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Jassa Singh Ramgarhia (1723–1803) was a prominent Sikh leader during the period of the Sikh Confederacy. He was the Commander of the Ramgarhia Misl (or Confederacy). Detailed accounts of his life vary.

Jassa Singh Ramgarhia
Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgharia.jpg
Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgharia seated upon his throne.
Died1803 (aged 79–80)
Known forSardar of the Ramgarhia Misl
SuccessorJodh Singh Ramgarhia who ceded his territories to Maharaja Ranjit Singh
One of the very few photographs taken of Qila Ram Rauni of Ramgarh.
Statue of Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgharia mounted on a horse and holding a sword.


Early lifeEdit

Jassa Singh Ramgarhia was born into Tarkhan[1] sikh family in 1723. According to W. H. McLeod,[2] his birthplace was the village of Ichogil, near Lahore, whilst H. S. Singha[3] refers only to Lahore and Purnima Dhavan[4] mentions origins in either Guga or Sur Singh, both near Amritsar. There is agreement among the sources that he was of Tarkhan [5] origin and was originally named Jassa Singh Thokar. (Jassa Singh the Carpenter).[2][3][4] He had four brothers - Jai Singh, Khushal Singh, Mali Singh and Tara Singh - and became head of the family when his father, Giani Bhagwan Singh, died.[6][page needed]


Jassa Singh rose to command the Sikh misl that became later known as Ramgarhia and built a fort called Ram Rauni and Ramgarhia Bunga (watchtower) at Amritsar. He joined forces with Adina Beg, who appointed him a risaldar (commander), but switched sides when asked by him to attack the fort during the Siege of Ram Rauni. He defended it against Adina Beg's siege and, in 1752, rebuilt the damaged fort. The edifice was renamed Ramgarh, from which he took his new name.[2][7][a]

Jassa Singh's policies were in contrast to those of other misl leaders and he eventually lost his lands north of Amritsar to that of the Kahnaiya. Thereafter, he turned his attention to the area around the Jamna river and Delhi, briefly holding control of the latter.[2]

Purnima Dhavan says that "Jassa Singh Ramgarhia appeared to have a shrewd grasp of realpolitik, relying equally on diplomatic persuasion and martial prowess to accomplish his goals.  ... [His] supporters appear to have valued his political acumen, plain-spoken behaviour, and simple if rough ways".[7]

He died in 1803 and was succeeded by his son, Jodh Singh Ramgarhia, who ceded his territories to Ranjit Singh.[2]

Delhi FatehEdit

Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia captured the Red Fort of Delhi in conjunction with Sardar Bhagel Singh.He detached the throne of mughal emperor Aurangzeb (on which he ordered the death of 9th guru Guru Teg Bahadur ji) and brought it on elephants and kept it at Golden Temple, Amritsar. Now the place is at Golden Temple ,Amritsar known as Ramgarhia Bunga[8]


There is now a statue of Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgharia in Amritsar, Punjab.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ The suffix -garh is translated as fort.


  1. ^ History of the Sikhs Vol. 4: The Sikh Commonwealth or Rise and Fall of the Misis Pg 276 hari ram gupta ISBN 978-8121501651
  2. ^ a b c d e McLeod, W. H. (2005) [1995]. Historical Dictionary of Sikhism (2nd ed.). Scarecrow Press. p. 102. ISBN 0-8108-5088-5.
  3. ^ a b Singha, H. S. (2005) [2000]. The Encyclopaedia of Sikhism (2nd ed.). Hemkunt. p. 111. ISBN 81-7010-301-0.
  4. ^ a b Dhavan, Purnima (2011). When Sparrows Became Hawks: The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition, 1699-1799. USA: OUP USA. p. 60. ISBN 0199756554.
  5. ^ Sikhs and Sikhism, WH Mcleod, pg102
  6. ^ Warrior-diplomat: Jassa Singh Ramgarhia - Harbans Singh Virdi
  7. ^ a b Dhavan, Purnima (2011). When Sparrows Became Hawks: The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition, 1699-1799. USA: OUP USA. p. 81. ISBN 0199756554.
  8. ^

Further readingEdit

  • "The heritage of the Sikhs" by Harbans Singh
  • Singh, Khushwant (1991). A History of the Sikhs, Volume 1: 1469-1839. Oxford University Press. pp. 134, 140, 160, 178–181.
  • The Sikh Commonwealth or Rise and Fall of Sikh Misls. (Date:2001, revised edition. ISBN 81-215-0165-2)