MISLS. Misi is a term which originated in the eighteenth century history of the Sikhs to describe a unit or brigade of Sikh warriors and the territory acquired by it in the course of its campaign of conquest following the weakening of the Mughal authority in the country. Scholars trying to trace the etymology of the term have usually based their interpretation on the Arabic/Persian word misi. According to Stcingass, Persian English Dictionary, the word means “similitude, alike or equal”, and “a file” or collection of papers bearing on a particular topic.
David Ochterlony defined misi as “a tribe or race;” Wilson as “a voluntary association of the Sikhs;” Bute Shah as “territory conquered by a brave Sardar with the help of his comrades,” Sayyid Imam udDin HusainI as a “derah or encampment.” Ratan Singh Bharigu uses the term at several places in the sense of a thdnd or military/police post; M`Gregor uses it in the sense of “a friendly nation;” Lawrence in that of “a brotherhood;” Syad Muhammad Latif in that of “a confederacy of clans under their respective chiefs leagued together;” and so on.
Misi in the meaning of a file or record (maintained according to some, at Akal Takht, under the commander of the entire Sikh army, the Dal Khalsa) pertaining to a Sardar`s fighting force and territorial acquisitions has been mentioned by Sita Ram Kohli.J.D. Cunningham had taken note of this connotation of the word, too. He also traces the etymology of the word to maslahai which, according to Steingass` dictionary, means “a front garrison, a border fortification; armed (men), warlike (people), guards, guardians.” The term mislwas first used by Sainapati, a Punjabi poet contemporary with Guru Gobind Singh.
In his Sri Guru Sobha, Sainapati uses the word misi primarily in the sense of a group or troop or subunit of armed warriors or soldiers. The use of the term misi occurs in the account of the battle of Bhangani between Guru Gobind Singh and the hill rajas in AD 1688. Sainapali writes that the horsemen of Guru Gobind Singh assembled under their banners at the beat of wardrum. In the battlefield morchds`were set up at various places which were allotted to misis (groups). Sainapati again uses the word misi in reference to the last days of Guru Gobind Singh at Nanded.
He says that the people came there in misis (groups). The misi system is sometimes said to have originated with Guru Gobind Singh, who had conferred the sovereignty of the land on the Khalsa. The Sikhs literally claimed it as a boon granted them by the Guru; and in this manner it is claimed to have received divine sanction. But in order to understand the genesis and evolution of the misi system in a historical perspective, we must go back to the beginning of the eighteenth century. From Nanded in the Deccan, Guru Gobind Singh had deputed Banda Singh Bahadur to the Punjab with a group of five prominent Sikhs and a bodyguard of 25 Sikh soldiers.
As he arrived in the Punjab, men of grit and daring began to rally round his banner. Within two months, 4,0005,000 horsemen and 7,0008,000 foot had volunteered to join him. In the course of one year 30,00040,000 troops were under him. In May 1710 the entire province of Sirhind, between the Sutlej and the Yamuna and, between the Sivalik hills and Panipat, worth 52,00,000 rupees annually fell into the hands of the Sikhs. But the Sikh power did not last long. The leader, Banda Singh Bahadur, was captured in December 1715 and executed six months later in June 1716. With the execution of Banda Singh, the Sikhs were deprived of a unified command.
Hunted out of their homes, the Sikhs scattered in small jathds or groups to find refuge in distant hills, forests and deserts, but they were far from vanquished. Armed with whatever weapons they could lay their hands upon and living off the land, these highly mobile guerilla bands or jathds remained active during the worst of times. It was not unusual for the jathds to join together when the situation so demanded. Ratan Singh Bharigu, Prachin Panth Prakash, records an early instance of the warrior bands of the Ban Doab (land between the Rivers Bcas and Ravi) being organized into four tummansor squadrons of 200 each, with a specified area of operation and provision for mutual assistance in time of need.
Moreover, it was customary for most Jathds to congregate at Amritsar to celebrate Baisakhi and Divali. Dlwan Darbara Singh (d. 1734), an elderly Sikh, acted on such occasions as the common chief. In 1733, Khan Bahadur Zakariya Khan, the Mughal governor of Lahore, having failed to suppress the Sikhs by force, planned to come to terms with them and offered them a jdgir or fief worth one lakh rupees a year and the title of “Nawab” to their leader. Additionally, unhindered access to and residence at Amritsar was promised them.
