Fateh Singh Kalianvala

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Fateh Singh Kalianvala (d. 1807)

Fateh Singh Kalianvala (d.1807), Was from a Sandhu Jatt Sikh, family and a renowned Sikh military commander and jagirdar under Maharaja Ranjit Singh for a short period from 1798-1807, He was the son of Jassa Singh and grandson of Jaimal Singh Sandhu, a Sikh who later took Amrit Sanchaar, during the early days of Sikh political ascendancy, he was a resident of Kali Lakhu village in Amritsar district of Central Punjab in the Majha region. He later joined the troops of the Sukkarchakia Sikh chiefs, of Gujranwala, Charat Singh Sukkarchakia (d. 1770) and Mahan Singh Sukerchakia (d. 1792), he had fought against the Muslim Warlord Chatha Jatts inhabiting the Southern and western parts of present day Gujranwala district of Punjab. In one of the skirmishes with the Chatha Jatts he lost both of his sons, Jai Singh and Jassa Singh.

Fateh Singh Kalianvala entered the service of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the year 1798, and rapidly rose in the favour of his master. He was a brave and skilful soldier and took part in almost every campaign undertaken by the Maharaja during his early career. He fought against Ghulam Muhammad Khan Chattha and against Sardar Jodh Singh Waraich of Wazirabad. He was with the Maharaja at the time of the capture of the city of Lahore in 1799 from the Bhangi Misl Sardars and the Holy city of Amritsar in 1802 from Mai Sukhan of Bhangi Misl.

He participated in the Kasur (1801) and Jhang (1806) campaigns. Fateh Singh conquered Chiniot from a Local Independent Sikh Chief Sardar Jassa Singh Bhangi and, when Jhang was taken in 1806 from Ahmad Khan Sial, the district was leased to him.

It was owing to his advice that in 1805, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Sher-e-Panjab, did not espouse the cause of Maharajah Yashwantrao Holkar (1776-1811), the Hindu Maratha ruler of the Maratha Empire, against the Imperial British East India Company, Much assisted by Fateh Singh Kalianvala's good offices, peace was concluded between the British and the Holkar, who gave to him valuable gifts in recognition of his services. When towards the close of 1806, Qutb ud-Din Khan of Kasur raised the banner of revolt against the Sikhs, Fateh Singh Kalianvala was sent against him, to put the revolt down, for good.

In 1807, Ranjit Singh, after a visit to the Patiala Sikh Kingdom, during the reign of Maharaja Sahib Singh (1773-1813), besieged the fort of Naraingarh, In present day Ambala District of Haryana, then held by Sardar Kishan Singh, a powerful Sikh Chieftain. Fateh Singh, who was in immediate command, assaulted the fort, but was repulsed and mortally wounded. He died on 25th October 1807.

He left no male heir behind, to succeed him to his vast Jagirs, In the Majha, But had one daughter, who was married to Sardar Ranjit Singh Sowrianwala (d. 1834), a Sidhu Jatt Sikh, of the Majha region, who succeeded to large portions of Fateh Singh's Jagirs, and the remaining going to Sardar Dal Singh Naherna (d. 1828), of Karial village, In Sheikhupura District of western Punjab. Maharaja Ranjit Singh sent Sardar Mith Singh Padhania with a very valuable Khillat to give it to Mai Sewan, the widow of Fateh Singh Kalianvala at their native village, Kali Lakhu.


1. Suri, Sohan Lal, `Umddt-ut-Twarikh. Lahore, 1885-1889.

2. Griffin, Lepel, and C.F. Massy, Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab. Lahore, 1909

3. Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, vol. I. Princeton, 1963

4. Sinha, N.K., Ranjit Singh. Calcutta, 1933

5. Bhagal Singh, Maharaja Ranjit Singh and His Times. Delhi, 1990