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GAJPAT SINGH, RAJA

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GAJPAT SINGH, RAJA (1738-1789), founder of the Sikh state of Jind, was born on 15 April 1738, the second son of Sukhchain Singh (d. 1751), who was the younger brother of Gurdit Singh, an ancestor of the ruling family of Nabha. In 1755, at the age of seventeen, Gajpat Singh seized a large tract of country including Jind and Safidori. In 1764, he joined the Khalsa Dal under Jassa Singh Ahluvalia and took part in the conquest of Sirhind. He then overran Panipat and Karnal. In 1766, he made Jind his capital. Unlike other Sikh chiefs, he continued to acknowledge the Mughal authority in Delhi and paid revenue to the Emperor.

He obtained the title of Raja under a royal famidn or decree from Emperor Shah Alam II in February 1772. Gajpat Singh was constantly at war with the Nabha chief, and seized his territories Amioh, Bhadsori and Sarigrur in 1774. Raja Amar Singh of Patiala and other Sikh chiefs compelled him to return the first two to Nabha, but Gajpat Singh retained Sarigrur which eventually became the capital of the Jind slate. In 1774, Raja Gajpat Singh`s daughter, Raj Kaur, was married to Mahari Singh of the Sukkarchakkia misl.

Raj Kaur became the mother of Maharaja RanjTt Singh. Raja Gajpat Singh was a strong ally of Raja Amar Singh of Patiala. He accompanied the Patiala chief on many of his expeditions, joining him in his incursions upon Sialba and Meerut. He also assisted Amar Singh`s successor, Raja Sahib Singh, to restore order in his territories. In 1789, while engaged in an expedition against refractory villages near Ambala, Gajpat Singh fell ill and was carried to Safidori where he died on 11 November 1789.

References :

1. Griffin, Lepel, The Rajas of the Punjab. Delhi, 1977

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