Charles Francis Massy Sir Lepel Henry Griffin.

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

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to join the Sikh army under Sher Singh, with the family
sowars, fought throughout the whole campaign. Jodh Singh,
fearing the confiscation of his jagir and his probable
confinement till the close of the war, fled to Jamu, where he
remained till after the battle of Gujrat. In consequence of
the rebellion of Kharak Singh, the jagirs of the family in the
Gurdaspur district, to the value of Rs. 15,200, were confiscat-
ed ; but Jodh Singh, who was in no way concerned in his
grandson's rebellion, received a pension of Rs. 720, which he
enjoyed till his death in 1859. The family have now resumed
the occupation of agriculture which they gave up a hundred
years ago. They possess neither jagirs nor pensions. Jodh
Singh was a very aged man when he died. His life, embracing
nearly a hundred years, had seen the rise of the Khalsa
power, the glory and the fall of the Sikh empire.

Kahar Singh, father of the present representative, Moti
Singh, died in 1866, leaving the ladies of the family in

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comparative poverty. They were allowed a pension of
Bs. 180 per annum, of which one-third lapsed on the attain-
ment of his majority by Moti Singh, He owns seventeen
ghumaos of land in Monza Chashma, Tahsil Pathankot,
Gnrdaspur. He has no local influence whatever, and the
family has sunk into insignificance. The Ghashmawalas are
of Harchand Rajput origin, and came to the Panjab from
Ottdh about three hundred years ago.

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8. Amar 8iaji(fa



8. BhMr Singh 8. Bndh Singh

aTTaoa. n. 18M.

H«i Singh | | |
n.l85S. parUb Singh Gormokh Kika Singh*
I ». IW. Singh.

Bhnp Singh Issab Sxvax Jiimn Singh.

9. ^ 184(>» I

Kusm Singh.




Ouidial Singh. Hanuun Singh. Ikbftl Singh, Sondnr Singh.

The Bhaga family, though at the present time of small
consideration, formerly possessed both wealth and power.
Its founder was Amar Singh, son of a Man Jat Zamindar of
the village of Bhaga in the Amritsar district, who about the
year 1759 left his village to seek his fortune. He adopted
tbe Sikh faith, joined the Kanhya Misal and set up as a
robber. He was so successful in his new profession that he
was joined by a considerable number of followers, the chief
of whom was a man named Karam Singh. He overran and
took possession of a large part of the Gurdaspur district,
including Sujanpur, Sukalgarh, Dhamakot and Bahrampur.
He built a fort at Sukalgarh, where he chiefly resided, and
where, in 1805, after a life spent in fighting, he quietly died in
his bed, leaving his possessions, which he held intact till his
death, to his eldest son Bhag Singh. This Chief was not,
like his father, of a warlike disposition, and made no attempts
to extend his territory, but he was not the less a remarkable
man. Few of the Sikh barons could spell out a page of the
Oranth or sign their names to a deed ; but Bhag Singh was an
accomplished scholar. He was master of both Persian and
Sanscrit ; he was a skilful painter and understood the art
of casting guns. He only survived his father three years,
and on bis death a dispute arose about the Bucoession*

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Desa Singh Majithia, son of Amar Singh's sister, had always
been warmly attached to Bhag Singh, and now favoured the
succession of Hari Singh his son. The majority, however,
supported Budh Singh the brother, and declared that Hari
Singh was illegitimate ; and Budh Singh took possession of the
estates. But he did not hold them long. In 1809 Ranjit Singh
demanded supplies from him for the Kangra expedition. The
Bbaga Sardar, thought himself as good and as strong as
the Lahore Sardar, refused to give a man or a rupee.
Banjit Singh accordingly marched against him, and after a
severe struggle defeated him and seized all the Bbaga
territory. This result was much aided by the defection of
Desa Singh Majithia. He had not forgiven Budh Singh for
his triumph over Hari Singh, and went over to the enemy,
where his knowledge of the Bbaga position and resources wfere
so valuable that, after the affair was over, Ranjit Singh
rewarded them by the grant of the Bhaga estates of
Bhagowal and Sukalgarh; the latter of which remained
with the Majithia family till 1859, when, on the death of
Sardar Lahna Singh, it lapsed to Government.

