RĀM SIṄGH, BHĀĪ (d. 1846), son of Bhāī Harbhaj and a grandson of Bhāī Vastī Rām, occupied a position of honour at the court of Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh. A good scholar of Sanskrit and Persian, he was a trusted counsellor of the Mahārājā, who consulted him on all important matters of State. He enjoyed the unique privilege of sitting on a chair in the presence of the Mahārājā and his tent was fixed next to that of his master whenever he accompanied him on a military campaign. He sometimes acted as an interpreter at the Mahārājā's meetings with his foreign visitors. He also acted as royal physician as he was adept in the use of indigenous herbs. Respected as a religious head, Bhāī Rām Siṅgh placed the tilak on the forehead of Mahārājā Khaṛak Siṅgh when he ascended the throne of Lahore after the death of Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh. During the ascendancy of Prince Nau Nihāl Siṅgh, who had received pāhul or Sikh initiatory rites at his hands, he rose in prominence and he was appointed to officiate as prime minister for a brief period in place of Dhiān Siṅgh who had proceeded on leave. Nau Nihāl Siṅgh bestowed upon him the famous Rām Bāgh garden in Amritsar.

         After the death of Mahārājā Khaṛak Siṅgh and Prince Nau Nihāl Siṅgh in November 1840, Rām Siṅgh supported the claim of Rāṇī Chand Kaur to the throne. Sher Siṅgh who eventually won the crown was not favourably disposed towards him initially, but soon acknowledged his pre-eminence. According to the court historian, Sohan Lāl Sūrī, the new Mahārājā visited Bhāī Rām Siṅgh who gave him his blessing by offering eleven pieces of cloth as robes of honour, along with sweets. Sher Siṅgh treated Bhāī Rām Siṅgh with respect and allowed him the privilege of a seat in the darbār as before. After the murder of Mahārājā Sher Siṅgh in September 1843, when Hīrā Siṅgh ḍogrā became prime minister, Bhāī Rām Siṅgh again suffered a set back, but recovered his position as Hīrā Siṅgh disappeared from the scene. Mahārāṇī Jind Kaur turned more to him than to anybody else for advice during the period she held the reins of power.

         Bhāī Rām Siṅgh played a key role in the negotiations that followed the first Anglo-Sikh war (1845- 46) and was one of the signatories to the treaties dated 9 and 11 March 1846 between the British government and the State of Lahore. He was a member of the Council of Regency set up to administer the State on behalf of the minor Mahārājā Duleep Siṅgh.

         Bhāī Rām Siṅgh died at Lahore on 18 December 1846.


  1. Sūrī, Sohan Lāl, 'Umdāt ut-Twārīkh. Lahore, 1885-89
  2. Chopra, Barkat Rai, Kingdom of the Punjab. Hoshiarpur, 1969
  3. Kirpal Singh, An Historical Account of Bhai Vasti Ram and Bhai Ram Singh. Amritsar, n.d.

Sardār Siṅgh Bhāṭīā