Mr. T.S.Randhawa has written the above named book, which contains excellent introduction to the Sikhs and the Sikh Paintings. The paintings are of exceptional quality, which the reader will be able to envisage. I am proud to present some part of this memorable book with the kind permission of Mr. Randhawa, who has dedicated this work to Dr. M.S.Randhawa, the connoisseur of Art and Heritage of India, and also to celebrate the tercentenary of the Khalsa and the new millennium. The canvas of the book is more than what the title of the book suggests. It expands to cover the regions of greater Punjab during Maharaja Ranjit Singh's reign and other Sikh cis-sutlej states and Lords. It is an interesting medley of enchanting images, in diverse mediums and styles used in Punjab during the past three centuries.
|It will be appropriate to start on this memorable and inspiring journey with the blessing of the Gurus, and we start with this beautiful Tanjore painting of the Ten Gurus|
|I find it appropriate to print most of the 'Introduction' of the book by Mr. Randhawa as it will cover a very wide range of subjects pertaining to the painters and paintings. (Kanwal)|
Introduction to "The Sikhs - Images of a Heritage" By T.S.Randhawa
Scholars and whatever little note taken of it has been in the context of portraiture have often derided Sikh painting. H. Goetz summed up what many Critics have said of it: "In its late form Kangra painting was taken over by the Sikhs, at that time upstarts - boisterous, realistic and puritan. There was no room for Rajput romanticism and mystic symbolism. Like the early Mughals they appreciated a realistic portrait, enjoyed a foul zenana jest or could use a few religious pictures where Hindu mythology had intruded into the Sikh cult. Later they began to appreciate the whole range of Kangra themes, like the Hindus living under their rule. But then the Sikh kingdom was already disintegrating and Indian painting everywhere declining fast."
In view of the role of Sikhs in history and circumstances these have been harsh views. Sikhism is a comparatively young religion and after Guru Gobind Singh the holy book, the Granth Sahib, became the primary object of worship, limiting the role of religious imagery, which in any case was not for worship but symbolic. Secondly, Sikhism is a very open religion and even the holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, is full of literature from other religions and languages. The subjects to be painted, therefore, were diluted by the Hindu pantheon, and many paintings and murals of the Sikhs feature Hindu themes, gods and goddesses. The painters at Sikh Courts even executed beautiful paintings on Gita Govinda and Bhagwat Puran subjects. Behind all this (in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth Centuries) was the background of Constant turmoil and war due to which they could hardly be expected to indulge in such luxuries in the same degree as done in the hills, and earlier in the stable Mughal order. During periods of strong rule and comparative peace, like that of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, artistic activities were encouraged and flourished. Finally, traditional miniature painting in Punjab also lost out in time due to the advent of British painters and engravers and, finally, to photography.
|Sher-e-Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh|
|Illustrations from Maharaja Ranjit Singh's Military Manual, prepared in Persian by his European Officers - seated opposite the Maharaja, General Allard & General Ventura.|
|The painted images of the Sikhs fall into three types - miniatures, ivories and murals. Miniature painting was the exclusive preserve of the royal families and though courtiers and nobles were shown with Maharaja Ranjit Singh and later on his sons, their paintings are lesser in number and they were often relegated to the smaller ivory paintings. Naturally, the best painters also, like Imam Bakhsh of Lahore, preferred to paint for royal patrons where the monetary returns and fame were more. It was in murals and frescoes that the other Sections of society could indulge in freely, on the walls of their haveli and their local gurudwara, temple, akhara or dharamshala, though the range was still limited. It is unfortunate that we do not have substantial glimpses of the general society in those times but that is true of all miniature paintings, whether Mughal, Rajasthani or Kangra. There is tremendous vitality in the people of Punjab and its culture, and during the days of the Lahore court the richness of its crafts must have been considerable, but hardly any such images exist. Credit goes to later painters like Kehar Singh and Kapoor Singh who left some record of every day life in the late nineteenth and early twentieth Centuries, of the people, crafts persons and trades.|
|Artist Kapoor Singh - (courtesy Srivastav)|
|Court Artist Kapur Singh (courtesy Srivastav)|
|The two broad themes of Sikh painting were religious and court portraiture. Stylized paintings of the Sikh Gurus were being painted in Guler and other hill areas even before the advent of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Also popular were janamsakhi series based on the life of Guru Nanak. A typical janamsakhi would consist of a number of folios with paintings of Guru Nanak along with narrative. The paintings would be of notable episodes in his life and some were indeed well rendered. Even though the art of miniature painting in Punjab was soon to wane, some brilliant works were done. The paintings done at Maharaja Ranjit Singh's court at Lahore and the paintings of the Sikh Gurus done at the Patiala court, around the middle of the nineteenth century, were as marvelous as the best of other miniature paintings.|
|The ten Gurus, with Bala & Mardana and Baba Budha|
|For other Guru Paintings see appropriate sections under 'Gurus'|
Sikh religion is unique to have teachings and examples on extremes of human conduct, that of piety and forbearance preached by Guru Nanak and the call to arms of Guru Gobind Singh The Sikn Gurus in between also occupy special positions for their contributions to the Sikh religion, their acts of resistance and martyrdom in the face of oppression from the Mughals and the process of moulding the Sikh identity. Initially when Guru Nanak founded the religion the identity of Sikhs was not too conspicuous as Sikhism welcomed people of all religions, castes and classes. Only over the years, under the later Gurus, Sikh identity crystallized, culminating with the forming of the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh in April 1699. In the painted images, therefore, the largest numbers are those of the founder Guru Nanak and of Guru Gobind Singh. Individual portraits of other Gurus are also there as well as those on specific themes like the compilation of the Guru Granth Sahib, the establishment of the Golden Temple, depiction of sacrifices and acts of martyrdom by the Gurus. Guru Nanak is invariably shown with his companions Bala and Mardana in lively scenes from the janamsakhi series, and sometimes even with Guru Gobind Singh, apart from other paintings depicting all the ten Gurus together. The paintings of the Sikh Gurus were never contemporary to their lives and were on the basis of historical facts and legends. Guru Gobind Singh was the ideal of the Sikh painters and has been lovingly depicted in the various series. He was a warrior saint and his entire family was martyred, including his four sons. He was also a man of letters and among other treatises wrote the Dasam Granth. These qualities and his turbulent life and struggle made him the most important icon for the painters. In the paintings Guru Gobind Singh is always shown as a gentle warrior, baptizing the Sikhs or with his 'beloved five', the panj pyare. His courage as well as literary skills come out very clearly in his famous Zafarnama to the evil emperor Aurangzeb.
