Beautiful Painting of Hari Singh Nalwa by Sikhi Art

The Greatest Sikh General of the Punjab Kingdom

When he was young, he killed a tiger who attacked him. When he got older, he rose to become a general and after which he expanded the borders of the Punjab kingdom up north and defeated the Afghanis. He built fort Jamraud to guard the Afghan-Punjab border to prevent invasions into India.

HariSinghNalwa (74K)

We are talking about Hari Singh ji Nalwa.

Take a closer look at the painting here -

The Tiger Slayer
Hari Singh Nalwa was a great general of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's kingdom of Punjab. At a young age, while on a hunting trip, he was attacked by a tiger. With his bare hands, he pushed back the tiger, drew his sword and decapitated the beast. From that day onward, the young man was known as the 'tiger-slayer', amongst the local people. He was also known for his excellent swordsmanship and chivalry, and his father had been serving Maharaja Ranjit Singh's army. All of this became the deciding factors for the Maharaja to accept him in his royal service. He was given a small army of horsemen and so began Nalwa's career as a General.

Hari Singh ji's Conquests
Hari Singh ji participated in the conquests of Sialkot, Kasur (1807), Multan (1818), Kashmir (1819), Pakhli and Damtaur (1821-2), Peshawar (1834) and finally Jamrud in the Khyber Hills (1837). He defeated the Afghans, something the British failed to do, and annexed a segment of what was the Kingdom of Kabul to the Sikh Kingdom in Punjab. In Peshawar, he rebuilt the Bala Hisar Fort in Maharaja's name. He also built a chain of fortresses on his conquests to strengthen his hold. He also built one in God's name, Haripur. This expanded the Kingdom of Punjab towards the North-west into the lands of Afghanistan, blocked off the Khyber Pass (which was pass through the mountains often used by Persian and Afghan invaders to loot and plunder Hindustan), and instilled fear of his name among the Afghan tribes.

Meeting with Bibi Bano
Hari Singh Nalwa was of an excellent moral character. In a conversation amongst Pathans, fierce and unmatched warriors of Afghanistan, there was discussion on how a Punjabi Sardar has defeated them on their own turf. Among them was a very young and beautiful Muslim woman named Bano who was fascinated by their conversation and wanted to meet this sardar.

One night she visited Hari Singh Nalwa in his camp by telling the guards that she had very important business with their sardar. Upon entering she saw Hari Singh Nalwa as the viewer sees him in the painting. She greeted him and upon his questioning gaze, asked him why he had captured her homeland. Hari Singh Nalwa explained that they are not here to tyrannize the citizens but to defend Punjab and Hindustan through blocking off the main route of the Afghani invasions.

Upon listening to this Bano exclaimed that if she had a son then she wanted him to be like Hari Singh Nalwa. Hari Singh told her to teach her son to be kind towards and protective of his family and tribe. He suggested to her to ask Allah, not for a handsome son, but for a morally superior one.

However, Bano had something else in mind. She asked him to sleep with her to give her such a son. Upon hearing this, Hari Singh Nalwa got off his seat, enraged with bloodshot eyes, and asked her to leave. As Bano turned to leave, she muttered, "and here I thought no one ever leaves the house of Nanak empty-handed; I was wrong."

Upon hearing this Hari Singh Nalwa was moved to tears. He called forth one of his guards to bring him a shawl. Once the guard brought him a shawl, Hari Singh asked the guard to place it over Bano's head. Nalwa then stepped forth, standing in front of Bano, he said, "Bano you were looking for a son like me?" He touched her feet and said "Bano from now I am your son." At this point Bano, with now wet eyes accepted the gift and exclaimed that she is proud to have such a son.

Artist's Notes
My new edition of Hari Singh ji Nalwa is a symbol of my constant pursuit of knowledge. Everything in this painting has been meticulously painted to be as historically authentic as possible. Every little thing in this painting was the result of studying puratan paintings, photographs, artifacts, arms and armours. So, it was important to update this painting as my knowledge grew, and it is important to update the other paintings as well.

View other Sikh History artworks by Bhagat Singh -

Bhagat Singh Bedi

Bhagat Singh Bedi

Bhagat Singh Bedi has been painting Sikh History since the young age of 11. His Sikh Paintings connect us to our ancient heritage by telling stories of our ancestors in vivid colours. Each painting is carefully hand-painted, researched and detailed by Bhagat, over years of meditation. Bhagat's fine art prints can be purchased for your home, and can be easily ordered online at

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