Naudh Singh

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Naudh Singh (d. 1752), son of Buddha Singh, was great grandfather of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He was a brave and daring man who applied his energies to expanding the family's fortunes. He fortified the village of Sukkarchakk in 1730, and in the same year married the daughter of a rich landlord, Gulab Singh of Majitha. He gained territory and, impressed by the example of his personal bravery, many an adventurous youth rallied round him. Eventually, he and his band of followers joined the Faizullapuria misl and won the admiration of its chief, Nawab Kapur Singh, by their bold exploits. He was among the Sikhs who pursued Ahmad Shah Durrani on his return to Afganistan in 1749.

He died in 1752 as a result of injuries sustained in battle.

His father Sardar Budha Singh whose original name was Desu, was an affluent Jat farmer of the village in the Majha tract of the Punjab. He is the first known ancestor of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He was born in 1670. He grew up to be a very prosperous farmer who possessed 25 acres of land, three ploughs and a well. On this land he built a couple of houses for his family and cattle and soon it had grown into a little village that was known by his name Desu. Joining the Khalsa he took the name Budha Singh.

Desu becomes Sukkarchakk

There are at least two well known legends on how the name of the Sukarkakia misl came about.

  • Sukar means small and narrow and chak means a petty tract of land or a village. So with his name change Desu began to be called Sukarchakia.
  • The second tradition tells us that Sukarchak was so named because it was founded on Friday (Shukarwar).

Sukarchak was situated near Gujranwala, 70 kms, north of Lahore. (the district of Gujranwala is known to be the home of all Sandhus and Maharaja Ranjit Singh was of the Sandhu clan of Jats.)

It is said that in his early days Desu sometimes stole cattle. Once Desu carried off some good cattle from the village Narkhona. After a few days he met an old woman in the jangle who asked him if he knew of Desu's whereabouts. She told him that Desu had taken away her buffaloes and a pair of oxen and she let him know that she was going to get them back. He told her that Desu was a man of fierce nature and he would maltreat her, but she said that when he knew her miserable condition he would take pity on her. She could not find Desu in the village but on returning to her place - she was surprised to find all her cattle were back home, tied up safe and sound.

One of his ancestors was initiated into Sikhism by Guru Gobind Singh in 1692. Budha Singh was a daring adventurer and is said to have taken part in the battles of Guru Gobind Singh and Banda Singh Bahadur. The success, which attended his exploits, won him the reputation of being one of the boldest and the most resolute of the Sikhs of the Punjab He built a fortress-like mansion at his village. He was always held in high esteem by the Sikhs.

He used to ride a piebald mare called after him as Desi which had crossed with its rider the rivers of Jhelum, Ravi and Chenab fifty times. It is said that sometimes Budha Singh covered on his mare's back a distance of over one hundred miles a day. The brave and courageous Budha Singh, who was a giant in strength, is said to have received during his life time some forty sword cuts and nine matchlock wounds, without his physical strength failing him.

In the words of Carmichael Smyth, Budha Singh "was distinguished for the most intrepid courage; for his sagacity and shrewdness which bore him successfully through all his schemes, and for his ready wit and good humour. He was also famed for his regard to the rights and property of the poor. He was very kind and sympathetic to the faqirs, the poor and the travellers. He died of apoplexy in 17161.

On his death, Budha Singh left behind two sons, named Naudh Singh and Chanda Singh, the latter being the ancestor of the Sandhanwalia Sardars of Raja Sansi. Naudh Singh grew up into a healthy and beautiful youngman. During the time of drought he used to bring his cattle to graze to the Majitha village in the present Amritsar district- Gulab Singh, a baptised Sikh of Majitha, married his daughter Lali to Naudh Singh in 1730, on the condition that he should get himself duly baptised. Gulab Singh was a devoted follower of the Khalsa Panth. Under the inspiration of his father-in-law, Naudh Singh joined the Dal Khalsa under the command of Kapur Singh Faizullapuria. He left his home and moved about in the inhospitable jungles along with his companions. He came into prominence when in the accompaniment of Kapur Singh, he relieved Ahmad Shah Durani of his baggage and heavy booty id 1749.

Sultan Khan Chatha, Pathan of Rasulnagar, forcibly converted six Sikhs to Islam- Naudh Singh and Chanda Singh attacked Rasulnagar, plundred Sultan Khan's property and brought back the Sikhs and baptised them again. Shahab-ud-Din of Firozwala captured a few Sikhs of village Earyala and removed the hair of their heads and beards. Naudh Singh and Chanda Singh plundred his village and put Shahab-ud-Din to death.

In 1749, Naudh Singh was wounded by a gun-shot in the head while fighting against the Afghan invaders. The wound did not prove fatal but he was incapaciated and he lingered on for a few years without participating in the Sikh movement in the Punjab and died in 1792.


1. Suri, Sohan Lal, Umdat ut-Twarikh. Lahore, 1885-89

2. Bhagat Singh, Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Delhi, 1990

3. Khushwant Singh, Ranjit Singh: Maharajah of the Punjab. Bombay, 1973

4. Ganda Singh, ed., Maharaja Ranjit Singh: First Death Centenary Memorial Volume. Amritsar, 1939

5. Harbans Singh, Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Amritsar, 1952