In court painting there appeared to be two distinct groups of paintings - those done in the Lahore court during (and just after) Maharaja Ranjit Singh's time and others painted in the remaining Sikh States. The subjects of Ranjit Singh, his family and courtiers dominated those of the Lahore court, while in the other Sikh States their rulers were the main subjects. The linking of painters with the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh occurred with his conquest of the hill states, where the art of miniature painting had reached its zenith under Maharaja Sansar Chand. In 1809 Sansar Chand was attacked by the Gurkhas and he asked for Maharaja Ranjit Singh's assistance, who liberated him from them but made him his tributary. It was fortunate that the Governor he appointed at Kangra was the genial Sardar Desa Singh Majithia who built up a good rapport with the local population and facilitated the crossing over of painters from the courts of the hill Rajas to that of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. In any case, around that time, with the loss of independence of their hill Rajas the painters too would have been looking for greener pastures. Describing the Governor, Barnes writes, "Sirdar Lehna Singh enjoyed a good reputation in the hills; he was a mild and lenient Governor, his periodical visits were not made the pretense for oppressing and plundering the people; he maintained a friendly and generous intercourse with the deposed Hill Chiefs and contributed, by his conciliatory manners, to alleviate their fallen position. At the same time, he is held in favourable recollection by the peasantry. His assessments were moderate for a native system and, although he did not possess that force of character to keep his agents under proper control, yet he never oppressed himself, nor willingly countenanced oppression in others." "He was also," according to Griffin, "known as Hasmuddaula, the Sword of the State and was a man of considerable ability. He was a skillful mechanist and an original inventor. He much improved the Sikh ordnance. Among other things, he invented a clock, which showed the hour, the day of the month and the changes of the moon. He was fond of astronomy and mathematics, and was master of several languages. As an administrator, he was very popular. He never oppressed the poor, his assessments were moderate and his decisions essentially just. As a statesman, he may be said to have been almost the only honest man in Lahore."
|Sardar Desa Singh Majithia|
|Desa Singh Majithia enjoying with a Guler lady.|
|After Kangra in 1809, Guler was subjugated in 1813, followed by Jasrots and Jammu. The links of the Sikhs with the hill people continued to become stronger and Sardar Desa Singh Majithis also married a hill woman. In 1828, Maharaja Ranjit Singh did not appreciate Anirudh Chand refusing Dhian Singh's proposal of the marriage of his son Hira Singh with Anirudh Chand's Sister, especially since Hira Singh was his great favourite. He himself led a force to Kangra in 1828 but by the time he reached there Anirudh Chand had fled for Hardwar where he founded the kingdom of Tehri Garhwal, and Kangra came totally under the Sikhs without firing a single shot. There is not much evidence of his court painters following Anirudh Chand and he took with him his best folios, including the famous Gita Govinds series. Hira Singh ultimately married the daughter of Fateb Chand, uncle of Anirudh Chand. In the process Maharaja Ranjit Singh also married two daughters of Sansar Chand and Nokhu, his Gaddan Rani. The links of the Sikh kingdom with Kangra and its court painters could not have been more complete. Moreover, in 1830 he appointed Raja Sher Singh as Governor General of the Kangra hills, which was a good choice as Sher Singh was as affable as Desa Singh Majithia, and in 1832 it was Lehna Singh Majithia, also a good soul. When Sher Singh was appointed Governor General of Kangra he was only 23 years old, youthful, handsome and energetic yet gentle. He was an immediate success with the local painters and there is a lovely painting of him being waited upon by a Kangra girl after a bath, with his hair open. Sher Singh was to later become a great favourite of the European artists also. In 1833 Ladakh was added to the Sikh kingdom.|
|S. Lehna Singh|
|Raja Dhian Singh|
|Raja Hira Singh|
|Maharaja Sher Singh after a bath|
|Raja Hira Singh son of Dhian Singh- a favourite of Maharaja Ranjit Singh|
|Rani Gaddan, one of the Queens of Maharaja Ranjit Singh|
|The style of Kangra painting as applied to the Sikh courts and subjects did undergo certain modifications and modern accouterments made their appearances, particularly in the forms of chairs and umbrellas. Two paintings of Radha and Krishna are published in this book from the later Sikh period, in which they are alternately sitting on a chair and a sofa.|
|Guru Arjan dictating from the Adi Granth, while sitting on the chair.|
|Even the frontispiece of the Guru Granth Sahib illustrated in this book (circa 1850, Kashmir) shows a painting in which Guru Arjan is dictating the text sitting on a chair. Also of significance was the fact that during this period the painters gradually switched over from mineral and natural colours to artificial colours with obvious effect. Surprisingly, females were hardly painted in Sikh miniature paintings and murals, apart from derivatives from the Kangra hills legacy. Only Maharani Jindan, the prima donna in the drama, which unfolded towards the end of the Sikh kingdom, was painted and sketched. Before joining Ranjit's boudoir she was the daughter of Ranjit's dog keeper, Manna.|
|Lord Krishna sitting on the chair braids the hair of Radha|
|No traces are there of other prominent Sikh ladies having been painted, though there were quite a few - starting with Sada Kaur, Ranjit's resolute mother-in-law (see in Sada Kaur section), who used her position in the Kanhaeys misl to help install Ranjit in the first place. Though she later fell out with him when she persisted, successfully, in foisting the claims of her daughter's son, Sher Singh, to the line of succession; Mehtab Kaur, another prominent wife of Ranjit Singh, who is said to have had forty six wives in all; or Chand Kaur, Kharak Singh's wife. Photographs exist of Daleep Singh's wife, Maharani Bamba Daleep Singh, who was half English and half Abyssinian. (see in Maharaj Dalip Singh section)|
The last famous lady in the line was Princess Bamba Daleep Singh, later Mrs. Bamba Sutherland (as often written - 'she married a certain Col. Sutherland'). Much prior to that, most of the wives of the Sikh gurus were exceptional personalities, but none were painted. Among them were Bebe Nanaki (Guru Nanak's elder Sister) and Mata Sulakhani (Guru Nanak's wife), Mata Khiwi (Guru Angad's wife) who started the tradition of the langar, free kitchen, Bibi Bhani who was Guru Amardas's daughter, wife of Guru Ramdas and the mother of Guru Arjan Dev, Mata Ganga - Guru Arjan Dev's wife, Mata Nanaki - wife of Guru Hargobind and Guru Tegh Bahadur's mother, Guru Har Rai's wife and Guru Harkrishan's mother Mata Kishan Kaur, Mata Gujri - Guru Tegh Bahadur's wife and Guru Gobind Singh's mother, and Guru Gobind Singh's wives Mata Sahib Devan and Mata Sundri.
