Charles Francis Massy Sir Lepel Henry Griffin.

The Panjab chiefs: historical and biographical notices of the ..., Volume 2 online

. (page 2 of 29)
Online LibraryCharles Francis Massy Sir Lepel Henry GriffinThe Panjab chiefs: historical and biographical notices of the ..., Volume 2 → online text (page 2 of 29)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

The area of Jamu and Kashmir is about 68,000 square
miles; its population (Mahomedan, Bhot, aud Rajput) is
estimated at 1 ,600,000 souls. The chief towns are Jamu, the
capital, on the River Tavi, an affluent of the Chanab, at the
extreme south of the territory ; Srinagar, Sopar, and Baramula
in Kashmir; and Leh, the entrep6tot trade between Yarkand
and British India. The military force of the State is about
14,000 men.

Maharaja Ranbir Singh died in 1885. He was a muni-
ficent patron of education and literature, having contributed
a large sum to the Panjab University College, and arranged
in his own territory for the translation of many English
standard works into Sanscrit. His Highness also rendered

Digitized by



valuable assistance in connection with the journeys of the
Yarkand Mission through his territory in 1873-74, Since
the accession of the present Maharaja a Resident has been
appointed by the Government of India, and the administration
is in the hands of a Council composed of the Maharaja's two
brothers and three other members, of whom Baja Amar
Singh is President.

Digitized by




Gorind Dm. Lftla Bai Singh Bai Bam Dayil Bai Kiahsn Ohand
D. 1(08. ». IMI. "^ ». 1873.



'•^^- I Bhanapat BaiBhacBiash

I ) Bam Nandn ( * 1

LiLi BimaiAB 8nr»B. QhaajtftilaL ».1M». D^ya Ka«h{Bam

- ' . i , SlM* B.1809.

Pvan Sliao Singh FAkirOhand. BataaLal i ' ■ Bhawaai

£lSl **"^ Bon ^'"''^ BalBtohambarDa^ PalfBam. ^«^

■• ^*** Bhm Oharan.

ParUb Singh
a. 18M.

The Bhandhari caste and familji to the Ghamiari Patni
branch of which Basheshar Singh belongs, were founded by
Rai Bhag Mai, an adventurer, who in the year 1256 went
from Multan to Ghazni to seek his fortune, and having in course
of time obtained every thing fortune had to bestow, except a
soUi returned to India, and hearing of a famous ascetic, named
Baba Farid, at Pak Patau, went there to obtain his blessing.
When he arrived he found the saint hanging head downwards
in a well, where he had already remained so long that his
followers, who were dependent upon his miracles for their f ood,
were reduced to great straits. Bai Bhag Mai, who was very
rich, built them houses and fed them for nine years, till Baba
Farid, growing tired of the well, returned to the upper air.
He was surprised to see the new village, and asked by whose
liberalily it had been built. The people pointed out Bad Bhag
Mal« who, they said, had fed them during the Baba's absence.
The saint said that he must indeed be a good steward or
hhandhari^ and this name has remained with the &mily ever
since. Bhag Mai then begged the saint to pray for a son for
him. Baba Farid told him that he should have three sons,
and asked that one might be given to him, which Bhag Mai
promised. When three sons had been borui the saint sent to

Digitized by



Bhag Mai to remind him of Ms promise ; but the father did
not like to part with his sons, and accordingly sent one of
them to his sister's house ; another he hid in a cellar ; and met
the Baba with his youngest son in his arms, and told him that
he had but one son, which he could take or leave as he
liked. The saint replied, " You have three sons, yet this, the
youngest, shall be my follower " ; and accordingly he took the
child with him to Pak Patau, whence the branch of the Bhan-
dharis descended from him is named Patni. The other two
branches, descended from the elder sons, are called Bhoria,
from 6Aora, a cellar, and hirpalia^ meaning * brought up by
a sister/

