Giani Parduman Singh

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Parduman Singh Giani, Bhai (d. 1877), principal Granthi or priest and manager of Sri Darbar Sahib at Amritsar, was the eldest of the four sons of Bhai Gurmukh Singh Giani (d. 1843), a man of learning and an influential courtier in Sikh times. He was the grandson of the celebrated scholar, Bhai Sant Singh Giani, who had himself been the custodian of Sri Darbar Sahib. Besides his inclination to letters which he had inherited, Parduman Singh started taking interest in princely pastimes such as playing chess and dice. He was barely 13 when he joined service under the Sikh sovereign. The family fell a prey to courtly intrigue after the death in 1843 of Maharaja Sher Singh.

Hira Singh Dogra, who had gained power during the reign of the minor Maharaja Duleep Singh, had Bhai Gurmukh Singh seized and later assassinated, along with his two brothers. Parduman Singh and his surviving brother Arjan Singh were taken into custody, placed in chains and treated with the greatest severity. Both eventually managed to escape to Ludhiana where they sought asylum with the British. Hira Singh was killed in December 1844 and Sardar Jawahar Singh, regent to the young Maharaja Duleep Singh reinstated Parduman Singh Giani as the manager of Sri Darbar Sahib and his estates. A portion of the jagir amounting to 5,488 rupees and the family house, Burj Gianiari, at Amritsar, were also restored to him. Bhai Parduman Singh was especially entrusted with the development and beautification of the Harimandar Sahib and its surroundings.

After the annexation of the Punjab in 1849, the British government appointed him superintendent of Sri Darbar Sahib and jagirs worth 4,000 rupees per annum released in perpetuity for the maintenance of the shrines. He accompanied Sardar Lahina Singh Majithia to Varanasi in 1853, but returned to Amritsar after the latter`s death the following year. He was a member of the committee thai drew up Dastur ul`Amal, i.e. administrative rules, for the Darbar Sahib in 1859. He was also a member of the Board of Honorary Magistrates of Amritsar.

Bhai Parduman Singh died at Amritsar on 20 November 1877.


  • 1. Griffin, Lepel and C.F. Massy, Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab. LAHORE, 1909
  • 2. Madanjit Kaur, The Golden Temple, Past and Present. Amritsar, 1983
  • 3. Fauja Singh, The City of Amritsar. Delhi, 1978
  • 4. Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Sri Amritsar. Amritsar, 1977
  • 5. Kerr, lanJ., "The British and the Administration of the Golden Temple in 1859," Panjab Past and Present, vol XII.