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Politics & War

Politics & War

Banda Singh Bahadur

Banda Singh Bahadur
  • Banda Singh Bahadur (27 October 1670 – 9 June 1716, Delhi), was a Sikh military commander who established a Sikh state with capital at Lohgarh (present-day Haryana, India).
  • His first major action was the sacking of the Mughal provincial capital, Samana, in November 1709. After establishing his authority in Punjab, Banda Singh Bahadur abolished the zamindari system, and granted property rights to the tillers of the land. He was captured by the Mughals and tortured to death in 1715-1716.
  • Banda Singh was born at Rajouri (now in Jammu and Kashmir). According to Hakim Rai’s Ahwāl-i-Lachhmaṇ Dās urf Bandā Sāhib, his father Ram Dev was a farmer belonging to the Sodhi sub-caste of the Khatris.
  • At age 15 he left home to become an ascetic, and was given the name ‘’Madho Das’’. He established a monastery at Nānded, on the bank of the river Godāvarī, where in September 1708 he was visited by, and became a disciple of, Guru Gobind Singh
  • After a meeting with Guru Gobind Singh on 3 September 1708, he became a Sikh.
  • In 1709 he defeated Mughals in the Battle of Samana and captured the Mughal city of Samana, killing about 10,000 Mohammedans.
  • Samana minted coins. With this treasury the Sikhs became financially stable. The Sikhs soon took over Mustafabad and Sadhora (near Jagadhri).

) • On 12 May 1710 in the Battle of Chappar Chiri the Sikhs killed Wazir Khan, the Governor of Sirhind and Dewan Suchanand, who were responsible for the martyrdom of the two youngest sons of Guru Gobind Singh.

  • Two days later the Sikhs captured Sirhind. Banda Singh was now in control of territory from the Sutlej to the Yamuna and ordered that ownership of the land be given to the farmers, to let them live in dignity and selfrespect.
  • He briefly established a state in Punjab for half a year. Banda Singh sent Sikhs to the Uttar Pradesh and Sikhs took over Saharanpur, Jalalabad, Muzaffarnagar and other nearby areas, bringing relief to the repressed population.
  • In the regions of Jalandhar and Amritsar, the Sikhs started fighting for the rights of the people. Banda Singh Bahadur captured Rahon after defeating Mughals in the Battle of Rahon (1710). Sikhs used their newly established power to remove corrupt officials and replace them with honest ones.
  • The rule of the Sikhs over the entire Punjab east of Lahore obstructed the communication between Delhi and Lahore, the capital of Punjab, and this worried Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah He gave up his plan to subdue rebels in Rajasthan and marched towards Punjab
  • The entire Imperial force was organized to defeat and kill Banda Singh Bahadur. All the generals were directed to join the Emperor’s army. To ensure that there were no Sikh agents in the army camps, an order was issued on 29 August 1710 to all Hindus to shave off their beards.
  • Banda Singh was in Uttar Pradesh when the Moghal army under the orders of Munim Khan marched to Sirhind and before the return of Banda Singh, they had already taken Sirhind and the areas around it. The Sikhs therefore moved to Lohgarh for their final battle.
  • In March 1715, the army under the rule of Abdus Samad Khan,the Mughal king of Delhi, drove Banda Bahadur and the Sikh forces into the village of Gurdas Nangal, Gurdaspur, Punjab and laid siege to the village.
  • The Sikhs defended the small fort for eight months under conditions of great hardship,but on 7 December 1715 the Mughals broke into the starving garrison and captured Banda Singh and his companions.
  • Banda Singh Bahadur was put into an iron cage and the remaining Sikhs were chained. The Sikhs were brought to Delhi in a procession with the 780 Sikh prisoners, 2,000 Sikh heads hung on spears, and 700 cartloads of heads of slaughtered Sikhs used to terrorise the population.They were put in the Delhi fort and pressured to give up their faith and become Muslims.
  • This continued for approximately seven days. After three months of confinement, on 9 June 1716, Banda Singh’s eyes were gouged out, his limbs were severed, his skin removed, and then he was killed.
  • Battle of Sonipat
  • Battle of Samana
  • Battle of Chappar Chiri
  • Battle of Sadhaura
  • Battle of Lohgarh
  • Battle of Jammu
  • Battle of Rahon, (1710)
  • Battle of Jalalabad (1710)
  • Battle of Gurdas Nangal or Siege of Gurdaspur
  • Battle of Sirhind