Little is known of the family of Rai Kishan Ohand till
1809, when, through the interest of Diwan Mohkam Chand,
his father, Anand Singh, was appointed Vakil or agent of the
Lahore Court at Ludhiana, which had recently been occupied as
a military station. Anand Singh afterwards was sent as agent
to Dehli, while his eldest son, Gk)vind Jas, occupied his place
at Ludhiana, and his youngest son, Kishan Chand, was agent
a1> Kamal and Ambala. Anand Singh accompanied Sir
Charles Metcalfe on the successful expedition against
Bhartpur, undertaken by Lord Combermere in December
1825, and on his return received from the Maharaja the title
of Rai with a dress of honour. He died in 1827, and his jagirs
were divided among his four sons. Rai Govind Jas obtained
Lakhowal, Pawadat, and Lagrian ; Rai Singh took Kotla
and Sunara; Rai Kishan Chand, Rehli, Rupowal, and
Rajpura ; and Lohgarh fell to the share of Ram Dayal. Rai
Qovind Jas succeeded his father at Dehli, and Ram Dayal
was sent to Ludhiana, but shortly afterwards he quarrelled
with Colonel Wade, the Political Agent, and was recalled to
Lahore. Rai Kishan Chand took his place, receiving a jagir
of Rs. 15,000 in the Jalandhar district, and an allowance of
one rupee per annum on each village belonging to the Lahore

Digitized by



State on the left bank of the Satlaj. Bam Dayal was in
1832 sent to Anandpur to settle the disa^eements that had
arisen among the Sodhis of that place. He remained there
five years, and on his return to Lahore received a jagir
of Rs. 4,000 in the Ludhiana district. He was, later,
when Raja Hira Singh recalled Fakir Charagudin from
Firozpur, appointed to that place as agent. Rai Kishan
Chand was an able and an upright man. He saw that the
interests of the Maharaja required peace with the British, and
he did his best to maintain a good understanding between the
Governments. At the beginning of 1839 he accompanied
Colonel Wade on his political mission to Peshawar, and
during his absence, which lasted the greater part of the
year, his son Bhag Singh acted for him at Ludhiana. The title
of Rai was granted to Kishan Chand by Prince Nao Nahal
Singh in 1840.

After the death of Maharaja Sher Singh the position of

the agents of Lahore on the British frontier underwent a

considerable change. In the days of Mr. Clerk and his

predecessors the Vakils were little more than newswriters ;

they conducted all current business, but important affairs

were arranged by the Agent of the Governor-General with

the Maharaja by deputation or letter. But the changes

which took place on Sher Singh's death gave to Rai Kishan

Chand and his brother and son, who held the agencies at

Firozpur and Ludhiana, great influence and power, which the

Lahore Ministry was ever trying to reduce and the Vakils to

retain. Rai Kishan Chand exercised certain civil and

criminal powers in the Lahore Protected States, and drew

from them considerable wealth. This jurisdiction the

Ministry of Hira Singh took away, and in November 1844

the proportion to be paid to the State from the Vakil's farm

and jagirs was raised to that of neighbouring districts. Rai

Kishan Chand and his family, however, retained considerable

Digitized by



influence at Lahore. Jealous of Fakir Azizudin, and some-
wliat opposed to his policy, tbey were supported in Darbar by
powerful friends, chief of whom were Bhai Ram Singh, and
Diwan Dina Nath, the leader of the Mutsadi party.

Although in 1844 Rai Kishan Chand had perhaps
encouraged in some measure the belief at Lahore that the
British were hostile to the Sikh Government, yet when war
became really imminent he protested against it earnestly.
But it was then too late. When the Sikh army was preparing
to cross the Satlaj he was ordered by the Political Agent to
leave the camp and retire into the Lahore territories, which
he did. After the close of the campaign and the cession to
the British. Government of the Jalandhar Doab, the family
lost its jagirs on the left bank of the Bias ; but Rai Eishan
Chand was directed to attend on the Agent of the Governor-
General at Lahore, and this appointment he held till 1844,
when he received permission to retire to Batala.

