Maharaja Ranjit Singh ( Punjabi: ਰਣਜੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ, born November 13, 1780 in Gujranwala, † June 27, 1839 ) " Lion of the Punjab " was a member of the Sikh and the first ruler of the united Punjab. His grave is located in Lahore, Pakistan.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh was born the son of Sirdai Maha Singh in Punjab. His father ruled over a territory in the west Punjab to Gujranwala. At this time, the Punjab was divided into different areas with separate rulers. At the age of twelve years, Ranjit went to his father's legacy. After several campaigns, he united the various territories to the realm of Sikh and took on April 12, 1801 ( the Vaishaki - day) the title of Maharaja on. The capital of his kingdom was 1799 Lahore. In 1802 he conquered the holy city of Amritsar. In the following years he waged war against the Pashtuns and drove them from the western Punjab. He captured the province of Multan in southern Punjab and took a 1818 Peshawar. Further conquests were Jammu, Kashmir (1819 ) and the mountain states north of Anandpur, the largest of which was Kangra.
He modernized his army with the help of European mercenaries like the former Napoleonic general Jean -Francois Allard. The result was a relatively powerful empire of the Sikhs, which was not controlled as the only princely state in India by the British. He brought law and order and was known for his tolerance of other religions and ethnicities against famous. So he abolished for example, the " jizya " tax on Hindus and Sikhs. Ranjit Singh died on 27 June 1839 the paralyzed man ( the exact cause of paralysis is not known). His eldest son Kharak Singh went to the site. The state disintegrated rapidly in the sequence. The army and the princes fought for supremacy until the end of the empire in the second Anglo - Sikh War in 1847, when it was annexed by the British. Duleep Singh, the largely incompetent youngest son Ranjit was forced to abdicate. He was the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire.
Ranjit is known as the creator of a united and powerful Punjab and the owner of the Koh-i- Noor diamond. His most beautiful and longest -ending work is the beautification of the Harmandir Sahib, the largest Sikh shrine. Due to the large quantities of marble and gold have been used for this purpose, it is also known as the Golden temple. The title of Sher -e -Punjab ( Lion of the Punjab ) is still today a title of respect for powerful men.