Sikhs : Maharaja Ranjit Singh

Exact Match
  Indus Valley
  Mauryan Era
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  Arab Invasion
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  Mughal Period
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  British Period

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Under Mughals | Ranjit Singh | Anglo-Sikh Wars 

The Sikhs, who from a devotional religious sect had been transformed into a militant anti-Muslim group in the seventeenth century, due to the barbaric repression by the Mughals in the early eighteenth century had been driven into the foothills in 1716. As Mughal authority waned in Punjab they again reappeared in the plains in small groups. Active, aggressive, and sustained by a militant faith they were soon operating all over the Punjab.

They were divided into twelve fraternities or misls and gradually set up a number of petty states, some of which like Patiala even lasted till independence. By the end of 18th century they had produced a leader of the caliber of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Ranjit Singh (1780-1839), known as the Lion of the Punjab, was one of the most important figures in the history of India. He became the first Indian ruler to create a great Sikh kingdom.

Ranjit was the son of an important chief in the Punjab, a region in northwest India. His father died when he was 12. At first, Ranjit ruled only a small state. But he gradually conquered neighbouring states and threw off the control of the powerful Afghans.

Ranjit wanted to unite all Sikhs in a great nation. He expanded to the north and west, and made his state the largest in the Indus valley. But the British prevented him from uniting all Sikhs. Later on he signed treaties with the British that kept the peace.

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