Raja Ala Singh

From Jatland Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
महाराजा आला सिंह

Raja Ala Singh (1695–1765) (सरदार आलासिंह) (Born: 1695, Died: 17 August 17651) was a Jat Sikh chieftain from village Rampura Phul in Bathinda District of Punjab. He was the founder of Patiala state. His successor was Maharaja Amar Singh.

Genealogy

The Patiala genealogy

Jesal (1156) → HemhelJandraBateraMangalrabUndraKhiwaSidhuBurBirSitrachJerthaMahiGalaMehraHambirBararPaur (+ Dhul) → BairathKaiBaoSangharBariam (d.1560) → Mehraj (+Garaj) → SuttohPukkoMohan (b.-d.1618) (+ Habbal) → Rup Chand (b.-d.1618) (m.Mai Umbi) → Phul (b.-d.1652) (m.Bali) → Ram Singh (b.-d.1714) (m.Sabi) + Rughu (b.-d.1717) (m.) + Tiloka (b.-d.1687) + Channu + Takht Mal + Jhandu

The sons of Phul:

Lepel H. Griffin writes:[1] Phul was the second son of Rup Chand, by Mai Umbi, a Jitani Jat woman. In the year 1627, Phul left Mehraj and founded a village five miles distant, which he called after his own name.

Phul had seven children from whom have descended many noble families.

By his first wife, Bali, the daughter of a zamindar of Dilami in Nabha, he had three sons, 1.Tilokha, 2. Rama, and 3. Rughu, and one daughter, 4. Rami Ram Kour or Fatoh, whom he married to a Sirdar of Ram Das.

By his second wife, Rajji, of Sidhani, he had also three sons, Channu, Jhandhu and Takht Mal.

The sons of Rama:

Lepel H. Griffin writes:[2]Rama married Sabi, the daughter of a Bhuttar zamindar of Nanun, who bore him six sons, 1. Duna, 2.Subha, 3. Ala Singh, 4. Bakhta, 5. Ladha, and 6. Budha.

  • Duna, first son, was the founder of the Bhadour family.
  • Subha, the second son, died in 1729, and his only son, Jodh, the same year ; and Hodiana, which he had conquered and made his residence, came into the possession of his brother Ala Singh.
  • Ala Singh, the third son, was founder of Patiala stsate.
  • Bakhta, the fourth son, was the ancestor of the Malod family,
  • Budha and Ladha, who took the name of Ram Singh, no descendants are now living.

Ala Singh the third son of Rama

Lepel H. Griffin[3] writes that Ala Singh was twenty-three years of age when his father was murdered, and his first thought was to avenge him. For sometime no opportunity occurred, but, about two years after Rama's death, his assassins, Kamola, Biru and Ugarsen, with a small body of attendants, paid a visit to Gumti, information of which having reached Ala Singh and his brother Subha, they hastily collected a few horsemen, surrounded

[Page-15]

the village, and attacked them. Kamola and his followers made a gallant defence, but were over-powered, and Biru, Kamola and eighteen of their attendants, were slain.

Ala Singh avenged his fathers death

Ugarsen, escaping, fled to Semeke, which was at once attacked and pillaged, and Ugarsen had again to seek safety in flight.

Soon after this Ala Singh established a Thana or Police station in Sangirah, at the request, it is said, of the people of that place, who suffered from the oppression of the Chiefs of Kot and Jagraon, and he held the village though its former owners tried their best to oust him.

Ala Singh leaves Bhadaur to his elder brother Duna

In 1718 he left Bhadaur to his elder brother Duna and rebuilt Barnala, which had fallen into ruins, and where he took up his residence. Here one of Ala Singh's most powerful and trouble-some neighbours was Sohnde Khan, a Muhammadan of Rajput origin, who owned the village of Nima, but whose occupation was rather robbery than husbandry ; and who, besides 300 horsemen of his own, could count on the assistance of Rai Kalha, the Chief of Kot, his relation, who was too powerful for Ala Singh to care to offend him. Sohnde Khan died in 1731, and his adopted son Nigdhi Khan, disgusted at being refused a share with the two sons of the deceased, took service with Ala Singh, and persuaded Sardul Singh, the son of the latter, to join him in an attack upon the village of Nima, which they captured and destroyed.

He is attacked by Rai Kalha of Kot, but holds his own: When the Rai of Kot, who was then a powerful Chief, heard of this, he determined to punish the audacious Sikh, and collected a large force.


[Page-16]

led by Dalel Khan of Halwarah, Kutbuddin Khan of Mulsian, and other Rajputs of Thattar and Talwandi of the same caste as Sohnde Khan ; Jamal Khan, Chief of Maler Kotla, and Nawab Syad Asad Ali Khan, the Imperial General of the Jalandhar Doab. Outside the walls of Barnala a battle was fought, in which fortune declared on the side of Ala Singh, And the Imperial for Asad Ali Khan having fallen General slain early in the day, his troops became disheartened and withdrew from the field. The Maler Kotla and Kot troops followed the example, and the retreat soon became a rout, in which the Sikhs took many prisoners and the greater part of the enemy's baggage.

The fame of Ala Singh increases

This brilliant success at once made a great improvement in the position of Ala Singh. He Was looked upon as one of the most rising Chiefs, under whom both glory and plunder might be won ; and many a zamindar, from across the Satlej, came to Barnala to take service, sometimes alone, sometimes with two or three horsemen behind him. All that a Sikh Chief asked, in these days, from a follower, was a horse and a matchlock. All that a follower asked was protection and permission to plunder in the name of God and the Guru, under the banner of the Chief.

