Gulab Singh Dallevalia

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Gulab Singh Dallevalia was the founder of the Dallevalia Misl (D. 1759). Was born the son of Shardha Ram at the village of Dalleval, near Dera Baba Nanak on the left bank of the River Ravi, 50 km northeast of Amritsar. In his younger days, he ran a grocery shop in his village and was known as Gulaba Khatri. Having heard tales of heroism of the Sikhs, he came to Amritsar, waited upon Nawab Kapur Singh, and volunteered to become a Sikh. Turned away, he was advised to grow long hair, practise horsemanship, archery and the use of sword and to come back after a year. Gulaba returned home, won over a small number of young men as companions and commenced a career of adventure. He came to Amritsar on the occasion of Divali accompanied by his band, many of whom were on horseback. Nawab Kapur Singh was highly impressed and, administering initiatory rites to him, named him Gulab Singh.

At the formation of the Dal Khalsa in 1748, Gulab Singh, who had already fought bravely against Nadir Shah in 1739 and in the Chhota Ghallughara in 1746, was declared the head of the Dallevalia misl. Later the Dallevalia and the Nishanvali misls were stationed at Amritsar to protect the holy city.

In 1757 when Ahmad Shah Durrani was returning homeward laden with the booty from Delhi, Mathura and Agra, Gulab Singh made frequent night attacks on his baggage train. At the fords of Ravi and Chenab, Gulab Singh with several other Sikh sardars captured a large number of Afghan horses. Commanding a jatha of 400 men, Gulab Singh plundered Panipat, Rohtak, Hafisi and Hissar.

Gulab Singh died fighting, in 1759, against Ambo Khan of Kalanaur, 27 km west of Gurdaspur.