KĀLĀ SIṄGH, a Mazhabī Sikh, was of pitch-black colour as his name (kālā = dark) indicated. He was converted to Sikhism by Jhaṇḍā Siṅgh (d. 1774), a Bhaṅgī chieftain. A bold and desperate man, Kālā Siṅgh joined the band of Gujjar Siṅgh Bhaṅgī (d. 1788) who appointed him thānedār or administrator at Hasan Abdāl, mid-way between Rāwalpiṇḍī and Attock, where the famous Sikh shrine of Pañjā Sāhib is located. Kālā Siṅgh settled down amidst the fanatic and warlike Muslim chiefs of Gandgaṛh and its neighbourhood. He set up his headquarters at Sarāi Kālī which was at that time the Sikhs' last frontier outpost on the northwest. Kālā Siṅgh firmly established his authority in the area.
Sardār Siṅgh Bhāṭīā