Sikh Misls
The Arabic word misl means 'like'. The Sikh misls were 'alike', in the sense that they were considered equals. The Misls were twelve companies of Sikhs , some numbering a few hundred while others could field tens of thousands of men. Each Sikh was free to join any Misl he chose, and every Misl was free to act in any way it wished in the area under its control. Only matters affecting the community as a whole were they to take orders from the Supreme Commander Nawab Kapur Singh (see picture in Gallery). It is estimated that the total force which the Dhal Khalsa (army of veterans) could put in the field was about seventy thousand Sikhs.
The misldhar system was ideally suited to the conditions of the time and worked well under leaders like Nawab Kapur Singh and Jassa Singh Ahluwalia. It combined freedom of action with the discipline of a unified command; it channeled the energies of the fiercely independent Khalsa soldier in the service of a cause which he held dear - the expulsion of hostile foreigners from the Punjab and the fulfilment of the prophecy of Guru Gobind Singh Ji of the establishment of a Sikh state.
  MISAL Description
     
1 Shaheed

Misldhar (Commander) - Baba Deep Singh (see picture in the Gallery). The name Shaheed (martyr) was taken after Baba Ji's death in the defence of the Harminder Sahib (Golden temple).

 

2 Ahluwalia

Misldhar - Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, who also became the supreme commander of all the Misls.

 

3 Fyzullapuria

Also known as Singhpuria. Misldhar - Nawab Kapur Singh (see picture in the Gallery) one time commander of all the Misls.

Kapur singh, the founder of this Misal, was the son of Chaudhary Dalip Singh Virk, Jat, of Faiullapuria, situated near Amritsar. He was born in AD 1697. Because of his inability to pay the government revenue all his domestic articles were sold away by the government officials to make good the amount due from him. In utter penury he left his place. He collected some followers, equipped them with horses and weapons, and launched upon a career of Chivalry. He attacked Faizullapur killed its chief, Faizulla and occupied the place and its surrounding areas, he changed the name of Faizullapur to Singhpur and the Misal which took its name from the village also began to be called Singhpuria Misl.

Kapur Singh is also said to have been with the companions of Bundha Singh in his early life. Because of his intrepidity and bravery some of the Sikhs took him as their Sardar. He was a tall and stoutly built man and always seemed full of life, dynamism and dash. He possessed sharp intellect, penetrating shrewdness and power of quick grasp. He had learnt the use of weapons as sword, spear, arrow and gun and had become an expert in horse-riding from his early days. Kapur Singh took baptism of the double-edged sword from Bhai Mani Singh in 1721, at Amritsar.

4 Ramghariha

Misldhar - Nand Singh, later controlled by Jassa Singh Ramgharia (see picture in the Gallery). Name Ramghariha was taken after winning a major battle near the village of Ramghar.

The founder of the Ramgarhia Misl was a (Jat) Sikh, named Khushal Singh of Guga village near Amritsar. Khushal Singh was succeeded by another Jat, Nand Singh, who belonged to village Sanghani near Amritsar. After his death, was succeeded by a much more enterprising and valiant man, named Jassa Singh (1723-1803), under whose stewardship the band assumed the status and the name of the Misal.

Hardas Singh, the grandfather of Jassa Singh, a carpenter by caste, was the resident of Suringh which is situated about nineteen miles east of Khem Karan, in the present district of Amritsar. Hardas Singh was initiated into the Khalsa faith by Guru Gobind Singh Ji himself from whose hands he took Amrit/pahul and fought some battles at Guru Ji’s side. When Bundha Singh organised the Sikhs to fight against the Mughals Hardas Singh joined his followers and participated in most of the battles fought by him. He died in the battle of Bajwara AD 1715.


Bhagwan Singh, the only son of Hardas Singh, was of a still more adventurous disposition. He shifted to village Ichogil which lay about twelve miles east of Lahore. He preached the Sikh faith in the neighbouring villages. He was an intrepid soldier. Bhagwan Singh had five sons, named Jai Singh, Jassa Singh, Khushal Singh, Mali Singh and Tara Singh. In 1739 during the invasion of Nadir Shah, Bhagwan Singh saved the life of the governor of Lahore at the cost of his own. To reward his brave deed the governor gave a village each to all of his five sons. The villages gifted were Valla,Verka, Sultanwind, Tung and Chubhal. Of these villages Valla came to the share of
Jassa Singh.

5 Sukerchakia

Misldhar - Naudh Singh from the village Sukerchak near Gujranwala. Naudh Singh was the father of Charhat Singh Sukerchakia whose grandson , Ranjit Singh (see picture in the Gallery) became the first Sikh Maharaja of the Punjab.

 

6 Nishanwalia

Misldhar - Dasundha Singh, the standard bearer (nishanwala) of the Dhal Khalsa.

 

7 Bhangi

The Bhangi Misal was one of the most famous Misals of the Sikhs. Members of this Misal ruled Amritsar, Gijrat (the territory in Punjab not the state Gujrat), Chiniot and a part of the city of Lahore. This Misal outshined the other Misals in its early stages and the Bhangis were probably the first to establish an independent government of their own in their conquered territories. Even in the initial stages of the Misal's history they had nearly twelve thousand horsemen.

