HAZĀRĀ SIṄGH, GIĀNĪ (1828-1908), scholar and educator, was born in Amritsar in 1828. He also used to inscribe his name as Bhāī Hazārā Siṅgh Giānī as well as Hazūr Harī. His father, Bhāī Sāvaṇ Siṅgh, was employed in the Golden Temple as a store keeper. The family had migrated from Haṛappā, now in Pakistan, to settle in Amritsar. Early in his career, Hazārā Siṅgh was apprenticed to Sant Chandā Siṅgh famous in his day in classical Sikh learning. Besides the Sikh texts, he studied Persian and Sanskrit and acquired facility in both. He had strong literary inclinations nurtured by his association with the education department set up by the British after the occupation of the Punjab in 1849 and by the Siṅgh Sabhā renaissance which provided new creative incentives. He was an active member of the Amritsar Siṅgh Sabhā and acted for a while as one of its secretaries. In the education department, Hazārā Siṅgh worked as an inspector for vernacular schools. He prepared textbooks in Punjabi such as Bhūgol Mañjarī, Bhūgol Darpaṇ, Prītam Gaṇit, Hind dā Sugam Itihās, Itihās Prashnotrī, Gurmukhī Parkāsh and Dulhan Patrikā. He rendered Shaikh Sā'adī's Persian classics, Gulistāṅ and Bostāṅ into Braj verse and adapted Nazīr Ahmad's famous Urdu novel Mirāt ul-Arūs into Punjabi which was published under the title of Dulhan Darpaṇ. In Punjabi, he wrote Sūraj Prakāsh Chavarnikā, which is an abridged version of Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth, and the biographies of Gurū Har Rāi and Gurū Har Krishan. His more enduring works were Gurū Granth Kosh, a dictionary of the Gurū Granth Sāhib initiated by him but which received its current form from his daughter's son, Bhāī Vīr Siṅgh, celebrated Sikh savant and poet, and Vārāṅ Bhāī Gurdās (4 vols) which is a commentary on the vārs of Bhāī Gurdās.

        Giānī Hazārā Siṅgh died on 27 September 1908 at the ripe age of eighty.


  1. Balbīr Siṅgh, Srī Charan Hari Visthār. Dehra Dun, 1945
  2. Harbans Siṅgh, ed., Bhāī Vīr Siṅgh Abhinandan Granth. Delhi, 1954
  3. Vir Siṅgh, Bhāī, Vārāṅ Bhāī Gurdās. Amritsar, 1962
  4. Harbans Singh, Bhāī Vir Singh. Delhi, 1972

Harnām Siṅgh