The qualities of a chief

There was little question of pay. All Sikhs were theoretically equal, their religion in its first youth was too pure a theocracy to allow distinctions of rank among its adherents, and he who, like Amar Singh Majithia, could pierce a tree through with an arrow, or, like Hari Singh Nalwa, could kill a tiger with a blow of his sword, might soon ride with followers behind


[Page-17]

him, and call himself a Sirdar. The time came when, like the Jews, the Sikhs took a King, and, in some degree, forgot the dream of equality which had been so dear to them.* But all the great families north and south of the Satlej have the same origin : the law of force, the keen sword and the strong hand, were the foundations upon which Sikh society, as indeed every other society in the world, was reared. Thus to attract followers by his power and success was the main desire of every Sikh : who they were or what were their antecedents was a matter of little consequence, if only they could fight and ride, and this almost every Sikh could do, as the English discovered in 1845 and 1849.

Sikh life in AD 1760

In these days every village became a fort, built on a high mound to overlook the plain country, with but one entrance and narrow lanes in which two men could hardly walk abreast. A neighbour was synonymous with an enemy, and the husbandmen ploughed their fields with their matchlocks by their side. No man could consider his land, his horse, or his wife his own, unless he was strong enough to defend them ; for although the Sikh leaders were best pleased with the spoil of Muhammadans or the capture of an Imperial convoy, they were more robbers than patriots, and plundered with much impartiality. One thing in their favor must be said, which raises them far above the Pindaris of Central India or the Dacoits of Bengal : they fought and plundered like men, and


* Ranjit Singh never forgot to honour the democratic feeling or rather the theocratic feeling of the Sikhs. He professed to rule, by the grace of God’ like any Christian King ; the name of the Guru was on his coins, and he was no more than chosen leader of the people, with whom he was always popular, though the Chiefs had little love for him.

[Page-18]

not like demons. There are few stories in Sikh history of outrage to women and torture to men, such as stain the pages of South Indian history with cruelty and blood. Many a pretty Jatni girl was, it is true, carried off in a foray, but she was generally a willing captive. She had been taught to consider courage and strength the only qualities to desire in a husband, and was quite ready to yield herself a prize to the man who had won her in fair fight, and who would make her his lawful wife, though he had killed her brothers and burned their village. Yet, while the Sikhs were undoubted robbers, and though cattle lifting was the one honorable profession amongst them, as on the Scottish border a few hundred years ago, their enthusiasm for their faith, their hated to the Muhammadans who had so long trampled them under foot, who had killed their prophets and thrown down their altars, gave them a certain dignity, and to their objects and expeditions an almost national interest.

The Sikhs were never a united people:

But they were at no time a united people. During the eighteenth century each never a united people. During the eighteenth century each leader was absolutely independent, conquering and plundering on his own account ; and only joining other Chiefs to make an attack on the common enemy, the Muhammadan. Ranjit Singh contrived to make a compact kingdom out of the Punjab proper, north of the Bias, but he did not unite the Sikh people generally under his rule. At the time of his greatest power, in 1830, there may have been 1,250,000 Sikhs in the whole Punjab. But of these 500,000 lived to the south of the Satlej, under the rule of Chiefs who looked upon Ranjit Singh as an upstart and hated him even more than they feared


[Page-19]

him, if indeed this were possible. The Sikhs of the Cis-Satlej States had, indeed, a secret sympathy with their northern co-religionists, as was very evident during the Satlej campaign ; but they had never united with them for any common object during the nineteenth century. Even the Sikhs of the Jalandhar Doab were only partially under the rule of Ranjit Singh. Their leader was the Ahluwalia Chief, who claimed to be the equal of the Maharaja ; and although he was compelled to send a contingent to every campaign and often to attend himself, yet he hated the Lahore Government fully as much as the Cis-Satlej Chiefs, and always looked for protection and countenance to the English, who, had they chosen, might have moved their boundary to the Bias thirty-five years earlier than they did, and have maintained themselves there without a struggle. But it was thought politic to leave a barrier of independent Chiefs between British territory and that of Lahore ; a policy intelligible enough and perhaps wise, but denied or forgotten on the only occasions when it should have been remembered.

Ala singh makes war on the Bhattis

The victory of Ala Singh over the Afghans was gained in 1731, and he then again attacked his hereditary foes the Bhattis, the Chief of whom was Muhammad Amir Khan, son of Hassan Khan of Bhatner ; with his followers and relatives Allahdad Khan of Buhai, Wilayat Khan and Inayat Khan of Hariau. The Bhatti country was, however, a very difficult one to conquer, with little forage and less water, while the inhabitants were as warlike as the Sikhs. Ala Singh made no impression upon them worthy of

[Page-20]

record, though, for ten years, a desultory warfare was carried on, with varying results.

He allies himself with the Ruhillas:

About this time Ala Singh made friends with Ali Muhammad Khan, a Hindu convert of Rampur in Rohilkand, who had been adopted by a Muhammadan officer, and who founded a Rohilla State in the country between the upper Ganges and the hills. In 1741, however, Ali Muhammad was a servant of the Empire, and had charge of the sub-division of Sirhind. Ala Singh accompanied him on several expeditions, one of them against Rai Kalha of Kot, who was defeated and fled to Pakpattan, his brother, Mokham Khan, being killed. But the Sikh Chief was too independent to be long on good terms with any Imperial officer ; and he soon saw that his residence at the Court of Ali Muhammad would be dangerous and asked for his dismissal.

