The Sikh Empire

7 Apr, 2016 900 History

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the rise of the Sikh Empire at the end of the 18th Century under Ranjit Singh, pictured above, who unified most of the Sikh kingdoms following the decline of the Mughal Empire. He became Maharaja of the Punjab at Lahore in 1801, capturing Amritsar the following year. His empire flourished until 1839, after which a decade of unrest ended with the British annexation. At its peak, the Empire covered the Punjab and stretched from the Khyber Pass in the west to the edge of Tibet in the east, up to Kashmir and down to Mithankot on the Indus River. Ranjit Singh is still remembered as “The Lion of the Punjab.”

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  • Gurharpal Singh No other episodes
    Professor in Inter-Religious Relations and Development at SOAS, University of London
  • Chandrika Kaul 5 episodes
    Lecturer in Modern History at the University of St Andrews
  • Susan Stronge 2 episodes
    Senior Curator in the Asian Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum

Reading list

  • The Resourceful Fakirs: Three Muslim Brothers at the Sikh Court of Lahore
    Fakir S. Aijazuddin (Three Rivers Publishers, 2014) Google Books →
  • Queen Victoria's Maharajah: Duleep Singh 1838-93
    Michael Alexander and Sushila Anand (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2001) Google Books →
  • Sovereign, Squire and Rebel: Maharajah Duleep Singh and the Heirs of a Lost Kingdom
    Peter Bance (Coronet House Publishing Ltd, 2009) Google Books →
  • The Lion's Firanghis: Europeans at the Court of Lahore
    Bobby Singh Bansal (S K Foundation, 2010) Google Books →
  • The First and Second Sikh Wars
    Reginald George Burton (Westholme Publishing, 2007) Google Books →
  • Up the Country: Letters written to her Sister from the Upper Provinces of India
    Emily Eden (Cambridge University Press, 2010) Google Books →
  • The Sikhs of the Punjab: The New Cambridge History of India II.3
    J. S. Grewal (Cambridge University Press, 1991) Google Books →
  • Pashmina: The Kashmir Shawl and Beyond
    Janet Rizvi with Monisha Ahmed (Marg Foundation, 2009) Google Books →
  • Sikhism: An Introduction
    Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh (IB Tauris, 2011) Google Books →
  • The Encyclopedia of Sikhism
    Harbans Singh (ed.) (Punjabi University, 1998) Google Books →
  • New Insights into Sikh Art
    Kavita Singh (ed.) (Marg Publications, 2003) Google Books →
  • A History of the Sikhs
    Khushwant Singh (Oxford University Press, 2004-5) Google Books →
  • Ranjit Singh: Maharaja of the Punjab
    Khushwant Singh (Penguin, 2001) Google Books →
  • Empire of the Sikhs: The Life and Times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh
    Patwant Singh and Jyoti M. Rai (Peter Owen Publishers, 2008) Google Books →
  • The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms
    Susan Stronge (ed.) (V&A Publications, 1999) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 900 (History & Geography)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In 1799, Rajit Singh and his Sikh army captured Lahore, once the Mughal capital of the North.