TWĀRĪKH GURŪ KHĀLSĀ, a voluminous prose narrative delineating the history of the Sikhs from their origin to the time when they lost the Punjab to the British. The author, Giānī Giān Siṅgh (1822-1921), claimed descent from the brother of Bhāī Manī Siṅgh, the martyr, who was a contemporary of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh. The work is divided into five parts : Janam Sākhī Dasāṅ Gurūāṅ, Shāmsher Khālsā, Rāj Khālsā, Sardār Khālsā, and Panth Khālsā. In the first part the author presents biographies of the Ten Gurūs and sketches the evolution of the community culminating in the emergence of the Khālsā. The second part deals with the career of Bandā Siṅgh Bahādur, the sustained struggle Sikhs waged against the Mughals in face of fierce persecution, their reorganization in the form of the Dal Khālsā and the running battle between Ahmad Shāh Durrānī and the Sikhs. The third part describes the rise of the twelve misls or independencies and of the sovereign kingdom of Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh and ends with the annexation of the Punjab by the British. The fourth part contained accounts of Sikh principalities which did not form part of Raṇjīt Siṅgh's kingdom. The fifth part treats of Sikh sects, gurdwārās and preaching centres.
As Giānī Giān Siṅgh himself relates in the book, he spent more than fifteen years collecting information, mainly verbal. His sources were his own elders, Nagāhīā Siṅgh, Rāghū Siṅgh and Bakhtā Siṅgh who had served Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, Bandā Siṅgh Bahādur and the eighteenth-century sardārs such as Nawāb Kapūr Siṅgh and Bābā Ālā Siṅgh. Besides, he travelled extensively in quest of materials. Two of the older works he admits to having made use of were those by Ratan Siṅgh Bhaṅgū and Būṭe Shāh. He received encouragement from his mentor, Tārā Siṅgh Narotam, a Nirmalā scholar, and completed in 1867 his first work, the famed Panth Prakāsh which was a connected history of the Sikhs in Punjabi verse. The Twārīkh Gurū Khālsā was its expansion in prose.
The first edition of the Twārīkh comprising the first three parts was printed in 1891 at Gurū Gobind Siṅgh Press, Siālkoṭ, with the help of Mahant Prem Siṅgh, Bhāī Harī Siṅgh of Siālkoṭ and Būṭā Siṅgh of Rāwalpiṇḍī. Giān Siṅgh made over the rights of publication of his Twārīkh to the Khālsā Tract Society, Amritsar. Besides all the copies of the published first three parts of the Twārīkh, the manuscripts of the remaining two unpublished parts were also handed over to the Society. The Panth Khālsā (the fifth part) was published in Urdu as late as 1919 and the Sardār Khālsā (the fourth part) was never published.
The first three parts severally and collectively of this monumental work ran into several editions in Urdu as well as in Punjabi. They were last published in two volumes in Punjabi by the Languages Department, Punjab, Paṭiālā, in 1970.