Ranjit Singh left to Budh Singh a jagir at Dharmkot,
worth Rs. 22,000, which he held till his death in 1846. Raja
Lai Singh then resumed it ; but on the representations of
Sardar Lahna Singh a jagir of Rs. 5,000 was released as a
maintenance to Partab Singh, the only surviving son of Budh
Singh, and his three widows. But before the formal order
for the grant could be issued Partab Singh died sonless,
and the Darbar assigned Rs. 3,800 to Hari Singh and the
ladies of the family.

Hari Singh died in 1852. His sons Ishar Singh and
Jiwan Singh are in poor circumstances, and their local influ-
ence is small*

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Gxil Mahomed


Ata MahoniAd. Ghnlam Mohaiiidin.


. I

Ghulam Ghulam Ghalam Qhn ...„

UmldAT. MaJiomed. Mohaiadin Martass

L . ^ I , ». IWe. ». 1870.

Gholam Hasaiiu Gbnlam Kadar
i>. 1888.

9. 1868,


Ghnlam Kadar Gholam Ahmad.


IfamalndiTi. Naiamndixi. Imamndin.

In 1530, the last year of the Emperor Babar's reign, Hadi
Beg, a Moghal of Samarkand, emigrated to the Paojab and
settled in the Gurdaspur district. He was a man of some
learning, and was appointed Kazi or Magistrate over seventy
villages in the neighbourhood of Kadian, which town he is said
to have founded, naming it Islampur Kazi, from which
Kadian has by a natural change arisen.* For several gene-
rations the family held offices of respectability under the
Imperial Government, and it was only when the Sikhs became
powerful that it fell into poverty and insignificance. Gul
Mahomed and his son Ata Mahomed were engaged in perpetual
quarrels with the Ramgarhia and Kanhya Misals, who held the
country in the neighbourhood of Kadian ; and at last, having
lost all his estates, Ata Mahomed retired to Begowal, where
under the protection of Sardar Fateh Singh Ahluwalia, he
lived quietly for twelve years. On his death Ranjit Singh, who
had taken possession of all the lands of the Ramgarhia Misal
invited Ghulam Murtaza to return to Kadian, and restored to
him a large portion of his ancestral estates. He then, with his
brothers, entered the army of the Maharaja, and performed
efficient service on the Kashmir frontier and at other places.

• The Pwijab dialeot has «, and the Arabio s and d are of fcen interchanged lae
Gummas, Chtmhadi mtad, Uitaw. 6 ^1 «>

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During the time of Nao Nahal Singh, Sher Singh and
the Darbar, Ghulam Murtaza was continually employed on
active service. In 1841 he was sent with General Ventura
to Mandi and Kulu, and in 1843 to Peshawar in command of
an infantry regiment. He distinguished himself in Hazara
at the time of the insurrection there ; and when the rebellion
of 1848 broke out, he remained faithful to his Government
and fought on its side. His brother Ghulam Mohaiudin
also did good service at this time. When Bhai Maharaj Singh
was marching with his force to Multan to the assistance of
Diwan Mulraj, Ghulam Mohaiudin, with other Jagirdars,
Langar Khan Sahiwal and Sahib Khan Tawana, raised the
Mahomedan population, and with the force of Misar Sahib
Dayal attacked the rebels and completely defeated them,
driving them into the Chanab, where upwards of six hundred
perished. Ghulam Kadar, son of Ghulam Mahomed, was serv-
ing in the force under General Nicholson when that officer
destroyed the mutineers of the 46th Native Infantry, who had
fled from Sialkot, at Trimu Ghat. Mirza Ghulam Murtaza
resided at Kadian, Gurdaspur. He possessed considerable
local influence, although his family jagirs were resumed at
annexation. He, with his brothers, enjoyed a pension of
Rs. 700 and proprietary rights in seven villages. He was
known as a skilful physician. He died in 1876.