A shortcoming of paintings of the period of the Lahore court was the relative lack of a variety of subjects. Most of the Lahore court paintings show the seated Maharaja Ranjit Singh with his real and accepted sons Kharak Singh, Sher Singh, the infant Daleep Singh; the favourite boy Hira Singh is also shown with Naunehal Singh; Dhian Singh is respectfully standing at the back and occasionally shown with his brothers Suchet Singh and Gulab Singh of Jammu. Ranjit Singh is sometimes surrounded by his non-Sikh courtiers like his Finance Minister Dina Nath the Brahmin, his Foreign Minister Aziz-ud-din and Jamadar Khushal Singh, who was actually a Brahmin. Also included in some paintings are Europeans who organized his army - the Italians Ventura and Avitabile who were infantry experts, Allard who was his cavalry organizer and another French man, General Court, who trained and equipped his artillery. Also included were his friends from Afghanistan and other European adventurers. (In fact, all these elements of his court are brilliantly portrayed in a later oil painting of August Theodore Schoefft, a Hungarian who visited his court). Coupled with this was the fact that Sikh paintings on subjects other than portraiture were restricted in any case. The miniature paintings, thus, on surface appear to be very limited in diversity but to appreciate them one has to understand the historical events and the intrigues of the court - and then a great drama unfolds, which finally ended when the British defeated Maharaja Ranjit Singh's successors and disbanded the court of Lahore in 1849. In fact, the British went to the extreme of auctioning the treasures of the court to recover their campaign costs, after dispatching the best objects to London - the Koh-i-noor, jewels and the golden throne.
|Maharaja Ranjit Singh with his sons, Maharaja Kharak Singh, Sher Singh & Dalip Singh. Raja Dhian Singh. Gulab Singh & Suchet Singh are alos seen standing behind|
|Raja Dina Nath||Raja Khushal Singh|
|Information regarding this period is available from a number of sources - the camp chronicle of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, 'Umdat-ut-Tawarikh', British government records and accounts of European travellers, artists and painters. The Umdat-ut-Tawarikn was a Sort of daily diary full of hyperbole and praises to Maharaja Ranjit Singh, though full of interesting facts. The British government records appear to be fairly accurate on information, but the most absorbing and relevant to this book are the accounts of the other Europeans, even though their superciliousness sometimes comes through. Generally these accounts are frank, appreciative as well as critical and chatty. Thus we have Emily Eden mentioning that Sher Singh was inviting himself too often to her dinners with his son Pratap Singh "with eyes as big as saucers, and emeralds bigger than his eyes", and Allard with his great black and white beard resembled a piebald horse. She found Gulab Singh to be quite "horrid" though his brother Dhian Singh was "uncommonly good looking" and Lal Singh, Rani Jindan's paramour, was sensually built. Vigne easily saw through Dhian Singh's sham display of trying to throw himself in Maharaja Ranjit Singh's funeral pyre (he would have been greatly disappointed if he had not been prevented from doing so). From a cheeky account we learn of how a 'wretched' painting of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was sought to be presented to the Queen along with rich Kashmiri gifts, and that "the chief painter in the Lahore court is certainly not a Raphael." Vivid descriptions of scenes at Maharaja Ranjit Singh's parties are given where liquor and wine flowed freely. Many, like Barr, could not comprehend with their European sensibilities the Indian form and perspective of painting. This brash young lieutenant escorted Col. C.M. Wade on his mission to Afghanistan and, en route, visiting the Lahore court he wrote: "We were admitted through a low archway beneath the throne to a small court, and close to a building which contains the regal entrance to the hall of justice. The exterior of this is covered with paintings in oil of a very extravagant description, and evidently of late construction, as one subject represents the interview of the Maharajah with Lord William Bentinck at Roopur. The parties are supposed by the artist to be assembled in the audience tent, the Sikhs being arranged on one side and the British on the other. The two great potentates occupy the center of the scene, and Lady William, accoutered in white trousers, boots, and gold straps, is seated a few paces behind her husband. An uglier set of vagabonds than the man of daubs has made of our countrymen cannot well be conceived; though the people who accompanied us regarded them as likenesses, and were eager to point out "Macnaghten Sahib", the "Bakhshee Sahib', and others, who have only to see their portraits to be grateful. We were subsequently shown into what may in truth be termed "the Painted Chamber", as it is adorned with pictures of battles in which the two Generals (Allard and Ventura) were engaged, and executed on the chunam walls by native artists. The perspective of these scenes is most ridiculous; and at the siege of Moultan the cannons are turned up on end to enable the gunners to load them, the figures overtop the fortification, and the cavalry seem to be maneuvering in the air; and absurdities of a similar nature are perpetrated throughout them all, and no doubt afford much amusement to their gallant owners, whose policy has led them this far to assimilate their dwellings with those of the native population; for it can hardly be supposed their taste is so far vitiated as to regard these embellishments as ornamental." Barr did not spare even Lord Krishna and his comments are amusing! "Crishna's exploits occasionally partake of the ludicrous and disgusting. In one compartment he is portrayed with a milkmaid shampooing his great toe; in another, he is perched up in a tree, from the branches of which depend various articles of dress he has stolen from some fair damsels who are refreshing themselves in a limpid stream below, and whose heads and hands, clasped in a suplicatory manner, appear above water beseeching him to return their apparel, but to no purpose, as he is only laughing at their distress. In a third, he is dashing out the brains of a man with his club; and in a fourth, tearing out the entrails of a prostrate foe with the most brutal ferocity." It needed the sensitivity of a scholar like E.B. Havell to appreciate the subtleties of Sikh miniature painting. In his book 'Indian Sculpture and Painting (1908)', describing a painting (done during the period of Sikh influence) showing Mian Jai Singh of Guler hearing musicians, he wrote, "Like the pure melody of an old folk-song, it is a true creation of national sentiment, of the poetic impulse which flows spontaneously from the heart of a people inspired by the joy of life and love of beauty. Here we have the 'sunshine of sunshine' given with pure delight with which the lark trills his song of joy in the high heavens on a summer morning. The figures in the picture are by no means attractive types or very deeply studied as to character; but their flowing draperies and the gay colours of the musical instruments, together with the pearly whiteness of the marble and the bright hues of the