CHANDŪ SHĀH, a wealthy banker and revenue official at the Mughal court at Lahore. He earned the annoyance of Sikhs by uttering disparaging words when his family priest proposed Gurū Arjan's son, Hargobind, for his daughter who was of marriageable age. Chandū Shāh accepted the suggestion but with reluctance and made the conceited remark that the Gurū's house was too low for his status and wealth. Report of what he had said reached the local saṅgat, who felt injured and sent request to Gurū Arjan to reject the proposal. The, Gurū, honouring Sikhs' wishes, broke off the match. Chandū Shāh became a deadly foe of the Gurū and began to conspire against him. He got his chance when, after the death of the liberal-minded Akbar, his son, Jahāṅgīr, ascended the Mughal throne. Emperor Jahāṅgīr came to Lahore in April 1606 in pursuit of his rebel son, Khusrau. Chandū Shāh and other detractors of Sikhism slandered the Gurū before him. Gurū Arjan was arrested on the charge that he had received and blessed the rebel prince. The Emperor sentenced him to death with torture. Murtazā Khān, the governor of Lahore, was to carry out the sentence, but, according to Sikh chronicles, it was Chandū Shāh who took charge of the holy prisoner and had him done to death with the cruellest torments.

         As time passed, Jahāṅgīr became reconciled to Gurū Arjan's successor, Gurū Hargobind. He had Chandū Shāh seized and delivered into the Gurū's custody. Dragged through the streets of Lahore by angry Sikhs who had witnessed the atrocities perpetrated by him, Chandū Shāh died a miserable death.

         The final blow came ironically from the very person whom Chandū Shāh had employed to pour hot sand on Gurū Arjan's blistered body.



  1. Gurbilās Chhevīṅ Pātshāhī, Patiala, 1970
  2. Bhallā, Sarūp Dās, Mahimā Prakāsh. Patiala, 1971
  3. Sāhib Siṅgh, Jīvan-Britānt Srī Gurū Arjan Dev Jī. Amritsar, 1979
  4. Macauliffe, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909
  5. Ganda Singh, Guru Arjan's Martyrdom Reinterpreted. Patiala, 1969

Tāran Siṅgh