Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Chet Singh
Military Commander & Engineer under Maharajah Runjeet Singh

In 1831 he became engineer-in-charge for constructing a bridge over the River Sutlej for the Ropar meeting between Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Governor-General William Bentinck. He constructed another bridge at Harike in 1837 to enable the British commander-in-chief to cross over the Sutlej for his visit to Lahore.

Earlier in 1833 he was appointed kardar of the Sutlej estates of the Maharaja. In 1835, he was deputed to Anandpur to settle the dispute between the local Sodhi factions. Chet Singh was on guard duty near the gate on the fateful evening (5 November 1840) when its archway fell upon Kanvar Nau Nihal Singh returning from the funeral of his father, Maharaja Kharak Singh.

During the first Anglo-Sikh war, Chet Singh commanded the Ropar division along the western bank of the Sutlej. In the second Anglo-Sikh war, he fought in the battle of Ramnagar (22 November 1848) when he was taken prisoner by the British.

Source: TheSikhEncyclopedia.Com

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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