flowers, serve the purpose of the artist - to express the beauty and gladness of the radiant Indian sunlight." There were also Britishers like Macauliffe, who left his comfortable career in the Indian Civil Service to translate the religious texts of the Sikhs, a job which he did admirably well and ran up a debt doing so. Overall these are interesting accounts which help in giving a perspective to the characters painted in the miniatures as well as the later lithographs and paintings. Once these personalities are understood the images of that period seem to spring to life, and the series become like pages from one big family album of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Even certain nuances at the court of Lahore seem obvious, like Maharaja Ranjit Singh having to periodically restrain Sher Singh from becoming too close to British guests and influences. It was also ironical that the real son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Kharak Singh, was no match compared to his great stature, was an opium addict, and did not receive good mentions by chroniclers. Even in paintings he does not stand out as a personality of significance.|
|Maharaja Gulab Singh-"Horrid!"|
|Kunwer Partap Singh s/o Maharaja Sher Singh. According to Emily Eden.."with eyes as big as saucers and emeralds bigger than his eyes."|
|Prince Kharak Singh & Naunihal Singh in presence of Maharaja Ranjit Singh|
|Raja Suchet Singh|
|Raja Lal Singh, Rani Jinda's paramour.|
|The dazzle of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's court was a great attraction for European artists. The Russian prince and artist Alexis Soltykoff wrote, "This morning, the King gave us a state audience. What a sight! I could scarcely believe my eyes. Everything glittered with precious stones and the brightest colours arranged in harmonious combinations. The green garden was decorated by a huge crowd of Sikhs in yellow, red, rose, white, gold, silver, green, lilac and azure, all armed and strikingly arrayed, some of them being in coats of mail In the midst of this bevy was the King, coming to meet us, a big stoutish man of forty, covered with the most beautiful jewels in the world. On his right arm was the Koh-i-Nur, the finest diamond that exists|
|The dazzle of the Maharaja's 'Lahore Court' captured by artist August Shoefft in this beautiful painting, with Maharaja Sher Singh in the foreground. This painting was in the custody of Princess Bamba Dalip Singh.|
The other day we were invited to pass the evening with the King whose palace is in a fortress at the other end of the city. The King received us in the open, in the midst of his warriors, in the moonlight in a vast courtyard, surrounded by crenellated walls. There were thirty magnificent horses there, covered with precious stones and illuminated by torches and by a kind of Bengal fire which cast a blue light from the tops of the walls. I might mention that the Punjabis are famous for their fireworks. Seen thus the white horses, with their emerald ornaments, seemed like dream figures, while the black ones, with their ruby decorations, looked like specters from the Inferno, in the dim torchlight. The King, with the simple and unaffected air, which distinguishes him, led us along some narrow corridors, and we soon found ourselves in another court, paneled with marble and hung with beautiful carpets. In the middle was a basin full of waterfowl and fine jets of water filled the air like diamond dust. Around it, thousands of illuminated globes of different colours gave faint, soft light like that of dawn. As we advanced towards some splendid tents of shawls and gold brocade in the opposite comer of the court, enormous red curtains were drawn up slowly one after another by means of cords, like curtains of a theatre, by Sikh warriors armed to the teeth, and as these curtains disappeared we were more and more overwhelmed by the splendour of a new hall which was disclosed to view, the walls and ceiling of which were decorated with green, white, and red crystals framed in gold and looking like a pavement of precious stones upon an enormous ladder. Thither we were conducted by the King, and on entering, we saw, spread out to view on brocade covered tables the royal arms; hundreds of swords, daggers, shields, cuirasses and helmets, all very richly decorated Then the girls arrived, some thirty in all, pretty but small and delicate, in splendid costumes with their little noses so loaded with jewels and their foreheads and eyebrows so gilded that one could hardly distinguish their features. Their feet and hands, adorned with rings and mirrors, were very pretty though dark. The transparent veils that covered them were of gold, silver, or bright colours. Their short coats of velvet or other costly materials and their tight trousers of silk were very pleasing to the eye. These charming girls approached the King one by one and gave him one or two rupees. The King, who was in conversation with the ambassador, turned to them with an air of careless good humour. There is so much that is good natured and straightforward about him that, although his figure is awkward, he is charming and one would say that, in spite of his nervous air, he possesses plenty of pluck in danger. It seemed a curious household. The girls approached without any fear, most of them laughing, and looking about them. Then they sat down together on the ground between the tables. Suddenly a plaintive melody was heard, and two of them began a slow dance, while the others sat, looking like butterflies."
The melodrama and nostalgia of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's court did not end with his death but came back in waves during later periods also, especially during Dalip Singh's time, and lingered on right upto the death of the last of his direct family, Princess Bamba Sutherland, in 1957, at Lahore. "Born on 29 September, 1869 in London, Princess Bamba, with her younger brother and sisters, was placed on the death of their mother under the care of their father's Equerry Mr Arthur Oliphant and his wife at Folkstone. She was sent to Oxford for her university education, and later married a Colonel Sutherland. Princess Bamba remained in the United Kingdom for part of her life and finally settled in Lahore, at first in Jail Road and subsequently at 104A, Model Town. A fellow resident recorded her pathetic condition. 'Old "Princess" Sutherland, widow of an English army doctor, and last descendant of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, was heard complaining that she could not get a seat in the lorry (bus), when all Punjab should have been hers! The old lady spent her days dreaming about her ancestral glory.' She died at the age of eighty-eight, on Sunday, 10 March 1957. An item appeared in the newspaper the following day, giving a brief obituary and ending with the belief that 'the arrangements for her burial will be made by the United Kingdom Deputy High Commissioner, Lahore.' In fact her burial was arranged by her faithful secretary, Pir Karim Bakhsh Supra, to whom she bequeathed her property, including the collection of Schoeft's paintings, and some Sikh relics. She was laid to rest in the Gulberg Christian cemetery, two and a half miles across Lahore from the Fort. Neither the British nor the Sikhs were represented at her funeral. The Punjab was left to claim its own (Aijazzudin)."
