Sunday, December 04, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism


Mahitab Kaur

The first wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (D. 1813)


Was the daughter of Gurbakhsh Singh Kanhaiya and Sada Kaur. Sada Kaur persuaded her father-in-law, Jai Singh Kanhaiya, after her husband had been killed in a show of arms with Mahan Singh Sukkarchakkla, to betroth her daughter to the son of the Sukkarchakkia chief. The marriage took place in 1796 with great eclat, but Ranjit Singh failed to win the affection of Mahitab Kaur for she could not forget the fact that her father had been killed by the father of her husband. She lived mostly with her mother at Batala. This estrangement was complete after Ranjit Singh took Raj Kaur in marriage. Mahitab Kaur gave birth to three sons-Ishar Singh who died in infancy and the twins, Sher Singh and Tara Singh. She died in 1813.

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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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