He imprisonment and escape:

This the Governor refused, arrested him and throw him into prison, where he might have perished but for the devotion of one of his followers who had no very good reason to love him. This was Karma, one of the relations of Chen Singh, who, it will be remembered, was murdered by Ala Singh's father. He had entered the Pattiala service, but knew that he was thought not to have forgotten the family feud and to be consequently a dangerous character. To prove his devotion to his leader, he made his way at night to the place where Ala Singh was imprisoned, and, changing clothes with him, allowed him to make his escape. This fidelity was not un-rewarded, Karma became the most trusted of Ala Singh's followers, and the family of Chen Singh was


[Page-21]

allowed to return to their home and rebuild their deserted village.

He reduces refractory villages:

Soon after this, Ali Muhammad left Sirhind for Rohilkand, so that the quarrel between him and Ala Singh ended ; and the latter had leisure to reduce to submission several refractory villages, which had been induced by Sirdar Jodh Singh of Battinda to throw off his authority, and this work be successfully accomplished in about five months.

Ala Singh built the fort of Bhawanigarh

In the year 1749, Sirdar Ala Singh commenced to build the Fort of Bhawanigarh, but tho progross of the work was interrupted by a petty Rajput Chieftain of the neighbourhood, named Farid Khan, who fancied that his own independence would be in danger by a fort so near his village. Not being able himself to storm the building, he set out for Sirhind to invoke the aid of the Imperial Governor. But Ala Singh had heard of his intention, and intercepting him, routed his party with considerable loss and seized all his land, about one-fourth of the Samana parganah.

Ala Singh conquered Sanawar and Founded Patiala

Three years later the district of Sanawar was conquered for Ala Singh by one of his Sirdars, Gurbaksh Singh Kaleka. The district was known as Chaurasi, (eighty-four) from the number of its villages, one of which was Pattiala, now the capital of the territory, where Ala Singh, in the year 1753, built a mud fort in order to overawe his new possessions, and left Sirdar Gurbaksh Singh in charge. Diwan Lachman Narain, one of the officers of Samand Khan or Abul Samad Khan of Sirhind


[Page-22]

fled to this Chief for protection, and his surrender was at once demanded by his master, who, being refused, marched to Sanawar to enforce his demand. Sirdar Gurbaksh Singh then sent the Diwan to Pattiala, as being a place of greater security, and, joining the force of Ala Singh, they together attacked Abul Samad Khan and defeated him, securing a large quantity of plunder.

Ala Singh attacks Battinda

The next expedition of the Chief was against Jodh or Jodh Singh, a Sirdar who possessed the district of Battinda,and against whom Bhai Gurbaksh Singh, the founder of the Bhaikian family of Kythal, had asked assistance. Ala Singh sent a considerable force, but his troops were repulsed, and he then called to his aid the Sikhs from the north of the Satlej, who were only too glad to assist in any expedition where plunder was to be obtained. They overran and pillaged the country, and then recrossed the Satlej, leaving Bhai Gurbaksh Singh in posses- sion.* Ala Singh then turned his arms against Iniyat Khan and Wilayat Khan, the Rajput Chiefs of Buhai and Buloda, who were somewhat trouble- some neighbours. They called to their aid the Bhatti Chiefs, Hassan Khan and Muhammad Amin Khan, but these were unwilling to interfere, and the Rajputs were compelled to fight alone, which they did gallantly, being themselves killed in the field with several hundred of their followers. The Pattiala Chief lost almost as many men, but he seized the district of Buloda, which he soon afterwards surrendered to Bhai Gurbaksh Singh. The district


* An account of the Kythal family is given later.


[Page-23]

The District of Mung conquered by Sirdar Lal Singh

of Mung was next added to the Pattiala territory, by Lai Singh, son of Sirdar Ala Singh. This young man was brave and energetic, and begged his father to make over to him some territory to manage. Ala Singh told him to win it for himself. He took counsel with Sirdar Khan, the original proprietor of Mung, who had been expelled by the Bhatti Chiefs, Abu Khan and Salim Khan, and his assistance was readily given, for he hoped, if not to recover the district for himself, to avenge himself upon those who had dispossessed him. While the Bhatti Chiefs were absent, Sirdar Khan made his way into the fort with a few followers, and signaled his success to Lai Singh, who brought up the main body of the troops and took possession of the village and adjoining district, which has been held by Pattiala ever since.

Ala Singh again attacks the Bhattis

Sirdar Lai Singh and his father then overran the district of Sohana, Jamalpur, Dharsul and Shikarpur, belonging to Muhammad Amin Khan and Muhammad Hassan Khan, Bhattis. These Chiefs invited the Imperial Governor of Hissar to help them, and he sent a detachment ; but, in the engagement which followed, at Khodal near Akalgarh, the Bhattis were defeated ; nor was their second venture more fortunate, for, after three days skirmishing, Ala Singh made a night attack on the Bhatti camp which was completely successful and Muhammad Amin escaped with difficulty and fled to Hissar. He then, to ensure cordial assistance from Nawab Nasir Khan, the Governor, gave him his daughter in marriage and set to work to raise as large a force as possible, hoping to retrieve his past defeats. The Sikhs and


[Page-24]

the Bhattis, supported by the Imperial troops, met at Dharsul, but neither party cared to risk a general engagement. For seven or eight days the hostile forces lay opposite each other, skimishing and fighting in a desultory manner; and it was more the chance of the death of Nasir Khan, the Governor, which gave the victory to the Sikhs, for the Imperial troops disheartened by the loss of their leader left the field, and the Bhattis were then at once attacked by Ala Singh with all his troops and put to flight with great loss. This engagement, which did much to consolidate Ala Singh's power and increase his reputation, was fought in 1757.