Bhag Singh had on the return of peace been appointed
Agent of the Darbar with the Commissioner, Trans-Satlaj
States, and in 1848 he received the title of Rai and a
dress of honour. Rai Kishan Chand also received the title of
Bahadar and a grant of nine villages in the Dinanagar district,
worth Rs. 8,000, and a cash pension of Rs. 4,000 was assigned
to him in recognition of his faithful services and as compensa-
tion for the.jagir he had lost in Ludhiana. Kam Dayal received
at the same time a jagir of Rs. 3,000 and a cash pension of the
same value. Rai Bhag Singh obtained Rs. 2,500 in jagir and
Rs. 2,500 cash, and Sharanpat Rs. 1,800 jagir and Rs. 1,800
cash. The two latter did not hold their jagirs or pensions
long. At the annexation of the Pan jab they were resumed,
as were the cash allowances of Rai Kishan Chand and Rai
Bhag Singh. Ram Dayal died in 1863, and his jagir has
been resumed. He is represented by his son, Lala Basheshar
Singh, who has succeeded him as a Viceregal Darbari. He

Digitized by



is a member of the Municipal Committee of Batala (Gurdas-'
pur), and has proved himself a man of public spirit, giving
willing assistance in all matters connected with sanitation
and local improvements.

Bai Kishaii Chand died in 1873. One of his sons,
Sharanpat, died in the following year, and the survivor, Rai
Bhag Singh, in 1884. They have been in receipt of a pension
of Rs. 1,000 per annum. The widows of Sharanpat and of
his son Ram Narain receive a compassionate allowance of
Rs. 240 per annum.

Devi Dita Mai, nephew of Rai Ram Dayal, was for many
years an Honorary Magistrate of Batala. He died childless
in 1877. A mafi enjoyed by him of Rs. 150 per annum lapsed
to Government.

Rai Bhag Singh was for a short period a Tahsildar in the
province. He resigned his appointment in 1861 in order
to accompany his father to Banares, and returned to the
Fanjab three years after and took up his abode at Batala.
He led a useful life, interesting himself in everything connected
with the good of his native town. He was for seventeen
years an Honorary Magistrate. He refused an appointment
of Extra Assistant Commissioner offered him by Sir John
Lawrence wheti Lieutenant-GFovernor of the Panjab. ,

Digitized by




Bam Singh.

Anokh Singh. 8. MiimSingh Khaiaa Singh. Kahui Singh.

n. 1870.

OnlflLsinc^ Jai Singh

8. Gnlab Sinc^ Jai Singh. Hira Singh,

p. 1889.


Karpal Bxcsyil Biahan
Singh. Sxvex Singh.

B. 1846. I

Gopal Singh

Samir Singh Shanuher Singh

■• I860. B. 1886.

The family of Bhagowala, of the Kabilon Jat oastei
claims to have descended from the Pawar Rajputs of Ujain.
An ancestor of the name of Kahilon was the founder of the
Jat family of that name, and Bhago, the eleventh from
Kahilon, emigrated to the Panjab and built the village of
Bhagowala in the Batala pargana of the Amritsar district,
from which the present family takes its name. Ram Singh,
the father of Sardar Mian Singh, was a follower of Sardar
Bbag Singh Bhaga, who in 1795 gave him the two villages
Bhugadh and Khatab. After the death of Bhag Singh, Ram
Singh served with his brother Sardar Budh Singh Bhaga.
In 1809 Ranjit Singh took possession of the greater part of
the Bhaga territory, and, among other places, of Bhagowala,
which he granted to Sardar Desa Singh Majithia. Ram
Singh accompanied the Maharaja to Kangra in 1809 in the
force of Sardar Desa Singh, and in the first battle with the
Gurkhas he was killed. His son Mian Singh was then a
minor ; but Desa Singh did not forget him, and when he was
able to bear arms released in his favour some wells at
Bhagowala, and placed him under his son Sardar Lahna Singh.
When this Chief was made Governor of the Hill districts, an
assignment of Rs. 2,200 per annum was made to Mian ISingh

Digitized by



from the tribute of Mandi, Eului Suket» Eangra, Bilaspur,
and Nadarm. He accompanied Lahna Singh and Jamadar
EIiiiBhal Singh on the expedition against Chauki Kotlahar in
1825, and his old friendship with the Raja of that State had
its effect in inducing him to surrender the fort, which was a
strong one, and to accept a jagir which the Jamadar pledged
himself to obtain for him. After the death of Desa Siugh
Majithia in 1832, his son confirmed Mian Singh in his jagir,
and left him as Thanadar at Amritsar during his own absence
in the Peshawar Campaign. He also granted him an additional
cash pension of Rs. 1,200 and jagirs of Rs. 1,550.

