Sikh Confederation, History of

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Date Event Notes
3300–1500 BCE Indus Valley Civilization
1500-500 BCE Vedic Period
599 BCE Birth of Mahavira Mahavira taught that observing the vows of ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truth), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (chastity), and aparigraha (non-attachment) is the basic necessity for spiritual liberation.
567–487 BCE Life of the Buddha
326 BCE Alexander invades the Punjab Battle of the Hydaspes
Wins an important victory over Porus, king of the Pauravas, on the banks of the River Jhelum (known to the Greeks as Hydaspes) in the Punjab. The kingdom encompassed the territory between the Jhelum and the Chenab Rivers, now the Province of Gujrat.
322–187 BCE Maurya Empire
c.268–232 BCE Reign of Ashoka Ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent except for parts in the exteme south. The empire's capital was Paliputra (present-day Patna), with provincial capitals at Taxila (in the Province of Rawalpindi) and Ujjain.
c.150 BCE - c.300 Indo-Scythian (Sakas) rule The first Saka king in South Asia, Maues, established Saka power in Gandhara and the Indus Valley, conquering Gandhara and Taxila around 80 BCE, but he did not manage to conquer the Punjab territories of the Indo-Greeks east of the Jhelum River. His kingdom disintegrated after his death. In the east, the Indian king Vikrama retook Ujjain from the Indo-Scythians. Indo-Greek kings again ruled after Maues, and prospered. Not until Azes I, in 55 BC, did the Indo-Scythians take final control of northwestern India.
45–180 CE Kushan Empire The Kushan Empire was a syncretic empire, formed by the Yuezhi in the Bactrian territories in the early 1st century. It spread to encompass much of Afghanistan and then the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent at least as far as near Varanasi.
Kushan Emperor Kanishka the Great (c.127-c.140) was a great patron of Buddhism, playing an important role in the establishment of Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent and its spread to Central Asia and China.
320–590 Gupta Empire
c. 335/350-375 Reign of Samudragupta His empire extended from the Ravi River in the west to the Brahmaputra River in the east, thus including the provinces of Amritsar and Jalandhar.
510–650: Vardhana's Era Pushyabhuti (Vardhana) dynasty Empire covered much of north and northwestern India.
711–713 Muhammad bin Qasim Conquers Sindh as far as Multan in the Province of Amritsar.
713–1200 Rajput states, Kabul Shahi and small Muslim kingdoms
1175 Muhammad Ghori Conquers Ismaili-ruled Multan (in the Province of Amritsar). It is then annexed to the Ghurid Sultanate, becoming an administrative province of the Delhi Sultanate's Mamluk Dynasty, the first of the sultanate's dynasties. Multan's Ismaili community rises up in an unsuccessful rebellion against the Ghurids later in 1175, leading to the extinguishing of the remnants of Ismailism in the region.
1206-1290 The Mamluk Dynasty In 1206 the childless Muhammad Ghori is assassinated. His empire is split into four minor sultanates led by his former mamluk generals, the beginning of the Slave dynasty. Nasir ad-din Qabacha, the Turkic governor of Multan, becomes the sultan of Multan.
1216 Nasir ad-din Qabacha occupies Lahore (in the Province of Amritsar).
1290-1320 The Khalji Dynasty, the second Delhi dynasty The 70-year-old Jalal-ud-din Firuz Khalji leads a coup and murders the 17-year-old Muiz ud-din Qaiqabad, the last ruler of the Mamluk dynasty.
1296-1316 Alauddin Khalji The Kohinoor diamond is acquired by this second ruler of the Delhi Sultanate after a month-long siege of Warangal. The Kakatiya king Prataparudra agrees to become a tributary of Alauddin, and surrenders a large amount of wealth (including the Kohinoor diamond). The diamond passes to succeeding dynasties of the Sultanate.
1320-1413 The Tughlaq Dynasty, the third Delhi dynasty
1320 Mubarak Shah, the last Khalji shah, is murdered. A four-year period of chaos, coups and assassinations ensues and the amirs persuade Ghazi Malik, the army commander in the Punjab, to lead a coup. His forces march on Delhi, capture Khusraw Khan, who had murdered Mubarak Shah, and behead him. Upon becoming sultan, Ghazi Malik renames himself Ghiyath al-Din Tughlaq and becomes the first ruler of the Tughluq dynasty.
1398 Timurlane invades India. He carries away a large booty from Delhi and the surrounding area.
1414–1451 The Sayyid Dynasty, the fourth Delhi dynasty
28 May 1414 Sayyid Khizr Khan ibn Malik Sulaiman This governor of Multan, founds the Sayyid dynasty soon after the invasion of Timur and the fall of the Tughlaq dynasty. He does not assume any royal title due to fear of Timurlane. During his reign, coins were continued to be struck in the name of previous Tughlaq rulers.