The death of Ala Singh AD 1765

Lepel H. Griffin writes: [4]Raja Ala Singh accompanied Ahmad Shah on return journey as far as Lahore, and then returned to Pattiala, where he died in August 1765.

His character

Lepel H. Griffin writes: [5] Among the Sikh Chiefs of his day, Ala Singh was certainly one of the most distinguished. He was gallant and at the same time prudent, and laid strongly the foundations of the most important of the Cis-Satlej States. It is not easy to determine his exact relative position with reference to other Chiefs, for the number of troops which each could bring into the field is either exaggerated or unknown, but he was probably the most powerful Chief south of the Satlej ; although the Kythal family soon became dangerous rivals, and not less so that they were related to the Phulkian house. Of Jassa Singh Ahluwalia


[Page-29]

the Pattiala Chief always showed great jealousy, which the remembrance of his good offices with the Sikhs, after the obnoxious title of Raja had been conferred by Ahmad Shah, did not dispel. Indeed, after the conquest of Sirhind, and when Jassa Singh had recrossed the Satlej, Ala Singh seized his share of the plunder, eight villages, and held them in spite of protests and force.

His family

Lepel H. Griffin writes: [6] Ala Singh only married one wife, Fattoh, the daughter of Chowdhri Khana, a Subhran zamindar of Kaleke. A story was told of her that, at her birth, her mother, disappointed at having a daughter when she had earnestly desired a son, put the new born child in an earthen vessel and buried it in the ground. A wandering mendicant of the name of Devi Dass, happening to pass and seeing the mother in tears, enquired the cause of her grief. She confessed to him what she had done, and the mendicant told her to disinter the child, for of her would be born a famous race, which should rule all the neighbouring country. The child was taken out of the ground unhurt, and eventually became the wife of Ala Singh, bearing him three sons, Sardul Singh, Bumian Singh, and Lal Singh, all of whom died in the life-time of their father, and a daughter, Bibi Pardhan, who was married to a zamindar of small consideration, and nothing is known of her descendants.

Sardul Singh, the eldest son:


Sardul Singh, the eldest son married, as his first wife, the daughter of a Sirdar at Bhikhe, who became the mother of Maharaja Amar Singh. His second wife was the widow of his first cousin Jodh, whom he married


[Page-30]

according to Sikh custom, by karewa or chaddar dalna, a simple and unorthodox rite, always used in the marriages of widows. Little is known of Sardul Singh who died in 1753. He was a brave soldier, but most of the Sikhs were brave ; and he died from hard drinking, a virtue as common as bravery among his countrymen.

The second son Bhumian singh:

Bhumian Singh, the second son, left one daughter, Bibi Rajinda, who has before been mentioned. She was married to Tilok Chand, Chaudhri of Bhagwara, who died before her, and she succeeded to her husband's property according to Sikh custom. The succession to the property on her death was claimed by her grandson Jodh Singh, a daughter's son. According to Sikh custom no estate can descend in the female line and the sons of daughters are not counted among the legal heirs. Chuhar Mal, the brother of Rajinda's husband, consequently ejected Jodh Singh and put him to death, and the family of the latter have now become extinct, though a son, Sahib Singh by name, was living in 1820.

Lal Singh, the youngest son:

The youngest son, Lal Singh, died childless, and from the same cause as his brother, excessive drinking. He added Mung to the Pattiala territory. His widow Bibi Bhagan survived him many years.

The Succession to Raja Alam Singh

When Raja Ala Singh died, there were two claimants for the Chiefship, Himmat Singh and Amar Singh, the sons of Sardul Singh and the grandsons of the late Raja. Of these, Himmat Singh was the elder by several years, but he was the issue of an irregular marriage, his mother, as has before been mentioned.


[Page-31]

having been the widow of Jodh, the first cousin of Sardul Singh.

The invasion of Ahmad Shah Durani of Kabul

Lepel H. Griffin writes:[7] For ten years previous to this time, the Durani monarch of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah, had made almost annual expeditions into Hindostan, and, in 1748, 1756 and 1761, had marched as far south as Sirhind and Dehli. The conduct of the Prince towards the Sikhs was generally conciliatory, and he would have been glad to enlist them on his side, first against the Dehli Government and then against the Mahrattas, whom he defeated in turn. But the Sikhs, although they hated the Dehli Government, bore no love to the Afghans. They had no wish to aid in building up at Dehli an empire stronger than that which preceded it, and to bind the yoke more firmly on their own necks. They were hoping for a Sikh republic and a time when all Northern India would be the heritage of the Khalsa ; when all hostile creeds should have fallen before the sword of the Guru. Besides this, they were unable to resist the temptation to plunder which the presence of a large army, with an immense train of baggage and innu-


[Page-25]

merable camp-followers implied ; and they hovered about the Afghan line of march, cutting off supplies and doing what damage they could, but never making a direct attack, for their own discipline was so slight that they entertained a reasonable dread of regular troops.