Gulab Singh, son of Mian Siugh, entered the force of
Lahna Singh Majithia as a gunner in 1828, and was made a
commandant in 1835. Up to the death of Maharaja Ranjit
Singh the Bhagowala Chiefs had been merely feudal retainers
of the Majithia Sardars, but on the accession of Maharaja
Sher Singh Gulab Singh entered the regular army, and was
made a Colonel of Artillery, with command of eleven guns, with .
a cash salary and jagirs of Rs. 2,1 16. Under Raja Hira Singh
he was made a General, and his pay was raised to Rs. 3,458
being Rs. 1,000 in cash and the villages of Eharabad and
Luhaika, yielding Rs. 2,458 per annum. Under Jawahir
Singh his pay remained the same, but he was in command
of twelve guns. When Sardar Lahna Singh Majithia retired
from the Panjab before the Second Sikh War, Gulab Singh
wished to accompany him, but he was not permitted, and was
appointed Magistrate of Gugaira, where he was stationed
when the Multan war broke out. At that crisis he remained
faithful to Government. In 1853 Gulab Singh left the Panjab
with Sardar Lahna Singh Majithia to make a pilgrimage to
Banares and other holy cities. He returned home on the
death of his friend in the following year. In 1863 he was
appointed guardian of Sardar Lahna Singh's only son, Dayal
Singh. He had previously been in charge of the minor Rur

Digitized by



Singh, son of Sardar Jasa Singh of Naushera Nangal^
Amritsar. He was also for some years guardian of Sardar
Bakhshish Singh, adopted son of Sardar Shamsher Singh
Sindhanwalia of Raja Sansi, and be acted for a short period
as manager of the Darbar Sahib at Amritsar, On the death
of his father, Sardar Mian Singh, Honorary Magistrate, in
1870, the family jagir, valued at Rs. 3,000, was resumed.
Subsequently, however, in 1877, one half was relea&ed to
Sardar Gulab Singh in recognition of his, many loyal and
useful services. The Sardar died in 1882.

He was succeeded by his son Sardar Richpal Singh,
Munsif of Ludhiana, now at the head of the family. He
commenced service as Naib Tahsildar in 1870, and was
apppointed Munsif in 1875. He is connected by marriage
with Sardar Badan Singh of Bundala. His son Gopal Singh
has been, promised a commission by the Oommander-in-Ohief .

Sardar Richpal Singh's brother Bishan Singh was for
some time Naib Tahsildar, but was obliged to resign on
account of bad health. The brothers are sharers in eight
hundred ghumaos of land in five villages in Gurdaspur. They
also own a small tea garden at Mouza Gajian, Palampur,
Kangra ; and they enjoy a joint mafi of one hundred and
eighty ghumaos in Bhagowal, Gurdaspur. Sardar Richpal
Singh's mafis and jagirs (the latter in five villages of the
Gurdaspur disti^ict) yield about Rs. 2,500 per annum.

Digitized by





Katba Singh.

Kamm Singh. Dhimun Singh. Chwrat Singh.

I ' 1 i ' 1 iwiingh.

JamiAt Singh. W&sir B*m Singh. Sardnl Singh.

Singh. I I

Arjtn Singh Daughter
n. 18S8. . v. Darindar
Singh, Baja

Sawan Singh I 1

n. 1875. Bhnta Singh Sher Singh.
n. I

Sant Singh


Balwast Sxsam, Ator Singh. Jawala Singh Ohanda Singh

I n* ».

Paitab Singh

This family came originally from Bikanir in Rajputana^
and settled in the fertile district of Gurdaspur, where, near
the city Batala, they founded the village of Rangar Nangal.

