DARGAHA SINGH, BHAI
DARGAHA SINGH, BHAI (1713-1823), a Nirmala saint, was born in 1713 the son of Bhai Nigahia Singh of the village of Laungoval, in present day Sangrur district of the Punjab. Nigahia Singh was known to be the elder brother of Bhai Mani Singh, the martyr. For the divali festival of 1725, Nigahia Singh along with his seven sons went to Amritsar where the whole family received the initiatory rites of the Khalsa at the hands of Bhai Mani Singh. Three of the brothers remained in Amritsar, among them Dargaha Singh who showed marked aptitude for scholarly learning as well as for the martial arts. He gained proficiency in both fields, though he was more inclined towards religious pursuits.
He left Amritsar and went to Kurukshetra where he became a disciple of Pandit Man Singh, a noted Nirmala scholar of the time. Later, he moved to Haridvar and settled at Kankhal where he established his dera or monastery on an extensive piece of land gifted by the Muslim chief of Jualapur. He also built a shrine dedicated to Guru Amar Das (1479-1574) who had visited Haridvar several times. The dera of Bhai Dargaha Singh, patronized by Raja Sahib Singh and Maharaja Karam Singh of Patiala, developed into a prominent centre of the Nirmala sect. Bhai Dargaha Singh died there in 1823.
1. Ganesha Singh, Mahant, Nirmal Bhushan arthat Itibas Nirmal Bhekh. Amritsar, n.d.
2. Jaggi, Rattan Singh, Bhai Mani Singh. Patiala, 1983