MAHĀṄ SIṄGH (d.1790), son of Chaṛhat Siṅgh of Sukkarchakkīā misl was young in years when his father died. During his minority, his mother, Māī Desāṅ, carried on the administration, with the help of her brothers. As soon as he came of age, Mahāṅ Siṅgh embarked upon a career of conquest. He took the fort of Rohtās back from Nūr ud-Dīn Bāmezaī. Aided by Jai Siṅgh Kanhaiyā, he advanced upon Rasūlnagar. The powerful Chaṭṭhā chief, Pīr Muhammad, offered him stiff resistance, but was at last overcome. The town was occupied and renamed Rāmnagar.

         As Mahāṅ Siṅgh returned from his victorious campaign, he received the news of a son having been born to him on 13 November 1780. He named his son Raṇjīt Siṅgh, Victor in War, and celebrated the event with great rejoicing. Continuing his campaign of conquest, Mahāṅ Siṅgh took Piṇḍi Bhaṭṭiaṅ, Sāhīvāl, 'Isā Khel and Jhaṅg. He then seized Koṭlī Lohārāṅ, in the neighbourhood of Siālkoṭ. In 1782, he, like his father, got involved in the affairs of Jammū. Taking advantage of the internecine feud between the Jammū brothers, he plundered the town, collecting a huge booty, which he refused to share with his partners, the Kanhaiyās. Mahāṅ Siṅgh won over Jassā Siṅgh Rāmgaṛhīā to his side, and both of them challenged the Kanhaiyās near Baṭālā. In the battle that followed, Jai Siṅgh's only son, Gurbakhsh Siṅgh, was killed , and the Kanhaiyās suffered a defeat. Later, Sadā Kaur, widow of Gurbakhsh Siṅgh, betrothed her daughter, Mahitāb Kaur, to Mahāṅ Siṅgh's only son, Raṇjīt Siṅgh.

         Mahāṅ Siṅgh's next target was the Bhaṅgī misl. He picked a quarrel with his brother-in-law, Sāhib Siṅgh Bhaṅgī, after the death of his father, Gujjar Siṅgh Bhaṅgī. Sāhib Siṅgh shut himself up in the fort of Sodhrā, which was invested by the Sukkarchakkīā chief. During the protracted siege, Mahāṅ Siṅgh fell seriously ill with dysentery, and was forced to retire. He died in April 1790.


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J. S. Khurānā