The Sikhs attack Zin Khan, the Afghan Governor of Sirhind :

Ahmad Shah had, in 1761, appointed Zin Khan as the Governor at Sirhind, and the moment the Durani monarch had had turned his face homewards, the Sikhs attached his Lieutenant, and it would have been difficult for Zin Khan to hold his own, had it not been for the aid of several Muhammadan Chiefs in the neighbourhood, among them Jamal Khan of Maler Kotla and Rai Kalha of Raikot. The next year Ahmad Shah again invaded India, and determined to punish the Sikhs for their audacity in attacking Sirhind.

Sikhs collect to oppose Ahmad Shah:

All the Phulkian Chiefs, the Singhpurias, the Faizullapurias, the Bhais of Kythal, Jassa Singh Ahluwalia and many others had collected to oppose the passage of the Shah, near Barnala, which was then the chief town of the Pattiala territory. The Sikhs, for the first time, met the Afghans in the open field, and the result was the most crushing defeat that they had ever received, their loss being estimated at 20,000 men, though this is probably an exaggeration. The Afghan troops then took possession of Barnala and plundered it. Ala Singh was captured and taken before and taken before Ahmad Shah, and a ransom of four lakhs of rupees was demanded for his life. This, the Chief, with some difficulty,


[Page-26]

paid, and Ahmad Shah, who was a man of great sagacity, thinking it would be wiser to conciliate the Sikhs after having given them, in their late defeat, so convincing a proof of his power, embraced Ala Singh, and gave him a dress of honor with the title of Raja.

The consequences of good fortune:

It was, in March 1762, that Ala Singh obtained obtained this title, and the jealousy and indignation of the other Chiefs was very great. They declared that he had betrayed them, and that the title was the price of his treachery ; and that it was unworthy for a Sikh to bear a title conferred by a Muhammadan, a foreigner and an enemy. The Sikhs were ready to turn upon Ala Singh and avenge upon him their defeat, had it not been for Sirdar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, who was at this time far more influential than Ala Singh himself, and who took his side in the dispute. Matters were at length smoothed over, but it was necessary for Ala Singh to prove by his actions that he was not a servant of the Durani King. No sooner had Ahmad Shah returned to Kabul, than the Sikhs began to recover their courage and to coalesce against the Muhammadans. The confederacies, both north and south of the Satlej, for once laid aside their feuds and jealousies and united to make one great effort against Sirhind, which the Sikhs especially hated, as it was there that the two sons of Guru Govind Singh had been put to death by the Muhammadans. Ala Singh joined with ardour in the expedition, for he had to clear his character in the eyes of his countrymen. The Sikh confederacies from the north of the Satlej assembled in great numbers in the neighbourhood of Sirhind.


[Page-27]

The Sikhs again attack Sirhind and capture it, December 1763:

After having taken possession of the town and fort of Kussur, below Lahore; and Ala Singh, with several of the other Phulkian Chiefs, joined them, till the army, almost entirely horse, numbered 23,000 men. Zin Khan, the Governor of Sirhind, trusting to that dread of regular troops which the Sikhs had ever shown, came without the town to give them battle, but he was killed and his force utterly routed. The Sikhs immediately took possession of the town, which they almost completely destroyed, to avenge the murder of the children of their prophet, and the province of Sirhind was divided among the conquerors.

The town made over to Ala Singh:

The town and its neighbourhood was made over to Raja Ala Singh, chiefly through the influence of Sirdar Gurbaksh Singh, his friend and a nephew of the great Singhpuria Chief, Kapur Singh, and other portions became the property of the Chamkor, Rupar, Sialba, Buria, Kythal and Shahabad Chiefs, and are in part held by them to the present day. Ala Singh made no attempt to rebuild the city of Sirhind, which is still considered accursed by the Sikhs, but removed the greater number of the inhabitants to his new town of Pattiala, where he soon afterwards built a masonry fort from the proceeds of the custom duties collected at Sirhind which was on the high road between Kabul and Dehli, a position to which the misfortune of its being thrice sacked was, in a great measure, attributable.

Ahmad Shah makes no attempt recover Sirhind.:


The next year the Durani monarch again invaded India, but he was too wise to attempt the experiment of placing another Governor in Sirhind,


[Page-28]

to succeed and share the fate of the unfortunate Zin Khan, He received Ala Singh with an appearance of cordiality, and granted him the Chiefship of the chalka or district ; on his agreeing to pay three and a half lakhs of rupees a year, as revenue. A portion of this was paid at once : and Ala Singh promised to remit the remainder to Kabul, but of the fulfillment of this promise there is no record. His grand-daughter, Bibi Rajinda, the only child of his son Bhumian Singh, who had died in 1742, offered indeed to pay the balance for him ; but this offer Ala Singh did not accept, pleading the Hindu rule which prohibits a man from borrowing or being under an obligation to his sister or his daughter. He probably thought, and with justice, that Ahmad Shah at Kabul would be a creditor more easy to evade than Bibi Rajinda at Pattiala.

Capital Fort founded

In 1763 Baba Ala Singh laid the foundation of the Patiala fort known as Qila Mubarak, around which the present city of Patiala developed. After the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761 in which the Marathas were defeated, the writ of the Afghans prevailed through out Punjab.