|In the immediate family of Ranjit Singh first in line to the throne was Kharak Singh who was born in 1802 by Rani Raj Kaur, who succeeded Ranjit Singh in June 1839 and died in November 1840. Ranjit's other descendants were - Sher Singh, born in 1807 by Mehtab Kaur, the most genial of Ranjit Singh's real and accepted sons, who after being the Governor of Kangra was for sometime Governor of Kashmir and Peshawar, became Maharaja on 18 January, 1841 and was murdered in September 1843; Daleep Singh, the doe-eyed son by Rani Jindan, catapulted to the throne when he was six years old but with the Sikhs losing to the British sent to England in 1854, became a Christian from 1853 till 1886, died in Paris in 1893; Naunehal Singh, son of Kharak Singh, born in 1821, died only a day after his father's death on 5th November, along with Udham Singh, son of Maharaja Gulab Singh, when they were returning from Kharak Singh's funeral; Pratap Singh, son of Maharaja Sher Singh, born in 1831, was murdered by the Sandhawalias in September 1843 along with his father, though even in his few years he made a lasting impression on European visitors.The other dramatis personae in the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh were the Faqirs Aziz-ud-din, his Foreign Affairs Minister, and his brother Nur-ud-din, Ranjit Singh's personal physician, who was also given state functions during Daleep Singh's time; the Attariwala family - the father and son Sher Singh and Chattar Singh Attariwala (Sher was Commander in Chief of the Sikh army during the second Anglo-Sikh war of 1848-49); Ajit Singh Sandhawalia who along with Attar and Lehna Singh Sandhawalia mercilessly killed Sher Singh and his son Pratap Singh, only to be killed some days later by Hira Singh, and be cremated with his next victim Dhian Singh; Dhian Singh, who entered Maharaja Ranjit Singh's service as a gadvaia (peon) and rose to become the Chief Minister in Ranjit Singh's court as well as that of Naunehal Singh and Sher Singh; Dina Nath, the Finance Minister, who also signed the first treaty with the British; Dost Mohammed Khan of Kabul who appears in many paintings being feasted by Ranjit Singh; Hira Singh the favourite boy in Maharaja Ranjit Singh's court, who could take great liberties with him and even kept sitting in the Maharaja's presence while his own father Dhian Singh remained standing, eventually becoming Chief Minister to Dalip Singh but killed in 1844 at the age of twenty-eight; Sheikh Imam-ud-din, the Governor of Kashmir who tried to create trouble during Gulab Singh's take over and was exposed; Jawahar Singh, the brother of Rani Jindan who eventually killed Hira Singh and became Chief Minister of Rani Jindan, executed by the Sikhs in 1845; Shankar Nath Joshi, the chief astrologer to Maharaja Ranjit Siogh, who was from Travancore and returned there when the bloodbaths started at Lahore; Jamadar Khushal Singh, who was actually a Brahmin but became a Sikh later and remained a close advisor to Maharaja Ranjit Singh in spite of Dhian Singh's intrigues; Lal Singh, a Brahmin who was Rani Jindan's paramour, who escaped death but was exiled to Benaras; Akali Phoola Singh, a mercurial character, a rebel and an outlaw; Suchet Singh, the younger brother of Dhian Singh, who became chief of the eastern Jammu hills, but later fell out with his own nephew Hira Singh and got killed in March 1844.|
|Princess Bamba Dalip Singh|
|Painting on ivory of Maharaja Sher Singh|
|Maharaja Kharak Singh|
|Maharaja Dalip Singh with Ajit Singh & Lehna Singh Sandhawalia.|
|S.Jawaher Singh brother of Maharani Jindan|
|Maharaja Sher Singh|
|Akali Phoola Singh|
|In the period after the death of Maharaja Ranjit the chief personality who came outmost profitably was Gulab Singh of Jammu Sitting quietly in the comers of paintings, he always played his cards right at crucial points of history. He later bargained with the British for Kashmir, which he obtained after paying with money obtained from his former ruler Ranjit Singh's treasury. On the death of Naunehal Singh he and his brother Dhian Singh had bargained hard with Sher Singh and Naunehal's mother. In the process Sher Singh got the Lahore throne and the Koh-i-nur diamond, Dhian became chief minister for life, and Gulab Singh struck a fortune and rode away considerably richer. "Sixteen carts were filled with rupees and other silver coins, while 500 horsemen were each entrusted with a bag of gold mohurs, and his orderlies were also entrusted with jewelry and other valuable articles. The costly pashminas, and rich wardrobes, and the best horses in Ranjit Singh's stables, were all purloined by Gulab Singh on the occasion of his evacuating Lahore, an event which took place on the night following the cessation of hostilities (Latif)." According to Smyth, "Gulab Singh exercised the most ruthless barbarities, not in the heat of conflict or in the flush of victory only, nor in the rage of an offended sovereign against rebellious subjects; he deliberately committed the most horrible atrocities for the purpose of investing his name with a terror that should keep down all thoughts of resistance to his cruel sway With all this he was courteous and polite in his demeanour, and exhibited a suavity of manner and language that contrasted fearfully with the real disposition to which it formed an artfully designed but still transparent covering. He would be all things to all men, and displayed a readiness to adapt himself to the circumstances even of the humblest of his subjects that would have won all hearts, had not the tiger-nature that crouched beneath this fair-seeming exterior rendered him an object of distrust and terror."|
|There were also many interesting foreigners in Maharaja Ranjit Singh's court. Dr. Martin Honigberger was from Transylvania and came to India in 1829 as a doctor in the Sikh Army. Maharaja Ranjit Singh initially did not give him full respect but when he cured him from a serious illness in 1839 he was extremely pleased with him and gave him shawls and gold bracelets. He was also made a part of the drama after Naunehal Singh's death when Raja Dhian Singh delayed matters, awaiting the arrival of Raja Sher Singh. Honigberger wrote,|
|Raja Gulab Singh with Jawahar Singh|
|"The prince was on his bed, his head most awfully crushed, and his state was such that no hope of his recovery existed. With that conviction I left the tent, and whispered to the minister, in so low a tone that no one else could here it, "Medical art can do nothing to relieve the unfortunate prince"; upon which, the minister requested me to wait there while he re-entered the tent, and, after a short stay therein, he came out, addressing me loud enough to be heard by all the assembly, who listened attentively, asking "whether they might give some soup to the Koonwar Sahib (royal prince), he wishing to have some". Whereupon I answered. "Of course; he is in need only of parsley" - a proverb applied to those dangerously ill, and not expected to live." Honigberger was later dismissed during Hira Singh's time but re-appointed by Jawahar Singh. After the collapse of Ranjit Singh's kingdom the British pensioned him.|
