CHATAR SIṄGH AṬĀRĪVĀLĀ (d. 1855), commander and provincial governor under minor Mahārājā Duleep Siṅgh, was the son of Jodh Siṅgh Aṭārīvālā. Jodh Siṅgh had joined the service of Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh in 1805 when he received large jāgīrs in the Poṭhohār country. On the death of his father in that year, Chatar Siṅgh succeeded to the jāgīrs, then amounting to over a lakh of rupees annually. He devoted most of his time to farming and kept generally aloof from state affairs during the reign of Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh. When after the assassination of his son, Mahārājā Sher Siṅgh, in September 1843, his daughter, Tej Kaur, was betrothed to Mahārājā Duleep Siṅgh, he came into prominence politically. He was appointed governor of Peshāwar in August 1846. In November 1847, the title of Rājā was recommended for him by the Council of Regency, but was at his request conferred upon his son Sher Siṅgh instead. Chatar Siṅgh was then transferred to Hazārā, where as the governor of the province he came into conflict with the overbearing Assistant British Resident, Captain James Abbott, his assistant and adviser for the demarcation of boundary between the Punjab and Kashmīr which had been given away by the British to the Ḍogrā Rājā Gulāb Siṅgh for his services to them during the first Anglo-Sikh war. Since the Multān outbreak in April 1848, James Abbott had been continually reporting to the Resident at Lahore that discontent prevailed among the Sikh troops stationed at Hazārā in September 1848, he alleged that a conspiracy was being hatched by Chatar Siṅgh, its Sikh governor, to subvert British power in the Punjab. He charged him with high treason, and leading the local chiefs and large numbers of Muslim levies he had raised he marched on Harīpur to expel the Sikh governor. At this juncture, Commodore Canora, an artillery officer in the Fort, who was in secret communication with Captain Abbott, refused to move his battery, and was consequently shot down at Chatar Siṅgh's orders. Under the orders of the British Resident at Lahore this Hazārā incident was investigated by Captain Nicholson who in his enquiry report not only exonerated Chatar Siṅgh, but also justified the defensive measures he had taken to save the besieged capital of Hazārā from Abbott's Muhammadan mercenaries. Resident Frederick Currie, notwithstanding Nicholson's report, issued orders which amounted to Chatar Siṅgh's virtual dismissal and the confiscation of his jāgīrs which drove him to open defiance. The Hazārā revolt now escalated into hostilities between the British and the Sikhs. After their defeat at Gujrāt on 21 February 1849, Chatar Siṅgh and his sons, Rājā Sher Siṅgh and Avtār Singh, were detained by the British in their village, Aṭāṛī, and then imprisoned at Allāhābād from where they were removed to Fort William at Calcutta to prevent them from establishing contact with the exiled Queen Mother, Mahārāṇī Jind Kaur. They were released in January 1854. Chatar Siṅgh died in Calcutta on 27 December 1855.


  1. Sūrī, Sohan Lāl, 'Umdāt-ut-Twārīkh. Lahore, 1885-89
  2. Griffin, Lepel, and C. F. Massy, Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab. Lahore, 1890
  3. Hasrat, B J. , Life and Times of Ranjit Singh. Hoshiarpur, 1977

Gaṇḍā Siṅgh