His son Ghulam Kadar, who died in 1883, adopted his
nephew, Mirza Sultan Ahmad, now a Naib Tahsildar. Ghulam
Kadar was always active in assisting the local authorities, and
held many satisfactory certificates from officers connected
with the administration. He enjoyed a reduced pension of
Rs. 180 per annum, which was resumed on his death. An appli-
cation for a continuance of the allowance to Sultan Ahmad was
rejected by the Financial Commissioner on the ground of his
having rendered no personal services to the State.

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Bker dingli. Bhtf fiixi«^ Bodh Bliiffta.


NfthalSingh Hii»Singh

». ». I

— * LalBbgli KhwhAl Jftwihir Stafb

. ]»• Binglk ».

I »• I

NiDXAV Bnros. dhftn BiBgb Fanjdw Biogli I N«»ia Biaftlk

jAisWu I F 1

BnndM Singh. NaUm Singh. BhagwMi

I SfBgh.

^jo h^'T Singh
1. 1867.

Desa Singh, the grandfather of Bhag Singh of Kontal,
waa a relative of Sardar Jai Singh, the great Kanhya Chief.
His history is that of Jai Singh ; for he was his subordinate,
and accompanied him in his many expeditions. He built the
fort known as Desa Singhwala in the Amritsar district, and
Kontalpur near Pathankot. His son Tek Singh succeeded
to the estate, and fought under Mai Sada Kaur, the head of
the Kanhya Misal, against the Ramgarhias. The estate on
the death of Tek Singh was reduced to Rs. 10,000, and on the
death of Sher Singh, his eldest son, to Rs. 2,000 at Kontal, Ban,
Kandarwari and Mangalian. Thus it remained till annexa-
tion, when the village of Kantalpur, worth Rs. 1,100, was
released to the three brothers, Bhag Singh, Budh Singh
and Nahal Singh, on payment of quarter revenue. Budh
Singh was a Rasaldar in the 1st Panjab Cavalry.

The family has sunk into comparative obscurity. Within
the last five and twenty years about two-thirds of the jagirs
have lapsed on the deaths of the holders. Nadhan Singh,
Narain Singh and the sons of Khushal Singh now share only
Rs. 126 between them, over and above the revenue of Kontal*
pur, which by adverse river-action has been greatly reduced
in area, and is now assessed at Rs. 452 only.

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Nadban Singh took part in the last Afghan Campaign,
as did also his cousins Nahal Singh, Lai Singh and Jawahir
Singh. He is serving as a sowar in the 1st Panjab Cavalry,
Lai Singh was killed before Kabul. His widow receives a
small pension. Jawahir Singh also lost his life in Afghanistan ;
and a pension of Rs. 86 per annum is enjoyed by his son,
Narain Singh.

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KaUni* 8. GhiTtwkhah Shiaiu Sipluk


I ■ r 8. 0»ja Singh Dhian Bingb

S.8iidhBiiigli Diijiiatiiffk. i>.im. ».ltt7.

' ». 1818. I ^ L

I JftWidftSingh

B.BIIPM. S.188i. BariSiaffh Nadluui Singh. ChodttSiagh,



Jftwilft Singh Sant Singh*

J Kahar Singh


Bnmut Boras Xthar Singh

B. 1858. B. 1888.

Kiinm Singh 8heo Deo Singh
B. 1878. B. 1880.

The village of Doda is situated in the Shakargarh pargana
of the Gurdaspur district, and, like that of Jbanda, was
founded by Dhir Bandhawa. Jhanda was the original colony,
and Doda was populated from it. The Dodia family
ploughed and sowed their fields as shnple husbandmen for
some generations, till Gurbakhsh Singh, in the early days of
Sikh power, adopted the new faith and the profession of
arms. He, with his brother, joined the Bhangi Confederacy,
and soon became a Chief of some note. He was engaged in
perpetual warfare with his neighbours, and in one of his
expeditions against Imami, of the Pada tribe, his elder
brother Nathu was slain. Gurbakhsh Singh acquired a large
tract of coimtry in the neighbourhood of Doda, including
Sadhanwal, Ranjrur, Jasar and Bhopalwala, and also took
possession of part of the Jamu territory, building a fort
only a few miles from the city of Jamu itself. He died
about 1795, and was succeeded by his son Sudh Singh, who

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also became a man of some importance, and added largely to
the family possessions.