The founder of the Bhangi Misal, Chajja Singh, a Jat, was a native of Panjwar village, eight kos from Amritsar. He was the first companion of Bundha Singh Bahadur to receive Sikh baptism of Amrit. According to Kanaihya Lal, he had taken Amrit at the hands of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The Bhangi Misal is said to have its name from its founder's addiction to bhang - an intoxicating preparation of hemp. After the martyrdom of Bundha Singh, Chajja Singh and Jagat Singh administered Amrit to Bhima (Bhuma) Singh, Natha Singh and Jagat Singh and made them his companions. Accompanied by many others, he took vigorous activities in harassing the tyrannical government officials.

A little later Chajja Singh was joined by Mohan Singh and Gulab Singh of Dhoussa village, six ,miles north-east of Amritsar, and Karora Singh of Choupal, Gurbaksh Singh, a Sandu Jat of Roranwala, Agar Singh Khangora and Sawan Singh Randhawa. They all took Amrit from Chajja Singh.

After Chajja Singh's death Bhima Singh (or Bhuma Singh) a Dhillon Jat of village Hung, near Moga became his successor. Bhima Singh's latent genius as an organiser and commander of his men gave a stimulus to the Misal. He seems to have died in the Chhota ghallughara in 1746. Since Bhima Singh was childless, he adopted Hari Singh as his son. Hari Singh became the next chief of the Bhangi Misal.

After the death of Hari Singh, his eldest son Jhanda Singh succeeded him. He appointed his younger brother Ganda Singh as the commander in chief of the forces of the Bhangi Misal. Jhandha Singh and his brothers, associated with many illustrious leaders like Sahib Singh of Sialkot, Rai Singh and Sher Singh of Buria, Bhag Singh of Hallowal, Sudh Singh Dodia, Nidhan Singh Attu, Tara Singh Chainpuria, Bagh Singh Jalalwalia, Gujjar Singh, and Lehna Singh, made great efforts to place the Misal on a very sound footing. Jassa Singh Ramgarhia (of the Ramgarhia Misal) was one of the closest friends of Jhanda Singh

8 Kanhaya

Misldhar - Jai Singh of the village Khana. Fighting strength of more then ten thousand men.

 

9 Nakkai

Misldhar - Hira Singh of the village Baharwal, situated in a tract near Lahore called Nakka.

 

10 Karora

Misldhar - Karora Singh of the village Paigarh.

 

11 Dhallewalia

The founder of this Misal was Gulaba a Khatri, resident of the village Dallewal, near Dera Baba Nanak, in Doaba Dist Jallandhar . He took Amrit/pahul and became an active member of the Dal Khalsa in AD 1726 (1783 Bk), and launched upon a career of chivalry, fighting against the tyrannical government of the Punjab. He is said to have been baptized by Sardar Kapur Singh Faizullapuria.

Gulab Singh was a promising and gallant young man at the outset of his political career. He joined the Sikh jathas that took action against Lahore, Kasur and Jalandhar. He then, formed a jatha of his own. Gulab Singh, with his two brothers, Dayal Singh and Gurdyal Singh and two sons, Jaipal Singh and Hardyal Singh, actively participated in the chhota ghallughara (Small holocaust) in June 1746. In 1748, Gulab Singh was declared to be the head of the Dallewalias with Gurdyal Singh and Tara Singh Ghaiba as his deputies.

He was so brave and courageous that once in AD 1750, accompanied by one hundred and fifty followers, he entered Jalandhar city and fought with the contingent of the faujdhar of the city, killing many of them. He, then joined the Sikh jatha encamped at Kartarpur. From that very day the reputation of his bravery spread far and wide among the Sikhs.

12 Phoolkia

The Phulkian rulers descended from the Bhatti Rajputs. They trace their ancestry to Jesal, the founder of the state and city of Jesalmer, who was driven from his kingdom in 1180. Jesal wandered northwards and settled near a town called Hisar. He had four sons and the third of these, Hemhel, sacked the town of Hisar. He was succeeded by his son Jandra, the father of twenty one sons. The succession continued till Khiwa became the head of the clan. Khiwa's Rajput wife could not bear any children, he married a second wife, the daughter of one Basir, a Jat zamindar of Neli. The marriage was considered a disgrace by his Rajput kinsmen and Khiwa was, ever afterwards, called khot which signifies an inferior and degrading admixture. But Khiwa was blessed with an heir he was named Sidhu and from him the Sidhu tribe derived its name.

Sidhu, who was according to Rajput custom, reckoned as the caste of his mother, a Jat, had four sons. When Babur invaded India in 1524, Sanghar, a descendent of the Sidhus, waited on him at Lahore and joined his army, but shortly thereafter he was killed. Babur gave the chaudhariyat (management) of the territory to the south-west of Delhi, to Sanghar's son, Beeram.

Beeram was succeeded by Meeraj. Meeraj's son, Sattu, succeeded his father, he was followed by his son, Pakhu. Unfortunately Pakhu was also killed in a skirmish with the Bhattis. He was however succeeded by his son, Mohan.

Due to the harassement of the Bhatti Rajputs, Mohan a descended of Sidhu moved to Nathana. The Bhullars and the Dhaliwals would not allow Mohan and his people to found a village and settle there. In these very days, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji happened to visit the area, Mohan made an appeal to Guru Ji to ask the Bhullars to allow them to settle but the Bhullars refused. Guru Sahib asked Mohan to go found a village which he did in 1627 and named it Mehraj after the name of his great-grandfather. The opposition and hostility of the Bhullars was to no avail due to the armed aid by Guru Ji's men. It was at Mehraj that Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji fought against the Mughals in 1631. Mohan and his men actively participated in the battle of Mehraj on the side of Guru Ji. Mohan, along with his eldest son, Rup Chand, was killed in a fight against the Bhattis (Rajputs)

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