* Bangar * is the name of the Bajput got or clan io which
Raja Jagat, the founder of the family, belonged, and Nangal
is a euphonic corruption of the Sanscrit word mangal,

* pleasing,' signifying that the emigrants were satisfied that
after their many wanderings their lines had fallen in pleasant

Many years later, Natha, the son of RandeOi became a
Sikh, and, joining the Kanhya Confederacy under Jai Singh,
ravaged all the country around Rangar Nangal, where he built
a strong fort. His son Karam Singh succeeded him, and
very much increased both the power and possessions of the
family. He rebuilt and strengthened the Rangar Nangal fort,
and took up bis residence in Amritsar, where he built the
Eatra Karam Singh, otherwise known as Katra Rangar
Nangalia. When Ranjit Singh became powerful and seized
Lahore and Amritsar, Karam Singh gave in his allegiance,
and ever after remained a faithful servant of the Maharaja.
On one occasion, indeed, they quarrelled, Karam Singh
was Captain of Ranjit Singh's irregulars, and as in these

Digitized by



early days the Chief had not much moDey to spare the pay
of the troops fell into arrears. Karam Singh took their side
and demanded their pay of Ranjit Singh, who, fearing an
outbreak, was compelled to pawn the jewels of his wife Mahtab
Kaur. The Maharaja afterwards punished Karam Singh for
thus taking part against him, by plundering and destroying his
house in Amritsar. But a reconciliation took place, and the
Sardar accompanied Ranjit Singh on most of his expeditions ;
and in the Peshawar Campaign, where he was severely wound-
ed, he specially distinguished himself, and received for his
services a new jagir in the Jalandhar Doab. He possessed
at one time territory to the amount of several lakhs of rupees,
principally situated in the Gurdaspur district. He was succeed-
ed by his son Jamiat Singh, who had been for long with the
army, and who was favourably known to Ranjit Singh for his
bravery. His younger brother, Wazir Singh, received a jagir
in Bhimbar in 1821. Jamiat Singh was, with his cousin
Bam Singh, killed in Hazara at the battle of Darband in 1820,
and on his death the jagirs were reduced by more than one

Arjan Singh was still, however, a powerful Sardar, and
remained in favour so long as Maharaja Ranjit Singh and
Nao Nahal Singh were alive ; but on the accession of Sher
Singh his jagirs were again reduced, and there was only left
to him Rs. 28,000, of which Rs. 16,000 were personal and
Rs. 13,000 subject to the service of thirty horsemen. Arjan
Singh's mother was maternal aunt of Rani Chand Kaur, the
widow of Kharak Singh and mother of Nao Nahal Singh, and
in this relationship will be found the cause of Maharaja Sher
Singh's enmity.

In 1845, previous to the Satlaj Campaign, Arjan Singh
received from Raja Lai Singh command of four infantry regi-
ments; one regiment of cavalry, and a troop of horse artillery,
and with this force he served at the battle of Sobraon. In 1846

Digitized by



he served with credit in the Kashmir Expedition, and in Angnsfc
1847 received a Persian title of honour on the recommenda-
tion of Major Lawrence, the Resident at Lahore. In 1848
he accompanied Raja Sber Singh Atariwala to Multan, and
joined in his rebellion. His adherents, hearing of the Sardar's
disaffection, proceeded to follow his example, and defended
the fort of Rangar Nangal successfully against two companies
of the Darbar troops which had been sent to attach the
property ; but Brigadier Wheeler marched against it on the
15th October and speedily reduced it. On the termination of
the war the whole estates of Arjan Singh were confiscated ;
and the Rangar Nangal jagir was conferred on Sardar Mangal
Singh Ramgarhia, who had displayed much energy in the
capture of Hari Singh, a notorious freebooter, who had during
the war kept the neighbourhood of Batala in a state of

Arjan Singh received a pension of Rs. 1,500; but
it was personal, and ceased at his death in 1859. At
the request of the late Raja Bhagwan Singh of Nabha, a
second cousin of Sardar Balwant Singh by marriage, the
British Government gave a pension of Rs. 120 a year to each
of the two widows of Arjan Singh. The family also
receive help from Nabha, but they are in very reduced

Arjan Singh left two sons. The eldest, Balwant Singh,
is a Viceregal Darbari. He is a Zaildar at Rangar Nangal
in the Gordaspur district. He and his brother Atar Singh
are joint owners of about fifteen hundred acres in Gurdaspur
and Amritsar. They have no jagir or allowances from the
British Government The Raja Bharpur Singh of Nabha
gave them jagir rights in Mouzas Rohi and Bura Ealan;
but these were resumed by the present Ruler, who in lieu con-
ferred the revenues of Mouza Rohi on Atar Singh alone.
Atar Singh resides in Nabha.