Both Sudh Singh and his father were bitter enemies of
the Jamu Baja, and this enmity nearly cost Sudh Singh his
life ; for on one occasion, as he was riding to Lala Chak,
about five miles from Jamu, he fell into an atnbush laid for
him by Eanjit Deo, and was fired at by a party of the Baja's
troops. His horse was wounded in the neck, one ball lodged
in Sudh Singh's saddle, another struck the handle of his
sword, and it was with difficulty that he made his escape.
He died in 1813 ; and his family, knowing that they could
not successfully oppose Banjit Singh, sent Gaja Singh,
cousin of Sudh Singh, who had left no male issue, to Lahore
with presents of two lakhs of rupees, an elephant and valuable
horses, and offers of submission. Banjit Singh, however,
hearing of Sudh Singh's death, had already sent a force
under Ghinda Singh Safi to seize the fort of Jasar, situated
about five miles from Doda. The family represented how
matters stood, and begged for delay till the pleasure of the
Maharaja should be known; but Ganda Singh was not to be
stayed, and directed an inunediate assault upon the fort, from
which he was repulsed with loss. When Banjit Singh heard
of this failure, he laughed and said that '^ the safi had lost
his safa.** The joke requires explanation. Ganda Singh
before he was raised to the command of a regiment was a
safij or man employed to brush away flies ; and safa is a
cloth used as a turban, the loss of which among all orientals
is considered disgraceful. Banjit Singh made but few jokes;
and'the success of this one pleased him so much that Gaja Singh
was well received, and twenty-five villages were released in
his favour, subject to the service of eighteen sowars. He
accompanied the Maharaja on his expeditions against Multan
and Kashmir, and fought under Diwan Mohkam Chand in
the battle of Attock in 1813, and was also present at

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the siege of Mankera. He died the year after this last
expedition in 1822, when all his jagirs were resumed by
the Maharaja.

Hari Singh, his eldest son, was thus almost reduced to
poverty, and took service with the Sindhanwalia Chiefs,
Lahna Singh and Shamsher Singh, from whom he eventually
received the command of fifty sowars. He fought gallantly at
Jamrud, where Hari Singh Nalwa was slain ; and his conduct
on this occasion was rewarded by Ranjit Singh.

During the Satlaj Campaign he served under Sardar
Shamsher Singh Sindhanwalia, and after the occupation of
Lahore he accompanied that Chief and Lieutenant Edwardes
to Bannu on a salary of Rs. 600 a year. When the rebellion
broke out at Multan, Hari Singh marched there with his
superior and joined the rebels with Raja Sher Singh. He
asserts, indeed, that he attempted, with commandant Karam
Bakhsh of Batala, to escape from the rebel camp, and that
they had even commenced their flight, when they were seen
by the enemy ; Karam Bakhsh, who was riding first, was
shot dead, and Hari Singh himself was taken prisoner.
Whatever may be the truth of this story, it is certain that Hari
Singh fought on the rebel side at Ramnagar and Gujrat ; and
accordingly his village of Fatuwal, worth Rs. 600, and a
portion of Doda were resumed. His cash pension of Rs. 500
was also confiscated ; but in 1852 he received a pension of
Rs. 100, which he enjoyed until his death in 1870.

The share in the village of Doda possessed by Ind Kaur,
the last surviving widow of Sardar Sudh Singh, was not re-
sumed till the death of that lady some years afterwards.

Jawala Singh, son of Hari Singh, entered the corps
known as the Suraj Mukhi at Ambala. He was obliged
by ill-health to retire after a few years service, and is now
an incurable insane. His eldest son, Bishan Singh, took
service in 1872 in the 19th Bengal Lancers, and was with the

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regiment throughout the last campaign in Afghanistan. He
retired in 1881 owing to family quarrels, which necessitated
his presence at home. His brother Ishar Singh is serving in
the 6th Bengal Cavalry.

