Nau Nihal Singh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Nau Nihal Singh
Nau Nihal Singh.jpg
Nau Nihal Singh.
Born 9 March 1821
Died 6 November 1840
Religion Sikh
Occupation Prince of the Sikh Empire

Kanvar (Prince) Nau Nihal Singh (9 March 1821 – 6 November 1840) was a Sikh ruler of the sovereign country of Punjab and the Sikh Empire. He was the son of Maharani Chand Kaur and Maharaja Kharak Singh, himself the eldest son and heir of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Sher-e-Panjab and a grandson of Maharani Datar Kaur of the Nakai Misl.

Life[edit]

Nau Nihal Singh
The former haveli of Nau Nihal Singh, the grandson of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab, Lahore.

After the death of Ranjit Singh, Kharak Singh became king but was unable to keep control of the various factions within the kingdom. Prince Nau Nihal took control of the state himself.

In April 1837 at the age of sixteen he was married to Bibi Sahib Kaur, a daughter of Shaheed Sardar Sham Singh Attariwala (1790-1846) of the village of Attari in Amritsar district of Punjab.

Upon Kharak Singh's death, Nau Nihal Singh was in line to become Emperor. However, whilst he was passing through Roshnai Darwaza (the gate of the Hazuri Bagh at Lahore Fort) on returning from his father's cremation, masonry fell stones from above, killing his companion and injuring the prince, who was taken into the fort by the Vizier Dhian Singh. Nobody else was allowed into the fort, not even his mother, who beat on the fort gates with her bare hands in a fever of anxiety.

Eyewitnesses described his initial injuries as being small blows to the head which knocked him unconscious. Later, when his mother and friends were allowed into the fort, Nau Nihal Singh was dead, his head having been smashed in, possibly with a rock. It is unclear whether the building's collapse was accidental or deliberate and who was responsible. He died at the age of 19.[1]

His mother Maharani Chand Kaur became the Empress of Sikh Empire, from (1840–41) she challenged Sher Singh, the second son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Sher-e-Panjab, the stepbrother of her husband Kharak Singh, on the grounds that her co-daughter Nau Nihal, Singh's widow, Sahib Kaur, was pregnant saying that she should assume regency on behalf of the unborn legal successor to her husband's throne.

In July 1841, Nau Nihal Singh's widow Sahib Kaur delivered a stillborn son. This ended whatever hopes Chand Kaur had of realizing her claims. But courtly intrigue had not ceased. Dhian Singh replaced the maidservants of the Dowager Maharani with hillwomen from his own country. The latter tried to kill her by poisoning her food and eventually finished her off on 11 June 1842, smashing her head with wooden pikes from the kitchen (some reports say they dropped a stone from a balcony crushing her skull.)

He also ordered the construction of a bunga (tower) in the complex of Tarn Taran Sahib One of the Holiest Sikh Shrines in the Majha Region of Punjab Kingdom.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Harbans Singh Noor (February 2004). "Death of Prince Nau Nihal Singh". Sikh Spectrum. 
Preceded by
Kharak Singh
Ruler of the Sikh Empire
October 1839–November 1840
Succeeded by
Chand Kaur