Wednesday, December 07, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Hira Singh, Maharaja Sir
Raja of the Nabha State (1843-1911)

Born on 19 December 1843, the son of Sukkha Singh of Badrukkhan, ascended the throne of Nabha state on 10 August 1877 after Raja Bhagvan Singh who had died issueless and without adopting an heir. Hira Singh ruled for forty years and did much for the welfare of the people of the state and of the Sikhs in general. He despatched contingents of troops to fight in most of the major frontier campaigns and was duly rewarded by the British with many honours, including the titles of Raja-i-Rajgan and Maharaja. Maharaja Hira Singh provided funds for the establishment of the Khalsa Printing Press at Lahore, supported the Khalsa College at Amritsar and promoted the reformist (Anand) form of Sikh marriage.

He also patronized Max Arthur Macauliffe who was then engaged in his monumental work, The Sikh Religion.

Maharaja Hira Singh was one of the ablest of Nabha rulers - wise, liberal and pious. Legends about his justice and munificence are still current in the countryside. He died at Nabha on 25 December 1911 and was succeeded by his son, Ripudaman Singh.

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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