BHANGA SINGH (d. 1815), a prominent sardar of the Karorsinghia chief ship, seized in January 1764, after the fall of Sirhind, the parganah of Pehova along the bed of the River Sarasvati, 22 km west of Thanesar. Later he captured Thanesar leaving Pehova in the possession of his brother, Bhag Singh. Bhanga Singh and Bhag Singh commanded a force of 750 horse and 250 foot. In 1779, Bhanga Singh aligned himself with the Mughal chief, Abdul Ahd Khan, to recover his territory from Raja Amar Singh of Patiala. In January 1786, Bhanga Singh along with other Sikh chiefs entered the Ganga Doab at the head of 5,000 horse and ravaged Meerut, Hapur and Garh Mukteshvar. In April 1789, Mahadji Scindia, regent of the Mughal empire, confirmed Bhanga Singh`s right to rakhi or cess levied for protection in some of the areas under his influence.
In January 1791, Bhanga Singh advanced up to Anupshahar, a British cantonment on the Gariga under the charge of LtCol Robert Stuart. He captured the Colonel and brought him to Thanesar where he was confined for nine months in the fort before his release in October 1791 at the intercession of Lord Cornwallis, the British governor general, and some Sikh and Mughal chiefs and on payment of sixty thousand rupees as ransom. In 1795 Bhanga Singh captured Karnal and in 1799 he helped Raja Bhag Singh of Jind against the attack of the Irish adventurer, George Thomas. Bhanga Singh joined hands with Lord Lake in attacking Delhi in September 1803 and was granted some additional territory.
In 1806 he accompanied Maharaja Ranjit Singh on his return journey from Thanesar to the Sutlej and received from him a village in jagir in Talvandi parganah between Moga and Firozpur. Sir Lepel Griffin has described Bhanga Singh as a man “of a most savage and untameable character,” and as “the fiercest and most feared of all the cis Sutlej chiefs.” Bhanga Singh died in 1815 and was survived by his son, Fateh Singh, and daughter, Karam Kaur, married to Maharaja Karam Singh of Patiala, and wife, Hassan. Fateh Singh died in 1819 without issue, and one half of his territory was confiscated by the British while the other half remained with his mother, Hassan, who signed herself as Bhanga Singh in her correspondence with the British.
1. Griffin, Lepel, The Rajas of the Punjab. Delhi, 1977
2. Gupta, Hari Ram, History of the Sikhs, vol. III. Delhi, 1980