1451–1526 The Lodhi dynasty, the fifth and final Delhi dynasty.
19 April 1451 Bahlul Khan Lodhi Upon the abdication of Ala-ud-din Alam, the last Sayyid shah of Delhi, Bahlul Khan Lodhi becomes the first sultan of the Lodi dynasty. After two unsuccessful invasions he is invited, upon the abdication of Alam Shah, to occupy the throne.
29 November 1469–10 October 1539 Guru Nanak The founder of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh gurus
1526–1707 The Mughal Empire The Mughal Empire dates from the victory of its founder Babur over Ibrahim Lodi, the last ruler of the Delhi Sultanate in the First Battle of Panipat on 21 April 1526.
1526–1530 Babur (14 February 1483 – 26 December 1530) A direct descendant of Timurlane on his father's side (great-great-great-grandson) and of Genghis Khan on his mother's, becomes the first emperor of the Mughal Empire.
Receives the Kohinoor diamond in 1526 as a tribute for his conquest of Delhi at the First Battle of Panipat on 21 April 1526.
1538–1545 Sher Shah Suri (1486-22 May 1545) An ethnic Afghan Pashtun, Sher Shah takes control of the Mughal Empire by defeating the Mughal emperor Nasiruddin Muhammad Humayun in May 1540, founding the Suri dynasty.
1555 Sikandar Shah Suri (d. 1559) This governor of Lahore declares his independence from Delhi, but, while busy in the east, Humayan recaptured Lahore in February 1555. Sikandar sends a force of 30,000 horses but they are defeated by the Mughal army in a battle at Macchiware on 15 May 1555. Sikandar then led an army of 80,000 horses himself and met the Humayan's army at Sirhind. On 22 June 1555 he was defeated by the Mughal army and was compelled to retreat to the hills in northern Punjab. The victorious Mughals marched to Delhi and occupied it. In late 1556, Sikandar becomes active again, but finally, after six months of resistance, surrenders on 25 July 1557.
1556–1605 Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar, Akbar the Great The third Mughal emperor succeeds his father Humayan. A successful general, he gradually enlarges the Mughal Empire to include nearly all of the Indian subcontinenty north of the Godavari river.
1605–1627 Nuruddin Muhammad Jahangir The fourth Mughal emperor, as well as Nur Jahan, his 20th and last wife, is buried in Lahore.
1627–1658 Shahaabuddin Muhammad Shah Jahan The most competent of Jahangir's four sons. After Jahangir's death in late 1627, a war of succession ensues. Shah Jahan emerges victorious, puts to death all of his rivals for the throne, and crowns himself emperor in January 1628.
Puts the Kohinoor diamond into his Peacock Throne.
In September 1657, he falls seriously ill, which sets off a war of succession among his four sons, in which his third son Aurangzeb, emerges victorious. Shah Jahan recovers from his illness, but Aurangzeb puts his father under house arrest in from July 1658 until his death in January 1666.
His wife, Mumtaz Mahal, is buried in the Taj Mahal.
1658–1707 Mohi-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir The sixth and the last effective Mughal emperor. Executes the ninth Sikh guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur.
The downfall of the Mughal Empire begins near the end of his reign due to his political and religious intolerance.
1675–1708 Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru Founds the Sikh warrior community called the Khalsa in 1699;
introduces the Five Ks, the five articles of faith that Khalsa Sikhs wear at all times;
writes important Sikh texts; and
enshrines the Guru Granth Sahib as Sikhism's eternal Guru.
He is assassinated by the Mughal army that was staying nearby while he was awaiting an audience with the Mughal emperor.
1708–1713 Conquests of Banda Bahadur (1670–1716) With the blessing and authority of Guru Gobind Singh, he assembles a fighting force and leads the struggle against the Mughal Empire.
After establishing his authority in Punjab, he abolishes the zamindari system and grants property rights to the tillers of the land.
In the regions of Jalandhar and Amritsar, the Sikhs started fighting for the rights of the people. On 11 October 1710, they defeated the Mughals in the Battle of Rahon and used their newly established power to remove corrupt officials and replace them with honest ones.
He was captured by the Mughals and tortured to death on 9 June 1716.
1714–1759 Sikh chiefs war against the Afghani and Mughal Governors
1739 Invasion by Nader Shah and defeat of weakened Mughal Empire
Takes the Peacock Throne, with the Kohinoor diamond, to Persia.
