Budda Dal, famously known as Panjva Takhat, Chalda Vaheer, Chakravarti or Shiromani Panth Akali Budha Dal, is head section of Nihang Sikhs, which look into affairs of Khalsa Panth and one of the oldest military regiment of Sikhs. Budhadal is 5th and the final takhat.
Budda means elder. As this is military regiment, it is headed is called Jathedar. More information can be found on the official Budha Dal website, www.budhadal.org
Jathedars of Budha Dal
Following is list of Jathedars of Budha Dal:
- Baba Binod Singh
- Baba Darbara Singh
- Nawab Kapur Singh
- Jassa Singh Ahluwalia
- Baba Naina Singh
- Akali Phula Singh
- Baba Hanuman Singh
- Jathedar Prahlad Singh
- Jathedar Gian Singh
- Jathedar Baba Teja Singh
- Baba Sahib Ji Kaladhari
- Jathedar Baba Chet Singh
- Jathedar Baba Santa Singh
- Jathedar Baba Surjeet Singh
- Jathedar Baba Prem Singh
- Jathedar Baba Maan Singh (current)
The Creation of the Taruna Dal from Budha Dal
Kapur Singh, finding it difficult to manage such a large force centrally, particularly after Darbara Singh's death in 1734, divided the camp into two parts on the basis of age of the Jathedars or group leaders. The elders camp comprising jathas of older leaders such as Sham Singh, Gurbakhsh Singh, Bagh Singh, Gurdial Singh, Sukkha Singh and Kapur Singh which is Buddha (elder) Dal.
The groups of younger Sikhs were called the Taruna (youthful) Dal. The latter was further subdivided into five jathas, each with its own drum and banner. The Buddha Dal too was similarly subdivided after some time. Nawab Kapur Singh remained in overall command of the two Dals which jointly were called the Dal Khalsa. Men were free to join jathas of their choice.
In the old records of the Sikhs we come across only one reference to the strength of a jatha. That is in Ratan Singh Bhangu, Prachin Panth Prakash, which, referring to the fifth jatha of the Taruna Dal commanded by Bir Singh Rarighreta, lists its strength at 1300 horse. From this figure it may be surmised that the jathas broadly comprised 1,300 to 2,000 men each. It was generally agreed that Buddha Dal would remain at Araritsar and manage the shrines, leaving Taruna Dal free for operations in the country.