass when Afghan soldiers attacked them near Jamrud. The Afghans attempted but failed to recover Peshawar from the invading Sikhs.
The British were likewise afraid of Ranjit Singh, and for as long as he was alive, they did not dare to try to seize his lands. In the First Anglo-Sikh War in 1846, he died in 1839, and the Sikh army was defeated. The British annexed the Punjab at the end of the Second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849, putting an end to the glorious Sikh Empire.
Major Projects of Maharaja Ranjit Singh
In 1799, Maharaja Ranjit Singh established the Sikh Empire in Punjab. It was a prominent force on the Indian subcontinent, with territory stretching from the Khyber Pass in the west to western Tibet in the east, and from Mithankot in the south to Kashmir in the north, at its height.
Personal History and Legacy
Ranjit Singh married several times and had spouses who were Sikh, Hindu, and Muslim. Mehtab Kaur, Rani Raj Kaur, Rani Rattan Kaur, Rani Chand Kaur, and Rani Raj Banso Devi were some of his spouses.
Kharak Singh, Ishar Singh, Sher Singh, Pashaura Singh, and Duleep Singh were among his many children. Only Kharak Singh and Duleep Singh were accepted as his biological sons.
He died at Lahore, Punjab, Sikh Empire, on June 27, 1839. He was cremated, and his ashes are interred in the Ranjit Singh Samadhi in Lahore, Punjab. Kharak Singh, his son, took over as his successor.
He is recognized as a wise and just monarch with a captivating charisma. His empire was secular, meaning that all religions were respected and that no one was treated unfairly because of their religious views. He was also instrumental in the Harmandir Sahib’s golden embellishment. He was recognized as “Sher-e-Punjab” around the world because of his bravery and gallantry (“The Lion of Punjab”).
Ranjit Singh Net Worth
Ranjit Singh is one of the wealthiest World Leaders and one of the most loved. Ranjit Singh’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.