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BHIKHAN KHAN

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BHIKHAN KHAN (d. 1688) was a Pathan who had served in the Mughal army before joining Guru Gobind Singh at Paonta Sahib on the recommendation of Pir Buddhu Shah of Sadhaura. He had one hundred soldiers under his command, but he crossed over to the hill rajas on the eve of the battle of Bharigani (AD 1688). According to Bhai Santokh Singh, Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, Bhikhan Khan told the Pathans in the employ of Guru Gobind Singh that the Guru was mainly dependant on them and that the rest of his army was only a miscellaneous rabble who would run away when they heard the first shot fired. He suggested that they could save their lives by taking the side of the hillmen.

They would fight in the rear of the hill armies and would obtain from the hill chiefs permission to plunder the Guru`s wealth.The Pathans applauded Bhikhan Khan`s advice and joined the hill rajas against Guru Gobind Singh. When Buddhu Shah learnt how the Pathan soldiers had reneged, he came forward with his four sons and seven hundred disciples to assist the Guru. Guru Gobind Singh says in his Bachitra Na.tak that as he saw Shah Sarigram (Sarigo Shah), a cousin of his, fall in the battle of Bharigani, he took up his bow and arrows.

With the first arrow, he struck a Khan who fell to the ground. He then drew out another one and aimed at Bhikhan Khan, hitting him in the face. Leaving his horse, the bleeding Khan fled, but was killed by another arrow from the Guru`s bow.

References :

1. Bachitra Natak
2. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1926-37
3. Suri, V.S., and Gurcharan Singh, Pu- Budhu Shah. Chandigarh, 1971
4. Harbans Singh, Guru Gobind Singh. Chandigarh, 1966

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