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MADAN SINGH, BHAI

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MADAN SINGH, BHAI (d. 1705), one of the martyrs of Chamkaur (7 December 1705), was, according to local tradition popular in and around Bhagrana in Fatehgarh Sahib district of the Punjab, the son of Bhai Diala, a weaver of that village. Bhai Diala had received instruction from Guru Tegh Bahadur at Chakk Nanaki (Anandpur Sahib) and had also served the Guru when the latter had travelled through the territory. His two sons, Madan and Katha (or Kotha, according to some sources), later went to Anandpur to be in the service of Guru Gobind Singh.

They received the vows of the Khalsa in 1699 and became Madan Singh and Katha (Kotha) Singh. Madan Singh, who served in the Guru's stables, is also said to have been a poet of some merit. The two brothers trained as soldiers, too. They were among the forty odd warriors who, after the evacuation of Anandpur and crossing of the rivulet Sarsa in spate, could reach Chamkaur in the company of Guru Gobind Singh even as the hostile force was in hot pursuit. As Guru Gobind Singh hastily took shelter in a fortified house at Chamkaur and deployed his meagre force for its defence, Madan Singh and Kotha Singh were posted to guard the entrance gate.

The small fortress was soon surrounded by the Mughal host who at daybreak the following morning (7 December 1705) opened their attack with an assault on the gate. The two brothers defended it by firing from inside it as long as their ammunition lasted, and then with the Guru's permission sallied forth, swords in hand, and died fighting just outside the gate. The memorial shrine later established to mark it is now called Shahid Burj, lit. martyrs' tower. The tower also commemorates, among other martyrs, Bhai Jivan Singh Ranghreta, who had fallen earlier on the bank of the Sarsa.

References :

1. Fauja Singh, Guru Teg Bahddur: Yatra Asthan, Parampravan te Yad Chink. Patiala, 1976
2. Nayyar, Gurbachan Singh, ed., Gur Ratanmal arthat Sau Sakhi. Patiala, 1985
3. Piara Singh and Garja Singh, eds., Guru kian Sakhian. Patiala, 1986

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