Foundation of Jammu & Kashmir State by Maharaja Gulab Singh

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  • Topic: Ranjit Singh, Sikh, Sikh Empire
  • Pages : 7 (2909 words )
  • Download(s) : 1991
  • Published : October 2, 2011
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188 years ago began the process of evolution of State of Jammu & Kashmir by an act of unprecedented historical significance in which Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab who ruled Jammu as Jagir of his son Prince Kharak Singh as well as other major principalities indirectly gave Raj Tilak to his most trusted & loyal Dogra General Gulab Singhji on 17 June 1822 (4th Har 1879) at Jia Pota, Akhnoor (Northern bank of mighty sprawling River Chenab also called Chanderbaga, overlooked by magnificent Akhnoor Fort built by Raja Alam Singh in 1802) and made him Raja of Jammu. Therefore credit for the formation of a vast, multi religious, multi culture & a composite State of Jammu & Kashmir equally goes to the Lion of Punjab. Regrettably this fact is not known to many in J&K and may not have been ever heard of in rest of India. From that day onwards began the process of formation of our state under the astute leadership of a great visionary whose sagacity, achievements and contributions unfortunately remain buried in the debris of British and Indian archives. He is one of few historical legacies that India can be genuinely proud of. The memory of Maharaja Gulab Singhji will enable us sustain our Dogra pride much like any other vibrant community. His contributions to our political, cultural and religious lives are remembered on 17th June every year at Jia Pota by Raj Tilak Divas Celebration Committee Akhnoor and on 21 Oct every year at Jammu by Maharaja Gulab Singh Memorial Trust. Gulab Singh was born on 5th of Kartik 1849 ( 21 Oct 1792 ) in Samailpur which was a Jagir of his grandfather Mian Zorawar Singh, nephew of Raja Rajgan Ranjit Dev, the most benevolent ruler in the Dorgra history from 1730 to 1782. He learnt the art of warfare and swordsmanship from his grand uncle Mian Mota which he displayed remarkably in 1808 in the battle of Gumat against the warriors of mighty Sikh Army at the tender age of 16. His heroic feats in the battle of Gumat led him to the lordship of J&K via Lahore. When Jammu was about to be invested, 16 years old Gulab Singh assembled and led a band of young Dogra fighters in last desperate bid to save Jammu. They fought so bravely & beheaded their leading fighters in such a way that the Sikh Army was compelled to give up the plan of capturing Jammu and instead offered to enter into a treaty. Bhai Hukam Singh Chimney, the commander of Sikh Army apprised Maharaja Ranjit Singh of valour & ability of Gulab Singh and recommend that his talent be utilized in the Lahore Darbar and that is what was indeed destined already. Once he took out his father’s horse on a rough ride without permission in which the horse was injured. Infuriated by his father’s rebuke, Gulab Singh left home and took service under S. Nihal Singh Attariwala at Sukhu Chak. After sometime he left for Bhimber to serve under Raja Sultan Khan. But the destiny had chartered another beautiful destination for him though passing through rough and hazardous routes He was summoned by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Mian Mota presented him before the Maharaja at Sialkot in Oct 1810. Impressed, Maharaja appointed him Cavalryman when he was 18. From there on began a rewarding, difficult & challenging long journey of accomplishments of the founder ruler of J&K. His father Mian Kishore Singh and brothers Dhian Singh & Suchet Singh were also employed and given important positions in Lahore Darbar. Soon Dhian Singh was appointed Prime Minister. In 1813 Mian Kishore Singh & Gulab Singh took active part in the battle of Attok and won over Fateh Khan, the Governor of Kabul. In 1814 Gulab Singh skillfully secured the vulnerable flank from Mandi to Bushair for the attack on Kashmir led by Maharaja himself and subsequent withdrawal, after which Maharaja granted him Jagirs of Kharoti and Babool (Bayol) and promoted him to the command of a Cavalry sub unit. Within mere 4 years he had become a Commander and a Jagirdar from a sepoy. In 1815 he was given the Jagirs of Lala Chobara (in...
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