ĀDĪNĀ BEG KHĀN (d. 1758), governor of the Punjab for a few months in AD 1758, was, according to Ahwāl-i-Dīnā Beg Khān, an unpublished Persian manuscript, the son of Channū, of the Arāīṅ agriculturalist caste, mostly settled in Doābā region of the Punjab. He was born at the village of Sharakpur, near Lahore, now in Sheikhūpurā district of Pakistan. Ādīnā Beg was brought up in Mughal homes, for the most part in Jalālābād, Khānpur and Bajvāṛā in the Jalandhar Doāb. Starting his career as a soldier, he rose to be collector of revenue of the village of Kaṅg in the Lohīāṅ area, near Sultānpur Lodhī. He obtained half a dozen villages in Kaṅg area on lease and within an year the entire Kaṅg region. After some time Nawāb Zakarīyā Khān, the governor of Lahore, appointed him chief (hākam) of Sultānpur Lodhī. When after Nādir Shāh's invasion (1739) Sikhs started gaining power, Zakarīyā Khān made Ādīnā Beg Khān nāzim (administrator) of the Jalandhar Doāb to suppress them. Shrewd as he was, he tried to strengthen his own position by encouraging Sikhs instead of repressing them. Under pressure from Zakarīyā Khān, he however had to expel them from his dominion. For non-payment of government dues he was taken into custody under the orders of the governor of Lahore and subjected to torture. On being set free after an year, he was appointed deputy nāzim under Shāh Nawāz Khān. After Zakarīyā Khān's death on 1 July 1745, his sons, Yāhiyā Khān and Shāh Nawāz Khān contested succession. Ādīnā Beg maintained good relations with both. Shāh Nawāz Khān having captured Lahore appointed Ādīnā Beg chief of Jalandhar Doāb. Meanwhile, Nādir Shāh died on 19 June 1747 and Ahmad Shāh Durrānī became ruler of Kābul and Qandahār. Shāh Nawāz following Ādīnā Beg's advice invited the Durrānī king to march towards the Punjab, warning at the same time the government at Delhi about the Durrānī's invasion. As Ahmad Shāh advanced into the country, Shāh Nawāz fled towards Delhi. Mu'īn ul-Mulk (Mīr Mannū), son of Qamar ud-Dīn, the chief wazīr of the Delhi king, succeeded in checking the invader at Mānūpur, near Sirhind. Ādīnā Beg joined hands with Mū'īn ul-Mulk and was wounded in the battle. Mū'īn ul-Mulk became governor of Lahore, with Kauṛā Mall as hisdīwān and Ādīnā Beg asfaujdār of the Jalandhar Doāb as before. Sikhs again started plundering the country. Ahmad Shāh Durrānī launched upon his third incursion into the Punjab (December 1751), this time forcing Mu'īn ul-Mulk to surrender. Mu'īn remained governor, now on the Durrānī's behalf. He and Ādīnā Beg directed their energies towards quelling the Sikhs. On the festival of Holā Mohallā in March 1753, Ādīnā Beg fell upon Sikh pilgrims at Anandpur killing a large number of them. The Sikhs retaliated by plundering villages in the Jalandhar and Bārī Doābs. Ādīnā Beg was as quick in coming to terms as he was in opening hostilities. He assigned some of the revenue of his territory to the Sikhs and admitted several of them, including Jassā Sīṅgh Rāmgaṛhīā, into his army.

        Mu'īn ul-Mulk died on 3 November 1753, and during the time of his widow, Murād Begam (Mughlānī Begam), Ādīnā Beg assumed independent authority in the Doāb, extending his influence up to Sirhind (March 1755). The Emperor of Delhi bestowed on him the title of Zafar Jaṅg Khān. The ruler of Kāṅgṛā accepted his overlordship. In May 1756, he was appointed governor of Lahore and Multān by the Mughal government of Delhi on payment of an annual tribute of thirty lakh of rupees. Ahmad Shāh Durrānī came to Mughlānī Begam's help and Ādīnā Beg took refuge in the Śivālik hills. The Afghāns reappointed him faujdār of the Jalandhar Doāb. During Taimūr Shāh's governorship (1757-58), Ādīnā Beg began to look around for allies with a view to expelling the Afghāns. The Sikhs and Ādīnā Beg's troops joined hands and defeated the Afghāns at Māhalpur, in Hoshiārpur district. Ādīnā Beg expressed his gratitude to the Sikhs by presenting a sum of a thousand rupees as homage to the Gurū Granth Sāhib and a lakh and a quarter as protection money for the Jalandhar Doāb. Keeping up appearances with the Sikh sardārs, He wished to weaken their power and invited to this end Marāṭhās who had taken Delhi to come to the Punjab, offering them one lakh of rupees a day on march. He also persuaded Sikhs to help the Marāṭhās against the Afghāns. The Marāṭhās led by Raghunāth Rāo and accompanied by the forces of the Sikhs and those of Ādīnā Beg entered Lahore in April 1758. Ādīnā Beg got the sūbahdārī of the Punjab at 75 lakh of rupees a year to be paid to the Marāṭhās. The Punjab had now three masters : the Mughals, the Afghāns and the Marāṭhās, but in reality only two--Ādīnā Beg and the Sikhs. Ādīnā Beg brooked no rivals, and resumed his campaign against the Sikhs, increasing his armed strength and hiring a thousand woodcutters to clear up the forests in which the Sikhs were wont to seek shelter in times of stress. He laid siege to the Sikh fort of Rām Rauṇi at Amritsar. Before the Sikhs rallied to confront him, Ādīnā Beg succumbed to an attack of colic at Baṭālā on 10 September 1758. His dead body was buried, honouring his will, at Khānpur, 2 km northwest of Hoshiārpur.


  1. Gupta, Hari Ram, History of the Sikhs, vol. II. Delhi, 1978
  2. Gandhi, Surjit Singh, Struggle of the Sikhs for Sovereignty. Delhi, 1980
  3. Bhagat Singh, Sikh Polity. Delhi, 1978

Bhagat Siṅgh