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The Ramgarhia community is an Indo Aryan ethnic tribe of the Punjab region in South Asia.[1] They are named after Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia who was the leader of the Ramgarhia Misl.[2][3] Some famous Ramgarhia's Include the former President of India Dr Zail Singh,[4] former US Congressmen Dalip Singh Saund[4] and cricketer Harbhajan Singh[5]


History of the Ramgarhia Misl

The founder of the Ramgarhia Misl was Jassa Singh Ramgarhia[3] of Guga village near Amritsar. Jassa Singh Ramgarhia was the grandson of, Giani Hardas Singh Bhambhra , was the resident of Suringh which is situated about nineteen miles east of Khem Karan, in the present district of Amritsar. Hardas Singh was initiated into the Khalsa faith by Guru Gobind Singh Ji himself from whose hands he took Amrit/pahul (the Sikh baptismal oath) and fought some battles at Guru Ji’s side. After the death of the Guru, he joined the forces of Banda Bahadur and took part in almost every religious battle under his flag against the Mughal Empire. In 1716 AD, he died in a skirmish. After him his son, Sardar Bhagwan Singh became the head of the family, and with 200 followers entered the Imperial Mughal forces under the Governor of Lahore. Owing to his ability he rose to be a distinguished officer. He died fighting for his master in 1739 at Lahore, when Nadir Shah invaded India and the Governor resisted him ineffectually. He had five sons. Baron Jassa Singh, the eldest, now became the head of the family. He was appointed a Risaldar by the Governor of Lahore, and the following villages were given to him : Jagir Valla, Verka, Sultanwind, Tung and Chabba (all of these are now in the Amritsar district). On the death of Khan Bahadur, the Governor of Lahore, in 1746, Baron Jassa Singh, together with his followers, joined his Sikh brethren at Amritsar.

Jassa Singh Ramgarhia's family genealogy

Hardas Singh
(d. 1716)
Bhagwan Singh
(d. 1739)
Jassa Singh
Jai Singh Tara Singh Mali Singh Khushal Singh
Jodh Singh
Vir Singh Diwan Singh Mehtab Singh
Mangal Singh

Katra Ramgarhian

The Ramgarhian Katra (Bazar) was the natural adjunct of the Ramgarhia fort, which has been stated, was the chief seat of the family, and the headquarters of the Ramgarhia army, numbering thousands. The Bazaar arose on the space between the Ramgarh fort and the Bunga in the environs of the temple, and named Ramgarhian Katra.[6] In the same way the Ahluwalia built a Bazaar between their fort and the temple and named it Katra Ahluwalian. The Ramgarhian Katra is the greatest of all the Katras and covers over an area extending over 3 gates of the city. This is one more proof of the fact that the Ramgarhia forces appointed to guard the temple were more numerous than those of any other Misl. This Katra constitutes one fourth of the city. It is till known by that old name and the signboards with the inscription (Katra Ramgarhian) are put up by the Municipality on its boundaries. In this way the memory of this great house is kept to this day.

The Ghallughara

When Prince Timur, son of Ahmad Shah Abdali, marched against Adina Beg, the latter retreated towards the hills to the north and Baron Jassa Singh and his brothers left him and went to Amritsar, where they joined the forces of Nand Singh Sanghania. The younger brother of Sardar Jassa Singh was at this time killed in action with the Afghans near Majitha. After the terrible blow dealt to the Sikhs by Abdali, in the Battle of Ghallughara('Holocaust'), in which 17,000 Sikhs fell, the three brothers, Jassa Singh, Mali Singh and Tara Singh, with Jai Singh Kanhaiya (Leader of the Kanhaiya Misl), were reduced to the necessity of hiding in jungles and subsisting on whatever chance threw in their way. They had, however, the temerity to visit Amritsar to bathe in the sacred tank, and pillaged the suburbs of the city. When attacked by the Shah's troops they fired off their matchlocks and fled to the jungles. After the departure of Ahmad Shah, Jassa Singh with his brothers Mali Singh and Tara Singh, and Jai Singh Kanhaiya emerged from their jungle retreat, and collecting their followers ravaged the country far and wide, building forts and establishing military outposts. When Khawaja Obed, the Governor of Lahore, attacked the Sikh fort at Gujranwala, he was opposed by the united forces of the Ramgarhias and Kanhaiyas and the guns, ammunition and treasure left by the Governor were equally divided by the Barons of the two Misls.