|Kanwar Naunihal Singh (right)|
|Maharaja Gulab Singh on elephant|
Francis Henri Mouton joined Ranjit Singh's cavalry in 1838 and returned to France after fighting for the Sikhs at Firozshah and Sobraon. De Ia Roche, who joined Ranjit Singh in 1838, was a cavalry commander and also performed some other functions. l.F. Allard was a senior officer under Napoleon Bonaparte and along with Ventura reached Lahore in March 1822, and Ranjit Singh was quick to give these experienced officers employment. Allard looked after the cavalry and lancers, as well as training recruits for Ranjit Singh's army. He returned to France in 1834 and died in 1839 on a visit to Lahore. Before that he had been awarded the Legion of Honour by France and the Bright Star of the Punjab by Ranjit Singh. He had married a Chamba girl who settled down in France. J.B. Ventura was an Italian by birth and experienced army duty in the Battle of Waterloo. Coming to India he joined Ranjit Singh in 1822. After Ranjit Singh's death in 1839 he returned to France leaving behind his wife and fifty female slaves. P.B. Avitabile was an Italian who came to India via Persia in 1827. In addition to army duties he also was given civilian charges. He was discharged from army duty in 1843 and as Aijazuddin writes, "Avitabile retired to Agerola near Naples, his birthplace, and was soon married to a young niece by his scheming relatives, keen on sharing his spoils. Before long, however, the bride and her lawyer paramour were able to accomplish a feat which the fierce Kurds in Persia, the Sikhs in Wazirabad, and the Peshawari Pathans had all admitted was impossible. The ageing General was disposed of silently, it was rumoured, from the combined effects of a poisoned meal and asphyxiation in a gas-filled room. He died in March 1850, aged fifty nine." Foulkes joined Ranjit Singh's army in 1836 and died in service at Mandi in 1841. De Ia Font entered Ranjit Singh's service rather late in 1839 and served under General Ventura. H. Steinbach, a Prussian, entered Ranjit Singh's service in 1838 but did not have a very happy tenure and returned to Europe in 1843. H.C. Van Cortlandt joined Ranjit Singh in 1832, was appointed Governor of Dera Ismail Khan and later on joined the British in India, retiring as the Commissioner of Multan. C.A. Court, after serving for Napoleon came to India via Persia. He had a tough time in the chaos which prevailed after Maharaja Ranjit Singh's death. He married a Kashmiri girl whom he took back to France. Court was a scholarly man and was also interested in numismatics and archaeology. All these officers have been portrayed in August Schoefft's classic painting 'The Court of Lahore' and, in his book, Aijazud din has painstakingly pieced together their itinerant biographies.
The British were intent]y 'watching the events at the Lahore court and their 'intelligence reports' also give information of the prevailing State of affairs. Their report of 7th November 1840 mentioned, "This day at 11 A.M. Koonwur Sher Singh arrived by Dak and entered Lahore. Raja Dhian Singh immediately reported the death of Koonwur Nownihal Singh to his mother Ranee Chund Koonwur, and to Sher Singh. When intelligence reached the Ranee, cries and lamentations ensued, and she with the three widows and slave girls of the Koonwur came to the fort, and looked upon her deceased son. A distressing scene ensued. Two of the widows viz., Bhuddourwallee aged 13, and Kuttochwallee aged 15 years cried out that their husband was dead and who would now support them, and that they would burn themselves with his corpse. The Ministers and Koonwur Sheer Singh, tried to dissuade them, and told them they were too young, but in vain. They smiled and desired the ministers and Sheer Singh to desist from such persuasions. The Ministers at last consented. Adorned in their splendid dresses of all colours, while the Ranees themselves looked like beautiful fairies the Koonwur's corpse was carried to the Huzzuree garden near his grand-father's tomb, attended by the two suttees, his mother, and the third widow, daughter of Sham Singh of Attaree, and a concourse of all the servants and Chiefs. It was then placed on the pile, the Bhadour and the Kuttoch Ranees also ascended it, placed the head of the deceased on their knees. The Bhadour Ranee then granted a "Kulghee" or head jewel to the Koonwur Sheer Singh, and both prayed to God for the continuance of the Khalsa Government till the end of the world, and for the happiness of its subjects. The Kuttoch Ranee then advised Raja Dhian Singh to serve Koonwur Sheer Singh with all his heart and soul, and then by permission of the ministers, fire was set to the pile by the Attaree widow. The flames ascended and reduced the Koonwur and the two fairies to ashes. The Pundit suggested the propriety of the observance of the Maharaja's funeral rites bv Koonwur Sher Singh, and those of the deceased Koonwur, by his widow of Attaree, and this was permitted by the Ministers. After this melancholy ceremony was over, all went to bathe in the Ravee, and Rannee Chund Koonwur, with Sham Singh's daughter, the widows of the late Maharaja Runjeet Singh, the slave girls, all returned to the Summonboorj with shrieks of lamentation. No words can fully and adequately describe the State of the general mourning in the town. Nothing is to be heard but heart-rending cries. Some persons ascribe these calarnities to the violent proceedings of the Koonwur and of Raja Golaub Singh. The one, they say, had ordered a general demolition of Mosques, Thakurdwaras, and Shuheed Gunges, places sacred to the Hindus as well as to the Mahomedans, and the Raja struck off Cheit Singh's head with his own hands, in the presence of Maharaja Khurruck Singh. It is proposed to proclaim the accession of Koonwar Sheer Singh to the Khalsa Guddee, in the city of Lahore this evening." The official British statement, issued by 'T.H. Maddock, Secretary to Government of India' on 18 November 1840 at Fort William, was more laconic. "Official information having been received of the untimely demise on the 6th Instant of the late Prince Nao Nehal Singh, heir to the Lahore sovereignty, from the effects of an accident sustained while issuing from the palace at Lahore for the performance of the funeral obsequies and the ceremonial of accession to the throne of his father the late Maharajah Khurruck Singh, the Governor General of India in Council in testimony of his sympathv in a calamitv so deeply affecting a family with which the British Government has long been bound in close alliance is pleased to direct that the honors due to the memory of a reigning Prince shall be rendered on this m'elancholy occasion. Twenty-two minute guns corresponding with what is believed to have been the number of the years of the late Prince's age will accordingly be fired on this date from the ramparts of Fort William."
