Banda Singh Bahadur (1670 - June9, 1716)
Banda Singh was born at Rajouri in Jammu State.
He was known as Lachhman Dev in his childhood. Soon after a hunt, he turned
ascetic: A Bairagi, and took the name of Madho Das. He settled down at
Nanded. He became a devotee of the Guru in September 1708 and sought his
blessings. Guru Gobind Singh ji gave his a sword, five arrows, a flag and
a battle drum and asked him to follow the five commandments mentioned below:
Remain a celibate: do not marry at all.
Speak the truth and act on it.
Serve and obey the Khalsa Panth.
Do not establish a new sect or have yourself
set up as a king.
Be humble and not haughty.
Taking twenty-five Sikhs with him, Banda Singh
proceeded to the Punjab to punish the enemies of the Khalsa Path. He attached
Samana in November 1709. Thereafter, Wazir Khan the Nawab of Sarhind was
killed in the battle of Chaper Chiri on May 12, 1710.
Banda Singh was crowned at Lahgarh and struck
coins in the name of the Guru. He allowed his Muslim subjects to follow
their religious customs and practice. Soon afterwards, he extended his
sway over Pathankot.
The Mughal emperor was perturbed by the conquests
of Bands Singh and sent a bit army to crush him, Banda Singh was besieged
at Gurdas Nangal. After an eight-month siege, he and his followers were
captured on December 7, 1715. Banda Singh was tortured to death on June
Banda Singh’s challenge to the Mughal power showed
that the Khalsa had broken the reputation of Mughal invincibility. Given
another chance, they could perhaps lay the foundations of a Sikh empire.
The opportunity came in 1799, when Maharaja Ranjit Singh establishedSikh
rule in the Punjab.