Pic27-048 LAHORE: Jun27- 413 Indian Sikh Yatri arrived at Lahore Railway Station via train from India through Wagah Border as they come to attend 189th death anniversary of Maharaja Singh in provincial capital. ONLINE PHOTO by Sajid Rana

On Tuesday The Gurdwara Punja Sahib in Hassan Abdal welcomed about 482 Indian pilgrims to participate in Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s three—day death anniversary.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh is known as the first ruler of the Sikh empire who came to power in the Indian subcontinent in the early 19th century.

The Sikh pilgrims uttered their appreciation towards the Pakistan Sikh Gurdawa Parbandhak Committee and local administration for facilitating their visit.

Sardar Gurumeet Singh, The leader of the pilgrims said he is very thankful to the Pakistani government for being so welcoming. It feels like home, he said.

Roads were closed before the event as a security measure. The Sikh pilgrims are anticipated to return to India on July 4.

On June 28, a life—sized sculpture of Ranjit Singh was revealed at the Lahore Fort’s historic Mai Jindan Haveli. The Haveli was named after Ranjit Singh’s youngest queen and holds features a permanent exhibition of artifacts belonging to the Maharaja.

The Government took 8 months to finish the eight—foot—tall statue of the king sitting on his preferred horse named Kahar Bahar, a gift from Dost Muhammad Khan, the founder of the Barakzai dynasty.

Little history of Maharaja Ranjit Singh

13 November 1780 – 27 June 1839, Ranjit Singh, was the leader of the Sikh Empire, which reigned the northwest Indian subcontinent in the early half of the 19th century. He survived smallpox in infancy but lost sight in his left eye. He fought his leading battle along his father at age 10. After his father expired, he fought numerous wars to expel the Afghans in his teenage years and was declared as the “Maharaja of Punjab” at age 21. His kingdom grew in the Punjab region under his leadership through 1839.

Earlier to his rise, the Punjab region had many warring misls (confederacies), twelve of which were under Sikh rulers and one Muslim. Maharaja Ranjit Singh successfully absorbed and united the Sikh misls and took over other local empires to create the Sikh Empire. He repeatedly defeated invasions by outside armies, particularly those arriving from Afghanistan, and established friendly relations

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