LAṄGĀH, BHĀĪ, a wellknown figure in early Sikh history, was originally a follower of Sultān Sakhī Sarwar. Son of Abu ul- Khair, a Ḍhilloṅ Jaṭṭ with a Muslim name, belonging to the village of Jhabāl, in the present Amritsar district of the Punjab, he was one of the three chaudharīs or revenue officials of the parganah of Paṭṭī, who between them were responsible for collecting, on behalf of the governor of Lahore, a revenue of Rs 900,000 from villages under their jurisdiction. Laṅgāh alone had 84 villages under him. It is said that once Laṅgāh was afflicted with a serious illness. Neither medicine nor prayer to the patron saint of his sect, Sakhī Sarwar, proved of any avail. He met a Sikh who counselled him to pray to God Almighty and to Gurū Nānak. Laṅgāh soon recovered and was converted a Sikh. He lovingly contributed the labour of his hands as well as money for the excavation of the sacred pool and the construction of the Harimandar at Amritsar. His devotion and earnestness were applauded by Gurū Arjan, who appointed him a masand (officiant) in his own area. He was one of the privileged Sikhs who were included in the marriage party of Gurū Hargobind in 1604. Laṅgāh, again, was one of the five Sikhs chosen to accompany Gurū Arjan on his last journey to Lahore. He witnessed the torturous scenes leading to the Gurū's martyrdom and helped to cremate his earthly remains. He continued to enjoy the confidence of the next Gurū, Gurū Hargobind. Known for his fighting skills as well as for his religious faith and piety, Bhāī Laṅgāh was appointed one of the commanders of Gurū Hargobind's newly trained force. Later, when the Gurū visited Lahore and had a small shrine constructed on the spot where Gurū Arjan's body had been cremated, Bhāī Laṅgāh was appointed to look after it. He served in this capacity for many a long year. Bhāī Laṅgāh died at Ḍhilvāṅ, on the bank of the River Beās.

         Among Bhāī Laṅgāh's descendants was the Sikh general, Baghel Siṅgh of Karoṛsiṅghīā misl, who triumphantly entered Delhi in 1770 and had several Sikh shrines erected to mark the historical sites in the capital. Māī Bhāgo, who fought with the Mājhā contingent in the battle of Khidrāṇā (present-day Muktsar), was the grand-daughter of Bhāī Laṅgāh's younger brother, Pīro Shāh.


  1. Bhallā, Sarūp Dās, Mahimā Prakāsh. Patiala, 1971
  2. Santokh Siṅgh, Bhāī, Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-33
  3. Macauliffe, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909

Tāran Siṅgh