10 March 1746 Sikh holocaust of 1746 The Sikh inhabitants of Lahore are rounded up and executed. An estimated 7,000 Sikhs are killed and 3,000 captured during this operation. The captives are marched back to Lahore, paraded in the streets and publicly beheaded. Given the small numbers of the Sikhs in those days of persecution, the losses will have been a very substantial proportion of their population. The forces went on to destroy Sikh places of worship and burn their scriptures. It is decreed that anyone uttering the word "guru" be put to death and even saying the "gur", the Punjabi word for sugar, could be cause for the death penalty.
1747 Nader Shah is killed and his empire collapses. The KohiNoor diamond is inherited by his grandson, Shahrouk Shah, who in 1751 gives it to Ahmad Shah Durrani, the founder of the Afghan Empire, in return for his support.
1747–1772 The Durrani Empire Ahmad Shah Durrani claims the region of Kandahar. In 1749 the Mughal ruler cedes Pakistan and northwestern Punjab to the Afghans. Ahmad Shah then sets out westward to take possession of Herat, ruled by Shahrouk Shah. He invades India four times, taking control of the Kashmir and the Punjab region.
14 January 1761 The Third Battle of Panipat The Durrani Empire defeats the Maratha Empire.
5 February 1762 Sikh holocaust of 1762 Ahmad Shah Durrani and his allies meet up with about 50,000 retreating Sikhs. Breaking through the surrounding men protecting them, they slaughter women, children and the elderly. Ahmad Shah Durrani's army returned to Lahore with hundreds of Sikhs in chains. It is estimated that 15,000 to 20,000 Sikhs were killed.
1765–1801 Rise of the Sikh Misls which gained control of significant portions of Punjab.
1799–1839 The Sikh Empire, the Sarkar Khalsa The Sikh Empire, under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh is established as a secular empire based in the Punjab. Existing from 1799, when Ranjit Singh captured Lahore, it consists of a collection of autonomous Sikh misls. At its peak in the 19th century, it extended from the Khyber Pass in the west to western Tibet in the east, and from Mithankot in the south to Kashmir in the north.
12 April 1801 The coronation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh
1813 Kohinoor diamond again changes hands. Shah Shuja Durrani gives the diamond to Ranjit Singh in return for his help in regaining the throne of the Afghan Empire.
30 April 1837 The Battle of Jamrud Having consolidated his empire in Punjab, Ranjit Singh turned toward the Afghan territories. The Afghans had been losing their long-held territories to Sikhs over the preceding years due to internal conflicts and had seen their once mighty empire shrink with the loss of the Punjab, Multan, Kashmir and Peshawar. The Battle of Jamrud was a decisive victory for the Sikhs and Shuja Durrani is restored.
1839-1840 Kharak Singh (1801–1840) Son of Ranjit Singh
Poisoned with white lead and mercury. Eleven months after the poisoning he died on 5 November 1840 in Lahore.
27 June 1839 - 8 October 1839 Nau Nihal Singh (1821–1840) Son of Kharak Singh. Presumably killed by falling masonry.
5 November 1840 – 18 January 1841 Chand Kaur (1802–11 June 1842) Regent of the Empire. Wife of Kharak Singh
Her servants killed her on 11 June 1842 by smashing her head in with wooden pikes.
18 January 1841– 15 September 1843 Sher Singh Ajit Singh seeks Sher Singh's permission to show him a carbine he had obtained. As the Maharaja puts forth his hands to take hold of the rifle, Ajit Singh prulls the triggers and empties the loaded barrels into his chest. "Oh, Sardar, What deception?" is all the Maharaja could say as he drops to the ground dead. Ajit Singh rushes forward and cuts off his head with a single blow of the sword. The shots that killed Sher Singh are a signal for the beheading of the maharajah's 12-year-old son.
1843-1846 Jind Kaur (1817-1 August 1863) Wife of Rajit Singh, mother of Duleep Singh, regent for her five-year-old son.
1843- Duleep Singh (1838-1893) Son of Ranjit Singh.
Dies childless.
11-15 May 1868 Meeting with representatives of the five Provinces. Realizing that there would be no heir to the throne, Duleep Singh meets with representatives of the five Provinces in Lahore to discuss the establishing of a republic.
19-23 October 1868 Constitutional convention Elected representatives from the five Provinces meet in Amritsar to write the constitution for the new republic of the United Sikh Provinces.
13 May 1869 Final ratification The Province of Jalandhar is the last province to ratify the new constitution.
General elections are scheduled for October 1869.
18 October 1869 Election Day The first elections in Sikh history elect provincial representatives for the new National Assembly and provincial members of the presidency.
1 January 1870 Abdication of Duleep Singh The Maharajah abdicates and transfers his authority to the Presidency and the National Assembly.
Upon his abdication the Maharajah presents the Kohinoor diamond to the Golden Temple in Amritsar.