Eighteenth Century Sikhs
Eighteenth century Punjab, a period between the demise of Guru Gobind Singh and the rise of Sikh Raj under Maharaja Ranjit Singh was an eventful period of Sikh history. The inhabitants of the Punjab were under constant strain from multiple powers including the tyrannical Mughals, the plundering Afghan invaders and the advancing Marathas. The Sikhs valiantly fought them initially in small jathas (groups), merging in 1748 into twelve independent misals (confederacies), which came together to fight under the unified banner of the Dal Khalsa. By 1768, the Sikhs had overpowered all their enemies and won possession of major territories of the Punjab and the end of century saw the emergence of the Sikh empire under Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
The founders of the misals were originally free lancers and veteran espousers of freedom from oppression. As their possessions and followings increased they acquired the character of chieftainships. These confederacies did not exist in their full strength at the same time, but one misal gave rise to another. An aspiring chief could separate himself from his immediate derah (camp) to form, perhaps, a greater one of his own. It is often said, “those who make history seldom live to write it”. This was particularly true for the Sikh misls.
Prominent Sikhs Pre 1800
Prominent Sikh personalities in from the Guru ji’s times to pre 1800 era. This section describes their biographies and contibutions to Sikh History In this section we concentrate on those Khalsa who have brought laurels to Sikhism and Khalsa itself.