The Sikhs accepted the offer and chose Kapur Singh from among themselves to be invested with the title of Nawab. Sikh soldiers grouped themselves around their leaders most of whom were stationed at Amritsar. In consideration of administrative convenience, Nawab Kapur Singh divided the entire body of troops into two camps, called Buddha Dal (the elder group) and Taruna Dal (the younger group), respectively. Taruna Dal was further divided into five jalhds, each with its own flag and drum. The compact with the government ended in 1735 and, under pressure of renewed persecution, the Khalsa was again forced to split into smaller groups.
Almost every village in the Majha or midlands embracing the districts of Lahore and Amritsar produced a sarddr who attracted soldiers to join him and form a derah or jalhd or misi of his own. Nadir Shah`s invasion in 1739 gave a severe blow to the crumbling Mughal empire, and this gave the Sikhs a chance to consolidate themselves. At their meeting on the occasion of Divali following the death, on 1 July 1745, of Zakariya Khan, they gathered at Amritsar, passed a gurmatd or resolution and reorganized themselves into 25 groups, each consisting of 100 horse.
The old division into the Buddha Dal and Taruna Dal was maintained, but the new derahs gcners.y belonged to the latter. The derahs spread quickly. By March 1748 there were 65 groups operating in different parts of the Punjab. They carried out their operations generally independent of one another, though they still acknowledged the preeminent position of Nawab Kapur Singh. By this time, a new claimant to power had appeared on the scene.
Ahmad Shah Durrani had launched his first invasion of India and occupied Lahore on 12 January 1748. Roving bands of the Sikhs issued forth from their hideouts, harassed the Afghan forces, and on the return of the Shah to Afghanistan, swarmed round Amritsar and engaged in skirmishes with the Lahore forces. On the day of Baisakhi, 29 March 1748, the Sikhs gathered at Amritsar to celebrate the festival. A Sarbatt Khalsa (a general assembly of the Sikhs) was convened which decided to offer organized resistance to Mughal oppression, and the entire fighting force of the Khalsa was unified into a single body called the Dal Khalsa, under the supreme command of Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluvalia.
The 65 bands were grouped into 11 misis or divisions each under its own sarddr or chief having a separate name and banner as follows: (1) Ahluvalia misi under Jassa Singh Ahluvalia, (2) Singhpuria (also called Faizulapuria) misi under Nawab Kapur Singh, (3) KarorSinghia misi under Karora Singh, (4) Nishanarivali misi under Dasaundha Singh, (5) Shahid misi under Dip Singh, (6) Dallevalia misi under Gulab Singh, (7) Sukkarchakkia w^ under Charhai Singh, (8) Bharigi misi under Hari Singh, (9) Kanhaiya misi under Jai Singh, (10) Nakai misi under Hira Singh, and (11) Ramgarhia misi under Jassa Singh Ramgarhia. The first six misis were under Buddha Dal and the latter five under Taruna Dal. Jassa Singh Ahliivalla was chosen to be in joint command of the entire Dal Khalsa, while Nawab Kapur Singh continued to be acknowledged as the supreme commander.
Phulkiari under Baba Ala Singh of Patiala was the twelfth misi, but it was not part of the Dal Khalsa command. The Dal Khalsa was a kind of loose confederacy, without any regular constitution. Every chief maintained h`is independent character. All amritdhdn Sikhs were eligible for membership of the Dal Khalsa which was mainly a cavalry force. Anyone who was an active horseman and proficient in the use of arms could join any one of the eleven misis or independencies having the option to change membership whenever desired. The misls~were subject to the control of the Sarbatt Khalsa, the biannual assembly of the Panth at Amritsar.
The frequent use made of the Sarbatt Khalsa converted it into a central forum of the panth. It had to elect leader of the Dal Khalsa, and to lay down its political goal and plans of its military strategy. It had also to set out plans for strengthening the Khalsa faith and body politic, besides adjudicating disputes about property and succession. The Akal Takht was the symbol of the unity of the Dal Khalsa which was in a way the Sikh state in making. The Dal Khalsa with its total estimated strength of 70,000 essentially consisted of cavalry; artillery and infantry elements were almost nonexistent.