|Maharaja Kharak Singh|
|Maharaja Sher Singh|
|Ranjit Singh held his court together through a system of personal loyalties and a strong hand, though he was not a cruel despot. Such was his authority that even during his crippling paralysis towards the end of his life the affairs of the state ran effortlessly in his name. Once he died, in 1839, there was considerable anarchy for a decade till his empire finally collapsed.|
|S. Sham Singh Atariwala|
|There were a series of intrigues, deaths and murders which wiped out the leading figures. Sher Singh, Dhian Singh and Pratap Singh were brutally murdered by Ajit Singh Sandhawalia in September 1843, who in turn was killed by Hira Singh a few days later; Hira Singh was killed in September 1844; Jawahar Singh, the brother of Rani Jindan, was executed by the Sikh army in September 1844; Rani Jindan was exiled by the British in August 1847 and, perhaps, if she had been restrained some years earlier from imposing her intrigues on the Sikh kingdom its history might have been different. Prior to his death Kharak Singh had been deposed by his own son Naunehal Singh in October 1839. With the collapse of the Lahore court in 1849 and the anarchy that had gripped it in its last decade, and its coming under direct British rule, a semblance of tranquillity descended on Punjab till the next upheaval, which was the Mutiny of 1857. Ironically, the sketches made by European artists like Emily Eden and August Schoefft were converted into lithographs and paintings and reached Punjab after the deaths of their subjects. In fact when Schoefft first reached Punjab in 1841 he had already missed out on Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Kharak Singh and Naunehal Singh, who had already passed into history. Emily Eden's 'Portraits of the Princes and People of India' was published in 1844, August Schoefft's' famous painting 'The Court of Lahore' was finished much after 1850. Even Osborne's book 'The Court and Camp of Ranjit Singh' was published after the Maharaja died. Soltykoff's magnificent images were published in 1858. The European artists, therefore, did not have an immediate effect on the preferences of the Lahore court though instances are recorded of their making and presenting some paintings to their subjects during their visits. The last Maharaja, Dalip Singh, was fortunate to have been portrayed in all mediums - miniatures, water colours, oils, photographs, and was even sketched by Queen Victoria herself, whose favourite he was. Comparing his initial miniature paintings with the photographs it appears that the painters' efforts were quite realistic. There was often a caricature effect in the paintings. For example, the painters accentuated Daleep Singh's large, sad, eyes, Hira Singh's wiriness, Sher Singh's grace and vitality, Kharak Singh's weaknesses, the wiliness of the twin-thumbed Dhian Singh and his brother Gulab Singh. Daleep Singh in particular became the icon of nostalgia and Aijazuddin succinctly sums up his predicament. "Dalip Singh's life was not his fault. History condemned him to a role in Punjabi politics that he was neither old enough nor competent enough to turn to his lasting advantage; his fellow Sikhs converted him into a symbolic sceptre of power; his mother alternately used and abused him; the British professed a fiduciary and paternal responsibility before betraying him; his adopted religion failed his expectations by rendering him in the ultimate analysis unacceptable to his Christian equals; and finally his immature vacillation and re-conversion destroyed the remnants of a frayed self-respect."|
|Sketch of Maharaja Dalip Singh by Queen Victoria|
|Maharaja Dalip Singh|
|The paintings of that era, read with accounts of those times give a fairly accurate picture of their subjects. Moorcroft, a veterinarian, was one of the earliest travellers to Maharaja Ranjit Singh's court, in 1820. Of the time spent by him with the Maharaja he wrote: "On the evening of the 8th of May the Hakim came to conduct me to the presence of Ranjit Singh. Having passed through one of the western gates of the fort, we crossed the garden, in which stands the Jama Masjid, or principal mosque. Thence a long flight of brick steps led to a second gateway and court, crossing which we came to a third gate that opened into a more spacious enclosure, in which stood a number of horses caparisoned. From this we entered a large court flagged with marble, and on the side opposite the entrance was an open apartment, in which the Maharaja was seated. Upon my approach he partly rose from his chair, which was of gold, and pointed to another, of silver, opposite to him, for me to sit down upon. His courtiers sat upon the carpet on either side, forming a lane from his chair to mine. The gateways were well guarded, but here were only two matchlock men, sitting one on either hand of the Raja. After the ordinary inquiries I expressed my thanks to him for the attentions I had received Since entering his territories, and requested leave to offer the few rifles I had brought for his acceptance. These were a pair of double-barrelled, and a pair of three barreled pistols, a sword, and the model of a cannon, with carriage and all appurtenances complete. This miniature piece of ordnance was made by Mr. Donnithorne, the mint master at Farokhabad, and was of singularly beautiful execution. To these I added some white chown tails and bags of musk from the mountains. Ranjit was much pleased with the pistols, and still more with the cannon. Entering upon the main purpose of my travels, that of procuring horses, he ordered some of his to be exhibited and about fifty were passed in review. They had all rich bridles, saddles, and housings, and were of the breeds of Dhani and Ghep, forest districts in the Punjab, the Lakhi, Jangal, Rohtas, Atak, Kabul and Bokhara. One which had cost 1700 rupees at Bokhara was beautifully made except in the legs below the knees and hocks, where he was too slight. For a grey Persian horse the Raja told me he had given 7000 rupees, but it struck me as inferior to most of those exhibited. After the horses had been fully inspected I took my leave. Early on the following morning the Hakim came and took me to Ranjit, who wished me to see his horses exercised. I found him in a neighbouring garden seated on a chair under an awning without any guards, his courtiers sitting round him on carpets. When I was seated, fifty horses, different from those I had before seen, were brought forward. The space on which they were exercised was a garden-walk twelve feet broad. The rider (for only one was employed) mounted each horse in succession, and sometimes walked a few paces; but in general urged him at once into a short and high gallop, in which the fore action was very high, the hind low and quick. This was continued with great rapidity for a few yards, when the horse was suddenly turned on his haunches, and the same movements were repeated, or they were sometimes broken by rapid side movements in most perfect obedience to the action of the body and the hand. Not a single horse neighed, or was restive or vicious in the slightest degree, or was uneasy at mounting, or diverged from the path, although the Raja affirmed that they had not been ridden for some time past On the 10th I was present upon the Raja's invitation at the parade of two regiments which he had formed on the model of the Company's sipahis. The men were Sikhs, Hindustanis, and Gorkhas; the first were in general tall well-looking men; the second were of a mixed appearance; the last generally short but muscular. The Raja beheld them from the top of a low building at the palace, where I joined him. He seemed to take great interest in his regular battalions, but they are not popular amongst his officers. Desa Singh told Izzet Ullah that all Ranjit's conquests had been won by the sword, and he had never known the infantry and artillery of any service. The Raja told me that these regiments had been first trained by a Naik, who had deserted from the Company's service. He was very communicative. After the review he showed me some more of his horses, chiefly from Bokhara; and then consulted me on the State of his health, complaining much that he could not bear such strong potations as he had been used to do formerly; he told me also that he had once sent an account of his ailments to General Ochterlony, that