GURŪ NĀNAK PRAKĀSH PRESS, a litho printing press, started around AD 1859 in the village of Piprī, near Gorakhpur in the Uttar Pradesh, by Kaṅvar Jagjot Siṅgh, grandson of Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh and son of Kaṅvar Pashaurā Siṅgh, for printing books in Gurmukhī script with a view to promoting Punjabi literature and culture. Jagjot Siṅgh had been exiled from the Punjab, along with several other Sikh princes and chiefs upon the annexation of the Punjab in 1849 to the British dominions. He employed three scholars, namely Kishan Siṅgh, Devī Datt and Bishan Datt, for writing books originally in Punjabi as well as for rendering into the language some of the old classics. Among the works published were Punjabi translations of Mitāshrī Ṭīkā or Manu Smṛti (total number of pages 77) by Devī Datt, Rājnītī Granth (a book on political theory; pp. 136) by Bishan Datt and Kishan Siṅgh, and Bhoj Prabandh Sār (a book on prosody; pp. 37) by Bishan Datt. Published in the seventies of the nineteenth century these books dealing with Hindu ethics, political theory and prosody, respectively, were abbreviated adaptations into Punjabi of the Sanskrit classics, and were meant for free distribution.
The press ceased to exist by 1880, but was revived in 1892 at Siālkoṭ (now in Pakistan) where Jagjot Siṅgh had settled down in 1884 after the withdrawal of the ban on his entry into the Punjab. However, it had to close down soon after when only 284 pages of the Punjabi book of Pāras Bhāg (second edition) had been printed. The first edition of this work and Prem Sāgar, a biography of Lord Kṛṣṇa, had also been got printed by Jagjot Siṅgh, but at another press.
Shamsher Siṅgh Ashok