The Dal Khalsa established its authority over most of the Punjab region in a short time. As early as 1749, the Mughal governor of the Punjab solicited its help in the suppression of a rebellion in Multan. In early 1758, the Dal Khalsa, in collaboration with the Marathas, occupied Sirhind and Lahore. Within three months of the Vadda Ghallughara, the Great Massacre of 5 February 1762, the Dal Khalsa rose to defeat Ahmad Shah`s governor at Sirhind in AprilMay 1762 and the Shah himself at Amritsar in October the same year. Sirhind and its adjoining territories were occupied permanently in January 1764.
The Khalsa thenceforward not only had the Punjab in their possession, but also carried their victories right up to Delhi and beyond the Yamuna into the heart of the Gangetic plain. With the conquest of Sirhind in January 1764 had begun the final phase of the emergence of the Dal Khalsa into a confederacy of sovereign political principalities or misis in the Punjab. The misis now occupied welldefined territories over which their sarddrs ruled independently while maintaining their former links as units of the Dal Khalsa.
The misis of the Buddha Dal spread themselves out broadly as follows: Ahluvalia in the neighbourhood of Kapurthala, in the Jalandhar Doab, with some villages in the Majha such as Sarhali, Jandiala, Bundala, Vairoval and Fatehabad; Singhpuria in parts of Jalandhar Doab and ChhatBanurBharatgarh areas south of the Sutlej; Karorsinghia in a long strip south of the Sutlej extending from Samrala in the west to Jagadhari in the east; Nishanarivali in area Sahneval, Doraha, MachhivaraAmloh with pockets around Zira and Ambala; Shahid in area ShahzadpurKesari in presentday Ambala district, and territory around Rania and Talvandi Sabo; and Dallevalia in parganahs of Dharamkot and Tihara to the south of the River Sutlej and Lohiari and Shahkot to the north of it.
Of these Ahluvalia survived as the princely house of Kapurthala and a branch of Karorsinghia as Kalsia. Others divided into several small chieftainships were cither taken over by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the British East India Company or absorbed into the Phulkiari states of Patiala, Nabha andJind. From among the Taruna Dal misis only one sarddr of the Bharigi family, Rai Singh, had participated in the partition of Sirhind territory. He occupied 204 villages around Buna and Jagadhari. The remaining sarddrs of the Taruna Dal had their eyes fixed on the northern Doabs of the Punjab.
The Bharigis controlled a major part of the city of Lahore and extended their hegemony over Multan and subsequently occupied Jharig, Khushab and Chiniot in the west and Sialkot and Gujrat in the east. Kanhaiya misi ruled over the area comprising a major part of the present Gurdaspur district and Mukeriari tahsil of Hoshiarpur district, while the Nakais held sway over the country south of Lahore, between the Ravl and Sutlcj. The territory of the Ramgarhias lay on both sides of the River Beas and included villages around Miani and Urmur Tanda in Jalandhar Doab.
They also held sway over the hill states of Chamba, Nurpur, Jasvan and Haripur. In 1776, they were defeated by the combined forces of Kanhaiyas and Raja Sarisar Chand Katoch of Karigra and their territory annexed by the victors. The SukkarchakkTas under Charhat Singh established themselves around Gurjrariwala which they made their headquarters and extended their territory up to Rohtas beyond the River Jehlurn. Charhat Singh`s grandson, Maharaja Rarijit Singh, became the ruler of the entire Punjab from the Sullej to the Khaibar, subduing the intervening misis.
The misi as a means of organizing Sikh life during that transitional period was crucial. The 77m/was important from about 1760 to the establishment of the Sikh kingdom under Ranjit Singh in the beginning of the nineteenth century. Basically the internal affairs of each mislv/cre administered by the misi itself. Cunningham`s definition of the misi organization as “a theocratic confederate feudalism” is only partially correct. Devotion to Guru Gobind Singh`s ideals of faith and community was a paramount requirement, but no priestly interference or domination was allowed.
Rather, the whole community was itself standing in covenant with God through the Gurus and the scriptures. The Akalis were in charge of the Golden Temple at Amritsar, but they did not infringe the sovereignty of the misls. By displaying a rare spirit or magnanimity towards the erstwhile persecutors of their faith, by supporting the cause of the poor, the helpless and the innocent and by preserving social and economic equality in their ranks the Sikh misls made Sikh religion popular with the young and daring men in the villages.
The misi chief exercised full authority within his domain. His rule was benign, based on the good will of all classes of people. Each village, a sort of a small republic, administered its affairs through a panchdyat which was generally a council of five elders representing the collective will of the people. The village headman exercised general superintendence over all the affairs of the village on behalf of the panchdyat, as well as on behalf of the government. The village patvdn was responsible for maintaining record of the lands and registered every document connected with it. The village watchman was the most vigilant character. He kept an eye on suspicious characters and provided aid to the police.
