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Found 13 results

  1. A great programme watch downloading for future and showing your family and friends https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bfnldw
  2. puzzled

    Hari Singh Nalwa shield

    Video of Hari Singh Nalwas shield from the exhibition "empire of the Sikhs" i went to this exhibition it was amazing. Came across these great videos from the exhibition giving information about the artifacts and the people that owned them. The guy doing the talks is Davinder Singh Toor he is an art collector and has an amazing collection of art and objects from the Sikh empire. Respect to him for buying these things when the gorreh try flogging them at auction!
  3. puzzled

    Qila Gobindgarh

    Gobindgarh Fort Amazing India The Secrets of the Gobindgarh Fort By Akshay Chavan July 11, 2017 at 2:40 AM Though the capital of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s kingdom was Lahore, it is this fort that was at the heart of his empire Millions travel to Amritsar each year. Home to the most sacred shrine of the Sikhs, the Harmandir Sahib ( Golden Temple), there is another part of the old city that is now accessible to visitors. This year, the State government opened the historic Gobindgarh Fort to the public. Few people realise that while the capital of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s kingdom was Lahore, it is this fort that was at the heart of his empire. It housed the largest armoury and mint in the empire, and the control of Gobindgarh gave Ranjit Singh religious sanction, as this fort of his protected the Harmandir Saheb, the holiest of shrines in Sikhism. This fort has a fascinating history that harks back to the early days of the Sikhs, when the land was carved into small principalities controlled by powerful Sikh clans called misls. The Gobindgarh Fort originally called the Qila Bhangian, which literally means ‘the Marijuana Fort’ has an interesting story to tell. ‘Bhangion da Qila’ or the fort of the Bhangis. Bhangi Misl The rise of the Sikhs coincided with the decline of the Mughal Empire. By the early 18th century CE, Punjab was divided into principalities called misls. They controlled all the land in heart of Punjab and beyond and eventually acted as the base from which Maharaja Ranjit Singh built his great Empire. But long before Ranjit Singh’s time, Amritsar was under a misl called the Bhangi Misl controlled by its chief Sardar Gujjar Singh Bhangi. Called Bhangi, because the soldiers from the clan were known to be fond of Bhang or Marijuana, this was a powerful clan. It was Sardar Gujjar Singh who is credited for building a small fort at the site of the Gobindgarh Fort in the 1760s. Locally it was called ‘Bhangion da Qila’ or the fort of the Bhangis. Maharaja Ranjit Singh Gobindgarh under Ranjit Singh Maharaja Ranjit Singh was born in 1780 CE in a family of the head of Sukerchakia Misl, a small kingdom in Gurjanwala district of today’s Pakistan. Ranjit Singh's rise was astounding and by the time he was in his twenties, he was charting an aggressive course of empire building. Over the next few decades, Maharaja Ranjit Singh would conquer one misl after another and establish a large empire that stretched from Multan to Kashmir. He was only 22 years old, when in 1802 CE, he conquered Amritsar from the Bhangi misl and incorporated it into his empire. The conquest of Amritsar, was crucial for Ranjit Singh as it was the second largest city in Punjab after Lahore and the spiritual base of the Sikhs. The Gobindgarh Fort was originally called the Qila Bhangian, which literally means ‘the Marijuana Fort’ Not surprisingly, one of the first things he did on taking over, was the renovation and expansion of the old Qila, which was located just outside the walled city of Amritsar. He ordered his commander Shamir Singh Thethar to improve the fort with additions and fortifications that took around four years to complete. The result was the creation of a magnificent fort, aptly named in honor of the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Maharaja Ranjit Singh keenly adapted latest European military technologies and a number of European mercenaries served in his army as well. The main defensive walls were arranged concentrically, their multiple tiers surrounded by a deep and broad moat. This was the latest European defence architecture of the time and protected the fort from cannon attacks. Inside the fort was a large armoury, treasury and also a palace. Inside the Fort The fort was separated from the walled city of Amritsar by an open ground. Over 12,000 soldiers were deployed in the fort to protect the city. An important armoury where weapons were manufactured was set here and the fort also functioned as the largest mint or tanksal where silver and copper coins of Maharaja Ranjit Singh were minted. Maharaja Ranjit Singh keenly adapted latest European military technologies and a number of European mercenaries served in his army as well During Ranjit Singh’s reign, the Gobindgarh Fort became the center for essential supplies for his army as they pushed their boundaries and the Sikh Empire expanded. The supply of cannon bags and arms for the all the campaigns around Punjab and the surrounding hills came from here. It was the site of the state treasury and surprisingly, it was also the place where the Kohinoor diamond was kept. The Emperor of Afghanistan, Shah Shuja, surrendered the diamond to Ranjit Singh in 1813 CE. It was paraded around the streets of Amritsar. Later, the diamond was kept sure at the Tosakhana (Treasury) in the fort