The last Maharajah of Punjab

ladybird By ladybird, 23rd Jul 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

Maharajah Dalip Singh was a tragic figure and died in 1893. Ranjit Singh dynasty thus ceased to exist

The Last Ruler

Maharajah Ranjit Singh also called the lion of Punjab ruled the Sikh Empire for 39 year till his death in 1837. The Maharajah had 11 official wives and 33 unofficial wives as part of his “harem”. Though not allowed by the Sikh religion he still insisted on maintaining a harem and also had a number of Muslim wives.

His youngest queen was Ran Jindan Kaur who was with child when the Maharajah Ranjit died in 1837. Some queens of Ranjit Singh committed Sati on the funeral pyre. Rani Jindan was spared as her condition of being with child forbade her sati. She later gave birth to Prince Dalip Singh, but he was not crown prince as he had elder brothers.

After the death of Ranjit Singh all his sons were killed in a court intrigue, wher murder and death ruled. In 1843 Dalip Singh who was 6 years old was crowned Maharajah. His mother became Regent. But his reign was short lived as he was forced to abdicate in 1849 after the Punjab was annexed by the East India Company. Dalip Singh was taken away to England and for long never knew about his heritage. He was converted to Christianity, but before his death reconverted back to Sikhism.

He slowly learnt about his heritage and asked that his crown be restored back to him. The British refused and he became an alcoholic. He married and had 4 children (One son and 3 daughters). He left England and died in Paris in 1893. All his children also died childless and his last daughter Princess Bambi died in Lahore in 1959. The Sikh dynasty thus ceased to exist. Dalip Singh remains a tragic figure in Indian history.

Tags

Dalip Singh, Rani Jindan, Ranjit Singh, Sikh Empire

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I am a lawyer who is fond of riding and active sports

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
23rd Jul 2015 (#)

Interesting to know these facets of history, thought provoking, thanks Ladybird - siva

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