Sant Singh, another son, entered Hodson's Horse in
1857, and did good service in Hindustan. He retired in
1860, and died shortly after.


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MajuJingli. GftjaSinglu T4

8. Pwem Singh*

fl. Jawftblr Singh Hir* Singh 8. Jftimal Singh Juwant Singh

■.n.8herBinffh§&toinh ». 1816. n. 1870. >. ISM.

».18Si. J

I Karpal Singh

Twa Singh n. 1871.

IdxivnAB SivftB*

The Randhawa tribe is of Eajput origin, and its founder
was resident in Bikanir seven hundred years ago. From
him have descended seven families, more or less distinguished
in the history of the Panjab ; namely, Dbarmkot, Ghanianki,
Chamiari, Doda, Dorangah or Talwandi, Kathu-Nangal and
Ehunda. Some account of the five last of these families
will be given here. Khunda now takes the highest rank,
while Kathu-Nangal, Dbarmkot and Ghanianki are of no
present consideration whatever.

Little is known of Randhawa, a Jadu Rajput, the
ancestor from whom the tribe has derived its name. He
was said to have been a great warrior, and his name Ban^
war, and dhawa^ a local form of dauma, to run, signifies bis
prowess ; but whether he was wont to run into the battle or
away from it is nowhere recorded. Neither he nor his
immediate descendants left Bikanir ; but Kajal, fifth in
descent from Randhawa emigrated to the Panjab and
settled near Batala,* which had been founded some time
before by Ram Deo, a Bhati Rajput.

* Batala is stoted to have been founded in 1465 A.D., bat in reality its age if far
greater. Bam Deo first dag the foandations of the new town aboat two miles from
the present site ; but every night the excavation which ho bad dag doring the day was
filled np by sapemataral agency, and Ram Deo was at last compelled to change the
site of the town, which be called Batala, or change.

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The brothers took possession of a valuable tract of
country in the Gurdaspur district^ including Naushera^
Zafarwal^ Khunda, Shahpiu* and adjacent viUageSs and
the other branches of the Bandhawa family about the same
time rose to importance. The Khundawalas belonged to
the Kanhya Misal, and till the death of Sardar Jai Singh
Kanhya in 1793 they kept possession of all their estates,
worth nearly two lakhs of rupees ; but Sada Earn*, widow of
Jai Singhi and one of the ablest and most imscrupulous of
her sex, taking advantage of some dissensions in the family,
seized Naushera and Hayatnagar Kalan. Still later, in
the time of Sardar Parem Singh, Maharaja Banjit Singh
seized the whole of the estate^ leaving only ten villages to
the family, worth Rs. 6,000. Panjab Singh, father of Parem
Singh, had married a daughter of Nodh Singh Majithia,
whose son, Sardar Desa Singh, possessed at this time great
influenc-e with the Maharaja. He procured Parem Singh to
be placed with his ten sowars under him ; and the young
Sardar accordingly served with the Maharaja's forces in
many campaigns, including those of Multan and Peshawar.
He was drowned on the 2nd November 1824, when
attempting, with the Maharaja's army, to ford the Indus,
then much swollen by the raios, in pursuit of the Gandgarh
insurgents, who had attacked and defeated Hari Singh
Nalwa. The jagir was continued to his four sons on the
same terms, namely, service of ten sowars in the Majithia

In 1836 Sardar Jaimal Singh entered the service of
the Maharaja with his brother Jawahir Singh. He received
a command in the Ramgarhia brigade from Sardar Lahna

Batala wm, howoTer, a pUoe of oo importance till 1590, when Shamsher Khan,
who, from being a ennnch in Akbar't Zanana, roie to the Govemorthip of the lianjha
and the Jalandhar Doab, beaotified the town with fine bnildingt and a snperb ta^
Finding the Hindot averte to bathing in the tank, he sent 800 camels to Hardwar
to fetch Ganges water with which to porifj it ; and the story is that from that day
ihetankhaa been always fall, and the water nai been always dear.