He was the repository of village information and gossip. Above the village`s panchdyat there was the court of the misi chief. He administered justice according to local customs and traditions derived mainly from the holy scriptures of the Sikhs, Hindus or the Muslims. Evidence, common sense and secret personal investigation in disguise weighed heavily in the investigation of crime. Trackers were freely employed in cases of thcfl and murder. The army took the main responsibility for checking crime. Both parties had to pay for justice, the convict with chatti or jurmdnd or fine, and the guiltless had to shell out shukrdnd (thanksgiving).
Fines were imposed not according to the gravity of the crime, but in accordance with the financial position of the culprit. The panchdyats tried to maintain equity and justice in the village. Their decisions, were not backed by any physical force. Social pressure was the strongest sanction; defiance by any member of the community could lead to his being excommunicated. The misi soldier owned his own horse and musket; his loyalty lay with one or the other powerful chief who could lead him to conquest and glory. As a rule, the Sikh soldier was a horseman. He hated to serve as infantryman, and to be away from the field on any excuse.
He was equipped with both offensive and defensive weapons; priming horns, ammunition pouches, two blankets, a grain bag and halters. On the march the blankets were put beneath the saddle. Both artillery and infantry were practically unknown to the misls. Their armies were unencumbered by heavy ordnance, and possessed amazing speed and manoeuvrability. With their scanty accoutrement, they could cover from 100 to 200 kilometres daily for days on end and could encamp or decamp in a few minutes. The misi soldier was adept in predatory warfare which could earn him a share in the booty, for he received no salary.
As the misls settled down to their permanent possessions, some minor leaders also acquired territory as part of their share of conquests. Holders of such possessions were called misldars. Generally, Sikhs offered themselves for recruitment and they were enlisted irrespective of their caste or creed. Enlistment was voluntary. Prospective recruits could opt for a misi of their choice and had the freedom to transfer their allegiance to any other. The soldier received no organized training in drill, discipline or military tactics; this deficiency was made up by his religious fervour and singleminded devotion to the cause of the confederacy.
The misi troops were organized into smaller groups based generally on kinship or territorial affinity. Their methods of war were unconventional. They seldom fought pitched battles, but adopted hitandrun tactics. George Thomas, who fought them frequently, observes: “The Sciks are armed with aspear, matchlock and scymetar… mounting their horses, ride forth towards the enemy with whom they engage in a confined skirmish advancing and retreating until man and horse become equally fatigued.” The overall military strength of the Sikh misis is variously estimated.
According to one estimate, the Dal Khalsa could muster about 70,000 horse as under: the Bhangis 10,000 horse, the Ahluvalia 3,000, the RamgarhTas 3,000, the Kanhaiyas 3,000, the Dallevalias 7,500, the Nishanarivalias 12,000, the Shahids 2,000, the NakaTs 2,000, the Sukarchakkias 2,500, the Karor Singhia 12000, the Singhpuria 8,000, and the Phulkias 5,000. George Forstcr who visited the Punjab in 1783, reckoned the military strength of the misis at over 2,00,000 horse. James Browne in 1783 estimated the strength of the cisSullej Sikh misis 3.t 18,225 horse and 6,075 foottotal 24,300 and total strength of the Sikh armies at 2,48,000 which estimate may be exaggerated.
The main source of the income of the misis in the initial stages was plunder, augmented later by rdkhi imposts. Rakhi, lit. protection, was, like the chauth of the Marathas, a levy of a portion, usually onefifth of the revenue assessment of a territory, as a fee for the guarantee of peace and protection. Rdkhi continued to be collected from territories in the (`.angelic Doab and the country between Dcllii and PanTpal right up to 1803 when the British East India Company established its power in the region. But as the sarddrs settled down as sovereign rulers in their domains, land revenue became the major source.
As a rule, the Sikh sarddrs followed the baiai system. Onefifth of the gross produce was deducted before the division for expenses of cultivation. Out of the remaining fourfifths, the sarddr`s share varied from onehalf to onequarter. The general proportion was 55% cultivator`s share, 7.5% proprietor`s share and 37.5% government share. The revenue was commonly rcali/cd in kind, except for cattle fodder, vegetables, and fruit which were chargeable in cash or kind per bighd. Producers of a few crops such as cotton, sugarcane, poppy and indigo were required to pay revenue in cash. The Khalsa or crownlands remained under the direct control of the wm/chiefs.
