Dhanna Singh Malwai

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New article being researched feel free to add any info. found some military record.

Dhanna Singh Malwai ( - died May 1843) a historic general of the Khalsa army under Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He was the son of Mal Singh a Man Jat whose ancestrial village was Mowran in Nabbha territory. He became a zamindar of Mowran leaving his village about the year 1793 to enter the service of Sardar Saheb Singh of Gujrat who was married to Subha Kaur the sister of Raja Jaswant Singh. He later served under Sardar Fatah Singh Kalianwala. In 1807 he entered the service of Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Lahore. An excellent soldier he was soon noticed and rose quickly in rank becoming a favorite of the Maharaja.

In 1807 he asked Ranjit Singh's help in attaining a jagir for Mowran, his ancestrial village. Maharaja Ranjit Singh refered the request to Raja Jaswant Singh in whose territories the village lay. The Maharaja refused the request to which Ranjit Singh replied that unless he turned over the village as requested he would take the lands held trans Sutlej by Subha Kour the widow of Saheb Singh Bhangi who had recently died. After considerable delay in 1819 Raja Jaswant Singh granted the land to Dhanna Singh. Occasionaly Dhanna Singh sent small presents to Jaswant Singh but in 1830 he broke off all contact with Nabbha State and started building a fort in Mohran and began to act as as an independant chief. The irratated Raja Jaswant Singh at once wanted to resume control of the village but he dared not cross Maharaja Ranjit Singh. At the grand wedding of Kanvar Nau Nihal Singh he querried Ranjit Singh on the matter and was asked to wait until the aelderly Dhanna Singh died.


in 1807 Dhanna Singh Malwai was one of the four commanders in the march to Kasur to subjugate its Afghani owner Kutab-ud-din Khan. Sikhs laid siege for three months after which Kutab-ud-din Khan surrendered. Hari Singh Nalua, of course, was the first to march inside the city gate of Kasur with his division called 'Sher-Dil-Rajman.'

In 1812 he was sent to wazir fatheh Khan to arrange a meeting between hin and the Maharaja. He participated in several campaigns.

In 1821, Dost Mohammed Khan and Yar Mohammed Khan, two Afghanis were able to expel the Maharaja's nominee Jahan Dad Khan from Peshawar and thus an expedition was undertook by Punjabi forces. This time the forces were being led as follows: cavalry by Sardar Hari Singh Nalua, Infantry by Dhanna Singh Malwai a bloodless battle with a substanial Nazarana by Dost Mohammed Khan.

In 1825 at Maharaja Ranjit Singh's orders Dhanna Singh Malwai participated in the unsucessful seige of Kutlehar which eventually led to the ruler of the kingdom being given land andretainers to surrender his kingdom.

he side with shere singh in his power struggle with Rani Chand Kaur (Mai)

He had a garden house called the Bagh of Dhanna Singh Malwai in Amritsar.

He was the father of Hukum Singh? who inherited the village of Mowran and his fathers fort which was stormed and retaken by the new Raja of Nabbah Raja Davindar Singh.

His other son was Nichhatar Singh who was in command of Michni Fort on the banks of the river Kabul.

A son Bachattatar Singh is also mentioned. and a grandson Kirpal Singh who fought with Shere Singh and later joined the British and was rewarded with a large territory once part of Ranjit Singhs empire.

Mowran remained a bone of contention between the Rulers of Nabbha and the Khalsa Darbar until the British siezed the Punjab after the two Sikh-Anglo wars.

References The Rajas of the Punjab, the history of the principal states in the Punjab

By Lepel Henry Griffin / Published 1870 / Oxford University