Ahmad Shah Durrani bestowed title of Maharaja

It is at this stage that the rulers of Patiala began to acquire ensigns of royalty. Ahmad Shah Abdali bestowed upon Ala Singh furm and banner, and the title of Maharaja of Patiala. After his death, his grandson Amar Singh succeeded and received the title of Raja-I-Rajaan. He was also authorised to strike coins.

After forty years of ceaseless struggle with the Mughals, Afghans and Marathas the borders of the Patiala state witnessed the blazing trails of Ranjit Singh in the north and of the British in the east. Bestowed with the grit and instinct of survival, making the right choice at the right time the Raja of Patiala entered into a treaty with the British against Ranjit Singh in 1808, thus becoming collaborators in the empire building process of the British in the sub-continent of India. The British treated the rulers of Patiala, such as Maharaja Karam Singh, Maharaja Narendra Singh, Maharaja Mahendra Singh, Maharaja Rajinder Singh, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh and Maharaja Yadavindra Singh with respect and dignity.

जाट इतिहास:ठाकुर देशराज: सरदार आलासिंह

बाबा आला सिंह (1695–1765)

पटियाला जैसी प्रसिद्ध और सुविस्तृत रियासत के संस्थापक और फुलकियां खानदान को विश्व विदित होने योग्य बनाने वाले सरदार आलासिंह ही थे। आपका जन्म सन् 1695 ई० में सरदार रामा के घर मौजा फूल में हुआ था। आपके नामी पिता की जिस समय शत्रुओं के हाथों से मृत्यु हुई, उस समय आप 23 वर्ष के थे। दो वर्ष बाद ही आपने अपने पिता की मृत्यु का बदला शत्रुओं से ले लिया। इस युद्ध में जहां आपके शत्रुओं में से कमला और वीरसिंह मारे गये, वहां आपके चेहरे पर भी बर्छे का हल्का सा घाव आया। 1722 ई० में अनहदगढ़ जो कि पहले बरनाला कहा जाता था, को आबाद किया। लोगों की आपके साथ


जाट इतिहास:ठाकुर देशराज, पृष्ठान्त-402


में कितनी सहानुभूति थी, इसका इस बात से पता चल जाता है कि मौजा सिंहगढ़ के जमींदारों ने अपने हाकिम के विरुद्ध भी आपका थाना अपने गांव में बिठा लिया था। कुछ दिन के बाद कुल्हा रईस कोट और दिलेरखां हलवारावाला, कुतुबुद्दीनखां मलसीहान वाला, सोदेखां और जमालखां रईस मालेर कोटला, अनहदगढ़ पर सैयद असद अलीखां, फौजदार दुआबा जालन्धर को अपने साथ लेकर के युद्ध के लिए चढ़ आए। इस चढ़ाई का कारण यह था कि सरदार अलासिंह के पुत्र कुं० शार्दूलसिंह ने सोनेखां के स्थान नीमा को अपने कब्जे में करके उसे बेदखल कर दिया था। दूसरे कुल्हा भी सरदार आलासिंह से इस कारण नाराज था कि उन्होंने उसकी रियासत के मौजे सिंहगढ़ को अपने राज्य में मिला लिया था। ये ही कारण थे जिससे कि इतने रईस सम्मिलित हो करके सरदार आलासिंह के ऊपर चढ़ आये। लेकिन इस लड़ाई में विजय-श्री सरदार आलासिंह को ही प्राप्त हुई। फौजदार शाही मारा गया। दुश्मनों का बहुत सा लड़ाई का सामान भी इनके हाथ आया। इस लड़ाई से दूर-दूर तक इनका रौब बैठ गया। इधर-उधर के बहुत से देहातों पर भी कब्जा कर लिया।

इनकी इन विजयों और बहादुरियों का जिक्र दिल्ली के तत्कालीन बादशाह मुहम्मदशाह तक पहुंच गया। बादशाह में यह शक्ति तो थी ही नहीं कि वह उनके बढ़ते हुए प्रभाव को रोक सकता। उसने सरदार आलासिंह से बनाए रखना ही उचित समझा। इसलिए नवाब मीरमन्नूखां और समीयारखां के हाथ उनके पास यह पैगाम भेजा कि आप सरहिन्द में जाकर के प्रबन्ध करें। अच्छे प्रबन्ध होने की सूचना मिलने पर हमारी ओर से आपको राजा की उपाधि दी जायेगी। इस शाही फरमान के आने के बाद सरदार आलासिंह जी ने अलादादखां बूहा वाला, इनायतखां, विलायतखां, बूलाड़ा वाले और वाकिरखां हरियाऊ वालों पर जो कि मुहम्मद अमीनखां रईस भटनेर के भाई-बन्द थे - चढ़ाइयां कीं जो कि सन् 1741 तक बराबर जारी रहीं।

सन् 1741 ई० के अन्त में नवाब अलीमुहम्मदखां सरहिन्द का चकलेदार नियुक्त हो करके बादशाह देहली की ओर से आया। कुछ दिनों तक सरदार आलासिंह और उसका मेल-जोल रहा। कोट और जगराय की लड़ाइयों में दोनों साथ-साथ ही रहे। लेकिन सरदार साहब चकलेदार के अधीन रहना पसन्द नहीं करते थे। वह उसके दरबार की हाजिरी से मुक्त होना चाहते थे। नवाब को जब उनकी इस मनोवृत्ति का पता चला तो उसने धोखे से कैद कर लिया। लेकिन करमा नाम के एक व्यक्ति की चालाकी से जो कि सरदार साहब का नौकर था, वह नवाब की कैद से निकल गए और उससे बदला लेने के लिए प्रबन्ध करने लगे। लेकिन इन्हीं दिनों काम की खराबी के कारण नवाब अलीमुहम्मद की बदली हो गई। इससे बदला न लिया जा सका और वह अपनी शक्ति का प्रयोग राज्य को