premises. Emily Eden visits Gobindgarh Lord Auckland was the Governor-General of British India between 1836 and 1842 CE. The British were fearful that Russia would invade India through Afghanistan and Punjab and hence wanted to be friendly with Maharaja Ranjit Singh. In 1838 CE, Lord Auckland along with his sister Emily Eden made a state visit to Amritsar where they were lavishly entertained by the Maharaja. He also invited them to a tour of Gobindgarh, which apparently surprised everyone as it was a restricted area. But they thought Ranjit Singh really wanted to be friendly with the British. Emily Eden (1797-1896 CE) was a noted English poet and novelist . She wrote extensively about her travels in India, which was later published as a popular book ‘Up The Country: Letters Written to Her Sister from the Upper Provinces of India (1867). In her dairy dated Monday, Dec. 17, 1838 CE, Emily writes: “THE MAHARAJAH ASKED G. [GEORGE EDEN, LORD AUCKLAND, HER BROTHER] TO GO WITH HIM ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON TO LOOK AT HIS FORT OF GOVINDGHUR, IN WHICH HE KEEPS ALL HIS TREASURES; AND IT IS CERTAIN THAT WHOEVER GETS HOLD OF GOVINDGHUR AT HIS DEATH WILL ALSO GET HOLD OF HIS KINGDOM.HE NEVER ALLOWS ANYBODY TO ENTER IT, AND E. SAYS, THAT IN ALL THE THIRTEEN YEARS HE HAS BEEN WITH HIM HE HAS NEVER BEEN ABLE TO GET A SIGHT OF IT, AND HE WAS CONVINCED THAT RUNJEET WOULD EITHER PRETEND TO BE ILL, OR TO MAKE SOME MISTAKE IN THE HOUR, SO THAT HE WOULD NOT REALLY SHOW G. EVEN THE OUTSIDE OF IT. IT WAS RATHER LATE BEFORE KURRUCK SINGH CAME TO FETCH G.; HOWEVER, THEY SOON MET THE MAHARAJAH, AND WENT TOWARDS THE FORT. AN OFFICER CAME TO ASK HIS ‘HOOKUM,' OR ORDERS, AND HE TOLD HIM TO HAVE THE GATES OPENED, AND DESIRED G. TO TAKE IN ALL THE OFFICERS OF HIS ESCORT, EVEN ANY ENGINEERS. THEN HE LED HIM ALL OVER THE FORT, SHOWED HIM WHERE THE TREASURE WAS KEPT, TOOK HIM UP TO THE ROOF, WHERE THERE WAS A CARPET SPREAD, AND TWO GOLD CHAIRS, AND THERE SAT AND ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CANNONS AND SHELLS, AND MINES, AND FORTS IN GENERAL. THE EUROPEANS WERE ALL AMAZED; BUT THEY SAY THE SURPRISE OF RUNJEET'S OWN SIRDARS WAS PAST ALL CONCEALMENT; EVEN THE COMMON SOLDIERS BEGAN TALKING ABOUT IT, AND SAID THAT THEY NOW SAW THAT THE SIKHS AND ENGLISH WERE TO BE ALL ONE FAMILY AND TO LIVE IN THE SAME HOUSE.' IT CERTAINLY IS VERY ODD HOW COMPLETELY THE SUSPICIOUS OLD MAN SEEMS TO HAVE CONQUERED ANY FEELING OF JEALOUSY, AND IT IS ENTIRELY HIS OWN DOING, AGAINST THE WISHES AND PLANS OF HIS PRIME MINISTERS, AND OF MOST OF HIS SIRDARS; BUT HE HAS TAKEN HIS OWN LINE, AND SAYS HE IS DETERMINED TO SHOW HOW COMPLETE HIS CONFIDENCE IS.” The fort in present day Gobindgarh under the British Sadly, contrary to what Maharaja Ranjit Singh had hoped, the Sikh empire and British were not ‘to be all one family and to live in the same house’. After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1839 CE, the relations between the British and the Sikh empire deteriorated. Fights broke out between the various factions of the Sikh court. The Sikhs and the British fought two wars - the Anglo-Sikh wars between 1845 and 1849 CE. The Sikh army was defeated and the Kingdom of Punjab became a British protectorate. The fort of Gobindgarh was occupied by the British forces in September 1848 CE. Finally, in 1849 CE, Punjab was annexed and made part of British India by Lord Dalhousie. In his private papers, Lord Dalhousie wrote in March 1850 “… the fort of Govindghur … the most important place in all of India perhaps ……” After Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s death in 1839 CE, the relations between the British and the Sikh empire deteriorated The fort was soon occupied by the British Indian army. In 1850 CE, there was a proposal to demolish all the forts of Punjab to prevent any revolt, but thankfully this plan was not carried through. The palace inside the fort was demolished sometime around 1855 CE. Over time, as the frontier of the British Empire spread to borders of Afghanistan, Gobindgarh lost all its strategic value. It was during the Partition of 1947, that large number of refugees took shelter in the fort. Later it was handed over to the Indian Army. Zam Zama canoon The Fort Today The Gobindgarh Fort has since been restored and was thrown open to the public in February 2017. Go to the fort and you will find it is steeped in history and goes beyond the Sikhs. One of the great attractions in this fort, is a replica of the great and historic cannon ‘Zam Zama’. Made on the orders of Afghan ruler Ahmad Shah Abdali, it was used in the Third Battle of Panipat, against the Marathas in 1761 CE. The battle broke the Maratha power over North India and gave Afghans control over Punjab. In 1762 CE, the Bhangi chief had captured this cannon near Lahore, brought it to Amritsar and called it ‘Bhangion di Tope’. It was a prized possession of Maharaja Ranjit singh. However, it was damaged in battle and taken back from Amritsar to Lahore in 1818 CE, where it can still be seen today. A close reproduction of it can be seen at Gobindgarh. Also an attraction at the Gobindgarh fort are the four bastions at four cardinal points of the fort and the Toshakhana- the place where the Kohinoor was placed. The British period structures within the fort include the Durbar Hall, said to have built in 1850 CE as a six-bed hospital, the Barrack which was originally built during Ranjit Singh’s time but re-modelled in 1850 CE and the Chloronome House which was used for the treatment of water through the process of chlorination. So when you visit Amritsar next, don’t forget to visit the Gobindgarh fort, the most important fort of the Sikh empire, which remains in the Indian side of the state of Punjab.
