Early Life

Banda Bahadur was born in October 1670 in a Rajput family doing farming in village Rajouri in State of Jammu and Kashmir. He was named Lachman Dev.

As a child he was very fond of horse riding, martial art and hunting. He was expert in use of bow and arrow and other weapons used in wars at that time.

Sardar Banda Singh Bahadur
Sardar Banda Singh Bahadur

At age 15 he left home to become an ascetic, and was given the name ‘’Madho Das’’.

He established a monastery at Nānded, on the bank of the river Godāvarī.

Disciple of Guru Govind Singh

In September 1708 he was visited by, and became a disciple of Guru Gobind Singh. Guru gave him the new name of Banda Singh Bahadur after initiating him into the Khalsa.

Armed with the blessing and authority of Guru Gobind Singh, he came to Khanda in Sonipat and assembled a fighting force and led the struggle against the Mughal Empire.

War Against Mughal Empire

In 1709 he defeated Mughals in the Battle of Samana and captured the Mughal city of Samana.

On 12 May 1710 in the Battle of Chappar Chiri the Sikhs killed Wazir Khan, the Governor of Sirhind and Dewan Suchanand, who were responsible for the martyrdom of the two youngest sons of Guru Gobind Singh. Two days later the Sikhs captured Sirhind.

Soon Banda Singh Bahadur developed the village of Mukhlisgarh, and made it his capital. He then renamed it to Lohgarh (fortress of steel) where he issued his own mint.

Later Banda Singh Bahadur captured Rahon after defeating Mughals in the Battle of Rahon (1710).

The rule of the Sikhs over the entire Punjab east of Lahore obstructed the communication between Delhi and Lahore, the capital of Punjab, and this worried Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah. So he gave up his plan to subdue rebels in Rajasthan and marched towards Punjab.

Banda Singh was in Uttar Pradesh when the Moghal army under the orders of Munim Khan marched to Sirhind and before the return of Banda Singh, they had already taken Sirhind and the areas around it. The Sikhs therefore moved to Lohgarh for their final battle.

Later Banda Singh left the fort at night and went to a secret place in the hills and Chamba forests. The failure of the army to kill or catch Banda Singh shocked Emperor, Bahadur Shah. The Emperor became mentally disturbed and died on 18 February 1712.

Soon Banda Bahadur wrote Hukamnamas to the Sikhs to reorganise and join him at once. In 1712, the Sikhs gathered near Kiratpur Sahib and defeated Raja Ajmer Chand. The Raja was responsible for organizing all the Hill Rajas against Guru Gobind Singh.

Fall of Banda Bahadur

The next Mughal Emperor Farrukh Siyar appointed Abdus Samad Khan as the governor of Lahore and his Zakaria Khan as the Faujdar of Jammu.

In March 1715, the army under the rule of Abdus Samad Khan drove Banda Bahadur and the Sikh forces into the village of Gurdas Nangal, Gurdaspur, Punjab. Abdus Samad laid siege to the village.

The Sikhs defended the small fort for eight months under conditions of great hardship. However on 7 December 1715 the Mughals broke into the starving garrison and captured Banda Singh and his companions.

Abdus Samad put Banda Singh Bahadur into an iron cage. He also chained the remaining Sikhs prisoners. The Emperor ordered their execution after they refuse to convert to Islam. Soon Mughal soldiers bought few of them out of fort and murdered in public. On 9 June 1716, after three months of confinement Mughal soldier brought Banda Singh bahadur out of fort. Mughal soldier gouged out his eyes, severed his limbs, removed his skin, and then killed him.

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