Maharaja Ranjit Singh

July 23, 2005


It’s a treasure that’s coveted by historians, souvenir hunters and antique collectors. These bags at the revenue records department contain documents that date back to the times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the British government. These 200-year-old land revenue records have been with the government since Partition.

What makes these documents unusual from scores of land revenue records of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s darbar—known as the Khalsa darbar—are that they are in gurmukhi script. Historian and chairman of Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS), J.S. Grewal says: ‘‘The official work in Khalsa darbar was conducted in Persian script as is evident from the large research material handled by the historians but I have heard that some of the private correspondence of the Maharaja was in gurmukhi.’’

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