Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sikh Era Relics in Lahore Museum

The Sikhs, after the demise of the Mughal Empire in the united India, ruled almost the entire India from 1799 to 1849. It was forged, on the foundations of the Khalsa, under the leadership of Maharaja  At its peak, in the 19th century, the empire extended from the Khyber Pass in the west, to Kashmir in the north, to Sindh in the south, and Tibet in the east.

The death of the death of Emperor Aurangzeb of the Mughal Empire provided opportunities for the Sikh army, to lead expeditions against the Mughals and Afghans.

The formal start of the Sikh Empire began under Ranjit Singh, who was crowned on 12 April 1801 creating a unified political state. Ranjit Singh rose to power in a very short period, from a leader of a single Sikh Misl to finally becoming the Maharaja of Punjab. He began to modernize his army, using the latest training as well as weapons and artillery. After the death of Ranjit Singh, the empire was weakened by internal divisions and political mismanagement. Finally, by 1849 the state was dissolved after their defeat in the Anglo-Sikh wars.

Lahore Museum is rich in relics of Sikh Era. Tahir Iqbal, who has carried out lot of research on the Sikh history, provides us photographs of the Sikh Era relics, which are preserved in the Sikh Gallery of the Lahore Museum. Herein under are some of the snap shots of arms and other objects which have been in the Sikhs use in Punjab.
The majestic Victorian style building of Lahore Museum located on The Mall, adjacent to National College of Arts and Tollington Market

Sikh Era gun outside Lahore Museum
 Coin of Ranjit Singh's times
Medal for Army of Sutlej - 1845

Inkpot bombs, 1916 - These brass inkpot bombs were recovered by police from Lahore. They were meant to keep on Judges table and designed so as to trigger the explosion as soon as the lid was opened.

Marble Hands (Said to be representing those of Rani Jindan)
Lock Of Sikh Period at Lahore Museum (Made By Ram Ji Das Mastri Resident of Meni Mazara District Ambala)
Wooden chair and table studded with marble used by Ranjit Singh
Gun Powder Flashes – 18-19th Century AD
Swords / daggers of Mughal and Sikh period
Blade of Ranjit Singh's War Axe
 
Swords of various sizes used by Sikhs
Watch of Bhagat Singh
Resource for Sikh History: Wikipedia
Photographs: Tahir Iqbal (Flickr)

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