MUKHLISGARH FORT on the lower slopes of the Sivalak foothills in Sadhaura parganah of Sirhind sarkar was, established by Mukhlis Khan, a minor chief during the reign of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (1628-58). Banda Smgh Bahadur (1670-1716), after the conquest of Sadhaura and Sirhind in 1710 which made him the virtual master of the territories between the Yamuna and the Sutlej as also of the sub mountainous tract up to Gurdaspur and Pathankot made Mukhlisgarh his headquarters renaming the fort Lohgarh (lit. Steel Fort).

When emperor Bahadur Shah heard about the exploits of Banda Singh, he commanded the governors of Delhi and Oudh to quell the Sikh rising, and himself hastened north to supervise the operation. A massive Mughal force of sixteen thousand horse and foot laid a siege around Mukhlisgarh which continued for several months. For want of provisions, the Sikhs were reduced to rigorous straits. On the night of 10 December 1710, Banda Singh in a desperate bid to escape hacked his way through the imperial cordon and escaped towards the higher reaches of the Sivaliks.


1. Ganda Singh, Life of Banda Singh Bahadur. Amritsar 1935
2. Bharigu, Ratan Singh, Prachin Panth Prakash. Amritsar 1970