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Origin of Sikh Misls:
The Sikh Misls were established gradually in accordance with the change in circumstances. After the murder of Banda Bahadur in 1716 A.D. the atrocities began to be committed on the Sikhs. The Mughal rulers of Punjab Abdus Samad Khan, Zakariya Khan and Yahiya Khan committed atrocities on the Sikhs. Fed up of these cruelties, the Sikh took refuge in the hills and the jungles to save their lives. The Sikhs formed small groups( jathas) here. These groups attacked the Mughal armies whenever they got a chance and looted the treasury of Government and other things. In 1734 A.D. Nawab Kapur Singh organised groups Buddha Dal and Taruna Dal with an objective to organize the Sikh power. Every jatha had its own leader, a Nagara and a flag but they ate together.
After the death of Zakriya Khan, the Sikhs organised twenty five jathas in 1745 A.D. Gradually these jathas rose to sixty five. With the increase in atrocities committed on the Sikhs by Mughals and the invasions of Ahmad Shah Abdali, Nawab Kapur Singh realised the need of greater unity amongst the Sikhs. Dal Khalsa was organised on the day of Baisakhi in 1748 A.D. at Amritsar to fulfill this objective. Under the Dal Khalsa twelve jathas were organised. These were called Misls.
Misl is an Arabic word. Its meaning is equal or same. The main feature of Misl was that the jathedar of a misal and his followers did not believe in discrimination. According to Sikh religion, they believed in equal status for all.
Ranjit Singh became the master of Sukarchakya Misl in 1797 A.D. At that time there were eleven other Misls in Punjab. Each Misl ruled in its own area. Earlier they resisted the Afghans unitedly. But when the danger of being attacked by Afghans subsided then they no longer remained united. They all became greedy and selfish. They became busy in extending their own misls. They started fighting with each other. Fortunately at the rise of Ranjit Singh, none of the Misl was strong. The warriors of strong Misls had either died or grown old. At that time, no Misaldar had the courage to resist Ranjit Singh.
The twelve Misls are described below :
Faizalpuria Misl : Faizalpuria Misl was the first misl to be established. Nawab Kapur Singh was the founder of this Misl. First of all, he occupied Faizalpur village near Amritsar. He named it Singhpur. Therefore, this Misl is also called ‘Singhpuria Misl’.
After the Death of Nawab Kapur Singh his nephew Khushal Singh became the leader of Faizalpuria Misl in 1753 A.D. He was brave and worthy chief. He expanded his Misl to Jalandhar, Nurprur, Behrampur and Patti.
After the death of Khushal Singh his son Budh Singh became the chief of the Misl.Unlike his father he was not brave and courageous. Ranjit Singh defeated Khushal Singh and he annexed Faizalpuria Misl to his own empire.
Bhangi Misl : It was situated In the North-West of the Sutlej river. It was the strongest amongst all the Misls situated in that area. Lahore, Amritsar, Gujarat and Sialkot were the important cities of this Misl.
Bhangi Misl did not remain as strong as it was earlier by the time of Ranjit Singh became the Misaldar. At that time Sardar Gulab Singh and Sardar Sahib Singh were the Misaldars of Bhangi Misl. These sardars were incapable end evil doers. They spent their time in drinking and taking narcotics. They did not take interest in the administration of their Misls. Besides this, the ruler of Afghanistan, Shah Jaman also weakened the Bhangi Sardars. The people of that Misl were also fed up with them.
Ahluwalia Misl : This Misl was very powerful during the rule of Jassa Singh Ahluwalia. The cities of Sultanpur Lodhi Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur, Nur Mahal were under its rule. Bhag Singh became the leader of this Misl from 1783 A.D. onwards. Fateh Singh Ahluwalia was the successor of Bhag Singh. Ranjit Singh acted wisely and established friendly relations with him. Ranjit Singh used his power and services for the expansion of his own empire.