  4. I once read how Prince Nau Nihal Singh was crowned Maharaja of Punjab after the death of his father Kharak Singh, but after a few hours of being crowned a stone/bricks fell in his head and after a few hours he was dead. Even then there were speculations of it being a planned murder. I think it's pretty obvious that it was murder. Soon after his mother chand kaur took over and became empress. He was 19 years old and had a son, not sure what happened to his son ... I don't anyone ever got to the bottom of this incident though I think there was an "investigation" I think if it was a murder then the obvious choices are either the British or the dogra brothers. Sher Singh, his uncle? Sounds like a fishy character to me, maybe it was plotted by him because soon after he did become Maharaja. I think Sher Singh did end up getting a bit too friendly with the British. After Ranjit Singh i don't think the raj was stable, too much drama, plot twists, betrayals, mysteries.
  5. As advertised on FB by Sikh Discover Inspire Talk 9 at Khalili lecture Hall london EC1H 0XG on 9th sep 2018 at 17:00 , tickets 5 GBP: Musician and PhD researcher, Kirit Singh, delves into the story of music at the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh with a talk and unique performance reflecting some of the music associated with the Court of Lahore in collaboration with the dhrupad vocalist, Shri Prassanna Vishwanathan. This illustrated talk and musical performance will be followed by a Q&A session. Kirit Singh is a PhD student at SOAS university where he is undertaking research on the development and interaction between Hindustani music and the Gurbani Kirtan tradition, during the historical period in which Sikh patronage of the arts was at its greatest. He is also a musician and disciple of one of the leading torchbearers of dhrupad vocal music, Pt. Uday Bhawalkar. As a co-founder of the South Asian Music Forum, he is activeley involved in supporting young and talented UK-based musicians and encouraging intimate and authentic concerts of South Asian music. This lecture series has been organised by the UK Punjab Heritage Association (UKPHA) in partnership with the SOAS South Asia Institute (SSAI) . Image: Detail from a painting by August Schoefft of Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Amritsar listening to Gurbani Kirtan, circa 1841-43 (Princess Bamba Collection, Lahore Fort)
  6. Talk eight as advertised on Sikh Discover Inspire taking place at Khalili Lecture Hall london EC1H 0XG , Sunday 9th Sept 2018 at 15:00 , ticket 5GBP: The series continues with our eighth talk, in which historian and ethnomusicologist, Radha Kapuria, establishes how Punjab emerged as a major centre for classical music patronage under Maharaja Ranjit Singh, revealing the particular centrality of sword-yielding, cross-dressing female dancers in his diplomatic negotiations with political rivals. This illustrated talk will be followed by a Q&A session. Radha Kapuria trained as a historian at the University of Delhi before joining the Jawaharlal Nehru University for her MPhil degree. Her research investigated the oldest classical music festival of north India- the Harballabh of Jalandhar, Punjab. She built on this ‘micro-history’ by researching a more macro-level social history of music in the region during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for her PhD at King’s College London. She currently divides her time between preparing a book manuscript titled Music in Colonial Punjab: A Social History, based on her PhD, and working as part-time Lecturer in Ethnomusicology at King’s. This lecture series has been organised by the UK Punjab Heritage Association (UKPHA) in partnership with the SOAS South Asia Institute (SSAI). Image: Dancing girls and musicians at the Court of Lahore, by Bishan Singh, 1874 (Collection of Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan)
  7. When we look back at our history the Sikh community only were able to achieve great victories those who tried to exterminate us by being unified and feeding into a pot that helped the community become self sufficient and then the goal of creating a commonwealth of Sikh populated area's of influence. What we have nowadays is Sikhs busy trying to further their own selfish interests, trying to accumulate their own financial needs instead and putting each other down of looking at the bigger picture of community progressing to a strong position so that population grows instead of it declining and suffering as see it with Sikhs in islamic dominated hell holes of afghanistan, pakistan and kashmir and now even punjab our population is not the healthy majority it used to be. I see some Sikhs with huge houses, latest flashy cars some even helping build big beautifully decorated gurdwara's and it reminds me of Sikhs of the past. They were rich, they were royals, business or land owners they spent huge monies one expensive personal goods and also build gurdwara's all over the place. Then the british east india company army came along and the Sikh empire was no more and then 1947 happened and those huge numerous beautiful gurdwara's were destroyed by musilms or converted into masjids or pakistani govt buildings. The Sikhs should have spent their resources on creating a huge population by either birth rate or converting the muslims and other masses to Sikhi instead of building gurdwara's because its the people that matter not the buildings they can be destroyed or converted by enemies.