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Sisgh Majithia in the place of his father-in-law Fateh Singh
Chahal, who had lately died. The brothers accompanied
Lahna Singh to Peshawar when he marched to relieve
the Sikh army after its defeat by the Afghans at Jamrud in
1837. Jawahir Singh served with Lahna Singh in the hill
country of Mandi ; and the Ehnnda Sardars were, till the
annexation of the Panjab, hereditary jagurdars of the Majithia
Chiefs. Jaswant Singh died in 1844.

Sardars Jawahir Singh and Hira Singh are sons of
one mother ; Sardars Jaimal Singh and Jaswant Singh of
another ; and no love has ever been lost between the half-
brothers. Sardar Lahna Singh, their immediate superior,
on their disputing about the jagir, divided it between them
thus : Jaiihal Singh to hold Khunda, Ehundi, Sujanpur,
Budhipur, Shahpur, Mali Samrar, and half of Harsian,
Jafarwal and Bandiwal, value Bs. 4,000, with an allowance
of Bs. 2,000 cash, and to furnish six sowars. Jawahir
Singh to hold Zafarwal, Malian and half Harsian, worth
Bs. 2,600, with a cash allowance of Bs. 1,200, and to furnish
four sowars. But just before Lahna Singh left the second
time for Banares, another dispute arose about the proprietary
right of the brothers. A panchayat or committee was
appointed by Lahna Singh, which decided that Sardar
Jaimal Singh should hold the proprietary rights of E^hunda
and Shahpnr, the ancestral villages, and Sardar Jawahir
Singh the proprietary rights of Naushera and Jhatupatu.
But the proprietors of the last two villages, also of the
Bandhawa clan, disputed the right, and a decisfon was
given in their favour in the Settlement Courts in 1854.
Jawahir Singh then sued for half of Ehunda and Shahpur,
but the Settlement OflGlcer decided against him.

Sardar Jawahir Singh has not served the British
Gk)venmient. In 1850 he visited Sardar Lahna Singh at
Banares, but soon afterwards returned to the Fanjab.

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Sar^ JaimjBl Singli was in 1847 appointed Naib Adalati or
Deputy Judge of Amritsar mxder Sardar Lahna Singh
Majithia, When the rebellion of 1848 broke qut he 8tood man-
fqllj, i^d without heisdtation^ on tbe sidepf t^e Gpyernmejnt,
Qe took an aotdye part against the insurgents of the Manjhai
Trhose houses he was directed to confiscate ; andi \>j his loyailty,
intelligi^ce and sBea)i won the highest praise from the
authorities. After annexation he accept9d service as
Tahjsildarof Bi^tala, and did his best to render the new
administration popular in the country. Although ignorwt
of the English system of procedure, he conducted his duties
with so much ability that he was made an Extra Assistant
Qonnnijssioner and placed in the Thagi Department. There
Colonel Sleeman, Major Mc Andrew and Mr. Brereton testified
to the value of his services. He was employed in collecting
information in the villages, in arresting Thags^ and in
conducting prosecutions against them; and l^ter made
himself very useful in taking charge of the Jail and School of
Industry. He resigned the office of Extra Assistant in 1860.
In 1857 he did excellent service, and received, in
acknowledgment of his loyalty, a khilat of Bs. 1,000. He
died in 1870, after rendering nutny years of useful service as
an Honorary Magistrate. His jagir of Bs. 2,200 pe^ annum
was continued to his pon Karpal Singh, subject to a nazarana
deduction of one-fourth. Karpal Singh was also a Magistrate
atBatala. He died in 1872. The jagir grant has been
resumed. His widow, la daughter of Sardar Gbpal Singh
Manauli^ is the guardian of Karpal Singh's only son AfaHixdar

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The Slharal tribe, of which the late Sarfaraz Ehan was

Online LibraryCharles Francis Massy Sir Lepel Henry GriffinThe Panjab chiefs: historical and biographical notices of the ..., Volume 2 → online text (page 5 of 29)