Kapurthala State

Coordinates: 31°23′N 75°23′E / 31.383°N 75.383°E / 31.383; 75.383
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Kapurthala State
Princely State of British India
Flag of Kapurthala
Coat of arms of Kapurthala
Coat of arms
Punjab 1909.jpg
Kapurthala State on a 1909 Punjab map.
• 1901
1,320 km2 (510 sq mi)
• 1901
Historical eraNew Imperialism
• Established
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Sikh Confederacy
Today part ofPunjab, India
Kapurthala state The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 14, p. 408–416.

Kapurthala State, with its capital at Kapurthala, was a former Princely state in the Punjab region of British India. Ruled by Ahluwalia Sikh rulers, spread across 510 square miles (1,300 km2). According to the 1901 census the state had a population of 314,341 and contained two towns and 167 villages.[1] In 1930, Kapurthala became part of the Punjab States Agency and acceded to the Union of India in 1947.

In colonial India, Kapurthala State was known for its communal harmony, with its Sikh ruler Jagatjit Singh building the Moorish Mosque for his Muslim subjects.[2] At the time of the Indian independence movement, the ruler of the Kapurthala State opposed the partition of India and advocated for a united, secular country.[3]


The ruling dynasty of Kapurthala originated in the Ahluwalia misl. According to this account, Krishna's descendant Gaj built the fort of Gajni, and lost his life in a battle against a joint Roman-Khorasani army. His son Salibahan established the city of Sialkot, and started the Shak era after defeating the Shaks in 78 CE.

After the Muslim conquest of Punjab, his descendants migrated to the Jaisalmer area, where they came to be known as Bhatti Rajput tribe. After Alauddin Khalji's conquest of Jaisalmer, some of the Bhatti tribe people's migrated to Tarn Taran district, mingled with Jats. Gradually, they came to be known as Jats, and in the 17th century, they joined Guru Hargobind's army. Ganda Singh of this family raided Lahore, whose governor Dilawar Khan persuaded him to join the Lahore army, and assigned him the fief of Ahlu and some other villages. Ganda Singh's son Sadhu (or Sadho) Singh lived in Ahlu, because of which the family came to be known as Ahluwalia. Sadhu Singh and his four sons married into Kalal families, because of which the family came to be known as Ahluwalia. The descendants of Sadhu Singh son Gopal Singh (who was the grandfather of Jassa Singh) established the royal family of Kapurthala.[4] The British administrator Lepel Griffin (1873) dismissed this account as spurious.[4] The Sikh author Gian Singh, in his Twarikh Raj Khalsa (1894), wrote that the Ahluwalia family adopted the Kalal caste identity much before Sadhu Singh.[5]

The Ahluwalia misl rose to prominence under Jassa Singh Ahluwalia,[6][7] who was the first person to use the name "Ahluwalia". Originally known as Jassa Singh Kalal, he styled himself as Ahluwalia after his ancestral village of Ahlu and belonged to the Kalal community.[8] He is regarded as the founder of the Kapurthala State.[9]

Even after other misls lost their territories to Ranjit Singh's Sikh Empire, the emperor permitted the descendants of Jassa Singh to retain their estates. After the British took over the Sikh territories in 1846, Jassa Singh's descendants became the ruling family of the Kapurthala State.[10]


Religion in Kapurthala Princely State(1941)

  Muslims (56.49%)
  Sikhs (23.35%)
  Hindus (16.27%)
  Others (3.89%)
Religion in Kapurthala State (1941)[11]: 42 
Religion Population Percentage
Islam Star and Crescent.svg 213,754 56.49%
Sikhism Khanda.svg 88,350 23.35%
Hinduism Om.svg[a] 61,546 16.27%
Christianity Christian cross.svg 1,643 0.43%
Others[b] 13,087 3.46%
Total Population 378,380 100%

Royal dynasty[edit]



Raja Fateh Singh Ahluwalia, CIE

Raja-i Rajgan[edit]

  • Randhir Singh (12 March 1861 – 2 April 1870) (b. 1831 – d. 1870)
  • Kharak Singh (2 April 1870 – 3 September 1877) (b. 1850 – d. 1877)
Jagatjit Singh Bahadur, Maharaja of Kapurthala, GCSI, GCIE, GBE.


Crown Princes[edit]

  • Tikka Raja Shatrujit Singh[3]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Including Ad-Dharmis
  2. ^ Including Jainism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Tribals, others, or not stated


  1. ^ Kapurthala state The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 14, p. 408.
  2. ^ Venkatesh, Karthik (16 January 2016). "Malerkotla, Where Tolerance is a Way of Life". The Wire. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  3. ^ a b "An undivided India?". NDTV. 29 August 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  4. ^ a b Ganda Singh (1990). Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia. Punjabi University. pp. 1–4.
  5. ^ M. L. Ahluwalia (1996). Land marks in Sikh history. Ashoka International. p. 37.
  6. ^ Kaushik Roy (2015). Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia. Routledge. p. 88. ISBN 9781317321279.
  7. ^ Singhia, H.S. (2009). The encyclopedia of Sikhism. New Delhi: Hemkunt Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-81-7010-301-1.
  8. ^ Donald Anthony Low (1968). Soundings in Modern South Asian History. University of California Press. pp. 70–71. OCLC 612533097.
  9. ^ Sohan Singh Seetal (1981). The Sikh Misals and the Punjab States. Lahore Book Shop. p. 75.
  10. ^ W. H. McLeod (2009). The A to Z of Sikhism. Scarecrow Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-8108-6344-6.
  11. ^ "CENSUS OF INDIA, 1941 VOLUME VI PUNJAB PROVINCE". Retrieved 17 January 2023.
  12. ^ "Kapurthala". Archived from the original on 8 August 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  13. ^ a b c d "KAPURTHALA". Royal Family of India. 12 April 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  14. ^ "History | Kapurthala Web Portal | India". Government of India. Retrieved 25 December 2020.
  15. ^ A history of the Sikhs, from the origin of the nation to the battles of the Sutlej. Cunningham, Joseph Davey, 1812-1851., Garrett, H. L. O. ed. (Herbert Leonard Offley), 1881-1941
  16. ^ Griffin, Lepel Henry (1892). Ranjit Singh. Oxford : Clarendon press.

External links[edit]

31°23′N 75°23′E / 31.383°N 75.383°E / 31.383; 75.383