  8. Brits would have lost to Sikhs, ‘but for treachery by 2 Gens’ William Dalrymple (right) speaks as (L-R) Amar Pal Sidhu, Mandeep Rai and Dr Sukhmani Riar look on at the Military Literature Festival in Chandigarh on Saturday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: RAVI KUMAR Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 9 Adept in Indo-British history, two leading historians today differed on what could have been the British Empire’s future after the First Anglo-Sikh War in 1846, but both agreed that the East India Company-led army had almost lost the war had the Sikhs — surprisingly or prompted by the treachery of two Generals — not surrendered. Speaking on ‘Anglo-Sikh wars’ at the Military Literature Festival here, London-based historian Amar Pal Sidhu argued: “The British lacked ammunition, had no water and were, thus, incapable of fighting. Then Governor General Lord Henry Hardinge was in the battlefield and he would have had to surrender. The entire British Raj could have collapsed.” Sidhu, who has authored separate books on the first and the Second Anglo-Sikh War (1848-49), said: “Had the Sikh army not surrendered, the British Empire’s history in India would have been different. It would have been a seminal moment resembling the one at Waterloo (where Napoleon Bonaparte of France lost).” The treachery by Generals Tej Singh and Lal Singh changed the course of history. The two owed their positions to Maharani Jindan, one of the queens of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. “Punjab probably would have been united and would still be united,” said Sidhu. William Dalrymple, author of “Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan”, accepted that the military edge in the First Anglo-Sikh War was with the Sikhs. He, however, differed on the outcome of the British Empire had they (Sikhs) won the first war. “At that point, it was easy to defeat the Company-led army, though they could have used their backup of vast resources and men,” he averred. They had resources much bigger than Punjab’s. Between 1790 and the early 1800s, the company was earning hugely from Bengal. The private army of the East India Company was twice the size of the British army. Mandeep Rai, who was moderating the session, said: “Historians have not realised that had the Sikh army not surrendered, the Lahore durbar would have survived and the state of Pakistan would not have come into being.” Dr Sukhmani Riar, Professor of history at PU, asserted that “the creation of the Dogra state (now J&K) after the First Anglo-Sikh War was still a mystery. How the Sikh kingdom collapsed within a few years of the death of Ranjit Singh (in 1839) is a matter of study”. The First Anglo-Sikh War led to signing of the ‘Treaty of Umritsar’ (Amritsar) and carving out a separate Dogra kingdom. It meant partial subjugation. Three years later, the Second Anglo-Sikh War led to total defeat of the Sikh army and the subsequent collapse of the Sikh kingdom.
  9. Victor Jacquemont (8 August 1801 – 7 December 1832) was a French botanist and geologist who visited Panjab during the early part of Ranjit Singh's reign (he met him). His journals were translated into English and published as PUNJAB, A HUNDRED YEARS AGO, after his death. The work was translated and edited by H.L.O. Garrett, and first published in 1935 by the Punjab Government Record Office, Lahore. Here are some excerpts: *Jacquemont was wrong, Ventura had previously fought the Russians but Allard had not.
  10. what relgion was diwan mohkam Chand, he was a general in maharaja ranjit singhs army, I was just reading about the battle of attock and events related, very impressive! is it fair to say that Kashmir and Jammu are in india/Pakistan simply due to the Sikh empire, even the Kohinoor, well... was lol I actually had never herd of him before! many Sikh figures have disappeared over time, its a shame...
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