TĀRĀ SIṄGH GHAIBĀ (1717-1807), chief of the Ḍallevālīā clan, named after the village of Ḍallevāl to which its founder, Gulāb Siṅgh, belonged. Tārā Siṅgh was a shepherd-turned-outlaw who joined Gulāb Siṅgh Ḍallevālīā in his plundering raids. His dexterity in lifting cattle and flocks of sheep and his ingenuity in transporting them across the Rāvī won him the nickname Ghaibā (the Vani-sher). On the death of Gulāb Siṅgh Tārā Siṅgh succeeded to the leadership of the misl, and, within a short time, his intrepidity and lust for war and conquest made the Ḍallevālīā confederacy very powerful. One of Tārā Siṅgh's first exploits was to rob a detachment of Ahmad Shāh Durrānī's troops of their horses and arms while crossing the Beīṅ river near his village, Kaṅg, in Kapūrthalā district. In 1760, he crossed the Sutlej and conquered the towns of Dharamkoṭ and Fatehgaṛh. On his return to the Doāb, he took Sarāi Dakkhnī from Sharaf ud-Dīn, an Afghān of Jalandhar and marched eastwards, seizing the country around Rāhoṅ in which town he took up his residence. He next captured Nakodar from the Mañj Rājpūts, and other groups of villages on the right of the Sutlej, including Mahatpur and Koṭ Bādal Khān.

        In 1763, Tārā Siṅgh joined the Bhaṅgī, Kanhaiyā and Rāmgaṛhīā misls against the Paṭhān Nawāb of Kasūr, and, in the sack of the town, collected 4,00,000 rupees as his share of the booty. He joined other Sikh sardārs in laying siege to Sirhind (January 1764) and razing it to the ground after defeating its governor, Zain Khān. By 1765, Tārā Siṅgh had considerably increased his power and territories in the Upper Jalandhar Doāb, in parts of Ludhiāṇā, Ambālā and Fīrozpur districts ---the entire country south of the River Sutlej yielding an annual revenue of Rs.17,00,000.

        Tārā Siṅgh was a close friend of Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh's and took part in his early Mālvā expeditions. He died in 1807 at the ripe age of 90. After his death, Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh annexed the Ḍallevālīā territories to his kingdom.


  1. Sūrī, Sohan Lāl, 'Umdāt ut Twārīkh. Lahore, 1885-89
  2. Griffin, Sir Lepel, The Punjab Chiefs. Lahore, 1890
  3. Gupta, Hari Ram, History of the Sikhs. Delhi, 1978

B. J. Hasrat