Sawan Mal was the Khatri Diwan (governor) of Multan. He was originally from Gujranwala, the region where Maharaja Ranjit Singh's Misl, the Sukerchakias held sway. Along with Hari Singh Nalwa, he was one of the top commanders in Ranjit Singh's army. As a general under Ranjit Singh, he wrested the 'subah'(province) of Multan from the Durrani Afghans in 1823, after which he was made governor of the region, instituting improvements in agricultural production through irrigation schemes. He was succeeded to the governorship of Multan by his son, Mul Raj.
Inventor of the Sohan Halwa?
It is claimed that Sawan Mal invented a sweetmeat called Sawan Halwa or Sohan Halwa in 1750. This sweet was given as a gift to royal visitors and friends. It now a popular confection in the Indian Subcontinent. However this story may be of dubious authenticity since Diwan Sawan Mal was not even born in 1750. Perhaps there is an error in the date mentioned.
Diwan Sawan Mal instituted vast improvement in agriculture, while his son, Diwan Mul Raj was instrumental in leading the revolt against the British to prevent the annexation of the Sikh Kingdom into East India Company territory. Diwan Sawan Mal's grandson, Harmohan Singh Rai Bahadur had betrayed the Lahore Durbar and joined hands with the regents of the British Crown and earned a Knighthood and the title of Rai Bahadur in the process. He was a general and the Jagirdar of Mithankot during the British Raj. His progeny are supposed to have been cursed by a Hindu goddess. They later migrated to India after the Partition. One of his Great Grandson is Believed to be living in Bangalore, by the name of Bakshi Yadavendra Singh Chopra. Another of his Great Grandson is believed to be living in Delhi, by the name of Bhim Sen Chopra, later changed his name to Om Prakash Chopra.
There is a city in Punjab (Pakistan) called "Diwan Sawan Mal", which has been named after the Diwan.