BHŪP SIṄGH, SARDĀR, remembered as Rājā Bhūp Siṅgh in local lore, was the chief of the Sikh principality of Ropaṛ, during the earlier half of the nineteenth century. Little is known about his life except that in 1808-09 he, along with Devā Siṅgh, was in possession of Ropaṛ and its adjacent districts including Khizrābād and Mīāṅpur, a tract covering 115 villages with an estimated annual revenue of Rs 53, 000. He was probably a grandson of Sardār Harī Siṅgh of Ḍallevālīā misl, who, according to Lepel. H. Griffin, The Rajas of the Punjab, had taken possession, around 1763, of a large territory including Ropaṛ, Siālbā, Khizrābād and Kurālī. In 1792, one year before he died, Harī Siṅgh divided his possessions between his two surviving sons, Chaṛhat Siṅgh and Devā Siṅgh, the former getting Ropaṛ and the latter Siālbā. Bhūp Siṅgh was the son and successor of Chaṛhat Siṅgh, who might have died during the former's minority. This explains the reference to Devā Siṅgh being the co-ruler at Ropaṛ in lists prepared in 1809 by Lieut-Colonel D. Ochterlony and Lieutenant F. S. White of the East India Company. According to these lists, Ropaṛ was under Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh. It came under British protection as a result of the treaty of Amritsar (25 April 1809), which limited Raṇjīt Siṅgh's authority mainly to territories north of the River Sutlej. The chief of Ropaṛ, Bhūp Siṅgh, was removed as prisoner and his whole estate was confiscated in 1846 in consequence of his opposing the British during the first Anglo-Sikh war.

        Rājā Bhūp Siṅgh is remembered as a just ruler and as a pious Sikh who constructed Gurdwārā Dehrā Bābā Gurdittā Jī at Kīratpur and Gurdwārā Gurūgaṛh Sāhib at Ropaṛ. At the latter Gurdwārā he had started a laṅgar, or free kitchen, which remained open round the clock, for which reason, the shrine is still known as Gurdwārā Sadā Varat (where laṅgar is open all the time to serve food to whoever comes).


    Griffin, Lepel, The Rajas of the Punjab. Delhi, 1977

Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)