ROCHĀ SIṄGH, SANT (1688-1803), a holy man and preacher of Sikh faith, was born of Brāhmaṇ parents living at Kausāṅ, a small village in Hazārā district (now in Pakistan). Rochā Siṅgh was barely 14 years of age when his father, Bhāī Pañjābā, died leaving his wife and a younger son, Motā Siṅgh, to his care. He grew up into a handsome youth, tall in stature, but had little interest in worldly affairs. He roamed about seeking the company of saintly persons. It is said that he met Gurū Gobind Siṅgh sometime after the evacuation of Anandpur in December 1705, and received from him the rites of initiation. The Gurū instructed him to go back and preach Gurū Nānak's word in his own part of the country. For some time, Rochā Siṅgh took up service with Mendaṛ Shāh, a rich businessman of Muzaffarābād, but gave it up to resume his religious pursuit. He went to Chhatar Kalās, a village on the bank of the river Jehlum in Muzaffarābād district, where Sant Pañjāb Siṅgh, a Sikh saint, had his ḍerā, which he joined as a disciple. In recognition of his piety, service and dedication, Sant Pañjāb Siṅgh, shortly before his death in 1736, nominated him as his successor. Rochā Siṅgh constructed a large gurdwārā there and brought many into the Khālsā fold by administering to them vows by the double-edged sword. He enjoined upon the novitiates especially to bear upon their persons kirpān, the sword, as prescribed in the Khālsā rahit. He always had in his retinue 300 to 400 armed Sikhs. In 1756, he set out on an extensive tour through Hazārā and Aṭṭock district and the Poṭhohār region establishing gurdwārās and imparting the vows of amrit at gatherings especially held for this purpose. Sant Rochā Siṅgh spent his last days in the Gurdwārā at Rāvalkoṭ, raised for him by a Muslim devotee, Sālābat Khān, chief of Dhammnī area. Appointing one of his disciples, Melā Siṅgh, then barely 20, to succeed him, the old saint passed away at Rāvalkoṭ in April 1803.


  1. Buddh Siṅgh, Giānī, Gujjhe Hīre. Amritsar, 1926
  2. Choṇveṅ Ratan arthāt Puñchh te Kashmīr dā Sikh Itihās. Amritsar, 1937

Bhagat Siṅgh