Sikh Kingdom of Kaithal

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Kaithal Fort, which would have been from 1767-1843, the seat and residence of Royal Sikh family of Kaithal

The Sikh Kingdom of Kaithal existed from 1767 to 1843, was a large Sikh kingdom, based in the northern Haryanvi region. Bhai Desu Singh (d. 1781), was the fifth descendant of the great Bhai Bhagatu (d. 1652), and the second of the five sons of Bhai Gurbakhsh Singh (d. 1764), a Sidhu Jatt family, hailing from village Vinjhu, in Bathinda District of Punjab, with a large force marched on Kaithal, where the two Muslim brothers Bhikh Bakhsh and Niamat Khan, were in the possession of Kaithal. There he established himself as a independent chief by 1767, He began further to extend his territories and seized the town of Thanesar (Kurukshetra) with one of its two forts. He became friends with Sardar Hari Singh of Sialba. unlike the other Sikh States of Punjab, the Kaithal royal family did not assume the title Rajah, instead they used Bhai, meaning (Brother).

After his death, in 1781, his younger son Sardar Bahal Singh became the ruler, until his younger brother Bhai Lal Singh, forcibly took the throne, killing his elder brother Bhai Bahal Singh the successor to the Throne, after his escape from the prison, of Kaithal. He was a very powerful ruler, after the Rajah of Patiala. In 1809, he accepted British protection. During his rule the Kingdom was well established, during his death, his elder son Bhai Partap Singh succeeded him to the royal thone, died later without a male heir. His younger brother, Bhai Udai Singh (d. 1843), became the ruler of the Kingdom of Kaithal, The highlight of Udai Singh`s rule was his munificent patronage of the Sikh classic, Bhai Santokh Singh`s Gurpratap Surya, more popular as Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, Bhai Santokh Singh (1787-1843) came from Patiala to the royal Kaithal Court in 1825.

Bhai Udai Singh died in 15th March 1843, leaving no male heir behind to rule the Kingdom, or keep the long old possessions of family intact, leaving behind his mother and widow. The British East India Company, in 1843, annexed the Kingdom to the there British territories. the remaining were given to Sardar Gulab Singh, of Arnauli. The news of the Annexation of Kaithal, was sent to London, united Kingdom, to British monarch Queen Victoria (1819-1901). 14 years after the fall of Kaithal in 1857, the people, revolted against the British rule. ruling for 104 years upto 1947.

List of Kaithal Rulers

  • Bhai Desu Singh (1767-1781)
  • Bhai Bahal Singh (d. 1781)
  • Bhai Lal Singh (1781-1819)
  • Bhai Partap Singh (d. 1819)
  • Bhai Udai Singh (1819-1843)

Many buildings can still be found built, during the golden days of the ruling kaithal family, a letter written by Bhai Udai Singh, in Persian, can be found, kept at Kaithal.