जाट इतिहास:ठाकुर देशराज, पृष्ठान्त-403


बढ़ाने तथा भटिंडा के सरदार जोधासिंह को सहायता देने में करने लगे। सन् 1747 ई० में उन्होंने मौजा ढहुडान में एक किला बनाने की तैयारी की। ढहुडान के करीब मौजा काकड़े में फरीदखां नामी एक नौमुस्लिम राजपूत थोड़े से इलाके को अपने कब्जे में दबाए बैठा था। उसने इस इच्छा से कि सरदार आलासिंह को यहां से उखाड़ दिया जाए - समाना के बादशाही हाकिम से मदद मांगी। लेकिन शाही मदद के मिलने से पहले ही आलासिंह जी के अफसर अमरसिंह ने फरीदखां और उसके साथियों को मारकर उसके कुल इलाके पर कब्जा कर लिया। सरदार आलासिंह के बढ़ते हुए ऐश्वर्य और प्रताप को देखकर परगना सनौर के जमींदार जिनके पास 48 गांव थे, उनकी शरण में आ गए और उन्हें अपना सरदार मान लिया। इस परगने के इन्तजाम के लिए सरदार आलासिंह ने अपने साले गुरुबख्शसिंह को नियुक्त किया और उस स्थान पर एक मजबूत किला बनाया। वही किला आज पटियाले के नाम से मशहूर है। 'सैरे पंजाब' का लेखक लिखता है कि पहले इस किले का नाम पट-आला था। सर्वसाधारण की बोलचाल से अब वह पटियाला कहलाता है।

जिस जोधासिंह रईस भटिंडा की सरदार आलासिंह ने मदद की थी, उसी के खिलाफ उन्हें लड़ना भी पड़ा - कारण यह कि उसने गुरुबख्शसिंह की मंगनी की हुई गैंडा चाहिल की लड़की के साथ में अपनी शादी कर ली थी। सिखों की सहायता से उसके कुल राज्य को इन्होंने अपने राज्य में मिला लिया। भटिण्डा के इलाकों को अपने राज्य में मिला लेने के बाद उन्होंने 'भोलाड़ा' और 'बूहा' के नव मुस्लिम राजपूतों की तरफ मुंह फेरा। थोड़ी सी लड़ाई के बाद ये उन पर विजयी हुए और उनके इलाके में से भोलेड़ा भाई गुरुबख्शसिंह को देकर बाकी पर अपना कब्जा किया। 1707 ई० तक उन्होंने अपने पुत्र कुंवर लालसिंह और अपने भुजाओं के बल पर मूनक, टोहाना, जमालपुर, धारसूल और सिकरपुरा को अपने कब्जे में कर लिया जो कि नौमुस्लिम भट्टी राजपूतों के अधिकार में थे। मालेर कोटला के पठानों से भी मुठभेड़ हुई और उनके इलाके में से 'शेरपुरा' और 'पहोड़' को छीनकर अपने कब्जे में कर लिया। आपके पोते कुंवर हिम्मतसिंह ने मालेर कोटला के नवाब जमालखां के बेटे भीखम से इसी लड़ाई में एक बहुत बढ़िया विलायती तलवार छीनी थी, जो पटियाला में सुरक्षित रखी गई।

यह वह जमाना था जब भारत पर अहमदशाह दुर्रानी के आक्रमण हो रहे थे और जगह-जगह उसकी ओर से सूबेदार नियुक्त किए जा रहे थे। पानीपत की लड़ाई से लौटते हुए उसने सरदार आलासिंह के स्थान बरनाला पर भी चढ़ाई कर दी। क्योंकि मालेर कोटला के पठानों ने उसे बताया था कि सरदार आलासिंह मरहठों से सम्बन्ध रखते हैं। उस समय किले में सिर्फ रानी साहिबा ही मौजूद थीं जिनका नाम 'फतेहकुंवरि' (फत्तो) कहा जाता है। रानी साहिबा ने अपने चार


जाट इतिहास:ठाकुर देशराज, पृष्ठान्त-404


सरदारों को दुर्रानी के कैम्प में इसलिए भेज दिया कि वह उससे सुलह की बातचीत करें और अपने पोते अमरसिंह के साथ मूनक की तरफ निकल गईं। सरदार आलासिंह और उसके साथियों ने परिस्थितिवश कुछ दे-लेकर सन्धि कर ली। अहमदशाह सरदार साहब से बहुत प्रसन्न हुआ और उनके अधिकृत समस्त इलाके को जो कि उन्होंने बाहुबल से अर्जित किया था, का मालिक उन्हें स्वीकार कर लिया और साथ ही अपने वजीर नवाब शाहबलीखां की मुहर और दस्तखत से सूबेदार सरहिन्द के नाम इस आशय का आज्ञापत्र जारी कर दिया कि -

“वह सरदार आलासिंह के अधिकृत प्रदेश को अपनी हुकूमत से अलग समझे।”