Victory and continued occupation of Lahore

The Afghan prince and his guardian, seeing that all their attempts to disperse the Sikhs had failed, and that the number of the insurgents was daily increasing by thousands, and realising that the forces at their own disposal, however well armed and disciplined, were not strong enough to stand before them, considered it prudent to evacuate Lahore and retire towards the Chenab. They retreated in the night, unknown even to their own Hindustani troops, whom they distrusted, and in such haste that the royal family fell into the hands of the enemy, though they were subsequently released. This took place about the middle of 1758. The triumphant Sikhs occupied Lahore under their celebrated leader, Baron Jassa Singh Ramgarhia

Eminent Ramgharias

Political, religious and other figures

  • Jodh Singh, son and successor of Jassa Singh Ramgarhia
  • Bhai Lalo (Ghataurey) - Follower of Guru Nanak
  • Ram Singh, a social reformer
  • Mali Singh - Sikh Warrior and Misl General
  • Tara Singh - Sikh Warrior, Misl General and younger brother of Jassa Singh Ramgarhia
  • Mangal Singh - Soldier and later manager of the Golden Temple of Amritsar
  • Giani Zail Singh - Chief Minister of Punjab and First Sikh President of India.
  • Dalip Singh Saund - First Sikh United States Congressman.
  • Hira Singh Gabria[7] - Jail & Tourism Minister
  • Jim Virdee - Professor of Physics at Imperial College London
  • Judge Mota Singh Matharu[8] - First Indian Judge In the UK
  • Harpal Matharu[9] - CEO Global Grange
  • Chanan Singh Wilkhu[10] - Industrialist
  • Ajay Kalsi[11] - Industrialist
  • Gurmukh Singh Ryait[12] - Industrialist

Eminent writers

  • Harbhajan Singh, poet, critic, cultural commentator, and translator
  • Ajmer Rode - Canada-based eminent poet, dramaturg and translator
  • Surjit Paatar - Amongst the best known Punjabi poets today
  • Madan Gopal Singh, composer, actor, screenwriter, film theorist, lyricist and editor
  • Surinder Kaur- Punjabi Writer
  • Gurcharan singh Jaito-Punjabi writer
  • Gurdial singh-Novelist,Story writer
  • Navtej bharti-Poet
  • jandhu litra wala punjabi songs writer


Film stars,television and media people

  • Amrita Kaur Hunjan- Miss India Worldwide 2005
  • Ajay Devgan - Bollywood superstar and husband of Kajol [13]
  • Veeru Devgan - Ace fight master in Bollywood and father of Ajay Devgan
  • Ameet Channa - British Film Actor & BBC Asian Network presenter.
  • Kulvinder Ghir - Actor/Comedian Goodness Gracious Me.
  • Suzanne Virdee - News Presenter.
  • Ravinder Bhogal - UK TV Chef and presenter
  • Puneet Sira - director, producer, writer of films such as proud to be an Indian
  • kawaljeet punjabi actor in harbhajan mann movies


  • Jay Sean-Kamaljit Singh Jhooti- World famous singer
  • Madan Gopal Singh - Best known for his renditions of Sufi texts
  • Bally Sagoo - World Famous Music Producer and first Sikh Artist to cross over to UK Charts.
  • Surinder Shinda (Hunjan) - Punjabi Folk Singer and Icon.
  • Jagjit Singh (Dhiman) - Ghazal singer, composer, music director.
  • Talvin Singh - Musician and world renowned percussionist
  • Sukhshinder Shinda (Bhullar Ramgharia) - famous Punjabi singer and musician
  • Sukhbirjandhu punjabi pop singer
  • gurdas mann famous punjabi singer

Eminent painters

  • S G Thakur Singh - Artist, Teacher and Patriot.
  • Sobha Singh -Most respected and famous artist and religious Painter.
  • Prem Singh - Eminent artist and teacher, retired as the Principal of the Art College, Chandigarh
  • Hari Singh Bansal - Respected architect and famous artist and religious Painter

See also


  1. ^ Religions and communities of India‎ , Page 184-Pran Nath Chopra 1982
  2. ^ The encyclopedia of Sikhism - Page 111 - H.S.Singha 2000
  3. ^ a b History Of Midieval India, page146, by Saini A.K, Chand, Hukam ISBN8126123133, 9788126123131
  5. ^ a b c http://www.smh.com.au/news/cricket/religious-stronghold-that-gave-rise-to-panesars/2006/10/27/1161749312740.html
  6. ^ The Sikh review‎ - Page 42- 1988
  7. ^ http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110506/ldh1.htm
  8. ^ http://www.ramgarhiakom.com/2006/n_doc/07_jul.html
  9. ^ India's New Capitalists,page 304 ISBN-13: 978–0–230–20507–9
  10. ^ India's New Capitalists,page 304 ISBN-13: 978–0–230–20507–9
  11. ^ India's New Capitalists,page 304 ISBN-13: 978–0–230–20507–9
  12. ^ India's New Capitalists,page 304 ISBN-13: 978–0–230–20507–9
  13. ^ http://www.jointscene.com/artists/Bollywood/Ajay_Devgan/497


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