MILKHĀ SIṄGH THEHPURĪĀ (d. 1804), a powerful Sikh chief during the latter half of the eighteenth century, who, abandoning his native place, Kāleke, near Kasūr, founded the village of Thehpur in Lahore district and took possession of a number of villages in its vicinity and in Gujrāt and Gujrāṅwālā districts. Not content with these possessions, he marched northward and seized Rāwalpiṇḍī, then an insignificant place inhabited by Rāwal mendicants. Milkhā Siṅgh fixed his headquarters there, building new houses and fortifying the town. Rāwalpiṇḍī, being on the highway into India, was a vulnerable possession exposed to attacks of Afghān invaders, but Milkhā Siṅgh held his own. He conquered a tract around Rāwalpiṇḍī worth several lakhs of Rupees a year and had won the esteem of the warlike tribes of Hazārā. He had adopted the cognomen of Thehpurīā from the village he had founded, but in the north he was known as Milkhā Siṅgh Piṇḍīvālā. Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh, whom Milkhā Siṅgh had joined in his early expeditions, called him Bābājī, i.e. the revered grandfather.

         Milkhā Siṅgh died in 1804. Jīvān Siṅgh, his only son, who succeeded to his father's estates, fought in the Mahārājā's Kashmīr campaign in 1814, and died the next year. The force which Milkhā Siṅgh and Jīvan Siṅgh had maintained was transferred to the service of the Sikh State and placed under Sardār Atar Siṅgh Sandhāṅvālīā, bearing the name of ḍerā Piṇḍīvālā.


    Griffin, Sir Lepel, The Punjab Chiefs. Lahore, 1890

Sardār Siṅgh Bhāṭīā