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.
The temple was considerably enriched by the spoils taken by Ranjit Singh in his conquests.
The dynasty attained the height of its power under Rudra Singh, who is said to have ascended the throne in 1695.
In southern Tibet the trans-Himalayan explorations of the native surveyors attached to the Indian survey, notably Pundits Nain Singh and Krishna, added largely to our knowledge of the great plateau.
Nain Singh explored the sources of the Indus and of the Upper Brahmaputra in the years 1865-1867; and in 1874-1875 he followed a line from the eastern frontiers of Kashmir to the Tengri Nor lake and thence to Lhasa, in which city he remained for some months.
The observatory of Raja Jai Singh is a notable building of the year 1693.
The subsequent history of Benares contains two important events, the rebellion of Chait Singh in 1781, occasioned by the demands of Warren Hastings for money and troops to carry on the Mahratta War, and the Mutiny of 1857, when the energy and coolness of the European officials, chiefly of General Neill, carried the district successfully through the storm.
Kalyan's son, Rai Singh, who succeeded him in 1571, was one of Akbar's most distinguished generals and the first raja of Bikanir; his daughter married Selim, afterwards the emperor Jahangir.
Two other distinguished chiefs of the house were Karan Singh (1631-1669), who in the struggle of the sons of Shah Jahan for the throne threw in his lot with Aurangzeb, and his eldest son, Anup Singh (1669-1698), who fought with distinction in the Deccan, was conspicuous in the capture of Golconda, and earned the title of maharaja.
In 1802, during one of these wars, Elphinstone passed through Bikanir on his way to Kabul; and the maharaja, Surat Singh (1788-1828), applied to him for British protection, which was, however, refused.
Ratan Singh, who succeeded his father in 1828, applied in vain in 1830 to the British government for aid against a fresh outbreak of his thakurs; but during the next five years dacoity became so rife on the borders that the government raised a special force to deal with it (the Shakhawati Brigade), and of this for seven years Bikanir contributed part of the cost.
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.
His son, Sardar Singh (1851-1872), was rewarded for help given during the Mutiny by an increase of territory.
Sardar Singh had no son, and on his death in 1872 his widow and principal ministers selected Dungar Singh as his successor, with the approval of the British government.
Dungar Singh died in 1887 without a son; but he had adopted his brother, Ganga Singh (b.
The maharaja Ram Singh, who succeeded his father in 1893, was deprived of power of government in 1895 on the ground of intemperate conduct; and in 1900 was finally deposed for the murder of one of his personal attendants.
For some years after his father's execution Govind Singh, then known as Gobind Rai, lived in retirement, brooding over the wrongs of his people and the persecutions of the fanatical Aurangzeb.
He gave them outward signs of their faith in the five K's - which will subsequently be explained - he signified the military nature of their calling by the title of "singh" or "lion" and by the wearing of steel, and he strictly prohibited the use of tobacco.
The religious creed of Guru Govind Singh was the same as that of Guru Nanak: the God, the guru and the Granth remained unchanged.
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.
During the spiritual reign of Guru Govind Singh the religious was partially eclipsed by the military spirit.
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.
The chief ceremony initiated by Guru Govind Singh was the Khanda ka Pahul or baptism by the sword.
He must from that date wear the five K's and add the word singh to his original name.
Teg Bahadur was succeeded by the tenth and most powerful guru, his son Govind Singh; and it was under him that what had sprung into existence as a quietist sect of a purely parshad is then distributed equally to all the faithful present, no matter to what caste they belong.
There may first be mentioned the zealots such as the Akalis, who, though generally quite illiterate, aim at observing the injunctions of Sikhism Guru Govind Singh; secondly, the true Sikhs or Singhs who observe his ordinances, such as the prohibi tions of cutting the hair and the use of tobacco; and, thirdly, those Sikhs who while professing devotion to the tenets of the gurus are almost indistinguishable from ordinary Hindus.
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.
For authorities see Cunningham, History of the Sikhs; Sir Lepel Griffin, Maharaja Ranjit Singh (" Rulers of India" series, 1892); Falcon, Handbook on Sikhs; and specially M.
These jagirs were afterwards confiscated on the ground of the begum's complicity in the rising of Chai Singh, which was attested by documentary evidence.
In the 17th century their power was curtailed by the division of Haraoti into the two states of Kotah and Bundi; but they continued to play a prominent part in Indian history, and the title of maharao raja was conferred on Budh Singh for the part played by him in securing the imperial throne for Bahadur Shah I.
In 1804 the maharao raja Bishan Singh gave valuable assistance to Colonel Monson in his disastrous retreat before Holkar, in revenge for which the Mahratas and Pindaris continually ravaged his state up to 1817.
On the 10th of February 1818, by a treaty concluded with Bishan Singh, Bundi was taken under British protection.
In 1821 Bishan Singh was succeeded by his son Ram Singh, who ruled till 1889.
He was succeeded by his son Raghubir Singh, who was made a K.C.S.I.
Shuja was defeated by Dara's son, but the imperial forces under Jaswant Singh were completely routed by the united armies of Aurangzeb and Murad.
In 1857 Raja Ratan Singh received a hereditary salute of 11 guns, a khilat and a perpetual jagir of 1300 a year in recognition of his services during the Mutiny.
Jajhar Singh, the third Bundela chief, unsuccessfully revolted against the court of Delhi, and his country became incorporated for a short time with the empire.
In 1586 the town was invested by Raja Singh, but without success.
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.
It is surrounded by a stone wall, enclosing handsome palaces, with gardens; the palace of Bir Singh Deo, of the 17th century, is "one of the finest examples of Hindu domestic architecture in India" (Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1908).
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.
A man is not born a Singh, but becomes so by baptism, the water of which is called amrit or nectar.
One of the finest buildings is the modern Jain temple of Hathi Singh outside the Delhi gate, which was built only in 1848, and is a standing monument to the endurance of Jain architectural art The external porch, between two circular towers, is of great magnificence, most elaborately ornamented, and leads to an outer court, with sixteen cells on either side.
The raja, Sir Drigbijai Singh K.C.S.I., was conspicuously loyal during the Mutiny, and was rewarded with accessions of territory and hereditary privileges.
Maharaja Lachhmeswar Singh Bahadur, who succeeded to the raj in 1860 and died in 1898, was distinguished for his public services, and especially as one of the most munificent of living philanthropists.
He was succeeded by his brother, Maharaja Rameshwar Singh Bahadur, who was born on the 16th of January 1860, and on attaining his majority in 1878 was appointed to the Indian Civil Service, serving as assistant magistrate successively at Darbhanga, Chhapra and Bhagalpur.
The state was guaranteed to Kunwar Suni Singh Ponwar in 1806.
From his death to the rise of Ranjit Singh, the frontier districts remained an appendage of the Durani empire.
The palace built by Man Singh (1486-1516) forms the most interesting example of early Hindu work of its class in India.
The best known of these men were Pundit Nain Singh, Pundit Krishna, originally known as A.-K.