Ramgarhiya Misl : Ramgarhiya Misl was one of the famous Misl of Punjab. Jassa Singh was a Ramgarhia. He was the most powerful sardar of this Misl. When Ranjit Singh came to power, Jassa Singh had grown old. After his death, Jodh Singh became his successor in 1803 A.D. He was also a brave warrior and capable leader. Ranjit Singh developed friendly relations with him taking into consideration his powerful status. As long as Jodh Singh was alive Ranjit Singh did not fight with him. Shri Hargobindpur, Kalanaur, Batala, Qadain and Riarki regions were under this Misal.
Sukarchakiya Misl : Charat Singh was the chief of Sukarchakiya Misl. He occupied Gujranwala, Aminabad, Wazaribad, jalalpur and Dadan Khan village. After Charat Singh his son Mahan Singh, became his successor. He expanded his Misal by conquering Rasul Nagar (Ram Nagar) and getting Alipur (Akalgarh). Some Bhangi sardars left Bhangi Misl and accepted the suzerainty of Mahan Singh on being impressed by his conquests. Mahan Singh threw out all the Bhangi chiefs from the regions of Multan, Bahalwalpur, village Bhatiyan and Shahiwal. In 1792, A.D. after the death of Mahan Singh, his son Ranjit Singh became his successor.
Kanhaiya Misl : Jai Singh Kanhaiya was the chief of Kanhaiya Misl. He was a resident of Kanaha village situated in the east 24 Kms. From Lahore. The Misl was named Kanhaiya after the name of that village.
Jai Singh Kanaheya was a brave end courageous warrior. Gurdaspur, Hazipur and Mukerian regions were under this Misl. At the time of Ranjit Singh’s rise, Jai Singh Kanaheya and his son Gurbax Singh had died. During that period Sada Kaur (mother-in-law of Ranjit Singh) was the chief of the Misl. She was a capable and a clever woman. She helped her son-in-law Ranjit Singh in the expansion of his empire.
Phulkian Misl : The chief of Phulkian Misl was Chaudhari Phul (1627- 1689 A.D). This misl ruled over the regions of Patiala, Nabha and Jind. The Misl was named Phulkian after the name of Phul. Baba Aala Singh, Amar Singh, Sahib Singh, Gajpat Singh, Hamir Singh were the rulers of this Misal. At the time of Ranjit Singh’s rise, Sahib Singh at Patiala, Bhag Singh at Jind and Jaswant Singh at Nabha were the chiefs of Phulkian Misl.
Dallewala Misl : Gulab Singh was tie chief of Dallewala Misl. He was the resident of Dallewal village near Dera Baba Nanak. So the Misal was named Dallewalia Misl. Tara Singh Gheba was the famous leader of this Misl.Phillaur,Rahon and Nakodar regions came under this Misl.
Nakai Misl : Hira Singh was the founder of this Misl. Taking advantage of the disturbances in Punjab caused due to Afghan attacks he captured a region called Naka near Lahore. Therefore the Misl was named Nakai.
Karorsinghia Misl : Karora Singh was the founder of this Misl. This misl was named Karorsinghia after his name. Karora Singh was a resident of Panjgarhia village. Therefore, the Misl was also called ‘Panjgarhia Misl’. The famous leader of this Misl was Baghel Singh, the successor of Karora Singh. He extended the area of the Misl by conquering Bhunga, Nawan Shahar, Rurka etc. Many areas between the rivers Markanda and Yamuna were under him. He made Chalaundi (between Karnal and Jagadhari) his capital.
Nishanwalia Misl : Sangat Singh and Mohar Singh were the founders of this Misl. This Misl was named Nishanwalia Misl because they used to carry Nishan Sahib (flag) of the Khalsa. Ambala and Shahbad Markanda regions carne under this Misl.
Shahid Misl : Sudha Singh was the founder of this Misl. He was a mahant of Talwandi Sabo. Baba Deep Singh of this jatha became a martyr while fighting against the enemies. Therefore this Misl was named ‘Shahid Misl’ after him. Karam Singh and Gurbax Singh of this Misl occupied many areas in the east of the Sutlej river. Many people of this Misl were Akali (Nihang). Therefore this Misl was also called ‘Nihang Misal’.
By: Harman Sandhu ProfileResourcesReport error
Organization of Dal Khalsa
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