‘Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji’ was the 3rd leader of the ‘Sukerchakia Misl’, and the one who brought all the ‘Sikh Misls’ together, to form the ‘Sikh Empire’, also known as the ‘Khalsa Raj’ or ‘Sarkar-E-Khalsa’, so in turn was the first ‘Maharaja’ of the ‘Sikh Empire’.
He was the son of ‘Sardarni Raj Kaur Ji’ & ‘Sardar Maha Singh Ji’.There is too much info on ‘Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji’ to share in one post, so I will just bullet point a few of his positive achievements.
1. He first fought in a battle when he was only 10 years old, and at the age of 17, he failed the king of Afghanistan Zaman Shah Durrani’s invasion of India.
2. Zaman Shah Durrani was yet again defeated by Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji in the Battle of Amritsar (1797), the Battle of Gujarat in the same year, and the Battle of Amritsar the following year.
3. As a child, he suffered from smallpox which resulted in him losing one of his eyes.
4. He captured Lahore in the year 1799, which is also considered as the turning point for the Sikh Empire.
5. He was crowned Maharaja in 1801 at the age of only 20.
6. He had eight sons, but he acknowledged only ‘Maharaja Kharak Singh Ji’, and ‘Maharaja Duleep Singh Ji’ as his biological sons.
7. The Sikh Empire, was a region spanning the border into modern-day People’s Republic of China and Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
8. Under his tenure, the Sikh Empire was very secular since it allowed men from different religions, to also rise to commanding positions of authority.
9. His army even included a few Europeans, however, the British were not allowed to join it as it was believed that they had a very inconsistent nature.
10. In his empire, none of the subjects were discriminated on account of their religion. He never forced Sikhism on non-Sikhs and respected all religions.
11. The golden part of ‘The Golden Temple’ and even some of the intricate marble work was done with the aid of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji.
12. He is remembered for the possession of the ‘Koh-I-Noor’ diamond, which he left to Jagannath Temple in Odisha and was given to him by ‘Shuja Shah Durrani’ of Afghanistan.
13. In 2003, a 22-feet tall bronze statue of ‘Mahara Ranjit Singh Ji’ was installed in the Parliament of India in his honour. Not only in India but in the French town of Saint-Tropez, that had military links with Punjab, they also installed a bronze bust of ‘Mahara Ranjit Singh Ji’ in 2016.
14. He is revered worldwide.