Baghel Singh

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Baghel Singh
Resting placePunjab
NationalitySikh Empire
Years active1765-1802
Known for
ChildrenBhadur Singh

Baghel Singh (c. 1730 – c. 1802) was a military general in the Punjab region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. He rose to prominence in the area around Sutlej and Yamuna. Singh joined the Singh Krora Misl, a military unit of the Singh Confederacy. In 1765, Singh became the leader of the unit.

Early life[edit]

Baghel Singh was born in a Jat family of Dhaliwal clan, in the Jhabal village near Amritsar.[2]

Military career[edit]

Singh was a skilled political negotiator, able to create alliances with former enemies.

On disintegration of the Mughal Empire in the second half of the 18th century, due to Afghan incursions under the Pashtun leader, Ahmad Shah Durrani (Abdali), Sikh influence in the north of India increased. Singh's unit fought with Ahmad Shah Durrani against Mughal forces at Malerkotla. The Singh Krora Misl took Ambala, Karnal, Thanesar, and Hissar. Singh took possession of part of the Jalandhar Doab and established himself at Hariana, near Hoshiarpur.

Soon after the Sikh conquest of Sirhind in 1764, Singh extended his rule beyond Karnal and occupied a number of villages including Chhalaudi which became Singh's new headquarters.[3] Singh further expanded his territory into the Cis-Sutlej states including Meerut, Saharanpur, Shahdra and Awadh. His actions were supported by Afghan allies including Zabita Khan and Ghulam Qadir Khan.[4]

Attack on Delhi[edit]

In February 1764, a body of 30,000 Sikh soldiers under the command of warrior leaders including Singh, crossed the Yamuna River and captured Saharanpur. They overran the territory of Najib ud-Daulah, acquiring from him a tribute of eleven lakh of rupees ( 1,100,000).

In April 1775, Singh with two other sardars, Rai Singh Bhangi and Tara Singh Ghaiba, crossed the Yamuna river to occupy land ruled by Zabita Khan, the son and successor of Najib-Ud-Daulah. In desperation, Zabita Khan offered Singh large sums of money and proposed an alliance to jointly plunder the crown lands.

Singh set up an Octroi post (taxation office) near Sabzi Mandi to collect tax on goods imported into the city. The money was used for the construction of Sikh temples.

In March 1776, the Sikhs defeated the forces of the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II near Muzaffarnagar.[citation needed]

Battle of Ghanaur[edit]

In 1778, Shah Alam II sent an army of about 100,000 soldiers in a counter-attack against the Sikhs. The Mughal force was led by the Wazir Mirza Najaf Khan (Nawab Majad-Ud-Daula) under the banner of the crown prince. The Mughal forces and the Sikh forces met in battle at Ghanaur, near Patiala. The Mughal army lost the battle and surrendered.

Rise of Sikh power[edit]

In 1783, Singh with Ghulam Qadir invaded Delhi.[5][6][7][5]

Singh and the Mughal Emperor contracted that 12.5% of the "octroi" (trade tax) of Delhi would be sent to Singh. In return, he would ensure that the Sikhs did not attack the capital again.[citation needed]

Sikh temples in Delhi[edit]

Singh is credited with establishing several Gurudwaras (Sikh temples) in Delhi, including:[citation needed]


Singh died in about 1802 in Hariana.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Louis E. Fenech; W. H. McLeod (2014). Historical Dictionary of Sikhism. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 54. ISBN 978-1-4422-3601-1.
  2. ^ Jaspreet Kaur Sandhu (2000). Sikh ethos: eighteenth century perspective. Vision & Venture. p. 36. ISBN 978-81-86769-12-6. Baghel Singh was elected to head the Misal. Baghel Singh, a Dhaliwal Jat, was the resident of Jhabal, 21 kms from Amritsar.
  3. ^ Bhagata, Siṅgha (1993). A History of the Sikh Misals. Publication Bureau, Punjabi University. pp. 271–282. Baghel Singh, Baghel Singh took the leadership of karorisingha misl.
  4. ^ N. G. Rathod. The Great Maratha Mahadaji Scindia. pp. 31–32.
  5. ^ a b Sethi, Jasbir Singh. Views and Reviews.
  6. ^ Hari Ram Gupta, History of the Sikhs: Sikh Domination of the Mughal Empire, 1764–1803, second ed., Munshiram Manoharlal (2000) ISBN 978-8-12150-213-9
  7. ^ Ram Gupta, History of the Sikhs: The Sikh Commonwealth or Rise and Fall of the Misls, rev. ed., Munshiram Manoharlal (2001) ISBN 978-8-12150-165-1
  8. ^ Louis E. Fenech; W. H. McLeod (11 June 2014). Historical Dictionary of Sikhism. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 54–. ISBN 978-1-4422-3601-1.

Further reading[edit]

  • Gian Singh, Giani, Panth Prakash [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970
  • Bhahgu, Ratan Singh, Prachin Panth Prakash [Reprint], Amritsar, 1962
  • Sital, Sohan Singh, Sikh Mislan. Ludhiana, 1952
  • Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs. Delhi, 1983

External links[edit]