Ahluwalia Misl

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Ahluvalia Misl was one of the twelve misls or Sikh confedracies which had gained power in the Punjab during the latter half of the eighteenth century, derived its name from the village of Ahlu, in Lahore district, founded by a Kalal or distiller of wine, named Sadao. One of his descendants, Badar Singh, married the sister of Bagh Singh Hallovalla, who had received the rites of the Khalsa at the hands of Nawab Kapur Singh and who had come to acquire considerable means and influence.

To Badar Singh was born a son named Jassa Singh, who founded the misl of the Ahluvalias, a remnant of which lasted until recent years in the form of the princely state of Kapurthala. Jassa Singh who became famous in history as Jassa Singh Ahluvalia was a prominent leader of the Sikhs during the eventful years of the eighteenth century. A right-hand man of Nawab Kapur Singh, he took a leading part in the Sikh struggle against the Mughal governors of the Punjab, Zakariya Khan, Yahya Khan and Mir Mannu.

When on the Baisakhi day of 1748, a general assembly of the Sikhs convened at Amritsar resolved to consolidate the sixty-five roving Sikh jathas, i.e. bands, into one command called Dal Khalsa, Jassa Singh was chosen to take charge of it. Jassa Singh started seizing villages and towns in the Punjab, thrown into confusion with the passing away of Mlr Mannu in November 1753, and established the system of rakht or protection. The Dal Khalsa under him routed in April 1754 an Afghan force from Lahore which had laid siege to Amritsar. In March 1758, Jassa Singh led Sikhs in their march upon Sirhind and occupied it jointly with the Marathas who were their allies in the campaign. A month later Sikhs under him entered Lahore. Although Ahmad Shah Durrani re-established his influence in the winter of 1759, defeated the Marathas at Panlpat in 1761 and inflicted a severe loss upon the Sikhs in February 1762,Jassa Singh led the Sikhs to conquer Sirhind in 1764. Tn 1777, he defeated Rai Ibrahim, the Bhattl chief, and took from him the present town of Kapurthala, converting it into the capital of the Ahluvaha's. As for his possessions, he held Kot Isa Khan, Jagraon, Taru, and Fatehgarh, to the south of River Sutlej, and Bharog in Ambala district; in the Jalandhar Doab of Kapurthala, Sultanpur Lodhi and the surrounding villages. The zamindars of Phagwara, Urmur, Tanda and Bahawalpur paid him tribute. In the Bari Doab he had Jandiala, Sathiala, Bundala, Jalalabad, Vairoval, Sarhali, Fatehabad, Jalalpur, Goindval, Tarn Taran and Khadur; in the Rachna Doab, Zafarval.

Jassa Singh died in 1783. He had no son and was succeeded by his second cousin, Bhag Singh, who died in 1801. Bhag Singh's son, Fateh Singh (d. 1837), was an influential ally of Ranjit Singh who exchanged turbans with him reiterating friendliness between the two families. In 1846, after the first Anglo-Sikh war, Kapurthala came under British protection. The descendants of Fateh Singh ruled the Kapurthala state for more than a centuly until it merged with the Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU) in 1948 after the British withdrew from India.