FARRUKH-SĪYAR (1683-1719), Mughal emperor of India from 1713-19, was the second son of 'Azīm al-Shān, the third son of Bahādur Shāh. Born at Auraṅgābād in the Deccan on 11 September 1683, he in his tenth year accompanied his father to Āgrā, and in 1697 to Bengāl, when that province was added to his charge. In 1707, when 'Azīm al-Shān was summoned to the court by Auraṅgzīb, Farrukh-Sīyar was nominated his father's deputy there, which post he held until his recall by 'Azīm al-Shān in 1711. When Bahādur Shāh died at Lahore on 27 February 1712, Farrukh-Sīyar was at Paṭnā, inquisitivehaving tarried there since the previous rainy season. Following the defeat and death of his father in the contest at Lahore, Farrukh-Sīyar proclaimed himself king at Paṭnā on 6 March 1712. He marched on Delhi, defeating Jahāndār Shāh, who had succeeded Bahādur Shāh, on 10 January 1713, after a hard-fought battle at Sāmūgaṛh near Āgrā.

         After his accession to the throne of Delhi, Farrukh-Sīyar launched the sternest proceedings against Sikhs who had under Bandā Siṅgh Bahādur risen in the Punjab. He deputed his best military generals against them. 'Abd us-Samad Khān was appointed governor of Lahore and was entrusted with the task of quelling Sikh insurrection. According to Akhbār-i-Darbār-Mu'allā, high ranking military generals such as Bakhshī ul-Mūlk Muhammad Khān Bahādur, Ghāzī ud-Dīn Khān Bahādur, Mahābat Khān Bahādur and Hamīd ud-Dīn Khān Bahādur moved against the Sikhs at the head of their forces. Chopped heads of the victims were often sent to the emperor by the commanders to win his pleasure. Sikhs' main column under Bandā Siṅgh Bahādur was subjected to a most stringent siege at the village of Gurdās-Naṅgal, about 6 km from Gurdāspur. For eight long months, the garrison resisted the siege under gruesome conditions. The royal armies at last broke through and captured Bandā Siṅgh and his famishing companions on 7 December 1715. After being paraded in the streets of Lahore, they were taken to Delhi where they arrived on 27 February 1716. Besides 740 prisoners in heavy chains, the cavalcade to imperial capital comprised seven hundred cartloads of the heads of Sikhs with another 2,000 stuck upon pikes. By Farrukh-Sīyar's order, Bandā Siṅgh and some two dozen leading Sikhs were imprisoned in the Fort, while the remaining 694 were made over to the kotwāl, Sarbarāh Khān, to be executed in the Kotwālī Chabūtrā at the rate of a hundred a day. Then Bandā Siṅgh, Bahādur and his remaining companions were taken to the tomb of Khwājā Qutb ud-Dīn Bakhtiyār Kākī, near the Qutb Mīnār. There he was offered the choice between Islam and death. Upon his refusal to renounce his faith, his four-year son, Ajai Siṅgh, was hacked to pieces before his eyes. Bandā Siṅgh himself was subjected to the harshest torments. His eyes were pulled out and hands and feet chopped off. His flesh was torn with red-hot pincers and finally his body was cut up limb by limb. This happened on 9 June 1716.

         According to George Forster, A Journey from Bengal to England, an edict was issued by Farrukh-Sīyar after the execution of Bandā Siṅgh directing that "every Sicque falling into the hands of his officers should, on a refusal of embracing the Mahometan faith, be put to the sword. A valuable reward was also given by the emperor for the head of every Sicque, and such was the keen spirit that animated the persecution, such the success of the exertions, that the name of a Sicque no longer existed in the Mughul dominion. Those who still adhered to the tenets of Nanock, either fled into the mountains at the head of the Punjab, or cut off their hair, and exteriorly renounced the profession of their religion."

         Farrukh-Sīyar was deposed and blinded by his own men with needles pressed into his eyes on 28 February 1819 and choked to death on the night between 27 and 28 April.


  1. Bhagat Siṅgh, ed., Akhbār-i-Darbār-Mu'allā. Patiala, 1984
  2. Irvine, W., Later Mughals. London, 1922
  3. Nijjar, B.S., Punjab under the Later Mughals. Jalandhar, 1972

Bhagat Siṅgh