PASHAURĀ SIṄGH, KAṄVAR (1821-1845), son of Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh, was born in 1821 to Rāṇī Dayā Kaur. He emerged from obscurity to claim the kingdom of the Punjab after the assassination of Mahārājā Sher Siṅgh. After his escape from Bābā Bīr Siṅgh's camp, where his brother Kashmīrā Siṅgh was killed, he reached Lahore to make up with Rājā Hīrā Siṅgh. It was the most opportune time for him to be in the capital, for relations between Hīrā Siṅgh and his uncle Gulāb Siṅgh had then become strained on the question of the disposal of Rājā Suchet Siṅgh's treasure. Both of them vied with one another for his favour. But the ḍogrās soon made up their mutual differences, and Pashaurā Siṅgh was left in the lurch. After wandering over the Punjab for a few weeks, he crossed the Sutlej and arrived at the British camp in the middle of December 1844 to seek help against the ḍogrās. Finding the British unresponsive, he returned to Lahore soon after Hīrā Siṅgh had been removed from the scene. As he appeared in the Darbār on 1 January 1845, there was much goodwill exhibited for him. A cry went up among the soldiers that he should be made the Mahārājā in place of Duleep Siṅgh. This put Mahārāṇī Jind Kaur, mother of Duleep Siṅgh, on her guard. Pashaurā Siṅgh was received with honour in the court, and was offered presents of jewels, elephants and horses. He was promised an increase in his jāgīr, if he left Lahore immediately. Mahārāṇī Jīnd Kaur also asked Bhāī Gurbakhsh Siṅgh, with whom the prince was staying, to prevail upon him to retire to his estates. She, in the end, won over the army, who ordered Pashaurā Siṅgh to go back to his jāgīr. On his appointment as Wazīr on 15 May 1845, Jawāhar Siṅgh, brother of Mahārāṇī Jīnd Kaur, sent a force against him. Pashaurā Siṅgh capitulated before the Lahore artillery, but was allowed by the troops to escape.

         After remaining in the wilderness for some time, he took the fort of Attock in July 1845, with just a handful of Pāṭhān followers. With money that the fort yielded to him, he raised fresh levies and declared himself to be the ruler of the Punjab. He tried to secure help from the chiefs, from Jehlum to Khaibar, and even opened negotiations with Dost Muhammad. Jawāhar Siṅgh ordered Chatar Siṅgh Aṭārīvālā and Fateh Khān Ṭiwānā to proceed against him. They besieged Attock and reduced the prince to such straits that he agreed to surrender and place himself at the disposal of Chatar Siṅgh on the promise of a safe conduct to Lahore and the retention of Siālkoṭ. Having secured these assurances, he surrendered the fort on 30 August 1845 and proceeded to Lahore with the troops. Jawāhar Siṅgh had meanwhile sent instructions to the effect that Pashaurā Siṅgh be got rid of forthwith. The prince was sequestered from his personal bodyguard on 11 September 1845, and secretly taken back by Fateh Khān Ṭiwānā to Attock where he was strangled to death.


  1. Smyth, G.C., History of the Reigning Family of Lahore. Calcutta, 1847
  2. Griffin, Sir Lepel, Ranjit Singh. Oxford, 1945
  3. Chopra, Barkat Rai, Kingdom of Punjab. Hoshiarpur 1969
  4. Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs. Delhi, 1983
  5. Bhagat Singh, Maharaja Ranjit Singh and His Times. Delhi, 1990

J. S. Khurānā