Qila Gujar Singh

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Qila Gujar Singh (Meaning: Fort of Gujjar Singh) is a town located in the central part of Lahore. As shown by name it was the fort of Gujjar Singh Banghi. Some walls and a gate still remains as a memory of the Gujar Singh's fort. All the area of fort has became local property. There is a busy market in streets of Qila Gujar Singh area. It is surrounded by Police line, Lahore Hotel, TV station & Radio station.

History[edit]

Pashtun King Amir Ahmad Shah Abdali 1747–1772 of Afghanistan Durrani Known as Kings of Kings first crossed the Indus River in 1748, the year after his ascension – his forces sacked and absorbed Lahore during that expedition. The following year (1749), the Mughal ruler was induced to cede Sindh and all of the Punjab including the vital trans Indus River to him, in order to save his capital from being attacked by the Afghan Pashtun forces of the Durrani Empire.

The Pashtun King Amir Ahmad Shah Abdali 1747–1772 was not Interested as a Policy to remain in his Domain of India as a King but rather wanted to live the Life of a General or Soldier always on the Move and in Battle to Uphold his Kingdom

Then in 1756-57, in what was his fourth invasion of India, Ahmad Shah sacked Delhi and plundered Agra, Mathura, and Vrndavana.

However, The Pashtun King Amir Ahmad Shah Abdali 1747–1772 did not displace the Mughal dynasty, which remained in nominal control as long as the ruler acknowledged Ahmad's suzerainty over the Punjab, Sindh, and Kashmir. He installed a puppet emperor, Alamgir II, on the Mughal throne, and arranged marriages for himself and his son Timur Shah 1772 – 1793 into the imperial family that same year.

Ahmad Shah Abdali married the daughter of the Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah.Leaving his second son Timur Shah 1772 – 1793 (who was wed to the daughter of Alamgir II) to safeguard his interests, Ahmad Shah Abdali 1747–1772 finally left India to return to Afghanistan.

About 30 years before Maharaja Ranjit Singh came to power in 1799, Lahore and its environs were ruled by a triumvirate of Sikhs which included Lehna Singh Majithia as the Governor.

The rule of these three Sikh chieftains started when Afghan, Pashtun Amir Ahmad Shah Abdali 1747–1772, began to lose ground inside his own base and decided to give Lahore to a sardar named Lehna Singh Majithia.

Lehna Singh Majithia teamed up with two other Sikh chieftains to secure the environs around Lahore in 1765 and that is how the triumvirate of Lehna Singh Majithia, Gujjar Singh Banghi and Suba Singh came to occupy power in and around Lahore.

For thirty long years Lehna Singh Majithia, Gujjar Singh Banghi and Suba Singh ruled supreme and kept paying the Afghan Pashtun Ahmad Shah Abdali 1747–1772 and his offspring Timur Shah 1772 – 1793 an annual sum as Taxes.

The Lahore Fort and the Walled Lahore City and its gates went to Lehna Singh Majithia. He was, for formal purposes, the Governor of Lahore, and was so recognized.

To Suba Singh went the area to the south of the Walled Lahore City, and he resided in the garden of Zubaida Begum in Nawankot, where he built a small fort for himself.

The area between Amritsar and Lahore, or more correctly between the Shalamar Gardens and Lahore, went to Gujjar Singh Banghi.

Gujjar Singh Banghierected that part of the city, then a jungle and invited people to settle there. He also dug wells to supply water. A mosque was also built for the Muslims in the area. He also built himself a small fort called Qila Gujar Singh. Today, a few walls of that old fort can be seen in a street between today’s Nicholson Road and Empress Road, and the area is still called Qila Gujar Singh.

On a final note, their rule of ended when Ranjit Singh besieged the Lahore Fort in 1799 and the three chieftains Lehna Singh Majithia, Gujjar Singh Banghi and Suba Singh fled, leaving the city firmly in the hands of the young man from Gujranwala Ranjit Singh.

Lehna Singh Majithia, was later made Mahraja Ranjit Singhs most able ministers and advisers and a General in His Army

Ranjodh Singh was son of General Lehna Singh Majithia a powerful member of the Sikh aristocracy. The Majitha family are Jats of the Shergill gotra (clan), and were particularly influential in the area near their headquarters in Majitha (hence the name).

Ranjodh Singh's father Lehna Singh Majithia, was later Made Ranjit Singhs most able ministers and advisers.

Ranjodh Singh himself was from a young age tutored by British and French officers in military matters under Foreigners Led Khas Fauj of Ranjit Singhs. Due to this education and his inherited position he became a General in the Sikh Khalsa Army.

During the First Anglo-Sikh War he led a Sikh army that fought the British at Aliwal and Badowal. He defeated the British at the Battle of Badowal but was defeated in battle of Aliwal which was more of an ambush on a retreating party of his army. His skill and ability was noted by his British opponents.

Dyal Singh Majithia was the Only Alive son of General Lehna Singh Majithia. Having lost his parents at the age of six. He got his early education in the Mission School at Amritsar Under the British and was later self-educated.

Dyal Singh Majithia founded the newspaper The Tribune and managed the affairs of the Harmandir Sahib ("Golden Temple") for nearly thirty years. He took up business in real estate and diamonds and earned huge wealth. He was the first president of the Indian Association of Lahore and continued in that capacity till his death. He was a founding Trustee of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj.

Dyal Singh Majithia was Chairman, Board of Directors of the country's first indigenous bank, the Punjab National Bank. The Bank was founded on May 23, 1894 (its first meeting was held at 6:30 PM at Dyal Singh's house). At the second meeting on May 27, 1894, Dyal Singh was appointed Chairman and Harkishan Lal was Secretary of the Board.

He was also a pillar of the Brahmo Samaj and donated liberally for educational institutions and libraries, including numerous colleges all over Upper India, like Dayal Singh College, Lahore and Dyal Singh Majithia Memorial Library, Lahore. He was closely associated with Punjab University. He also founded The Tribune newspaper (now HQ in Chandigarh)

The three hakeems[edit]

The three chieftains cooperated very closely with one another, and often they would have parties in which dancing women, or ‘nautch girls’ as the British liked to call them, entertained them. In these sessions, opium smoking was the norm. When asked why they used this drug, they laughed it off as a medicine recommended by hakeems. Thus they began to be called the three hakeems, a name that stuck to them.

On a final note, their rule ended when Ranjit Singh besieged the Lahore Fort in 1799 and the three chieftains fled, leaving the city firmly in the hands of the young man from Gujranwala.

Notes[edit]

Coordinates: 31°34′N 74°20′E / 31.567°N 74.333°E / 31.567; 74.333