Rise of Misals in Punjab

10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, the last Human Sikh Guru was born in Patna and he became Guru at the age of 9 years. Guru Govind Singh’s life was one of the greatest landmarks in the history of Sikhs. He established Khalsa and fought around 20 battles with the Mughals.

  • He declared in 1708, that Guru Granth Sahib will be the holy scripture of Sikkhism and will be the permanent Guru of Sikhs.

Establishing the Khalsa Panth was the beginning of the Sikh religion. The five K’s of Sikhs was a pledge of a Sikh’s dedication to Khalsa of Guru. Sikhs became a strong political Force in the Punjab Region with next 50 years and with the decline of Mughal Power in Delhi, many Sikh sardars became owners of large parts of land which they called Misals. The lords or leaders of these Misals were called Misaldars.

The repeated invasions and exposure to the western adventurers had made the people of Punjab acquire martial skills for their survival. The Misaldars were very strong, each of them with great military skills. When the Mughals were decaying, India was invaded by Nadir Shah and Ahamad Shah Durrani. Nadir Shah when going back was assaulted by these Misaldars. Though, defeating Ahamad Shah Durrani was out of their power, yet they tried their hand and got killed in thousands.

The Misals were not a consolidated power. The 12 Misals varied in size, power as well as importance. But they were “equal” as far as matter of Sikkhism is concerned. The Misals were as follows:

  1. The Bhangi Misal
  2. The Ahluwalia Misal
  3. The Ramgarhia Misal
  4. The Nakai Misal
  5. The Kanhia Misal
  6. The Dallewalia Misal
  7. The Nishanwalia Misal
  8. The Singhpuria Misal
  9. The Karora Singh Misal
  10. The Shahid and Nishang Misal
  11. The Phulikian Misal
  12. The Shukarchakia Misal

The Misaldars often used to fight with each other. It was Maharaja Ranjit Singh who consolidated the Sikh Misals and laid the foundation of Sikh Empire, which lasted for half century.

Rise of Maharaja Ranjit Singh

12 Misaldars were welded into a Khalsa State by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who captured Lahore in 1799 and annexed the provinces of Multan, Peshawar and Kashmir. In 1805, he captured the Amritsar Sahib from Bhangi Misal and took over Kashmir.

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