According to James Browne, a contemporary East India Company employee, the misi chiefs collected a very moderate rent, and that mostly in kind. Their soldiery never molested the husbandman; the chief never levied the whole of his share; and in the country, perhaps, never was a cultivator treated with more indulgence. The chief also did not interfere with old and hereditary landtenures. The rules of haq shufd did not permit land to be sold to an outsider. New fields, or residential sites could be broken out of waste land as such land was available in plenty. Duties on traders and merchants also brought some revenue. The Sikh chiefs gave full protecion to traders passing through their territories.
George Forster, who travelled to northern India in 1783, observed that extensive and valuable commerce was maintained in their territories which was extended to distant quarters of India, after the British withdrew from India. RHANGI MISL, one of the twelve misis or eighteenthcentury Sikh principalities acquired its name from the addiction of its members to a drug called bhangor hemp. The founder of thcjathd, i.e. band of warriors, that later acquired the dimensions of a misi was Chhajija Singh of Panjvar village, near Amritsar who had converted to Sikhism. He was succeeded by Bhuma Singh, a DhilloriJatt of the village of Hung, near Badhni in presentday Moga district, who won a name for himself in skirmishes with Nadir Shah`s troops in 1739.
On Bhuma Singh`s death in 1746, his nephew and adopted son, Hari Singh, assumed the leaderhip of the misl. At the formation of the Dal Khalsa in 1748, Hari Singh was acknowledged head of the Bharigi misl as well as leader of the Taruna Dal. He vastly increased the power and influence of the Bharigi misl which began to be ranked as the strongest among its peers. He created an army of 20,000 dashing youths, captured Panjvar in the Tarn Taran parganahand established his headquarters first at Sohal and then at Gilvali, both in Amritsar district. Hari Singh kept up guerrilla warfare against the invading hosts ofAhmad Shah Durrani.
In 1763, he along with the Kanhaiyas and Ramgarhias, sacked the Afghan stronghold of Kasur. In 1764, he ravaged Bahawalpur and Multan. Crossing the River Indus, he realized tribue from the Baluchi chiefs in the districts ofMuzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan and Dera Isma`il Khan. On his way back home, he reduced Jharig, Chiniot and Sialkot. Hari Singh died in 1765, fighting against Baba Ala Singh of Patiala. Hari Singh was succeeded by Jhanda Singh, his eldest son, under whom the Bharigi misl reached the zenith of its power. In 1764, Jhanda Singh had invaded Multan and Bahawalpur, but failed to drive out the Durrani satrap Shuja Khan Saddozai.
Jhanda Singh marched on Multan again in 1772 forcing the Nawab to flee. Multan was declared Khalsa territory and the city was parcelled out between Jhanda Singh and his commander Lahina Singh.Jhanda Singh next subdued Jharig, Kala Bagh and Mankera. He built a brick fort at Amritsar which he named Qila Bharigiari and laid out fine bazars in the city. He then proceeded to Rasulnagar, where he recovered from the Muhammadan Chattha rulers the famous gun Zamzama which came to be known as Bharigiari di Top. ButJhanda Singh was soon involved in the internal feuds of the warring misls.
He was killed in 1774 in a battle with the Kanhaiyas and the Sukkarchakkias atJammu whither he had marched to settle a standing succession issue. He was succeeded by his brother Ganda Singh who, dying of illness at the time of a battle with the Kanhaiyas at Dinanagar, was in turn succeeded by his minor son, Desa Singh, under whose weak leadership began the decline of the dynasty. Several Bharigi sarddrs set themselves up as independent chiefs within their territories. Desa Singh was killed in action against Mahari Singh Sukkarchakkia in 1782.
A leading Bharigi sardar now was Gurbakhsh Singh Rorarivala who had fought hand in hand with Hari Singh Bharigi in several of his battles. After his death, his adopted son, Lahina Singh, and Gujjar Singh, son of his daughter, divided his estates. In 1765, they had joined hands with Sobha Singh Kanhaiya and occupied Lahore. The city was partitioned among the three sarddrs who, though temporarily driven out in 1767 by Ahmad Shah Durrani, had continued in authority. In January 1797 Ahmad .Shah`s grandson. Shah Zaman, led out an expedition and seized the city. But soon after the departure of the Durrani Shah for Kabul, Lahina Singh and Sobha Singh (Giqjar Singh had died in 1791), returned and reestablished their rule.
