GULĀB SIṄGH (d. 1759), founder of the Ḍallevālīā clan, was born the son of Shardhā Rām at the village of Ḍallevāl, near Ḍerā Bābā Nānak on the left bank of the River Rāvī, 50 km northeast of Amritsar. In his younger days, he ran a grocery shop in his village and was known as Gulābā Khatrī. Having heard tales of heroism of the Sikhs, he came to Amritsar, waited upon Nawāb Kapūr Siṅgh, and volunteered to become a Sikh. He was advised to grow long hair, practise horsemanship, archery and the use of sword and to come again after an year. Gulābā returned home, won over a small number of young men as companions and commenced a career of adventure. He came to Amritsar on the occasion of Dīvālī accompanied by his band, many of whom were on horseback. Nawāb Kapūr Siṅgh was highly impressed and, administering initiatory rites to him, named him Gulāb Siṅgh. At the formation of the Dal Khālsā in 1748, Gulāb Siṅgh, who had already fought bravely against Nādir Shāh in 1739 and in the Chhoṭā Ghallūghārā in 1746, was declared the head of the Ḍallevālīā misl. Later the Ḍallevālīā and the Nishānāṅvālī misls were stationed at Amritsar to protect the holy city. In 1757 when Ahmad Shāh Durrānī was returning homeward laden with the booty from Delhi, Mathurā and Āgrā, Gulāb Siṅgh made frequent night attacks on his baggage train. At the fords of Rāvī and Chenāb, Gulāb Siṅgh with several other Sikh sardārs captured a large number of Afghān horses. Commanding a jathā of 400 men, Gulāb Siṅgh plundered Pānīpat, Rohtak, Hāṅsī and Hissār.

         Gulāb Siṅgh died fighting, in 1759, against Ambo Khān of Kalānaur, 27 km west of Gurdāspur.


  1. Griffin, Lepel, and C.F. Massy, Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab. Lahore, 1909
  2. Gupta, Hari Ram, History of the Sikhs, vol. II. Delhi, 1978
  3. Seetal, Sohan Singh, The Sikh Misals and the Punjab. Ludhiana, n.d.
  4. Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs. Delhi, 1983

Sardār Siṅgh Bhāṭīā