MAHAN SINGH (d. 1844), son of Data Ram, came to Lahore from Jammu at a very early age to seek his fortune in the Sikh capital. Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who was struck by his skill and courage on a hunting expedition when Mahan Singh unassisted had killed a leopard with his sword, gave him an appointment in the army under Hari Singh Nalva. Young Mahan Singh fought in several campaigns with gallantry, and at the last siege of Multan in 1818 was twice wounded. He also served in Kashmir and Peshawar. He was in charge of the Fort of Jamrud as Qiladar in April 1837 when the Afghan army attacked it in force.
He held out bravely against enormous odds until Hari Singh himself arrived from Peshawar to fight the memorable battle in which he fell. Even after the death of his patron, Mahan Singh continued to enjoy the favour of the Maharaja who, in 1839, gave him a jagir worth Rs 37,000 of which Rs 12,000 was personal and Rs 25,000 for the service of 100 sovars. He retained this estate throughout the reigns of Maharajas Kharak Singh and Sher Singh. Mahan Singh was murdered by his own men in 1844. His descendants live at Mirpur, in Jammu territory.
1. Lepel, Griffin, and C.F. Massy, Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab. Lahore, 1909.
2. Prem Singh, Baba, Hari Singh Nalva. Lahore, 1937