BIKRAM SIṄGH, RĀJĀ (1842-1898), born in January 1842, succeeded his father, Wazīr Siṅgh, to the throne of Farīdkoṭ state in 1874. A dominant figure in Farīdkoṭ history, Rājā Bikram Siṅgh modernized the state administration. He employed retired British officials of experience and in 1875 set up offices and courts on the British model and adopted British law. Schools and charitable hospitals were opened and dharamsālās and rest houses for travellers constructed. Sadāvarats or free kitchens were established at Farīdkoṭ, Thānesar and Amritsar. Sanskrit paṭhshālās, or schools were started where free food was served to the students. In 1881, one-pice postal stamp was introduced in the state.

        Rājā Bikram Siṅgh had a religious bent of mind and was a leading figure in the Sikh renaissance at the turn of the 19th century. He was a patron of the Khālsā Dīwān, Amritsar, to which Siṅgh Sabhās then springing up in the Punjab were affiliated. Following the publication in 1877 of Ernest Trumpp's The Ādi Granth, not received favourably by the Sikhs, Rājā Bikram Siṅgh commissioned a full scale commentary in Punjabi on the Holy Book. To this end, he appointed a distinguished synod of Sikh schoolmen of the period. The work which resulted from its labours is now famous as the Farīdkoṭ Ṭīkā and occupies an honoured place in the Sikh exegetical literature. At a public meeting of the Sikhs in Amritsar convened on 14 August 1897, Rājā Bikram Siṅgh announced in honour of Queen Victoria's Diamond jubilee a donation of rupees one lakh for electricity to be brought to the premises of the Golden Temple and for a new building for the Gurū kā Laṅgar. He was among those Indian princes who were sympathetic to the cause of the deposed Mahārājā Duleep Siṅgh. He had holy shrines raised in memory of Sikh Gurūs and martyrs at Gurūsar, Lakhī Jungle, Muktsar (Gurdwārā Shahīd Gañj) and Srīnagar. He was appointed a Fellow of the Pañjāb University to which he donated large sums of money.

        Rājā Bikram Siṅgh died on 8 August 1898 and was succeeded by his son, Balbīr Siṅgh.


  1. Griffin, Lepel, The Rajas of the Punjab [Reprint], Delhi, 1977
  2. Harbans Singh, Farīdkoṭ Itihās Bāre. Faridkoṭ, 1947
  3. Ganda Singh, The Patiala and the East Panjab States Union : Historical Background. Patiala, 1951

Sardār Siṅgh Bhāṭīā