SULTĀN MAHMŪD KHĀN (d. 1859), son of General Ghaus Khān, was a commander of a section of heavy artillery during the regime of Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh. His ḍerah of artillery was designated as Topkhānā-i-Sultān Mahmūd. After the death of General Ghaus Khān in 1814, although the chief command of the artillery was entrusted to Misr Dīvān Chand, the battery under the former's command was placed in the charge of Sultān Mahmūd. Sultān Mahmūd accompanied Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh on his expeditions against Multān and Kashmīr. After the reorganization of the Sikh army into Brigades in 1835, when a horse battery was attached to each brigade, the heavy siege train continued to be commanded by General Sultān Mahmūd as a separate corps. The Topkhānā -i-Sultān Mahmūd was present on the historic occasion of the Raṇjīt Siṅgh--- William Bentinck meeting at Ropaṛ in October 1831.

        Sultān Mahmūd was of exceedingly intemperate habits, and his drunkenness brought him more than once into trouble with his master, but he was a useful officer and was generally treated with favour. When Nau Nihāl Siṅgh secured power, Sultān Mahmūd lost his command and was sent in charge of a troop of artillery, under General Ventura, to Maṇḍi in the hills, but on the accession of Mahārājā Sher Siṅgh he was reinstated and his son Sultān Ahmad 'Alī Khān, was made a Colonel. In 1843, both father and son were engaged in the assault on the Fort of Lahore which had been taken possession of by the Sandhāṅvālīās after the murder of Sher Siṅgh; and, for their services on this occasion, they received additional jāgīrs from the Ḍogrā Rājā Hīrā Siṅgh. Sultān Mahmūd was then sent in command of the artillery to Hazārā where he remained until 1848 when both he and his son were moved to the Ḍerājāt. At the outbreak of the second Anglo-Sikh war, Sultān Mahmūd as well as his son, Sultān Ahmad 'Alī Khān, joined the rebel Sikh forces at Rāmnagar and fought against the English throughout the war. After the annexation of the Punjab, service jāgīrs of Sultān Mahmūd were resumed but he received a life pension of Rs 600 which he held until his death in 1859, at Bharovāl, his ancestral village in Amritsar district.



  1. Sūrī, Sohan Lāl, 'Umdāt ut-Twārīkh. Lahore, 1885-89
  2. Cunningham, Joseph Davey, A History of the Sikhs. London, 1849

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