A Sikh college for university education was opened in 1897.
Subsequently he attacked and annexed Amritsar in 1802, thus becoming master of the two Sikh capitals.
Amritsar is chiefly notable as the centre of the Sikh religion and the site of the Golden Temple, the chief worshipping place of the Sikhs.
Finally the city and surrounding district fell under the sway of Ranjit Singh at Lahore, and passed with the rest of the Punjab into the possession of the British after the second Sikh war.
It is the headquarters of the Sikh religion, containing 264,329 Sikhs as against 280,985 Hindus and 474,976 Mahommedans.
ALIWAL, a village of British India, in the Ludhiana district of the Punjab, situated on the left bank of the Sutlej, and famous as the scene of one of the great battles of the 1st Sikh War.
On the 28th Sir Harry Smith, with a view to clearing the left or British bank, attacked him, and after a desperate struggle thrice pierced the Sikh troops with his cavalry, and pushed them into the river, where large numbers perished, leaving 67 guns to the victors.
The nascent Sikh power prevented Mahratta incursions from being permanently successful in the Punjab.
In 1842 Ratan Singh supplied camels for the Afghan expedition; in 1844 he reduced the dues on goods passing through his country, and he gave assistance in both Sikh campaigns.
Together with the two other deras (settlements), Dera Ismail Khan and Dera Fateh Khan, it gave its name to the territorial area locally and historically known as Derajat, which after many vicissitudes came into the possession of the British after the Sikh War, in 1849, and was divided into the two districts of Dera Ghazi Khan and Dera Ismail Khan.
The Sikh religion did not reach this full development at once, nor was the first of the gurus even the first to feel dissatisfaction with the existing order of things.
Thus it will be seen that the doctrines of these early reformers contained the germs of the later Sikh religion.
1577, which has remained ever since the centre of the Sikh religious worship. From this time onward the office of guru became hereditary, but the practice of primogeniture was not followed, each guru selecting the relative who seemed most fitted to succeed him.
It was Guru Arjan who compiled the Granth or Sikh Bible, out of his own and his predecessors' compositions.
When Har Govind was installed as guru, Bhai Budha, the aged Sikh who performed the ceremony, presented him with a turban and a necklace, and charged him to wear and preserve them as the founder of his religion had done.
Guru Arjan, who was in charge of the great Sikh temple at Amritsar, received copious offerings and became a man of wealth and influence, while the sixth guru became a military leader, and was frequently at warfare with the Mogul authorities.
He, like his predecessors, openly attacked all distinctions of caste, and taught the equality of all men who would join him, and he instituted a ceremony of initiation with baptismal holy water by which all might enter the Sikh fraternity.
But while Nanak had substituted holiness of life for vain ceremonial, Guru Govind Singh demanded in addition brave deeds and zealous devotion to the Sikh cause as proof of faith; and while he retained his predecessors' attitude towards the Hindu gods and worship he preached undying hatred to the persecutors of his religion.
The Mahommedans promptly responded to the challenge, for the danger was too serious to be neglected; the Sikh army was dispersed and two of Guru Govind Singh's sons were murdered at Sirhind by the governor of that fortress, and his mother died of grief at the cruel death of her grandchildren.
No formal alteration has been made in the Sikh religion since Guru Govind Singh gave it his military organization, but certain modifications have taken place as the result of time and contact with Hinduism.
Some of the water is sprinkled on him five times, and he drinks of it five times from the palms of his hands; he then pronounces the Sikh watchword given above and promises adherence to the new obligations he has contracted.
Another Sikh ceremony is the kara parshad or communion made of butter, flour and sugar, and consecrated with certain ceremonies.
The establishment of Singh Sabhas, of Sikh newspapers, and the spread of education have largely tended in the same direction, but the strict ethical code of Sikhism and the number of its obligatory divine services have caused many to fall away from the faith: nor does the austere Sikh ritual appeal to women, who generally prefer Hinduism with its picturesque material worship and the brightness of its innumerable festivals.
Macauliffe, The Sikh Religion: Its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors (6 vols., 1909), and two lectures before the United Service Institution of India on "The Sikh Religion and its Advantages to the State" and "How the Sikhs became a Militant Race."
Sikh Wars >>
The inhabitants of this district have always been very independent and stubbornly resisted the Afghan and Sikh predecessors of the British.
Towards the end of the century the heretical Sikh Guru, Ram Rai, expelled from the Punjab, sought refuge in the Dun and gathered round him a crowd of devotees.
In 1808 he was selected by Lord Minto for the responsible post of envoy to the court of Ranjit Singh at Lahore; here, on the 25th of April 1809, he concluded the important treaty securing the independence of the Sikh states between the Sutlej and the Jumna.
He -served in both the Sikh wars, was secretary to Colonel (afterwards 'Sir) Arthur Phayre's mission to Ava (1855), and wrote his Narrative of the Mission to the Court of Ava (1858).
The word Sikh literally means "learner," "disciple," and was the name given by the first guru Nanak to his followers.
Both obey the general injunctions of the Sikh gurus, but the Sahijdhari Sikhs have not accepted the pahul or baptism of Guru Govind Singh, and do not wear the distinguishing habiliments of the Kesadhari, who are the baptized Sikhs, also called Singhs or lions.
G P Sikh kingdom of Ranjit Singh effectually dispelled any such alarms for the future.
(For the origin of the Sikh power see Punjab.) Ranjit Singh, the founder of the Sikh kingdom in the Punjab, had faithfully fulfilled all his obligations towards the British.
But on his death in 1839 no successor was left to curb the ambition of the Sikh nationality.
In 1845 the khalsa, or Sikh army, numbering 60,000 men with 150 guns, crossed the Sutlej and invaded British territory.
By the terms of peace then dictated the infant son of Ranjit, Dhuleep Singh, was recognized as raja; the Jullundur Doab, or tract between the Sutlej and the Ravi, was annexed; the Sikh army was limited to a specified number; Major Henry Lawrence was appointed to be resident at Lahore; and a British force was detailed to garrison the Punjab for a period of eight years.
Lord Dalhousie had not been six months in India before the second Sikh war broke out.
Before reinforcements could come out from England, with Sir Charles Napier as commanderin-chief, Lord Gough had restored his own reputation by the crowning victory of Gujrat, which absolutely destroyed the Sikh army.
Moreover the spirit of the sepoys during the Sikh wars was unsatisfactory, and led to excessive casualties amongst the British officers and soldiers.
- Sikh devotee, Akali or Nihung, vowed to the wearing of blue and steel, &c.
- The Sikh does not shave or cut his hair.
His religion requires the Sikh to carry five articles - kes, the knot of hair on the head; the kanga, a comb; the kard, a knife; the kach, a pair of short trousers peculiar to the Sikh; and the khara, an iron bangle on the wrist.