'तारीख पटियाला' के लेखक सय्यद मुहम्मदहुसैन ने लिखा है कि उस समय 726 कस्बे व गांव सरदार आलासिंह के अधिकार में थे। सरदार आलासिंह के अहमदशाह दुर्रानी के साथ मिलने पर सतलज पार के सिख सरदार बहुत नाराज हुए। उनका कहना था कि इसने विधर्मी से मिलकर सिख-धर्म पर बट्टा लगाया है, लेकिन जब सरदार आलासिंह ने अपनी स्थिति उनके सामने रखकर इस बात को सिद्ध कर दिया कि दुर्रानी के साथ सन्धि करना केवल राजनैतिक चाल है, तब कहीं जाकर आपसी झगड़ा मिटा। साथ ही उन्हें दिसम्बर सन् 1762 ई० में दल के सिख सरदारों के साथ मिलकर के सरहिन्द पर चढ़ाई करनी पड़ी। अहमदशाह का सूबेदार 'जीनखां' मारा गया। सिखों ने सरहिन्द की ईंट से ईंट बजा दी और सरहिन्द के इलाके को आपस में बांट लिया। सरहिन्द और उसके करीब का इलाका, शाही तोपखाना सरदार आलासिंह के हाथ लगा। इसी इलाके के महसूल और राहदारी की आमदनी से पटियाले के किले को पक्का कराने और शहर आबाद करने का काम आरम्भ किया। थोड़े ही दिनों में पटियाला शहर की आबादी और रौनक पहले से कई गुना बढ़ गई। सरहिन्द के सिखों के द्वारा लूटे जाने और जीनखां के मारे जाने का समाचार जब अहमदशाह के पास पहुंचा, वह अपनी भारी फौज के साथ फिर हिन्दुस्तान की तरफ आया। छोटे-छोटे सिख सरदार जिन्होंने यह समझा कि सामने जाकर इससे लड़ाई नहीं लड़ सकते, पहाड़ और झाड़ियों में चले गए, लेकिन सरदार आलासिंह अहमदशाह के पास उपस्थित हुए और इस बात को उसके दिमाग में बैठा दिया कि सिखों की इस बढ़ती के जमाने में कोई भी विदेशी एवं विधर्मी सूबेदार सरहिन्द में नहीं निभ सकता है और उसकी भी सिखों के हाथों से वही गति होगी जो जीनखां की हुई है। आखिरकार अमहदशाह ने साढ़े तीन लाख सालाना के खिराज पर सरहिन्द का सारा मुल्क सरदार आलासिंह के नाम लिख दिया और साथ ही उन्हें राजा की उपाधि भी दी।

आपके (महाराज आलासिंहजी के) तीन पुत्र थे - 1. कुं० शार्दूलसिंह,


जाट इतिहास:ठाकुर देशराज, पृष्ठान्त-405


2. कुं भूमियानसिंह1, 3. कुं० लालसिंह और एक लड़की थी, जिसका नाम बहन प्रधान था।

तीनों राजकुमार बड़े बहादुर और होनहार थे। अपने पिता के साथ लड़ाई में शामिल होने की उत्कट लालसा उन्हें बचपन से ही थी। इसमें कोई सन्देह नहीं कि यदि वे जीवित रहते तो पटियाले का राज्य बहुत अधिक विस्तृत हो गया होता। लेकिन दुर्दैव से उनकी मृत्यु पिता से भी पहले हो गई। इनमें से कुं० शार्दूलसिंह ने दो और पुत्र अमरसिंह और हिम्मतसिंह अपने पीछे छोड़े। शार्दूलसिंह जी के दो रानियां थीं -

1. हुक्मा रानी जो विवाहिता थी,
2. रेसां जो उनके चचेरे भाई जोधसिंह की बेवा थी और नाते द्वारा इन्होंने उसके साथ पुनर्विवाह कर लिया था।

महाराज आलासिंह जी का ताप की बीमारी में जब कि उनकी अवस्था 70 बरस की हो चुकी थी, 22 अगस्त सन् 1765 ई० को स्वर्गवास हो गया।

महाराज आलासिंह ईश्वर-भक्त और धर्मप्रिय व्यक्ति थे। उन्होंने एक बार भाई कपूरसिंह जी को मय जमात अपने यहां ले जा करके सिख-धर्म की दीक्षा ली थी। 'इतिहास गुरु खालसा' के लेखक ने उनका दीक्षा-गुरु भाई कपूरसिंह लिखा है। लेकिन 'सैरे पंजाब' का लेखक उनके गुरु का नाम दयालदास बतलाता है। वे आचरण के भी बड़े शुद्ध-पवित्र थे। बहुत सी रानियां तथा दासी रखना उन्हें पसन्द न था। एक जवान लड़की को भूल से नंगी नहाते हुए देखने के बाद उन्होंने भारी प्रायश्चित किया था। उन्होंने साधु-सन्तों के लिए लंगर (रसोबड़ा) खोल रखा था। इनको जनता की तरफ से 'बन्दी छोड़' की उपाधि मिली हुई थी क्योंकि जो बहुत से आदमी अहमदशाह के यहां कैद थे, इन्होंने उन्हें छोड़ दिया था। इनकी रानी साहिबा फत्तो भी बड़ी योग्य और बुद्धिमान थीं।

Notes

1. Jat History Thakur Deshraj/Chapter VII Part II (i):p. 406 mentions the date of death to be 22 August 1765

Further readings

References


Back to The Rulers