Hari Singh Nalwa

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Hari Singh Nalwa

Commander in Chief of Ranjit Singh Kingdom (1791 – 1837)

  • Hari Singh Nalwa was born in Gujranwala in 1791 in the Uppal family to Sardar Gurdial Singh and Dharam Kaur.
  • He was an only child, and his ancestors were originally from Majitha town near Amritsar.
  • His grandfather, Sardar Hardas Singh, engaged in the service of Sukarchakia Misl (Ranjit Singh belonged to this Misl), and was killed in an expedition undertaken by the Misl in 1762.
  • His father, Gurdial Singh, followed the profession of his father and took part in various campaigns of Sukarchakia Sardars – Charat Singh and Mahan Singh – in the capacity of Deradar. He expired in 1798 when Hari Singh was only seven years old – and the latter was thus looked after with care and caution by his maternal uncle who took him into his house.
  • An incident took place in Hari Singh Nalwa’s early days of service in the Khalsa army. During a hunting expedition, Hari Singh was attacked by a tiger. The attack was so subtle and unexpected that he didn’t have enough time to pull out his sword. Young Hari Singh faced the crucial situation with such boldness that he managed to catch hold of the jaw of the beast with his hands, forcefully pushing it away before killing it with his sword. Noted historian Baron Charles Hugel says he was called Nalwa for ‘having cloven the head of a tiger who had already seized him as its pray’.
  • There Hari Singh learned Punjabi and Persian and trained in the manly arts of riding, musketry and swordsmanship. Dharam Kaur returned to Gujranwala when her son was about 13 years old.

Profession/Designation Commander in chief at ranjit Singhs Kingdom
Location Gujranwala, pakistan
Category