Name: Jind KAUR , Maharani of the Sikh Empire
Birth: 1817 in Chachar, Gujranwala, Sikh Empire (now Pakistan)
Death: 1 AUG 1863 in Nepal or London, Middlesex, England
Also Known as Rani Jindan or the Messalina of Punjab
from: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Maharani Jind Kaur (Messalina of the Punjab), (1817 in Chachar, Gujranwala, Sikh Empire - August 1, 1863 in London, United Kingdom) also popularly known as Rani Jindan or the Messalina of Punjab. She was the youngest wife of Maharajah Ranjit Singh and the mother of the last Sikh Emperor, Maharajah Duleep Singh. In 1845 she became Regent of Punjab for Duleep Singh. The Queen Mother (or Mai) of the last Sikh sovereign of the Punjab. She was renowned for her great beauty and personal charm along with her strength of character (or having the 'characteristic strength of a man'), qualities which the British came to dislike.
Rani Jindan was the daughter of Sardar Manna Singh, an Aulakh (or Aurak) Jat of the small village of Chachar, in the district of Gujranwala, now in Pakistan. It was reported that Maharaja Ranjit Singh was not interested in marrying a young bride, reportedly she would be his 17th wife and only surviving widow. The tender years of Duleep Singh, is the reason why the Maharani did not become 'sati' on the funneral pyre of her husband along with some of the other wives. In order to get rid of Manna Singh's constant requests, the Maharaja sent 'his arrow and sword' to her village to which Jind Kaur was symbolically married in 1835 AD (1). Ranjit Singh had married nine of his wives with the usual rites and ceremonies of the institution of Anand Karaj ([Sikh] religious marriage ceremoney) and the other seven with the less orthodox customs of 'Chaddar-Pauna', 'Karewa' or ' Tir-patka' , a prevalent custom among the Jats of the Punjab. This custom was born from the Sikh religion's rejection of the ancient ritual of 'Sati' or self-immolation of the widow on her husband's funeral pyre, a custom which was still prevalent within most of the families of the nobility and royalty of the Sikh Kingdoms. The Sikh custom allowed the eldest (or younger brother) of the deceased to symbolically marry the widow by placing a 'nath' or nose-ring in the nose of the widow whilst both seated under a white sheet held aloft by members of the family.
Shortly after the First Anglo-Sikh War saw the British gain hold of Punjab, and in 1846 she was deposed as Regent, forcibly separated from her only son and banished to Sheikhupura near Lahore.
After moving around several gaols, Rani Jindan eventually escaped from Chunar fort, Uttar Pradesh on April 19, 1849 and left a note for the British "You put me in the cage and locked me up. For all your locks and your sentries, I got out by my magic ... I had told you plainly not to push me too hard ó but donít think I ran away, understand well, that I escape by myself unaided ... When I quit the Fort of Chunar I threw down two papers on my gaddi and one I threw on the European charpoy, now donít imagine, I got out like a thief". The British confiscated her jewelry and rescinded her pension. Rani Jindan arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal on April 29, 1849 and was given political asylum by Prime Minister Jung Bahadur. She was assigned a residence at Thapathall and given an allowance by the Nepalese government.
In 1860 she was eventually permitted to see her son, Maharaja Duleep Singh in Calcutta, who brought her to the shores of England.
1. 'Maharani Jind Kaur by B S Nijjar' - p10, Punjab Govt. Records: 164/24, Broadfoot Currie, Dec 27, 1844
Father: Manna SINGH , an Aulakh (or Aurak) Jat b: in Chachar, Gujranwala, Sikh Empire (now Pakistan)
Mother: Sada KAUR
Ranjit SINGH , 1st Maharaja of the Sikh Empire b: 13 NOV 1780 in Gujranwala, Mughal Empire (now Pakistan)
- Dalip SINGH , Maharaja of the Sikh Empire b: 6 SEP 1838 in Lahore, Sikh Empire (now Pakistan)