Ramgrahia (Caste)

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ਜਾਣਹੁ ਜੋਤਿ ਨ ਪੂਛਹੁ ਜਾਤੀ ਆਗੈ ਜਾਤਿ ਨ ਹੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (ਪੰਨਾ 349, ਸਤਰ 13, Nanak)

Sikhism does not endorse caste based distinctions in society that lead to unequal opportunities for some people. In fact, Sikhism completely rejects class or race based distinctions between humans, that leads us to make an inequitable society. Such distinctions have surfaced only due to ill interests of certain section of people, who, on the pretext of making a society more manageable through these classifications, eventually paved the way to an unequal grouping within the human race. This article is just for information purpose and to share how people from different castes came into the Sikh fold. So, please treat this article as a source of general information about this issue and kindly do not amend this article to highlight this important underlying Sikh principle. If you have any comments, please discuss them appropriately here

Castes & Tribes
Ramgarhia
Classification Kshatriya
Subdivisions Lohar
Significant populations in Punjab (India)
Languages Punjabi
Religions Sikhism


The Ramgarhia Caste are a Punjabi community in the Punjab region of northwestern India. They are named after Jassa Singh Ramgarhia who was the leader of the Ramgarhia Misl.

History of the Ramgarhia Misl

The founder of the Ramgarhia Misl was Jassa Singh Ramgarhia of Guga village near Amritsar. Jassa Singh Ramgarhia was the grandson of, Giani Hardas Singh Bhambhra , was the resident of Suringh which is situated about nineteen miles east of Khem Karan, in the present district of Amritsar. Hardas Singh was initiated into the Khalsa faith by Guru Gobind Singh Ji himself from whose hands he took Amrit/pahul (the Sikh baptismal oath) and fought some battles at Guru Ji’s side. After the death of the Guru, he joined the forces of Banda Bahadur and took part in almost every religious battle under his flag against the Mughal Empire. In 1716 AD, he died in a skirmish. After him his son, Sardar Bhagwan Singh became the head of the family, and with 200 followers entered the Imperial Mughal forces under the Governor of Lahore. Owing to his ability he rose to be a distinguished officer. He died fighting for his master in 1739 at Lahore, when Nadir Shah invaded India and the Governor resisted him ineffectually. He had five sons. Baron Jassa Singh, the eldest, now became the head of the family. He was appointed a Risaldar by the Governor of Lahore, and the following villages were given to him : Jagir Valla, Verka, Sultanwind, Tung and Chabba (all of these are now in the Amritsar district). On the death of Khan Bahadur, the Governor of Lahore, in 1746, Baron Jassa Singh, together with his followers, joined his Sikh brethren at Amritsar.

Sardar Jassa Singh

At this time the celebrated Adina Beg Khan, the Imperial Governor of the Jullundur Doab, exercised great influence in the Punjab. As there was constant quarrelling between him and the Sikhs, Baron Jassa Singh was sent to him as their ambassador by the Sikhs, who considered the Sardar one of the ablest men among themselves. From all accounts Sardar Jassa Singh was a tall, handsome young man, possessing rare intellectual qualities. Khan was so pleased with him that he granted all the demands of the Sikhs, to plead for which Baron Jassa Singh had been sent. Moreover, Adina Beg took him and his brothers into his service and made him the Tahsildar over a large district. He remained for a long time in the service of the Governor.

Katra Ramgarhian

The Ramgarhian Katra (Bazar) was the natural adjunct of the Ramgarhia fort, which has been stated, was the chief seat of the family, and the headquarters of the Ramgarhia army, numbering thousands. The Bazaar arose on the space between the Ramgarh fort and the Bunga in the environs of the temple, and named Ramgarhian Katra. In the same way the Ahluwalia built a Bazaar between their fort and the temple and named it Katra Ahluwalian. The Ramgarhian Katra is the greatest of all the Katras and covers over an area extending over 3 gates of the city. This is one more proof of the fact that the Ramgarhia forces appointed to guard the temple were more numerous than those of any other Misl. This Katra constitutes one fourth of the city. It is till known by that old name and the signboards with the inscription (Katra Ramgarhian) are put up by the Municipality on its boundaries. In this way the memory of this great house is kept to this day.

The Ghallughara

When Prince Timur, son of Ahmad Shah Abdali, marched against Adina Beg, the latter retreated towards the hills to the north and Baron Jassa Singh and his brothers left him and went to Amritsar, where they joined the forces of Nand Singh . The younger brother of Sardar Jassa Singh was at this time killed in action with the Afghans near Majitha. After the terrible blow dealt to the Sikhs by Abdali, in the Battle of Ghallughara('Holocaust'), in which 17,000 Sikhs fell, the three brothers, Jassa Singh, Mali Singh and Tara Singh, with Jai Singh Kanhaiya (Leader of the Kanhaiya Misl), were reduced to the necessity of hiding in jungles and subsisting on whatever chance threw in their way. They had, however, the temerity to visit Amritsar to bathe in the sacred tank, and pillaged the suburbs of the city. When attacked by the Shah's troops they fired off their matchlocks and fled to the jungles. After the departure of Ahmad Shah, Jassa Singh with his brothers Mali Singh and Tara Singh, and Jai Singh Kanhaiya emerged from their jungle retreat, and collecting their followers ravaged the country far and wide, building forts and establishing military outposts. When Khawaja Obed, the Governor of Lahore, attacked the Sikh fort at Gujranwala, he was opposed by the united forces of the Ramgarhias and Kanhaiyas and the guns, ammunition and treasure left by the Governor were equally divided by the Barons of the two Misls.

Victory and continued occupation of Lahore

The Afghan prince and his guardian, seeing that all their attempts to disperse the Sikhs had failed, and that the number of the insurgents was daily increasing by thousands, and realising that the forces at their own disposal, however well armed and disciplined, were not strong enough to stand before them, considered it prudent to evacuate Lahore and retire towards the Chenab. They retreated in the night, unknown even to their own Hindustani troops, whom they distrusted, and in such haste that the royal family fell into the hands of the enemy, though they were subsequently released. This took place about the middle of 1758. The triumphant Sikhs occupied Lahore under their celebrated leader, Baron Jassa Singh Ramgarhia

Social Groups

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