Punjab Army

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Lahore Durbar Army
Active 1799–1849
Country The Punjab
Branch Army
Size 70,000 peloton, 5,500 french legion, 50,000 feudal.
Headquarters Attock, Kangra, Srinagar, Peshawar, Multan.
Motto cauldron, sword, victory.
Engagements Battle of Attock
Siege of Multan
Battle of Shopian
Sino-Sikh War
Battle of Nowshera
Battle of Jamrud
Battle of Mudki
Battle of Sobraon
Battle of Aliwal
Battle of Chillianwala
Battle of Gujrat
Battle of Ramnagar
Battle of Peshawar (1834)
Ghaus Khan
Ilahi Baksh
Dewan Chand
Ranjodh Singh
Sham Singh Atari
Tara Singh
HS Nalwa
Ranjit Singh
Sikh Soldiers receiving their pay at the Royal Durbar

Punjab Army (or sometimes called the army of Lahore) was the military force of the Sikh Empire responsible for land defense from 1801–49.


Bodyguard of Ranjit Singh

The military strength consisted fully of professional soldiers. The army was divided into six main military divisions: Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Medical, Engineering and logistical support. The regular military force was backed up and supported by a further 52,000 well-trained and equipped professional-grade irregulars. In addition, a large reservoir of feudal and militia forces was available. Artillery division in 1838 had 188 heavy artillery guns.[1][2] The army at the time was regarded as the premier fighting force of Asia.[3]

The Sikh Army was strongly Punjabi with a predominantly Sikh cadre [4] but also had a significant multi-religious component made up from other parts of the Punjabi people: different religious backgrounds: Muslim, Hindu and different tribal backgrounds: Pashtuns, Dogras, Khatris, Jatts, Ramgarhias, Nepalis and European mercenaries. A promotion to a higher military rank was based on military skill, not hereditary background, so was a classic meritocracy. Sikhs formed the bulk of the Sikh Empire's army.

The Cavalry was divided into three divisions:

  • Regular Cavalry
  • Ghorchara Fauj Cavalry
  • Jagirdari Cavalry

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Major Pearse, Hugh; Ranjit Singh and his white officers
  2. ^ The Heritage of the Sikhs By Harbans Singh. (Date:1994, ISBN 81-7304-064-8)
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ http://britishbattles.com/first-sikh-war/moodkee.htm
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Lord of the Five Rivers, By Jean-Marie Lafont. (Oxford University Press. Date:2002, ISBN 0-19-566111-7).
  • History of Panjab, Dr L. M. Joshi, Dr Fauja Singh.