The same year, 1797, Lahina Singh died and was succeeded by his son Chet Singh and about the same time, Sobha Singh died and was succeeded by his son Mohar Singh. But the new rulers failed to establish their authority. People groaned under oppressive taxes and extortions and local Muhammadan Chaudharis and mercantile Khatris made a common cause and invited Ranjit Singh and Sada Kaur to come and occupy the city. On 7 July 1799, Ranjit Singh arrived with 5,000 troops at the Shalamar Gardens. The Bhangi sardars left the town hastily and Ranjit Singh became master of the capital of the Punjab, laying the foundation of Sikh monarchy.
Reverting to the main branch of the Bhangi misi, Desa Singh, son of Ganda Singh, was succeeded by his minor son Gulab Singh, who administered the misi through his cousin Karam Singh. Gulab Singh enlarged the city of Amritsar where he resided, and, on attaining years of discretion, overran the whole Pathan colony ofKasur, which he subdued, the Pathan chiefs ofKasur, Nizam udDin and Qutb udDin Khan, brothers, entering the service of the conqueror. In 1794, however, the brothers, with the aid of their Afghan countrymen, recovered Kasur.
Gulab Singh died in 1800 and was succeeded by his son, Gurdit Singh, a 10year old boy who conducted the affairs of the misi through his mother and guardian, MaT Sukkhan. Maharaja Ranjit Singh who after having taken possession of Lahore in 1799 was launched on a career of rapid conquest had his eyes on Amritsar where Bhangis still held their sway. On the excuse of taking from them the famous Zamzama gun, he marched with a strong force in 1802, Gurdit Singh, along with his mother, Mai Sukkhan, fleeing without resistance. The last Bhangi chief to fall was Sahib Singh of Gujrat who was dismissed with a grant of a few villages.
By 1810 all Bhangi territories Lahore, Amritsar, Sialkot, Chiniot, Jhang, Bhera, Rawalpindi, Hasan Abdal, Gujrat had merged with the kingdom of Ranjit Singh. The descendants of Bhangi sarddrs are today concentrated mainly in the Amritsar district of the Punjab. DALLEVALIA MISL. The misi derived its name from the village of Dalleval, near Dera Baba Nanak on the left bank of River Ravi, 50 km northeast of Amritsar to which its founder, Gulab Singh (Gulaba Khatri before he converted a Khalsa), belonged.
At the time of the formation of the Dal Khalsa in 1748, Gulab Singh who had already fought bravely against Nadir Shah in 1739 and in the Chhota Ghallughara in 1746, was declared head of the Dallevalla derd, later called misi. The Dallevalla and Nishananvali jathds were stationed at Amritsar to protect the holy city. In 1757 when Ahmad Shah Durrani was returning homeward laden with the booty from Delhi, Mathura and Agra, Gulab Singh made frequent night attacks on his baggage train. Commanding a band of 400 men, he plundered Panipat, Rohtak, Hansi and Hissar.
On the death in 1759 of Gulab Singh, his trusted associate, Tara Singh Ghaiba, succeeded him as head of the misi. Tara Singh proved to be an able leader of men and a fearless fighter. One of his first exploits was to attack a detachment of Ahmad Shah Durrani`s army and rob it of its horses and arms while crossing the Bern river near his native village, Karig, in Kapurthala district. In 1760, he crossed the Sutlej and seized the towns ofDharamkot and Fatehgarh. On his return to the Doab, he took Sarai DakkhanT from the Afghan chief Saif udDin of Jalandhar and marched eastwards seizing the country around Rahon.
He made Rahon his headquarters now. He next captured Nakodar from Man] Rajputs and several other villages on the right side of the Sutlej, including Mahatpur and Kot Badal Khan. In 1763, Tara Singh joined the Bhangi, Ramgarhia and Kanhaiya misis against the Pathan Nawab of Kasur and, in the sack of the town, collected four lakhs of rupees as his share of the booty. He joined other Sikh sarddrs in laying siege to Sirhind (January 1764) and razing it to the ground after defeating its faujdar, Zain Khan. The Dallevalia misi under Tara Singh and lii.s collaterals and associates held a major portion of the upper Jalandhar Doab, and the northern portions of Ambala and Ludhiana, with some portions of Firozpur.