a European surgeon might prescribe for him, and that he had in consequence received some medicines, but had never taken any of them. These were afterwards sent to me, and finding one of them to be elixir of vitriol, I mixed a few drops with water, and drank it in the presence of the Hakim, in order to remove any suspicion that might lurk in a mind so constituted as that of Ranjit appears to be. After I left him I received a message that I was at liberty to visit any part of Lahore, whenever and in what way I pleased, and desiring me to name what breed of horse I preferred, that the Raja might give me one. I returned due thanks for the Raja's kindness, but declined accepting the horse, at least until I should return from Bokhara. During the other days of my stay at Lahore, I had several interviews with the Raja, in all of which he conversed with the apparent absence of all reserve upon a variety of topics. One of his favourite themes was his stud. He told me that most of his horses were presents from his tributaries and zamindars, and that he not infrequently requited the donor of a superior animal with a village or a jaghir; no wonder, therefore, that he is not singular, however, in his passion. Every Sikh in the country keeps a horse and a brood mare, and rears colts for his own riding or for sale. The Raja monopolizes the best; for in the party, which escorted me from Jindiala there was only one good horse. Ranjit proposed to me, through Mir Izzet Ulish, to purchase some horses for him at Bokhara, and I readily assented; but there was some difficulty as to the model and the matter ended by my stating, that if he would be contented with but one, he should select it from the string I hoped to bring down The Raja consulted me also confidentially, regarding his health, which appeared to me to have suffered chiefly from intemperance and excess. On my departure I left a paper of remarks and instructions, which I heard was canvassed by a conclave of native doctors, and was honoured with their concurrence. In all probability it was but little attended to by Ranjit in practice . Ranjit conversed also freely upon his military arrangements, and upon his past exploits. He told me that he lost 1900 men in a few hours, in an attempt to carry the city of Multan by escalade, owing to its having been made whilst he was absent. The gates had been blown open, but strong mounds of earth had been reared behind them. The garrison amounted to 3000 men, the besiegers to 25,000; but the formers were all Pathans, and 'fought with one hand'. In answer to the question I put, how many survived the capture of the fort, he said 500, on which Himmel Sinh, a favourite courtier, guessing the drift of my inquiry, which was to ascertain the truth of the report that they had all been put to death immediately, remarked that not a man was killed after the fort surrendered. Speaking of the wealth of the city the Raja said it was estimated at four crores, on which Himmel Sinh observed that the Sikh officers did not attempt to restrain the soldiers from plunder, on account of the opposition that had been offered, and the loss sustained; and the Raja stated that very little of the booty had come to his share. Neither the Raja nor Himmel Sinh mentioned the severe captivity to which the gallant but unfortunate Nawab Sirafraz Khan is now subject at Lahore. The Nawab Mozaffer Khan was killed in the storm with two of his sons. Sirafraz Khan was a third Son. Although the troops plundered the city, they were compelled to relinquish their booty to the Raja, and the most valuable part came to the public treasury. Early on the morning of the 13th 1 had my audience of leave. The Maharaja was peculiarly communicative and familiar. He told me that when Lord Lake entered the Panjab in pursuit of Holkar, he felt a strong desire to see the European general and his officers. His courtiers endeavored to dissuade him, affirming that the very sight would be unlucky; but he was determined to gratify himself, and for that purpose disguised himself as a common trooper, and accompanied by a party of his soldiers, repaired to the British camp. They went to Mr. Metcalfe's tent, and sent word that some Sikhs had come out of curiosity to see the Sahibs, and begged he would indulge them. He immediately complied with their desire, but soon distinguished Ranjit Sinh amongst his visitors After many assurances of kindness towards me, and of friendship for the Company, he dismissed me with an honorary dress of valuable shawls, and similar distinctions of less value to Mir Izzet Ullah, and his son and brother. I had submitted to Ranjit Sinh a proposal to establish a fixed scale of duties for the admission of British merchandise into his territories, but he postponed the consideration of the arrangement until the return of his principal officers from the campaign in which they were now engaged, as he said he wished first to consult them upon the subject. This, however, I consider as an adjournment sine die. He readily consented to my proceeding through Mundi and Kulu to Ladakh, and in case of my being unable to reach Bokhara from Upper Tibet, I had his authority to pass through Kashmir with two hundred followers. He appointed Miri Mal to attend to me till Kulu, and furnished me with written orders to his officers to afford every facility to my journey In the evening Nur-ad-din, the Governor, came to conduct me through the city. Lahore is surrounded by a brick wall about thirty feet high, which extends for about seven miles, and is continuous with the Fort. The latter, in which the Raja resides, is surrounded by a wall of no great strength, with loop-holes for musketry; a branch of the Ravi washes the foot of its northern face, but it has no moat on either of the remaining sides. The palace within this enclosure, called the Saman Burj, which is of many stories, is entirely faced with a kind of porcelain enamel, on which processions and combats of men and animals are depicted. Many of these are as perfect as when first placed in the wall. Several of the old buildings are in ruins, others are entire, and throw into shades the meaner structures of more recent date. Ranjit Singh has cleared away some of the rubbish, and has repaired or refitted some of the ruined buildings of Jehangir and Shah-jehan; but his alterations have not always been made with good feeling or taste. The great square and buildings of the principal mosque have been converted into a place of exercise for his sipahi infantry, and he has stripped the dome of the mausoleum of Asof Jah, the brother of Nurjehan Begam, of its white marbles, to apply them to the erection of some insignificant apartments in the garden-court of the Mosque. The Diwan Am, or general hall of audience, is a long apartment supported by many pillars. The Diwan Khas, or private audience hall, is a suite of small chambers offering nothing remarkable. Lahore is said to have been twelve kos in circumference, and however this may have been, it is clear, from the ruins of buildings beyond the walls, that it' was once much more extensive than it is at present. Such of it as still remains within the walls is apparently very populous. The streets were crowded to an extent beyond anything I have ever witnessed in an Indian city. The houses were in general of brick, and five Stories high, but many were in a very crazy condition. The Bazaar follows the direction of the city wall, and is not far distant from it. The street is narrow, and this inconvenience is aggravated by platforms in front of the shops, on which the goods are displayed under projecting penthouses of Straw to protect them from the sun and rain. Through the centre of the remaining contracted space runs a deep and dirty drain, the smell from which was very offensive. The population consists of Mohammedans, Hindus, and Sikhs, the former in the greatest number I saw no building of any size or magnificence, except the mosque of the Nawab Wazir Khan. The wall of the city was still under repair, and 3000 men were said to be at work upon it and upon the moat, which the Raja was about to add to the defenses. The place, however, could oppose no effectual resistance to European assailants." Moorcroft went on to the hills and also left an authentic account of the court of Sansar Chand, the greatest patron of Kangra painting.|
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