Digitized by






Baaftok Singh

Sahib Singh


8. Dal

Ban Singh* Gaja I




Gnlah Sinc^ Kahan Singh
D. 1820»

9. 1887,

a Lai Singh
B. 1798.

Nahal Singh.

Hafsnkh Singh Hari Singh
^^ B.1862.

Gopal Singh

Qnrdit Singh

Kharta Singh





Hnkam Singh. Hakim Singh, Htmi BnrftX.
KaharSfaigfa. '




Singh Bam Singh

n. 1860. B. iseir

I i

Jit Singh Atar Singh
B. 18^. B. 1888.

Khnahal Singh. Dhian Singh.

Ohahal Singh

Sher Singh.





-Ra^aL^f Harbakhsh Gurbakhah Harnam Shao Baj
S^S* ®*^^- ^^^ ®^^ Bingh/
Atar Singh

The Talwandi, Khunda and Chamiari houses are all
nearly connected, their immediate and common ancestor being
Dhir or Randhir Chand, fourteenth in descent from Ran-
dhawa, the founder of the tribe. He came to the Panjab
about the year 1540, and near Batala, where others of his
tribe had previously settled, he built a village which he called
Jhanda after his eldest son.*

Turga, the grandson of Randhir Chand, left his father's
village and founded Talwandi, the present residence of
the family. About 1640, during the reign of Shah Jahan^
Bahar Chand, the great-grandson of Turga, received the office

* There is a story whioh, however, the dates will not in any way rapport, that
Bandhir Ohaod or Ohir was a fellow-emigrant of Ram Deo Bhati, the foonder of
Batala ; and that the name of Batala was given to his new town beoanse ho had az«
changed its original site with Bandhir Chand for that of Jhanda.

Digitized by



of Oliaiidhri of Tapa Dabha, which was held in the family until
the time of Pardhan Chand.

Santokh Singh and Sahib Singh, the two sons of Pardhan
Chand, became Sikhs, and, joining the Kanhya Misal with
Sardar Jai Singh as their Chief, they took possession of Tal-
wandi and Dorangla. Little is known of the brothers, i/vho were
not men of any importance. Santokh Singh died in 1802, and
Sahib Singh two years later. Of the three sons of Santokh
Singh, Dal Singh was the only one to obtain a share of his
father's jagir. Talwandi and some neighbouring villages were
left him. Dorangla and the Sialkot estate were seized by Ranjit
Singh, who also took possession of the estate of Sahib Singh.
Sardar Dal Singh fought in most of the Maharaja's campaigns.
During his lifetime he divided a portion of his estate between
his sons ; Eahan Singh receiving Rai Chak and Chainiwala,
and Lai Singh, Talwandi. The Sardar was killed in the
Satlaj Campaign in 1845, and his jagirs were resumed. Kahan
Singh had died long before his father. He fell in the battle
of Saidhu in March 1827, fighting against Syad Ahmad
Shah. His only son was killed ten years later, in April 1837,
in the battle of Jamrud. Sardar Lai Singh was bom in 1798,
and saw a good deal of service. He fought in the Multan
and Kashmir Expeditions of 1818-19, and at Jamrud, where
his nephew was slain. Li 1848 he was appointed to co-operate
with Gurmani Lai, the Adalati, or Chief Justice, of the Man jha,
holding the command of fifty horse. In 1857, at the requisi-
tion of (Jovemment, he furnished ten horsemen for service in
Hindustan, and sent with them his two sons Hira Singh and
Gk)pal Singh. Both fought gallantly throughout the campaign.
Hira Singh was made a Basaldar ; and in 1859, on his retire-
ment, received a present of Rs. 1,800 and a grant of fifty
acres of land near Nurpur in the Kangra district. Gopal

Online LibraryCharles Francis Massy Sir Lepel Henry GriffinThe Panjab chiefs: historical and biographical notices of the ..., Volume 2 → online text (page 2 of 29)