MORAN, a Muhammadan dancing girl of Lahore whom Maharaja Ranjit Singh is said to have married in 1802. She was a woman of uncommon beauty and attracted the Maharaja`s notice at a nautch party set up to mark the birth of his son and heir, Kharak Singh. Ranjit Singh remained under her spell for a number of years and some say that he even had coins, gold as well as silver, struck in her name during 1803-09. They are known as Arsivali Mohar or Morarishahi coins.

Though her name does not appear on the coins, Morari is meant to be represented on the one side by the tail of a peacock which bird is called nor in Punjabi. Ranjit Singh`s infatuation with Morari has been commented upon by several foreign visitors. It was resented by Sikhs and, as the story goes, the Maharaja was summoned to Amritsar by the Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht to explain his conduct, and sentenced to be flogged publicly. Ranjit Singh willingly offered to undergo the punishment, but was let off on payment of a fine of Rs 1,25,000.

He sent Morari away to Pathankot in August 1811. Later her sister, Mamulari.had a mosque raised in her memory in Papar Mandi, near Mat! Chowk, Lahore. It came to be known as Masjidi Morari

References :

1. Waheed-ud-Din, Fakir Syed, The Real Ranjit Singh. Karachi, 1965
2. Khushwant Singh, Ranjit Singh: Maharaj ah of the Punjab. London, 1962
3. Chopra, G.L., Punjab as a Sovereign State. Lahore, 1928
4. Hasrat, B.J., Life and Times of Ranjit Singh. Hoshiarpur, 1977