Maharaja Ranjit Singh: Lord of the Five Rivers

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Oxford University Press, 2002 - History - 183 pages
This book examines the achievements of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, ruler of the last great Indian state which successfully resisted British expansionism until 1849. The main emphasis is on the dynamism and energy of the Maharaja and the Punjabi people in establishing a state in the Land of the Five Rivers. Ranjit Singh's empire ultimately came to include Kashmir, Ladakh, and Peshawar, extending as far west as the Khyber Pass. Ranjit Singh respected the ethnic and religious diversity of the people of the Punjab and successfully forged a political, social, and cultural synthesis among them. He also introduced innovative administrative measures in the political, economic, and cultural spheres of his kingdom. His secular policy was matched by his modernising drive, seen most spectacularly in the military field where innovative measures were introduced with the help of French and Italian military officers who had served under Napoleon. Among the most serious military challenges which the British encountered in their century-long conquest of India (1757-1849) occurred on the battlefields of Ferozeshah and Chillianwala. In addition to the political, military and economic aspects of Ranjit Singh's administration, the book also throws light on some of the little-known yet fascinating cultural achievements of his rule. These include the Imam Bakhsh Lahori school of painting, the discovery of Gandhara art, and the exploration of the Himalayas, which are presented here for the first time.
This volume elaborates on the catalogue of the exhibition Life and Times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh organised by the Government of Punjab at the Rambagh Place, Amritsar, Punjab to celebrate and commemorate the bicentenary of the coronation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (16 November 1801-2001). It is lavishly illustrated with 216 colour illustrations and six maps.

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the book presents a fascinating view of the cosmopolitan culture prevailing during one of the greatest ever Punjab kingdom of the great emperor Ranjit Singh which is a must read for the youth of today. I have also read sikh history by late Khushwant Singh which is a very elaborate and authentic version of the times when there was a flux like atmosphere prevailing when the most distinguished generals of the maharaja happened to be gurkhas and muslims notwithstanding the warrior hindu generals including when nobody knew for certain who was going to collude with whom and against whom. It is quite fascinating to read the vastness of the empire right up to khyber pass Afghanistan and students of history and administrators are in dire need of knowing the delicacies of the administration and social milieu then prevailing in India particularly the north and the earnestness of the emperor for creating a unified region strong enough to give a befitting front to the all powerful and mighty british empire then ready to engulf any resistance movements.  

Contents

Contents
7
Amritsar Lahore Other Punjab towns 94105
95
Chapter 8
107
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