Tara Singh`s cousin Dharam Singh captured Lohiari and a clusler of villages in the centre of which he founded the village of DharamSinghvala where he set up his permanent headquarters. Other members of the misi sci/cd Tihara, on the left bank of the Sutlej. Sauridha Singh from among them captured Khanna in Ludhiana district; Hari Singh look Ropar, Sialba, Avankot, Sisvan and Kurali. He also occupied the forts of Khizrabad and Nurpur. Buddh Singh ofGarh Sharikar captured Takhtgarh. Desu Singh of the misi occupied Mustafabad, Arnauli, Siddhuval, Bangar, Amiu and Kullar Kharial.
In 1760, he established his headquarters at Kailhal. Divan Singh of the same clan captured Sikandra, Akalgarh and Barara. Sahib Singh and Gurdil Singh, two SarisT brothers, seized Ladva and Indri. Bhariga Singh became master of Thanesar and Bhag Singh and Buddh Singh took Pehova. Tara Singh Ghaiba however remained the central figure of the misi. He became a close friend and associate of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and took part in his early Malva campaigns. After his death in 1807 at the age of 90, Dallevalia territories were annexed by Ranjit Singh. KANHAIYA MISL was founded by Jai Singh, a SandhuJatt of the village of Kahna, 21 km southwest of Lahore on the road to Firozpur.
He had an humble origin, his father Khushhal (Singh) eking out his livelihood by selling hay at Lahore. Jai Singh received the vows of the Khalsa at the hands of Nawab Kapur Singh and joined the derah or jalhd of Amar Singh Kirigra. It is commonly believed that the name of the misi, Kanhaiya, was derived from the name of Jai Singh`s village, Kahna, although another explanation connects it with the Sardar`s own handsome appearance which earned him the epithet (Kahn) Kanhaiya, an endearing title used for Lord Krsna. The Kanhaiya misi under Jai Singh became the dominant power in the Punjab.
He seized a part of Riarki comprising the district ofGurdaspur and upper portions of Amritsar. He first made his wife`s village, Sohiari, in Amritsar district, his headquarters from where he shifted to Batala and thence to Mukcriari. His territories lay on both sides of the Rivers Beas and RavT. Jai Singh extended Iris territory up to Parol, about 70 km southeast ofJammu, and the liill chiefs ofKarigra, Nurpur, Datarpur and STba became his tributaries. In 1778, he with the help ofMahari Singh Sukkarchakkia and Jassa Singh Ahluvalia, drove away Jassa Singh RamgarhTa to the desert region of Harisi and Hissar.
In 1781 Jai Singh and his associate Haqiqat Singh led an expedition to Jammu and received a sum of 3,00,000 rupees as tribute from its new ruler, Brij Raj Dev. On Jai Singh`s death in 1793 at the age of 81, control of the Kanhaiya clan passed into the hands of his daughterinlaw Sada Kaur, his son Gurbakhsh Singh having predeceased him. Sada Kaur whose daughter Mahitab Kaur was married to Ranjil Singh was mainly instrumental in the Sukkarchakkia chief`s rise to political power in the Punjab. In July 1799, she helped Ranjit Singh occupy Lahore defeating the Bharigi chiefs, Mohar Singh, Sahib Singh and Chet Singh.
Supported by Sada Kaur, Ranjit Singh made further acquisitions and assumed the title of Maharaja in April 1801. In the campaigns of Amritsar, Chiniot, Kasur and Karigra as well as against the turbulent Pathans of Hazara and Attock, Sada Kaur led the armies side by side with Ranjit Singh. The entente however did not last long and the two began to drift apart. The marriage of Sada Kaur`s daughter to Ranjit Singh did not prove a happy one. The differences came into the open when Sada Kaur started secret negotiations with the British through Sir Charles Metcaife and Sir David Ochterlony to secure herself the status of an independent chief.
Ranjit Singh started making inroads into the Kanhaiya territory and confiscated their wealth lying at Atalgarh (Mukeriari). Batala was made over as a jdgir to his son Sher Singh, while the rest of Sada Kaur`s estates were placed under the governorship of Desa Singh Majithia. Sada Kaur died in confinement in 1832. The leader of another section of the Kanhaiya misi was Haqiqat Singh, son of Baghel Singh, a Siddhu Jatt, hailing from the village ofJulka, near Kahna, the birthplace